tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 8, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
welcome back. we're just hours until another big day in a primary race that appears to be tightening in both parties. a weekend of split decisions in the polls. contentious cnn debate in flint and donald trump and ted cruz trying to shove marco rubio out of the race. on the democratic side, some damage control with african-american voters by bernie sanders. there's that, michael bloomberg saying he'll stay out of the race and more. a lot to talk about. jason carroll starts us off with the republicans tonight. >> who is going to win north carolina? >> reporter: double trump's confidence on full display today. campaigning in north carolina. his primary is still more than a week away. the gop front-runner running strong in tomorrow's big super tuesday prize, michigan. >> i've been to michigan a lot. and i think we're going to do well there. >> a new monmouth university
poll released today shows trump at 36% in the wolverine state followed by cruz at 23%. after big weekend wins, trump and cruz say the gop primary fight is now turning into a two-man race. >> marco rubio had a very, very bad night. and personally, i'd call for him to drop out of the race. i think it's time now that he drop out of the race. i would love to take on ted one on one. that would be so much fun. >> we started with 17 candidates. as the field narrows more and more and more, we're getting closer to a two-man race. i believe this race will end up with a two-man race between me and donald trump. >> reporter: cruz picking up some momentum after scoring wins this weekend in kansas and maine, helping close trump's advantage in the delegate count. and today, he's making the case to republican voters that they should line up behind him as the trump alternative. >> in this race, it is clear, a vote for any other candidate, a vote for marco rubio or a vote
for john kasich, is a vote for donald trump. because there's only one candidate who has repeatedly beaten donald trump. there's only one candidate who can and will beat donald trump. >> reporter: trump meanwhile edging out cruz in kentucky and louisiana. rubio earned his second victory of the primary on sunday in puerto rico, coming on the heels of disappointing results in saturday's contest. and tonight, rubio responding to trump and cruz's calls that he should exit the race. >> of course donald trump is calling on people to drop out. but i think donald suffered some real damage over the last week. people are starting to learn that donald trump the character and donald trump the person are not the same thing. and what you get as president is not the character you see on television. it's the person. >> reporter: rubio's effort to derail the front-runner getting a boost from superpacs opposed to trump. the latest highlighting trump's sometimes coarse language on the campaign trail. >> he gets the nomination,
they're going to sue his [ bleep ]. she said he's a [ bleep ]. i don't give a [ bleep ]. we'll beat the [ bleep ] out of them. >> jason carroll joins us. what's the message from the candidates as they head to tomorrow's primaries? >> look. they aren't expecting any wins tomorrow. not in michigan or mississippi or idaho or hawaii. not expecting any wins. all of their focus and message, is focused on the state of florida. as you know, must-win state for rubio if he has any hope of moving forward. what's interesting, anderson, is they are billing themselves as the underdog here in his home state. which says something in itself when you consider ted cruz certainly was not the underdog in his home state of texas, a state that as you know he won. >> jason carroll, thanks very much. back with our panel. john king, just in terms of the delegate count and moving forward, what is the path for a cruz, for a rubio? is there any path other than at the convention?
>> we can talk for days about this. >> and we already have, but it makes my head explode every time we do. >> there are thousands of scenarios. literally thousands of scenarios. take it one at a time. if donald trump wins -- has a good day tomorrow. that's winning mississippi and michigan. the big prize is mississippi and michigan. he can say he's back on track and starts to stretch out the delegate lead. then you get to winner take all, march 15th, a week from tuesday, it gets different. if donald trump wins florida, that's 199 delegates. if rubio wins florida, trump is not getting 200 and rubio can argue he's back in the hunt. what happens in ohio, illinois? we'll have to go state by state through this map. if trump is winning half the delegates, trump will be the republican nominee. at some point you have to first stop -- >> oh, john. please say it slowly. >> not just by winning one or two states. there has to be a date where trump looks up. after five or six contests. after five or six contests,
trump only won one, what's happening here? and then -- then, sure, if you get, whether it's cruz versus trump or rubio versus trump or kasich versus trump. don't count kasich out. a lot of people say he's gone lunatic. if he wins, ohio, we'll see what's happened. do you have a one on one race in new york and california. >> doesn't one on one race help cruz? cruz seems to want a one on one race? >> you can argue -- you can say in new york state, in maryland. you aren't going to beat donald trump, but we don't know what the psychology of the race will be by then. >> i think a one on one race helps any of the candidates who are not trump once you get into the winner take all state. >> may not be your best chance but -- >> anybody who can beat trump in any of these contests, people are going to start looking at because the goal is for these guys to beat trump somewhere. once you beat trump somewhere, people are going to start saying, wait a minute. are late deciders really now going away from donald trump? what is -- what is going on with
the republican base in this race? are they starting to have doubts about donald trump and so a whole kind of psychology takes over because nothing succeeds like success. once somebody else starts to have maybe not only one but maybe two successes against donald trump, then things flip pretty quickly. you just have to see. right now trump is overwhelmingly the favorite. >> without a doubt. >> do any of you have any -- or commentators, do any of you have any doubt that donald trump will be the nominee? >> yeah, i have some doubt. >> if marco rubio wins florida and we have a race that's eventually becomes a race for the contested convention, then there's a possibility where you get to a contested convention that forces against donald trump which, at that point, which could essentially be two-thirds of the entire delegates that are selected. starts to form a unity ticket. there's a chance that donald trump -- >> wouldn't the backlash among
trump supporters be so overwhelming. >> here's the one thing i'll say and then turn it over to ana. i find it harder and harder to not see a scenario where there's chaos. >> let me go to jeffrey lord, a trump supporter. if there was this thing at the convention and some sort of a deal made that trump was shut out, what would that even look like? his supporters would understandably be furious at the gop. >> yeah, they would. they would. it reminds me of -- not that i was there or any of us were there. but the 1912 convention when teddy roosevelt and his supporters felt cheated by william howard taft that there was theft and charges of stealing the nomination and walked out, hired a hall and held their own convention, started a third party and off and running and ruined taft's chances and the republican party's chances and that was it. that's the last thing that they want to see happen. >> can i just clarify that?
he wouldn't be cheated out of anything. these are delegates that are -- >> his supporters would be. >> the perception is one thing. he wouldn't be cheated out of anything. this would be over 2,000 delegates who the large majority of them at that point if donald trump were to get to the -- were to get to the convention without -- with maybe say something like 900. if you continue at the rate now, that would mean two-thirds of those delegates would not be trump. it would be the majority voice inside the convention selecting somebody other than donald trump. and following the rules that were laid out. >> a brokered convention would be the equivalent of the political hunger games. and i am not exaggerating. take a look at what's going on at donald trump events, what happens to protesters. they get physically assaulted. if you think people aren't going to get clubbed like baby seals on the floor of the convention,
then you haven't been watching what's been happening. >> but there are rules governing this process. and if you don't -- >> only the first round. >> with the majority of the ballot. >> they can do anything on the second round and then it's -- >> but the rules are rewritten at every convention. last convention, you had to win a majority of eight states to be nominated from the floor because they had to make sure ron paul wasn't nominated from the floor at the beginning of each convention you rewrite the rules. donald trump is not represented in that rules committee and there will be hell to pay -- >> he also hasn't yet won a majority in eight states. so he wouldn't qualify under those rules. >> the other thing we've discussed is almost all those delegates you can bet are going to have these cell phones here. so any hanky-panky that's going to go on, somebody is going to catch that on camera and send to to cnn and youtube and the world in 0.2 seconds. >> what's the hanky-panky -- >> what's the hanky-panky if
they are following the rules? >> there will be a huge burden on the party if trump comes in with a significant lead but short of what he needs to clinch. there's a possibility the guy with the most delegates is going to lose. there's going to be a responsibility on the party to be transparent. more than transparent. if the party meets that test and you keep having votes and then trump loses, they better bolt the chairs to the floor. at least you'll have votes and votes and votes. >> you'll have a lot of disenfranchised voters who you need in november to win. >> the heat the race is generating, including reaction on conservative talk radio to the stop trump effort. it's a major topic, and what listeners have to say could say where the race goes from here. later, with michigan up for grabs, democrats are trading punches. the latest on that also when we continue.
if you want to listen to important republican voices in the republican primary race, it helps to listen to conservative tlk radio. no better place to get in touch with the gop base than talk radio. callers have plenty to say about efforts to stop donald trump. more on that from our randi kaye. >> we have on the line jim. welcome to the program. thanks for calling in. >> hi. >> reporter: at mercury studios just outside dallas, texas, conservative radio host dana loesh is getting an earful from a caller named jim. >> mitt romney's speech made me -- as far as how i feel about him overall because the one thing i'm tired of is the establishment. is it better to have someone who -- who do you hate more, the democrats or the gop establishment?
>> reporter: ever since 2012 republican presidential candidate mitt romney came out urging voters to choose anyone but donald trump, voters have been turning to conservative radio shows to voice their anger and frustration. >> romney is a two-time race loser. why are you even in place to -- or in the position to say anything against somebody who is doing well and been leading nearly the whole race. >> what do you make of people like the romneys and all of those individuals speaking out? >> romney is trying to come to the rescue of the establishment. you know there's billions of dollars in unsold power that's at stake here with an upset of the establishment. >> reporter: john mccain on the republican ticket in '08 echoed romney's concerns, urging voters to think long and hard before choosing trump. >> would you say it comes off as patronizing to the voter? >> i do think so. it's patronizing. i think mitt romney criticizing anybody at this point is patronizing.
i think mccain criticizing anyone is patronizing. we're not children. we're capable of making our own decisions. >> reporter: for many listeners, that decision is trump. >> i think the republican national committee is against donald trump because he is doing so successful. >> reporter: not every caller is a trump fan, though. >> he is the republican version of barack obama's hope and change. instead of hope and change, he's offering, i'll make america great again and sweeping a bunch of dumb voters who are going to be swept up in emotion and vote on a jingle. this election has come down to a referendum on the stupidity of most of the american voters. >> reporter: one listener told dana they believe romney is trying to wiggle his way into the oval office. >> do you think that romney is trying to clear a path for rubio? >> no. i think it's quite clear, i have been watching the interview he gave for the past week or so. romney wants another shot at it.
>> reporter: sound like perhaps the establishment has some explaining to do. randi kaye, cnn, irving, texas. >> sadly, we're not taking your calls tonight so i can't say rapid city, south carolina, hello. i am, however, to our panel and they are joining me now. do you think the impact mitt romney had. john mccain coming forward making these comments. do you think it helped trump or did it open up the gates for others to -- >> the idea the establishment is against trump helps trump globally. are there smaller pockets in place? does it help raise money for the anti-trump effort? mitt romney coming out giving his speech. some saying oh, this is over, maybe i need to make friends. maybe. with voters at large, i don't think there's any question that when you talk -- the interesting thing about this campaign when you travel and talk to voters, they don't like president obama.
they think they are kicking him out of the white house, even though he has to leave anyways. they're energized. among democrats, the president is very popular. part of their energy is we want the white house back. but when the -- ask them about mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, mitt romney. they dislike their own establishment as much, if not more, than president obama. so when the establishment tries to get in front of trump with his voters, it rallies them. the talk radio is interesting. a lot of those guys don't like trump. but they don't trust romney or mccain. you have this fascinating stew right now. they don't like the establishment. some of them don't like trump and they don't know what to do. >> the establishment doesn't like anybody either. the idea of having to choose between ted cruz and donald trump is so painful so many. and one of the things the mitt romney speech did was say to folks in the establishment, look, ted cruz is better than
donald trump. i think, you know, it's -- we're beginning to come to grips. >> even though romney didn't say that, lindsey graham has said that and apparently this report that cruz put in a call to graham. >> and it was surprising that lindsey graham actually said that. that he could live with cruz. what was more surprising was when i talked to romney last week. i said, you are a member of the establishment. he said i'm not the establishment. he said i'm a conservative. i'm not the establishment. >> jeffrey? >> anderson, it just strikes me. if people in the establishment had been listening to rush limbaugh for the last x number of years, they would have seen this coming. but they don't see this coming because, you know, they were too busy writing articles for "newsweek." the former bush aide, stop rush limbaugh and don't listen and all this stuff. all they had to do was listen to
rush's show, listen to what his callers are saying to him and they would have understood perfectly well, long before donald trump, that they had a real problem on their hands. but they didn't pay attention. >> the entire force of the republican party is marshalled behind this theory they can defeat their front-runner. as a democrat, i'm shocked by what's happening. republican -- the autopsy report revealed there are big deficiencies. yet they did nothing to pamper that. >> one of the deficiencies was we couldn't reach out to a wide array of voters, and here we have a -- the front-runner going against that lesson. >> absolutely. >> with this use of rhetoric. that's why there's the marshalling. >> at the same time, embrace yourself because i'm about to say something relatively positive about donald trump. he's brought in an entirely new universe of voters that hadn't been participating.
>> although not quite the -- >> i think i'm going to pass out? >> you're going to pass out because she said something positive? >> yes. >> it's a momentary thing, it will pass. >> is it clear if trump, if there was this deal at a convention if that actually happened, where those trump voters would go? they could be so annoyed at a deal that they'd stay home. >> the other thing -- the other part of that is that they'd be so energized if hillary clinton were the nominee that they might just go out and vote anyway because they dislike hillary clinton so much. so -- >> but the time to -- >> you really can't say. but i do think there would be more of a revolt than you see right now. you look at all the exit polls. >> quickly, john. >> cruz and rubio are going to get there. let's say cruz is in second, rubio is in third or kasich. and they'll negotiate a deal. don't count out donald trump. he gets to negotiate, too. >> and he has some experience with negotiating. so i've heard. >> he can try to negotiate a deal. >> we'll have more with our panel coming up.
the democrats, hillary clinton telling voters in detroit, the sooner she's the nominee, the sooner she can focus on the republican. that after they sparred on the auto industry, guns on the democratic side. kellogg's® frosted mini-wheats®... 8 layers of wheat... and one that's sweet. to satisfy the adult and kid - in all of us. ♪ nutritious wheat for the adult you've grown into and delicious sweet for the kid you'll never outgrow... feed your inner kidult with frosted mini-wheats®. try new kellogg's mini-wheats harvest delights with sweet drizzle and bits made with real fruit.
welcome back. hillary clinton and bernie sanders campaigning in michigan tonight just hours before the primary there and one day after a debate in flint that had them sparring over guns, cars and money. at an event in detroit, hillary clinton said she has her work cut out for her, and she's ready. >> the sooner i could become your nominee, the more i could begin to turn our attention to the republicans. >> jeff zeleny has more on all the verbal jousting at last night's debate and on the campaign trail today. >> reporter: an old issue came roaring back on the eve of the michigan primary. >> i voted for the auto bailout. he voted against it because it also helped some other groups like the banks. but sometimes you don't get perfect choices in life or politics. >> reporter: the rescue of the auto industry is suddenly front
and center in the democratic primary fight. sanders says clinton is intentionally mischaracterizing his 2009 position. >> there was one vote in the united states senate on whether or not to support the auto bailout and protect jobs in michigan and around this country. i voted for the auto bailout. >> reporter: though sanders support the bailout, he did vote against it when it was part of a broader bill to bail out banks. something clinton seized on during the debate and today on the campaign trail in a new radio ad. >> michigan's economy teetering. the american auto companies asked for help. >> reporter: sanders cried foul. it's the latest sign the clinton campaign doesn't think the race is over. tonight a new monmouth university poll showed clinton up by 13 points here, yet michigan democrats say the race feels far tighter. on the debate stage in flint, a civil conversation about the city's poisoned water crisis.
>> it is raining lead in flint. >> what i heard and what i saw literally shattered me. >> suddenly gave way to a clash. >> you know -- >> excuse me. i'm talking. >> reporter: -- over wall street, trade and guns. >> that is like the nra position, no. >> can i finish please? >> the nra agreeing sending out a tweet today. senator sanders was spot on in his comments about gun manufacturer liability. sanders has been on the defensive about guns. but said he and clinton disagree whether gunmakers should be held liable. >> shutting down the entire gun industry. that's what it means. if that is secretary clinton's position, let her state it. >> reporter: some democrats worry the rancor could divide the party. a prospect clinton said she would work to avoid. >> if i am the nominee, i'm going to want bernie's help and bernie's supporters help. some of them like us both but feel very motivated by his message. and so i think they will be
persuadable. others may be really disappointed for a long time. >> reporter: for now sanders is fighting hard, hoping a win in michigan could reset the race. >> the people of michigan will be coming out and voting tomorrow. all of you are going to be out voting tomorrow? >> jeff zeleny joins us from detroit. what is sanders doing to get people out to vote? >> one thing he's doing is rallying college students. he just wrapped up a rally at the university of michigan in ann arbor. nearly 6,000 students there. in the last week or so, he also did that at michigan state university and other universities in recent weeks. he's hoping for the support from younger voters that have helped him in other states. he's also hoping for the open primary system in michigan. that means you don't have to be registered as a democrat. simply walk in and pick up a democratic ballot. it's open to people who don't necessarily vote but they may be sanders supporters. he's also on the air with a radio ad saying that all the
auto bailout talk is dishonest politics from the clinton campaign. that he was with detroit, with michigan from the very beginning. the question is will this work for him or not. the demographics of the state fit him well. 70% white voters here but the clinton campaign is well organized. bill clinton has been here so much. hillary clinton as well. tomorrow will be a key test for how long and how strong this fight will continue. >> jeff zeleny, thanks very much. with me john king, chief political analyst gloria borger, new yorker washington correspondent ryan lizza, democratic strategist paul begala and longtime adviser to president clinton in the '90ss and donna brazile and talk radio host bill press who supports bernie sanders. secretary clinton said the sooner i can become your nominee, the sooner i can begin to turn my attention to the general. should she be saying that at
this point in the race? >> no. >> i can't advise her so i can do it on tv. a long, tough primary makes a tougher nominee. as long as she wins, she's going to be happy. but you don't want to close this down too soon or wrap this up. i believe she has an insurmountable lead. i believe the math doesn't work for senator sanders. doesn't mean he should get out. when we reach this point with obama -- her lead is bigger than obama's was -- >> there were more candidates at that point? >> no, john edwards was pretty much -- >> but she has a bigger lead today than obama did. when obama had an insurmountable lead he did something unusual for a politician. he became very gracious. he stepped up and stepped in. his people were revved up. they hated hillary. he said you give her the time and space to make her message, find her voice, run her campaign. that's what i want bernie to do.
as long as he's rallying people. last night she did a great job at the debate. it wasn't too harsh or too negative. please. i like this campaign. >> we didn't compare hand sizes. >> now she gave the most substantive speech last week at the detroit manufacturing center. she really walked through in a brilliant way what she'd do with the economy. i want her to do more of that. i think the campaign helped bring more attention. >> it was interesting last night. there have been some question of how much are they going to be both pivoting to donald trump, to the republican race in general. would bernie sanders start to kind of go kind of pull back from maybe being aggressive with hillary clinton, just in terms of topics he brings up. he was sending out tough tweets saying hillary clinton's trade policies, we see the people of detroit know, showing burned out houses. there were fireworks on nafta and other issues. >> not as many fireworks on the republican side, but it was fiery, spirited. but this race is not over. now at the end of next week, i may change my tune.
i will not change my neutrality, but i will change my tune because as john knows, half the delegates will be selected. those of us who know about the democratic party, you have to assemble a diverse coalition. senator sanders is doing well in states that states like iowa and vermont where he's from. but you have to be able to pull a very diverse -- not just young and old, black and white, rich and poor, hispanics and others. in mississippi, for example, president obama carried mississippi with 61% of the vote. secretary clinton carried michigan, although it was a contested state. we had to fix that at the convention. she won 56% of the vote last time. at the end of next week, this race is going to shift a little because half the delegates will have been selected. >> bill press, senator sanders struggled throughout the primaries as we know to make inroads with african-american voters. the comment he made last night which has been trumpeted by the clinton campaign today, certainly doesn't help his cause.
>> the comments about flint, michigan, or which comments? >> the comment about ghetto, about -- sort of indicating that really only african-americans live in ghettos. those comments were things he had to come back on the trail today and kind of try to explain what he meant. it's the last thing he wanted to be doing on a day like this. >> no, an unfortunate comment and i think he did his best today to clarify. i've got to agree with donna and paul here on this. first of all, there is no reason for bernie sanders to drop out. he's got all the money. he's got -- that he needs. he's got millions of people who support him. i mean, he represents the progressive wing or, if you will, the elizabeth warren or now the bernie sanders wing of the party. it's good for hillary clinton to have him in there. she's a better, stronger candidate because of bernie, and it's good for the party. what happens if bernie drops out? then there's radio silence on the democratic side.
you don't think cnn is going to give hillary clinton a whole two hours just for her to talk by herself. don't forget about the democratic side. we don't get our message out and all we'll hear are the republican side. this is a healthy debate. let it play out. >> do you see bernie sanders going all the way to the convention? he's got the money and the enthusiasm. >> that's the most important issue. in the old days you got out of the race at this point when the math became impossible because you ran out of money. that's the way it happens. >> he raised $40 million in february. he's raised about 140 total. he can go as long as it takes for -- until that money runs dry. it's about a 60/40 race nationally. that's probably what it will -- end up being. and the bigger voice he has there. >> and in 2008, hillary clinton didn't get out, if you recall. so you can't call for bernie sanders to get out. >> now she had a better shot of winning.
>> an impact on her message on the subject she's talking about and the positions she's taken. >> she should be careful not to sound arrogant or entitled. i think, you know, if she read what she said today, she'd change the wording a little bit saying i'd love bernie sanders in the race but i'm going to focus more on the republicans. you can find a better nuance -- >> people get word when there's a skirmish. they don't want to see blood the way we see the blood on the republican side. >> sanders people say these are red states. you'll never win in november. that's how obama won the nomination. she's won across the south from south carolina to texas. she can get a higher percentage of african-american voters and in texas, latino voters. the test for sanders tomorrow in michigan and illinois and iowa next week. if he's going to prove he's a candidate for the nomination, he has to win at least one of them and show my economic message sells in the industrial midwest in states that have a diverse population. he needs to do that. if he doesn't do that, the question is where does bernie
sanders head? the issue is after new hampshire they thought they were going to win nevada and had a chance. his supporters are revved up. how each manages the relationship with the other and their supporters will be critical. if hillary clinton wins the nomination, she needs those supporters. >> we got to take a break. clinton/sanders face off on the debate stage in just a few days. can you imagine keeping that schedule? tune in, cnn airs the univision democratic debate live from miami wednesday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. of course, watch "ac 360" right before the debate and post debate coverage as well. just ahead, a new warning about isis from britain's top official. comes on the heels of what trum says he would do on the war on terror. >> we have to beat the savages. >> by being savages? >> look, you have to play the game the way they're playing the game.
known plot. it's been a frequent topic in the republican campaign with donald trump saying he'd support torture in the war on terror. he doubled down on that saying he'd strengthen the laws to allow the use of torture. >> we are playing by rules, but they have no rules. it's very hard to win when -- >> is that what separates us from the savages? >> no, we have to beat the savages. >> and, therefore, throw the rules out. >> we have to beat the savages. >> by being savages? >> you have to play the game the way they're playing the game. you're not going to win if we're soft and they have no rules. now i want to stay within the laws. i want to do all of that. but i think we have to increase the laws because the laws are not working. obviously. all you have to do is look at what's going on. and they are getting worse. they are chopping, chopping,
chopping and we're worried about waterboarding. i just think it's -- i think our priorities are mixed up. >> that line about wanting to change laws is new for trump. as you may know, he was talking about going after the families of terrorists, going after their wives and kids. he's now said that he would not order his troops or u.s. troops to do anything illegal, but now he says he wants to broaden those laws. joining us is cnn military analyst, retired army lieutenant general hurtling. isis has no rules, therefore, we shouldn't either. what do you say to that? >> i think he's attempting to say we should go back to the 16th century in the way we fight. we've learned an awful lot since then. the enemy we have been engaging for over the last decade or so have actually been a middle aged enemy. they do things that are abysmal. i've seen it on the battle field. it's horrible. but when you're talking about the american way of war, the way we train our soldiers, the values we have as a society, the things we imbue in our soldiers before we send them to fight.
you can't just say turn into savages, play by their rules. we've seen from some of the incidents that have occurred over the last decade of war but also as a read of history. the french tried to do this in the '50s against the algerians. and it was a debacle. you can't just turn yourself into savages on the battlefield when coming from a nation because you lose control of your troops. >> donald trump also says that when asked, well, look, when told one of the reasons there are rules of war is so that when our soldiers, when our marines are captured, that perhaps there's less of a chance that torture will be used against them if we are torturing, then sort of all the rules are off. he says essentially, well, look. these groups are already doing that. so we might as well expand the laws. >> it's an interesting argument that i don't buy. again, it goes back to, it is
not who we are as a nation. it is not who we are as a military. we spent several generations building one of the best militaries the world had ever seen and now we're getting ready to change it and say, forget about all that and just do whatever you want on the battlefield. it's an interesting dynamic coming from an individual who has never been on the battlefield who doesn't understand how to lead soldiers, how to lead formations and lead troops. i'm just quite frankly perplexed by his ability to say these things when he's never done it. >> jeffrey lord, as a trump supporter, when he's talking about, you know, expanding the rules of torture or the weapons that we can use against a force like isis, do you really believe trump when he says isis is laughing at us because we're talking about waterboarding when they're doing all this other stuff? is it really a lack of fear of the u.s. that's motivating isis? >> i do think that's a problem. first of all, let's be clear
here. he's talked consistently in this campaign, not necessarily in this context, he's been critical of president obama for not going to congress and getting legislation passed and using executive order. you have to abide by the law. now that -- >> but he's never really talked about -- he's always said we should do waterboarding and much worse. >> i find it very interesting. you know, as you know, i worked for president reagan. i remember back in the 1980s when we were not doing any waterboarding, we weren't doing any quote/unquote torturing, and the other side, i forget the group that was involved, took a cia operative by the name of william buckley and tortured him repeatedly and killed him. >> he was chained to a radiator for seven years. >> yeah, yeah, exactly. now we weren't waterboarding a soul.
we weren't torturing a soul. so the argument that if we do this, it's going to provoke. we weren't doing any of this and it wasn't provoked -- >> but you're comparing the methods of a terrorist organization, a small terrorist organization to the methods that a great country like the united states should use. is that really -- do you really want the u.s. to be using the same methods? >> i think i'm -- i think i am correct in saying, and correct me if i'm wrong, that the united states violated pakistani law when we went after osama bin laden. we killed family members of osama bin laden, i'm led to believe, when we were out there to get bin laden. there is that famous photograph that president obama himself and hillary clinton and joe biden and -- >> let me bring in general hurtling. the killing civilians in the midst of a combat situation in which you're trying to get a target like osama bin laden,
perhaps he's hideling behind women or in a facility, that's a lot different than intentionally targeting the wives, the children -- >> it is. >> -- of terrorists. >> yeah it is. and it's a horrible word to use, but collateral damage. it comes along with going after the target. that occurs. i have seen it multiple times in combat, and it's unfortunate when you kill family members because you're going after a target. but the american way of war is to avoid that at all cost. if you can. the interesting piece of it is, you know, mr. trump has been asking us to violate the laws of war on several occasions. >> we have to end the discussion there. i'm sorry. general hurtling, i'd love to have you back, jeffrey lord on this subject as well. remembering former first lady nancy reagan.
well, flags are flying at half-staff at federal buildings tonight, including at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley, california, where nancy reagan will be buried on friday next to her husband. the former first lady died sunday at her home in los angeles of congestive heart failure at the age of 94. she was known as a fierce protector of her husband during his time in the white house and throughout his line decline from alzheimer's. their close bond was evident and even casual observers and those who knew them best saw the
legendary love up close. shelia tate was nancy reagan's press secretary and joins me tonight. you worked as nancy reagan's press secretary for many years. tell me a little bit about that time. it was an extraordinary time to be in the white house, the beginning of the reagan administration. what do you most remember about mrs. reagan? >> well, it's hard to come up with one thing, because in the whole time i worked with her, i don't think there was ever a boring day or a typical day in the white house. and she was -- she was a wonderful boss. i enjoyed working for her. we became very close friends over the years until she died. and that alone is worth a lot to me. >> you know, so many people think of mrs. reagan as, you
know, somebody who loved to give parties and was, you know, an extraordinary hostess in the white house. but there were also, i mean, some of the moments that she and the president liked best were just kind of eating dinner on a tray watching television. >> exactly. and that's really true. but she was a good hostess. she was good at everything she did, because she was a perfectionist. anybody who came to that white house, she wanted them to leave feeling like it has been the most extraordinary night of their lives. >> and certainly after leaving the white house and president reagan declined, the role she took on as caretaker and advocate, not only for president reagan, but also for others dealing with alzheimer's really kind of came to define her in the public mind later on in life. >> it did, it showed the strength of character that she
had and the real iron woman was somebody that we all came to love and the very characteristic of the way she protected him was criticized when they were in the white house and greatly admired when he was failing. >> i remember, i was at the reagan white house, covering president reagan's return and burial there and i remember when she was by the area where he's interned and there was just so horrifically sad, this separation realizing that she was going to remain there and she would continue on without him. there's something, at least that now in the sadness of this, they are at least together. >> and i think that is what she really longed for and wanted and that's what gives all of us who
at 7:00 p.m. we will air the debate from miami at 9:00. thursday night, cnn has the gop showdown from miami at 8:30 p.m. that does it for us. "early start" begins now. a make or break day in the presidential race. the candidates making a big push in key states. michigan, the crown jewel today. who is in for a big night? who can see their white house hopes erased? we have it all covered starting now. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm john berman. christine romans is sick today. it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. this morning is a crucial day in the calendar. super tuesday, the sequel. voters go to the polls in four states. 150 delegates up for