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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  March 16, 2016 6:00am-8:01am PDT

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>> all right. so it's been quite a morning here. had quite a night yesterday. and cnn will bring you live coverage of the president's 11:00 a.m. announcement of the supreme court pick. "newsroom" picks up that story right now. >> it has been quite a morning. have a great day. "newsroom" starts now. good morning. i'm carol costello. the hours upon hours of interviews and tough personal questions finally over and president obama says he's made up his mind on a supreme court nominee. just two hours from now the president is set to announce who he wants to replace for late just antonin scalia. you are looking at the live picture or will be shortly. now you are. the white house rose garden, where mr. obama will introduce
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his pick two hours fro now. a decision that could impact the balance of the america's highest court for a very long time. manu raju has reaction from capitol. but pamela brown is in washington. >> reporter: the anticipation is building. and the white house is keeping this airtight. the nominee was referred to as he or she this morning even in the e-mail so not giving anything away. sources say the decision has come down to two prominent d.c. circuit court judge, merrick garland and sri srinivasan.
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he was anonymously -- unanimously confirmed in 2001. and garnered praise from ted cruz what at the time called him his friend. worked for both the bush and obama administrations. successfully argued against the defensive marriage act and if confirmed would be the first immigrant on the high court since before world war ii. and then merrick garland. he's widely respected across both sides of the aisle and is considered by many a moderate judge. he's been waiting in the wings for this opportunity for years after he was picked over for the last two seats on the high court. a graduate of harvard and
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harvard law school and served at the department of justice. he's 63 years old and the conventional wisdom would be that obama would prefer someone younger. of course carroll this is a unique time with republicans vowing not to hold a hearing so anything is possible. >> you are right about that pamela brown. if i were a betting woman i would say sri srinivasan and only because the senate confirmed his position on the u.s. court of appeals 97-0. marco rubio and ted cruz voted in support. and manu raju now, despite that there is already a push on the floor of the senate to defeat whoever the nominee may be. >> that's right. this started as soon as the vacancy arose. mitch mcconnell said we should wait to the next president to see that republicans have really dug in. taking a hard line. no confirmation hearings whatsoever. yesterday when i spoke to a
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senator he said they won't even conduct a background check. not even a fbi background check to vet the nominee. something that is typically custom in this approach. the democrats are going to try to make this a process argument saying that the president has the right to nominate someone even if it is an election year. the republicans are out of step on this issue. expect protest back home in these vulnerable republican senator states and including chuck grassley, even though he is probably solid for reelection. democrats are going to focus on him and hope he cracks before july and one thing carol, the white house is keeping a close hold on this nomination right now. they have not informed capitol hill yet. our producer just ran into the
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harry reid, so it's still some anticipation about who the nominee will actually be. >> just to reiterate how unusual this senate opens up at 10:00 this morning. just about an hour. and by 10:15 eastern republican wills take to the floor and start pushing back on a nominee, and they don't even know the nominee's name yet. >> that's right. actually this is rather unprecedented in modern times. norms since the mid 1960s.g the- since then any nominee who has not pulled themselves out of conversation or withdrawn in anyway, they have gotten confirmation hearings. so republicans say it is not unusual if not unprecedented to have a nominee nominated and confirmed but it is also unprecedented not to have a confirmation hearing. so that process argument is what's going dominate the floor today and tomorrow and the weeks ahead. >> we'll check back. super tuesday becomes
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winning wednesday as front runners hillary clinton and donald trump rack up big wins. clinton trounces bernie sanders, winning four of five states. missouri right now too close to call. clinton scores a surprisingly strong win in ohio. denying sanders another dose of that mid west magic that propelled to last week's huge upset in michigan. it has her looking ahead to the general election showdown. and donald trump may appear more likely in that role than ever. he wins three states and missouri again. too close to call. his only loss of the night, the state of ohio. a very particular governor of ohio john kasich wins big, keeping his campaign alive with his home state victory. marco rubio ends his presidential bid after getting hammered in florida. he becomes the first sitting senator since 1960 to lose his home state in a presidential primary.
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this morning a triumphant donald trump was asked about rubio as the possible running mate? >> would you consider him for a vp? >> people are saying inside the party that would go a long way towards healing a lot of concerns? >> well i just think it is too easterly to think about it, chris. i don't like to think about it. i like to get the deal closed. >> is he in conversation ? >> i like him. i've always liked him. then he got nasty two or at least three weeks ago and. >> people get -- if you got nastier than he did you can't be too upset at him. is he in conversation ? >> well i think he's a. >> trump holding a big lead. cruz says he's the establishment's best hope of defeating trump. but kasich needs to quit now. >> he doesn't have any chance of winning there.
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it is true john kasich might take just enough votes to give those states to donald trump. if he sticks around, john kasich will become donald trump's best friend. >> let's bring in sarah murray from miami beach with more on this. >> reporter: like you said donald trump had a big night last night h. he proved once again he can win all over the country but john kasich threw up a roadblock there and now the question is whether he or anything at this point can stop trump. >> we're going win, win, win. >> donald trump celebrating another big primary night. >> a very nice time but i'm working very hard. and there is great anger, believe me. there is great anger. >> reporter: the republican front runner racking up victories this three more states, bringing his total now to 18. the race between trump and ted cruz so tight in missouri that a winner hasn't yet been declared. now cruz insisting the race is down to him and trump.
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>> only two campaigns have a plausible path to the nomination. but ohio governor john kasich is still keeping hope alive. clinching his first win of the race in the winner-take-all state of ohio. >> i have to thank the people of the great state of ohio. i love you. >> and in florida, trump putting a nail in the coffin of establish darling senator marco rubio. >> i want to congratulate marco rubio on having one a really tough campaign. he's tough, he's smart and he's got a great future. >> reporter: rubio ending his presidential ambitions after the bruising double digit loss to trump in his home state. >> while it is not god's plan i be president in 2016, or maybe ever. and while today my company is suspended, the fact that i've even come to spar is evidence of how special america truly is? >> now down to a three man race, trump continues to call for
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unity. >> we have to bring our party together. we have to bring it together. >> while kasich and cruz make a pitch to rubio supporters, both pledging to take this fight all the way to the convention. >> to those supported marco, who worked so hard. we welcome you with open hards. >> thank you from the bottom of my heart. but i want you to know something. we are going to go all the way to cleveland and secure the republican nomination. >> reporter: of course the big question for john kasich is whether he can win any states other than his home state. his campaign is heading on to pa pennsylvania. so we'll see how he fair there. >> >> i just got word of this. fox is going to host this big debate on monday night. donald trump just said on fox and friends this morning that he will not be participating. what do you make of that.
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>> he's sort of been eluding to this idea that he's done with the debates. i think we're at the different faze of the race. especially now that we are down to three candidates there was this sense from trump that he doesn't really feel like he needs to be up there debating these guys. i think at this point he does feel he is the undisputed republican front runner and if it were anyone else the party would have already rallied behind him. and i think what you are seeing now is reflection of that. >> reporting live from miami beach this morning. so trump appears indestructible. anti-trump republicans threw everything at him and found nothing can sink trump. >> but i have to say nobody has ever, ever, in the history of politics received the kind of negative advertising that i have. record, record, record.
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by the way, mostly false. i wouldn't say a hundred percent but about ninety percent. mostly false. vicious, horrible. they say it was 18 million the first week. meaning last week. and 25 million. it added up to over $40 million. >> still the possibility of a contested republican convention lives. tony frata who works for george w. bush tweeted quote what essentially happened was hillary clinton was elected president. joining me director for the republican national committee. welcome sir. >> good morning, carol. is there a possibility of a
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contested con convention? con vengvention . >> from an rnc perspective we're going to continue to prepare for a all contingencies, including an open convention. >> interesting. because kasich's campaign seems to be banking on a contested convention. there are even whispers that the house speaker paul ryan could be nominated at the convention and he said this on cnbc last night he said, you know, i haven't given any thought to this stuff but then he went on. i say, wrestell, there are a lo people running for president. we'll see. who knows. what do you make of that? >> i don't. i feel pretty confident -- not just pretty confident. i feel confident that the nominee of this party will be
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one of the remaining three individuals that is currently in the race. >> and the possibility of a contested convention. is it because so many republican leaders are concerned about trump's high negatives? and i'll give you an example. when you look at the exit polling. so few minority voters turned out the polls for trump this ohio, north carolina, illinois and missouri. they didn't even register. even in florida where there is a huge hispanic population. trump scored 27% to rubio's 52%. won't this be a problem in the general election? because hillary clinton cleans up with those voters? >> well i appreciate you taking the math the way you do. but if you look at how it's worked out so far. as of last night going into last night we had 3.9 million more vote attorneys republican side than the democratic side. we have a record turnout in 22 of 26 states a of the states that voted into last night the democrats were down in 19 of the 22 that had voted prior to last
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night. so i appreciate that. but the reality is quite different. the intensity, the turnout are all on the republican side. so say what you will, but the numbers just don't add up. people are excited about the republican side. the fact of the matter is that when you look at hillary clinton's numbers her negatives are through the roof. there is a looming fbi investigation over her head. questions about whether she'll be diindicted. i'm confident our party will do very well in november. i appreciate the media concern but i think we'll take back the white house in november. >> one more question about the possible contested convention because there are fears that if that happens it could get violent. this is what tony fabrisio told politico, "only in the mind of the d.c. political establishment is the brokered convention at this point. and if the elites try and steal the election from trump the riots will look like a garden
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party." donald trump even hinted himself there might be violence. let's listen to what he said on "new day" this morning. >> i think we'll win before getting to the convention. i be i can tell you if we didn't and if we're 20 votes short or a hundred votes short and we're at 11 hundred and/or 12 hundred someone else is at 5 hundred. i don't get it. i think there would be riots. >> what do you think? >> well first of all, i think assume he's speaking figuratively. i think if we go into a convention, whoever gets 1237 delegates becomes the nominee -- >> i'm sorry to interrupt but i don't think mr. trump was speaking figuratively. i don't think he was. >> then you should ask him carol. i appreciate you trying to, you know, guess what he was saying. but the fact of the matter is the left and the people on the
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left that have disrupted events or trying to go in and undermine people's first amendment rights. i think republican will have a very orderly process. will vote in the open. the delegates elected by republican voters will go to cleveland. and we'll page nominee and go on and win in november. but i feel very good about how we are going to run our convention. i think it will be very open. it will be very trance parent and we'll do it from a very democratic way. sanders facing daunting delegate math. he struggles to survive. hi i'm kristie and i'm jess and we are the bug chicks. we are a nano-business. windows 10 really helps us get the word out about how awesome bugs are. kids learn to be brave and curious
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hillary clinton's pocket she now widens her lead in the delegate count and sets her sights on the gentle election. clinical is out swinging against the one she thinks she'll face in the general election and that's donald trump. let's bring in jeff zeleny. hi. >> good morning carol. it was not only a winning night for hillary clinton. it was a big night. that number in ohio was the state that everyone has been watching. 14 points she won over bernie sanders. that is a significant, a big battle ground state of course. but also the delegate wins in florida, north carolina, illinois and missouri is still on the bubble but she's slightly leading. we heard the secretary saying last night in her speech in south florida. >> when we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up
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12 million immigrant, banning all muslims from entering united stat stat states. when he embraces torture, that doesn't make him strong. it makes him wrong. >> so hillary clinton is hoping to galvanize democrats behind her, even some of o those who may not have been voting for her first. because of donald trump she hopes that that is a way to rally democrats. now bernie sanders issued a statement oervernight. he said he is not getting out of this race. about half of the contests are still ahead of him here. the reality here is setting in. the math is clear that she is almost certain to be the nominee. now she's not going call for him to get out at all. i asked her last week how long she expected to stay in. she said look, i stayed in until
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the very end. i expect him to as well. so that is likely what is going happen here. but this is a turning point in this campaign. no question at all about it carol. >> you heard what jeff said. there is no doubt. sanders now faces daunting delegate math in every scenario he loses. still according to politico his campaign could soon start making a plea of support to super delegates. a senior campaign advisor telling politico, we believe that slowly we can win support for people who aren't for someone or who are softly for her, and then we can reach out more. but as jeff said, time is running out. so would late breaking momentum be enough for sanders to survive? bakari sellers supports hillar clinton and nomiki cannes. good morning to both of you.
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should sanders drop out? >> not at all. i think sanders is necessary for this race. just for the most obvious point that if he drops out the substantive issues go silent. and mainstream media and everyone else would cover trump. so this is a good voice to have. good issues to talk about. and sanders has every right to go to the convention although it looks like his path is narrowed if not shut down. >> staying in the race is understandable. he wants to get his message out. but it is something else to reach out to super delegates to try to secure the nomination. so should he be doing that? >> absolutely. hillary clinton started arguably three years ago and locked down over half of them in august. as democrats we talk about the economy being rigged. our own system is pretty undemocrat undemocratic. you can't be a little pregnant.
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you can't be a little democratic. this was a system designed to block insurgent non establishment candidates and it is doing so right now and it's been a safety net for the establishment creates. it was created by the establishment and it's run by the establishment. and that is why. when you look at the super delegates it is made up of party leaders. party leaders running the campaigns on the ground as surrogates. so bernie sanders, despite everything that's been going on and what this 320 delegate difference minus the super delegates mean, you look at every single state. he has had to go state by state with the money he's raised and set up an operation. while hillary clinton has had an operation, a surrogate operation running in all of these states. not to mention in ohio specifically. 25 years of relationships of on the ground support by party leaders who have already endorsed her as far as back in
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august. why even have a primary where we're going to have a super delegate system that determine whose the candidate is going to be before the primary system? bernie sanders is right. he should be going after and trying to woo super delegates showing the difference is not as much as you think. there is momentum at his side. we have california and new york and taking one of those states, this advantage could disappear and the divide has been narrowing. >> okay. so it is not all wine and roses for hillary clinton bakari. not that many people think clinton is honest. voters think she's electable but don't trust her. in a general election couldn't that be a problem? >> i think hillary clinton is in a very good position for general
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election. especially running against donald trump. but let me push back quickly on super delegates. the super delegates in the democratic process have never tilted the scale in the way nomiki is talking about. if they were built to stop an insurgent candidate they would have stopped barack obama and they did not. you have to win in order to build the momentum and super delegate wills come on your side. after last night is looking very forward thinking and running towards donald trump. she has the wind at her back. at 11:00 today when you have the name of sri srinivasan come out and she's also ride that momentum. and we look forward to having a discussion with donald trump over what i believe the battle over the soul of this country. >> thanks both of you. still to come, we know who won but why did voters pick them? a breakdown next. (vo) what's your dog food's first ingredient?
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and good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. marco rubio is out of the race but he gave an impassioned concession speech, warning of a fractured nation after losing florida to donald trump. and he might have a point. christine romans has been looking at exit polls. >> this is where we ask voters, who are you and why did you vote for your candidate? i want to start in florida where trump swept every category with a minority exception. they went for rubio. rubio won big with 52% and trump just 27%. almost every other dem graphic donald trump dominated. in florida, 54% of white voters
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without a college degree went for trump. the trend repeating across the states. in north carolina, again, white voters decisively for donald trump. 11 points over ted cruz. even in ohio, the white voters, no college degree base went for trump 43%. voters with a college degree far and away preferred john kasich 55%. trump has shown popularity with every group except minorities. he'll need to focus on that for any general election match up. but among strongest ees essuppo the economy is just not working. >>ite looks like it will be donald trump versus hillary clinton in a general election if everything holds as it does today. if that is the case it will be angry white voters against pretty much everyone else. clinton dominates trump when it
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comes to hispanics and african american voters. in florida clinton nabbed 75% of the minority vote. trump 27%. in ohio, in illinois. so few minorities voted on the republican side, the information is not available. let's talk about that. donald trump did poorly among minority voters. is there anything he should say to get support? or is this just a primary thing? >> first off i think he should push back on the misinformation that is out in the media. a lot of donald trump haters, the never trump crowd say, oh
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he's against mexicans. he's calling them all rapists. that is certainly not true. he has said a great number of mexicans are very good people. he just said yes, are there possible a few bad people or drug runners coming through border f he needs to clarify. he's not saying all mexicans are bad. that's ridiculous. so i think he needs to clarify that messaging. i be i can tell you i know personally many hispanics who are voting for donald trump. my mother included. she loves trump and voted for him in the primary. >> well like i said, 27% of hispanics voted for trump in the florida primary but marco rubio got 52% so i don't know if that is saying much at this point. is aid ra that right? zblds a >> i think the understaimt statement of the year to say trump needs to start clarifying his statements.
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a mother who's daughter in third grade, she's hispanic and the other kids went up in front of the class and said when donald trump is president you are going to be deported. and that crystallizes the problem donald trump has and it sinks very deep into the hispanic community. and right now he has a negative 64, favorable unfavorable rating. about 70% of hispanics don't like him. and if that holds hillary clinton will win in a massive landslide that we haven't seen in this country in decades. so donald trump has major issues there and that is why our pac, our principles pac is still working to stop him and i think there is a path to do that before the convention. >> is tim right? could trump possibly vote if it gets a massive number of votes from white americans? >> no. you can't. there is a recent article in politico that pointed out if the current percentage of women that
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are supporting hillary clinton is maintained, then donald trump would have to win 71, 72% of white males. and our party has never done that. and let me point out we lost 80% of the minority vote last time. and i can tell you we cannot hold texas if we lose our coalition of hispanic and african american and asian american votes. our governor got 44%. if we drop down to the 20 that is the hispanic vote you could lose texas and lose its 38 electoral votes and that would be devastating to the national party. >> and aid that, i think that is why some republicans are talking about the contested republican convention and why some say it may happen because donald trump can't beat hillary clinton.
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>> we saw in massachusetts 20,000 democrats left the party to vote for donald trump in the primary. we're seeing this around the country. i think what's happening in massachusetts which is a very blue state is a national bell weather and as you highlighted carol a lot of low education union type workers are voting for trump. and what's interesting to me is i'm watching what the unions are going to do at this point. because the teamsters have not yet endorsed hillary clinton but yet in 2008 the teamsters had already endorsed barack obama. so that indicates to me that they might be considering trump. and i can tell you why. the teamsters came out very strong against obamacare and a lot of union workers are starting to cake up that democrat policies are continuing to fail them by killing jobs. >> -- i have to agree with adriana here. you can -- i was looking at the exit polls in ohio and mahoning
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and youngstown which used to be the heart of steel country, in fact trump won in mahoning county. >> in the grand scheme of things it is really not that many. and all of these kind of white blue collar district where is the democrats used to do well, republicans overwhelmingly have begun to get those votes. mitt romney did better than reagan among white blue collar workers. if you look at the national numbers what adriana is saying just does not bear out. a massive amount of independents, a massive amount of republicans. yesterday in the exit polls, between 30 and 40% depending on the state of voters said they would have the third party if trump was the nominee. trump's numbers among independents are atrocious. 20, 30 points worse than mitt romney's -- >> [ inaudible ]. i disagree. >> there are a ton of --
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>> last word and then i got to go. >> trump is the winner. the other candidates are not. that speaks for itself right there. >> crushed by hillary. crushed in every pole. >> you need swing and independent votes to win. >> thanks to all of you. still to come in the "newsroom." you heard it. economic worries in ohio led many blue collared democrats to vote for donald trump. now organized labor is fieging to keep them in the fold. ♪ alright, what do you think boys? we could do tacos. we could do some thai. ooo... how 'bout sushi, eh? [weird dog moan/squeak] why not? [dog yawning/squeaking] no, we're not, we're not having barbecue... again.
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youngstown, ohio typifies that state's fading blue collar legacy. factory jobs have been lost as businesses have been moved out of the united states. blame on nafta and other trade deals which donald trump says he'll just eviscerate. exit polls show about 8% of ohio
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democrats switched affiliation to vote in the republican primary. in mahoning county, where youngstown is located. 51% vote for donald trump. eric houser is a communications director for the afl-cio welcome eric. >> good morning. >> good morning. so why do you think so many blue collar workers voted for trump in mahoning county? >> well i think republicans voted for donald trump in the republican primary. and i think that's --  >> oh democrats did too. >> oh a very small handful. i think part of this is that donald trump had certainly touched a nerve in american society and people are justifiably upset. he's also new to the political scene. people have some impression of donald trump from years past and they are getting a first new impression in the political arena. and a lot of republicans like what he's saying. now, if he's is nominee and even
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if he's not certainly for the next several month, our intention is to make very clear how bad his views, his record, and his outlook are for working people all across america. >> well i know you are concerned about democrats switching their party affiliation and voting for donald trump because you are rolling out these anti-trump ads to discourage your members from abandoning the democratic party. why did you do that before? >> what we're doing is encouraging our members to pay attention to his record, which is very much anti-union. 100% for right to work law which is will hurt workers in and out of unions. and a statement that is a little hard for most american workers to believe i imagine when he says your wages are too high. i don't think many americans wake up in the morning and think my goodness, my wages are too high, i wish they were lower. that is what we want people to focus on with donald trump. >> what donald trump says about trade deals, that really does
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resonate with blue collar workers. he said he'll just go in and renig on all of them. and he said i don't think you need congress to do that but some of that is indeed.ege on a. and he said i don't think you need congress to do that but some of that is indeed. the form of that is appealing to people. they want to hear politicians say things will be easy. that is quite understandable. donald trump acts as though he can blink hi his eyes and things will get done. on trade even a blind squirrel can find the acorn. he has other problems with outsourcing of his own jobs. i think once workers see his entire record they are going to be very alarmed. >> here is the thing eric. i'm from the state of ohio. my father was a steel worker if for many, many years the democrats haven't been able to
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help blue collar workers. the wages have eroded. you can't get a good job and raise a family and it's just not possible anymore. so democrats are let down workers as well. >> that's absolutely untrue. democrats have done so many things for working class americans. on paid sick leave. on college funding. on safety at work. on rights at work. on and on and on. republican policies have undercut progressive worker agendas for decades. and that is at stake here. and we are going to make sure that that choice between raising wages agenda, between a solid progressive future that workers write for themselves as opposed to economic rules that corporations and billionaires write for themselves. that will be the choice this november. we're pretty confident once that choice is made clear all right.
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eric hauser, thanks for stopping by. some lawyers think that donald trump could run into 500 ethic violations if he make it is to the white house.
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it is no secret donald trump is a businessman and he'll be the first to tell you. but the business background that may have propelled trump to front-runner status could be a problem if he does win the white house. cristina alesci is here to tell me why. >> this could be an unprecedented ethical dilemma.
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donald trump would have to avoid any perception that he's making decisions or supporting policies that he would directly profit off of. right? think about it. we've talked to ethical lawyers who said he's negotiating trade deals in countries where he has properties, right? he employs people directly. he's deciding on health care. what if you make it more beneficial to employers? the reason why it's unprecedented, in the past, presidents have put their investments that they do not run, by the way, in a blind trust. like george h.w., george w. bush, put their investments in a blind trust. interestingly, obama did not but that's because he had rather bland investments in u.s. treasury bonds so he didn't feel compelled to do so. but here, trump, unless he se sells, by the way, which he's not going to do, there would be
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significant questions about whether he could do this job objectively. at least according to the experts we've spoken to. >> i guess we'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. cristina alesci, thank you so much. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" next. with the tiger image, the saliva coming off and you got this turning. that's why i need this kind of resolution and computing power. being able to use a pen like this. on the screen directly with the image. it just gives me a different relationship to it. and i can't do that on my mac. this is brilliant for me. ♪ [alarm beeps] ♪
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what's recommended for me. x1 makes it easy to find what you love. call or go online and switch to x1. only with xfinity. and good morning, everyone. i'm carol costello. we do begin with breaking news. i told you in the last hour that president obama was going to announce his nominee for the supreme court. manu raju has done some digging. >> it's going to be merrick garland. he's a chief judge for the d.c. appeals court. he was nominated for that position by president bill clinton in 1997, was overwhelmingly confirmed by the
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senate back then. the white house is starting to put out word to its allies that they will go ahead -- the president will go ahead and nominate merrick garland. garland was on the short list as one of the candidates. sri srinivasan, the d.c. court of appeals judge confirmed by a 97-0 vote seemed to be the leading candidate in the last couple of days and would have been an historic pick, the first american-indian picked for the court. clearly, the white house decided to go another direction. it will be interesting to see why they decided to do that. a number of democrats are happy about this because they believe that he's qualified for the post and also has a liberal, more progressive bend in his background which could fire up the democratic base in this election year. now, the president is going to make this official at 11:00 but they are beginning to put out word that merrick garland will
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get the nomination for the supreme court. his chances for confirmation appear to be slim because republicans say they won't even consider hearings or meet with the nominee. democrats believe because he's such a qualified individual, the pressure will intensify and they will eventually buckle in this election year. this fight is only just beginning now that we've heard that merrick garland will get the nomination to the supreme court. >> manu raju reporting that merrick garland will be nominated by president obama to replace antonin scalia. manu raju said this was a surprise pick. i couldn't imagine being merrick garland at this moment and going through this process. >> absolutely t is a surprise to some because everyone kind of thought sri srinivasan would be the front-runner here. he's younger. 49 years old. merrick garland is 63 and
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nominating someone to the high court in their 60s is pretty rare, carol. that's why one reason someone thought it would be sri srinivasan. this is a unique time. this is a time when republicans are vowing not to hold a hearing so it seems like the calculus for the president was to pick someone who could be palatable to the republicans in this time. and given his age and given the fact that he's widely respected across the aisle, senator hatch has come out and thrown his support behind him in the past. so given all of these factors, carol, and the fact that he's somewhat of a moderate, someone who is pretty conservative when it comes to criminal law, a lot of different cases he's voted in favor of law enforcement and against the criminal defendant. and so he is someone who is viewed as a moderate. and so perhaps the president thought that if anyone's going to have a chance, it's garland. also, this is his last shot, realistically. i've spoken to people close to
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merrick garland. he knew, carol, this would be his last time to get on the high court. so really, he has nothing to lose in many ways if a hearing isn't held versus the sri srinivasan who clearly has a bright future ahead of him. >> all right. pamela brown, thank you. senate republicans at 10:15 eastern this morning are going to take to the senate floor to actively campaign against this nominee before he's even announced. >> well, from the republican perspective, democrats will be able to say, look, this guy has been a federal appeals court judge for almost 20 years. he is the chief judge of the second most important court in the country. he has a long judicial record,
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impeccable credentials. but the political calculation here is quite clear. president obama is saying to the republicans, look, you can take my 63-year-old now or wait for president hillary clinton to bring up a 45-year-old in ten months. that's a political box. >> but they will still control the senate even if hillary clinton is elected it president. >> maybe yes, maybe no. the question that republicans are going to have to answer is, how is merrick garland unqualified in a way that he can't even get a hearing? and it's just an implausible argument. the only argument that they have to make is we just don't confirm people in the last year of a
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president's term. vice president biden gave a speech when he was a senator that suggested a similar kind of attitude. but the argument has to shift for republicans simply to the presidential election. they can't want to talk about merrick garland's qualifications because they are unchallengeable. >> so manu raju, what's going to happen in the senate? >> that's a great question. you know, it's interesting because senate republicans are not going to actually dispute merrick garland's qualifications. i've been told that's not the source of it because of what jeffrey was just saying. he is, without a doubt, qualified for this position given his long tenure serving in -- as a judge, as a federal judge but what they are going to say is that process argument. they have made the case since antonin scalia's death that this vacancy should be filled by the next president. they've said, we don't care who it is. they have been saying and they
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are going to continue to say, it's not about the name but the principle. that's their talking point and they are going to increasingly talk about that because voters have already gone to the polls and they should take this to voters and say, who do you want to make the next supreme court choice? do you want a democrat nominee or republican? democrats believe this is going to be suicide for blue state republicans in really tough races because the question will be unrelenting. but republicans i spoke to think the democrats are really miscalculating on this. this brings out the republican base to the polls, brings out the democrat base to the polls and independent voters are about evenly divided. they don't think it's going to be a defining issue. if anything, it gives them an issue to run on saying we'll be a firewall against a justice, whether it's a hillary clinton or donald trump in the white house, a conservative republican senate majority can ensure there would be a more moderate or conservative justice on the supreme court. that's the debate that will move forward here. >> pamela brown, i understand
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you've got new information for us. pass it along. >> right. i'm just speaking to people on the hill, republicans and so forth. and i feel like the thinking is that merrick garland is the most likely person that republicans would actually confirm in a lame duck. so come november, if hillary clinton is elected, he is someone that republicans would want to confirm just from talking to folks rather than let clinton nominate someone else. and i asked, what about sri srinivasan? because he's also looked at as a moderate and someone who has garnered wide respect on both sides of the aisle but i'm told they wouldn't be as apt to confirm sri srinivasan during a lame duck as merrick garland. and also the meeting between merrick garland and the president went very well. it also went well with sri srinivasan. no doubt, this was a tough decision for the president. but as we're learning today, carol, merrick garland is the
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president's pick. >> do you know why sri srinivasan wouldn't be the president's pick? is there any reason? he seems the more likely choice because the senate confirmed him with a vote of 97-0 for the u.s. court of appeals. >> this is why i was wrong in my prediction because i thought it was going to be sri srinivasan. >> it's hard to predict anything in the world of politics now. >> i want to stick to predicting the past. that's going to be a safer bet for me in the future. because i'm usually right. no. i really -- i thought it was going to be sri srinivasan. i think the argument will be -- you know, to the senate republicans, convict -- no, it's not convict. it's confirm -- confirm merrick garland now or get someone you like a lot less from hillary clinton next january. >> got you. so pam, you wanted to add something? >> yes. i was just going to say we could talk about sri srinivasan was
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unanimously confirmed three years ago. in 1997, merrick garland was unanimously confirmed and it was less about him and more about the fact that republicans didn't want the president sort of stacking the bench. this is his ongoing argument we hear about. and so i think that is also worth mentioning as well. although he didn't get a unanimous confirmation, it was less about him. >> pamela brown, manu raju, jeffrey toobin, thanks to all of you. i want to take a quick break and we'll be back with analysis, next. out on the town or in for the night, at&t helps keep everyone connected. right now at at&t, buy the new samsung galaxy s7 and get one free. no matter how you hang out, share every minute of it. buy one water resistant samsung galaxy s7 and get one free.
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so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at all right. breaking news to tell you about. you see a picture of the rose garden. it's beautiful in washington this time of year, isn't it? it's also exciting. in about 45 minutes, president barack obama will be behind that podium, you just saw, and announce his pick for the u.s. supreme court.
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that man will be merrick garland, 63 years old. he's now chief judge of the d.c. court of appeals. he was nominated, by the way, by president bill clinton. he's thought of as a moderate and he served as a law clerk to the u.s. supreme court justice william brennan jr. republicans are already fighting against this pick. actually, the senate opened up for business at 10:00 eastern time. it's 10:15 right now. you can see they are already getting ready for business and we understand that senate republicans are going to start speaking out against this nominee right now as we speak. we're going to continue to monitor that. well, they are going to have a prayer first. let's not interrupt. let's head to the white house and athena jones. the president spent i guess a couple of weeks going after many, many names. why did he settle on merrick garland? >> reporter: carol, we know that the president had said he wanted
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to pick a so-called consensus candidate, someone who he believed could get the support of republicans in the senate. we know that republicans in the senate have vowed to block any nominees, saying they won't hold hearings and many say they won't even meet with the nominee. the president has said he will fulfill his constitutional duty to name a successor or a replacement for justice scalia. they wanted to pick a nominee that would be difficult for republicans to argue with. as we've heard over the last several minutes, merrick garland was appointed by president bill clinton but he got bipartisan support back in 1997 in the senate. senator orrin hatch, a republican from utah, praised garland as highly qualified during that process. hatch is still on the senate judiciary committee. this all plays into the argument that a nominee should not only get a hearing but also a vote and that the senate should do
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its duty of providing advice and consent. i should tell you, carol, already there is a whole process and a whole campaign being put together to push this nominee, to keep the pressure on the senate. there's a new twitter handle, scotusnom. it already had 3,000 followers and probably has more now. one of them is about precedent. they've been arguing that since 1875, every supreme court nominee has gotten a hearing and/or a vote. they see no reason why that shouldn't happen now. so we can expect the white house to argue that this sort of obstruction by the senate is unprecedented. and they believe that now that this fight is not so theoretical, now that there's a real name, it could change the dynamics somewhat from republicans. we'll have to see if that happens certainly in a few minutes on the senate floor. carol? >> athena jones, stand by. i want to go to dana bash because donald trump has spoken
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out about this. he said that the senate should block this nominee. this is sure to become a campaign issue, right, dana? >> right. and the fact that the white house decided to say that there was no time -- >> dana, mitch mcconnell, the senate leader, is talking about this. let's listen in. >> from higher food prices. it's a commonsense solution founded on science-based standards. let's advance it together and if colleagues have other ideas on the issue, i would again encourage them to -- >> dana, he spoke about it for just briefly and then he switched to the economy. you can probably guess what mitch mcconnell said, right? yes, i can. and we know that walking through the halls of congress right now, our producer there, they are hearing from lots of republicans that they believe that this is something that the president did because he understands how hard it is to really probably
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insurmountable it is to make this push to get a supreme court nomination confirmed by this republican senate. and when i say that, i mean that they are noticing that he did not go with the younger pick but somebody who is 63 years old and somebody who, if confirmed, wouldn't have that long by court standards on the court. one thing i want to emphasize and underscore, even as i'm talking about the nominee, that we have to really make clear to telegraph to our viewers, it really didn't matter who the president nominated. republicans have said since antonin scalia's death that they are going to -- >> dana, i'm going to try to again go to harry reid. >> third and finally, the life
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experience. qualified supreme court justice is someone with understanding the realities americans face each and every day. i have no idea how hard this must have been for the president. i have no doubt that president obama's nominee would possess these important attributes i've just outlined. once president obama has done his constitutional duty and announced publicly this nominee, it will then fall upon the senate. for 100 years, we've had these hearings in public. the republican leaders made clear that he and their congress have no intent to appoint a nominee. it's hard to cop prehend but at this stage, falling in line with this. i hope that president obama's nomination, exceptionally qualified senate republicans to
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change course. i do hope they will do their constitutional duty and give president obama's nominee a meeting, a hearing and a vote. he's doing his job this morning. the republicans should do theirs from this point forward. mr. president, would you announce what we're going to do the rest of the day? >> under the previous order -- >> all right. it switched then to the minority leader and democrat harry reid, of course, he's all for the senate debating the merits of the president's pick to replace justice antonin scalia. but antonin scalia -- i wanted to pronounce his name right. how likely is it, dana, that the senate will take this up at all? >> i think -- if i even said 1% chance, that would probably be more than he is going to get. the republicans are determined to not do this.
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lindsey graham, the senator who is on a judiciary committee, just told me he got a call from the president just a couple of minutes ago saying, you know, this is who my pick is. you can't find somebody who is more confirmable at this point. and senator graham said, yes, mr. president, that's true. but that's not the point, which is what i was starting to say before the two senators came on the senate floor, carol, and we really do have to underscore this again. it doesn't matter who is nominated, how confirmable he or she would have been. the republicans are determined to not even give this person and now we know merrick garland a hearing, not even meet with him. not because of the nominee but because of the president and where this is on the calendar. you know, a lot of democrats say that is just absurd because the president is elected for a four-year term. not a three-year term. and it is almost a year. but that is the bottom line. in fact, lindsey graham has said to the president, he told me, even if you nominated me, i
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would leave the fight against me because it is your nomination. so that just gives you a very good understanding of how determined they are and the pressure that is to come. >> jeffrey toobin is here. he wants to ask you a question. take it away. >> dana, one of the theories that you hear is if hillary clinton wins the election in november, there will be this lame duck period from november to the following january. do you think it's conceivable that the senate, which would still be in republican hands, regardless of the outcome of that election during that period, might take up a garland nomination during the lame duck period and, thus, deny hillary clinton the chance to put it in a younger and perhaps more liberal nominee? >> that is such a good question. look, anything is possible. i think a lot of the answer to that question depends on what happens in the election with the senate because not just this issue but many issues are going to be used against a lot of
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incumbent republicans who are vulnerable. democrats are really hoping that they have enough ammunition against those vulnerable republicans, that they can turn over the senate again, which would really complicate the politics of what you just put out there. i think -- and i don't know if you agree with me, jeff, that the idea of not confirming a nominee in an election year is one thing. but doing it during a lame duck might be even more unlikely for the same reasons that they use when you're talking about the election year. but, you know what, we've seen stranger things happen. >> we have. but i agree with you. i just think it's too complicated a scenario and too much will be going on if, you know, in the transition to a new president and republicans can just kick the can down the road and worry about it then. >> i want to bring in pam brown now. she's got more information so i want to get this in. take it away. >> carol, the white house is now officially confirming that
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merrick garland is president obama's pick to fill justice scalia's seat on the high court. the white house has sent out some comments ahead of the announcement at 11:00 this morning in the rose garden saying that throughout his career, chief judge garland has shown a rare ability to bring everyone together and earn respect from everyone that he has worked with. he once said anytime judge garland disagrees, you're in a difficult area. i think this is interesting because senator hatch, who spoke about judge garland a year ago, i have no doubts that garland would get a lot of senate votes and i will do my best to help him get them. and, of course, this is all in the context, carol, of senate republicans, including senator hatch, saying that they are not going to hold a hearing for any president obama nominee. and this goes straight to what we have been expecting, that
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whoever is chosen is a consensus pick, a moderate, and merrick garland fits that bill. he has a reputation as a brilliant and meticulous judge, playing it straight and deciding every case based on what the law requires. so some thoughts there from the white house in terms of why they chose merrick garland and, of course, we'll hear more in half an hour from now. >> all right. i have to leave it there. much more on the other side.
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and good morning. i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me. just 30 minutes from now, i'm going to take you back to the rose garden where president obama is expected to announce his pick to replace justice antonin scalia. he's expected to pick a moderate named merrick garland who is qualified but republicans are already picking a fight. when that ceremony begins in the rose garden, we'll take you back to washington. let's talk about the big election now, shall we? super tuesday becomes a winning tuesday as front-runners hillary clinton and donald trump pull ahead. hillary clinton trounced bernie sanders winning four out of five states. clinton's big night leaves her with about as twice as many delegates as sanders and has her looking ahead to the general
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election showdown with the republican nominee. and donald trump may appear more likely in that role than ever. he wins three states. missouri, too close to call. that's his only known possible -- actually, his only known loss of the night is the state of ohio, a big one. john kasich won big there keeping his campaign alive with his home state victory. marco rubio ending his presidential bid after getting hammered in florida. he comes the first sitting senator since 1960 to lose his home state in a president sham primary. this morning, donald trump was asked about rubio as a possible running mate. >> would you consider him for a vp? people are saying inside the party that would go a long way towards healing a lot of concerns. >> well, i just think it's too early to think about it, chris. i don't like to think about it. >> but is he in consideration? >> well, i like him. i've always liked him. then he got nasty two or three weeks ago and i got nastier than
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he did, i guess. >> if you got nastier than he did, you can't be too upset at him and you said it's time for healing. i'm just wondering, is he in consideration? >> i think he's a fine person. look, i'm looking at lots of people. >> trump still holding a big lead over ted cruz with time running out. cruz, a tea party champion and self-described outsider says he's the establishment's best hope at defeating trump but kasich, he says, needs to quit now. >> he doesn't have any chance of winning. john kasich may take just enough votes to give those states to donald trump. if he sticks around, john kasich will become donald trump's best friend. >> so let's begin our coverage in florida where at least one presidential dream went to die. cnn correspondent jason carroll in miami with that story. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, carol. a devastating loss for marco
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rubio. even until late afternoon, early evening yesterday here in miami, you could hear marco rubio on the airwaves saying he was ready to go the distance. shortly after the polls closed, it was clear that was not going to be the case. to give you a perspective of how badly he lost in this state, he lost every single county with the exception of miami-dade where we are. put that into perspective and compare to what happened in 2010 when he ran for the senate, he won 62 out of 67 counties here in the state. so, as you can imagine, a lot of questions here this morning about what exactly went wrong. you talk to a number of people that have different schools of thought on that, carol. some say he simply wasn't ready. others simply say, look, when we elected him to the senate, he didn't do what he needed to do in terms of pushing conservative values. rubio says all of that is not true. he simply says, the voters were not ready for his positive message. and last night, last night, carol, he warned them not to give in to fear.
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>> the politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they are going to leave us a fractured nation. they are going to leave us as a nation where people literally hate each other because they have different political opinions. >> rubio went on to say that he did not want to run a campaign based on anxiety. trump, for his part, you heard what he had to say about a potential running mate. he also congratulated rubio, said that he ran a tough campaign and has a very bright future. rubio said he would do whatever it took to stop trump, even if it meant driving in a pickup truck and getting out that message. no word on the pickup truck but one of his campaign advisers said he'll be spending time with his family and his friends right here in miami. carol? >> jason carroll reporting live from miami this morning, thank you. let's talk about the democrats for a bit, shall we?
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hillary clinton racking up big wins in north carolina, florida, ohio and missouri still too close to call. was it a great night for bernie sanders? let's head live to jeff zeleny now. how is the camp spinning this? >> reporter: the sanders campaign is saying we're going to go ahead. only half the delegates have been selected. the political reality is slightly different here. yesterday was a moment, an opportunity for senator sanders to keep this sort of push alive that he had last week in michigan to keep making the argument to democrats that this race is still worth having on the primary side. he simply failed to win in ohio. got beat by 14 percentage points. it was narrower here in illinois and still too close to call in missouri where she has a slight lead. yes, this race is going to go on for a couple more months until the end of the calendar, most likely on june 7th in california. senator sanders will have
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hundreds of delegates to take to that convention but there's no doubt about it, you can feel the shift and the political side of this. the clinton campaign is really mathematically impossible to beat at this point. that's not saying he's not going to win some western states. there's arizona and others. but, you know, we're going to see a shift here and we've been talking about the supreme court fight all weekend. this is going to be a rallying point that hillary clinton believes for the democrats for her to join the white house in this movement to urge senate republicans to confirm his choice here. so that's going to shift to the presidential landscape and hillary is going to be taking a bit of time off her campaign trail. she believes the next race is ahead of her in the fall, if it's donald trump or whoever the republican nominee is going to be. that's where they are going to start gently turning their focus. carol? >> jeff zeleny, thanks so much. as you heard, mathematically, it appears that donald trump and hillary clinton will win the nomination for their respective parties.
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and for the first time in history, that means one of two candidates who many voters don't like or trust may become president of the united states. take a look at this cnn orc poll from earlier this month. it shows that 60% of all americans view mr. trump unfavorably while 55% of all americans view hillary clinton unfavorably. even within their own parties they are fighting negatives. 32% view donald trump unfavorably and 19% view hillary clinton unfavorably. strange, right? joining me is jeff dewit and van jones and eric, a former senior adviser to the romney campaign. eric, i want to pose that question for you. everybody thought that people picked a president that they want to have a cup of coffee with or go out to dinner with. not so this time, apparently.
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>> yeah, carol. it looks like both parties are bringing forth their least likable candidates. the people who dislike hillary clinton are slightly less numerous than those who view donald trump unfavorably. what does that mean for the general election? well, because you don't have a race between two popular candidates, they are not going to be running a cheery, optimistic campaign. this is going to be a race to the bottom, a real demolition derby where they are both trying to tear each other down. and i think the challenge for hillary clinton, it's not going to be to rally the party behind her. she'll have a fairly simple job of doing that. it's in facing an asymmetrical opponent with donald trump, seeming how unconventional he is and unconventional candidates take risks and it's very hard to
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plot a strategy against that type of candidate. >> so, on the republican side, jeff, and mr. trump appears -- you know, it appears that he's well on his way to becoming the nominee. a lot of republicans still don't like that idea. in fact, i talked to the r ncnc communications director and he said there's still the possibility of a contested convention. do you think that might happen? >> i think it's less likely after yesterday's results. the mathematically -- kasich is out. even though he's going to be running, obviously trying to get a contested convention, he mathematically cannot win the nomination and ted cruz has a very, very high hill to climb and it's very possible, within a few weeks, he mathematically cannot win the nomination. so i don't believe we're going to have a contested convention. i think it's going to -- everyone is going to start to consolidate around donald trump. but, you know, in both their cases and in the case of donald trump and hillary clinton, they've been the presumptive
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front-runner nominees for a long time so they've also been the subject of most of their own parties' attack. in donald trump, more money has been spent against him than anybody, i believe. jeb bush spent millions and millions against him. once it starts to promote a positive message, i think we'll see some of those messages change, especially in donald trump case, where he has the business background to do a lot of things and he wins in terms of the economy and immigration and jobs over hillary clinton head-to-head right now. so i think we'll see that change. >> going back to this contested convention -- and van, i want to pose this question to you. so donald trump said this morning on "new day," that if there is a contested convention in the city of cleveland, there might be riots. why do you -- what do you make of that? i'll just ask it to you that way. >> well, you know, those are the
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kind of comments that if any other candidate made, it would be considered a big threat. how can you say that if you have a normal process, if he doesn't get there with all of his -- with 1237, you're supposed to go through multiple ballots and have an open convention. if it doesn't go that way, you're going to have riots, that's the kind of stuff that for some people would make him love him because he's blunt, he's telling it like it. other people are saying that he's very, very frightening. and what you're going to have, i think, with hillary clinton and donald trump, this is going to be king kong versus godzilla. you've got two massive, mega global celebrities with high negatives, huge fan bases going against each other and it's going to be who can scare who the most? hillary clinton is going to say he's the scariest guy ever, do you want this guy with the military, the bomb, the fbi, the cia, he's going to be saying, hey, do you want this person that you can't trust that can be
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bought by anybody to give you the same old, same old, and it's going to be a massive demolition derby between two huge, huge global personalities. you've never seen anything like it before but it's going to be a race that people remember for the rest of their life. >> eric, i'm just trying to think, is this good for the country? because it means people will be paying attention in greater numbers. right? i'm sad to say that, but it's true. >> well, i'll tell you what's good for trump. i think the president did him a big favor today because this is going to help donald trump rally the republican party behind him. there is no more important issue for conservatives today than the vacancy on the court and who fills it. donald trump is an unorthodox candidate but he does have conservative positions on taxes and strong military and, most importantly, he has promised to appoint a scalia-like candidate
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to fill the current vacancy on the court. that is going to have a lot of strong appeal with conservatives. this is what donald trump has been looking for. >> i see it somewhat differently. i think president obama actually did something really, really good for the country and really, really smart. he didn't go with a strong liberal. he was under tremendous pressure to pick an african-american woman, somebody that would really rally the base. this president said, you know what, i'm going to give you the head of the d.c. circuit court. this guy is so boring and so milk toast, nobody can get excited on the left about it. he's really doing his best to try to give the republicans somebody to say yes to. if the republicans can't say yes to this guy, he's pro cop, i mean, this is a -- he's barely a democrat. i think it actually gives the republicans a black eye to stand and say that they are not going to back this guy. this is not some liberal crazy. so i don't know if this helps
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trump as much as you think. >> we'll see. i've got to leave it there, jeff, eric, van, thanks so much. what if there is a contested convention and what exactly is that, anyway? we'll talk about that next. g up create opportunity, and weave messages that lead to sales. these are the hands of pitney bowes, the craftsmen of commerce. these are the hands, the hands that drive commerce, that build business across borders. these are the hands of pitney bowes, the craftsmen of commerce. unless you have allergies., then your eyes may see it differently. only flonase is approved to relieve both itchy, watery eyes and congestion. no other nasal allergy spray can say that. when we breathe in allergens our bodies react by over producing six key inflammatory substances that cause our symptoms.
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it is now secret that donald trump is disliked by many americans, including within his own party but he's wildly popular among the gop and there has been suggestions that there will be riots if he doesn't get the nomination. with me to explain all of this is larry sabato.
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larry, welcome. >> thank you, carol. >> do you think, in a nutshell, you can explain to people what a contested convention might look like? >> sure. a contested convention is when no candidate has managed to accumulate the magic number, in this case, 1237 delegates needed for nomination. we may not even get past ballot number one. we'll see what happens. >> what's your prediction? because, you know, donald trump came out and said, you know, if there's a contested convention, there could be riots. i don't know exactly why he said that but it sounds like there better not be a contested convention to me. >> that's his leverage, carol. he's using the fact that his supporters are very intense, as we've seen at the rallies. and we've seen some violent
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incidents connected to those rallies. so he's using this as leverage to the republicans and the leadership of the republican party saying, if you try to snatch this nomination from me when i'm going to have far more delegates than anybody else and i'll be very close to the magic number, here's what you're going to get. chaos. a meltdown. and it may work. he's been very effective at this so far. >> well, i don't know whether his comments had anything to do with it, but the house speaker, paul ryan, came out this morning and made it clear that he would not accept a nomination to become president at a republican contested convention. but others might be willing to do that, right? like john kasich, for example. is that possible? >> well, anything's possible. you know, he would have to then 110% of the remaining delegates. yes. he would have to win more delegates than there even are
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unallocated to win the republican nomination. so i don't think that govern kasich is in contention for that. what could end up happening is they determine which candidate gets the nomination between trump and the runner-up, most likely ted cruz. >> so i talked with the communications director from the republican national committee this morning, shawn spicer. and he said there is a possibility of a contested convention. with that said, what do you think is happening behind the scenes with the rnc today? >> i don't think the rnc is in a position to do much brokering or negotiating. but i'll tell you what people haven't focused on, this is going to clearly go through the final primaries on june 7th. while the republican convention isn't up until july 18th, there are 40 precious days available
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for negotiation between the candidates, the staff and others in the republican party. that's when the decision may be made. >> all right. larry sabato, thank you for your wise insight as usual. appreciate it. thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. our special coverage with wolf blitzer and jake tapper starts now. hello, i'm jake tapper. this is cnn's special live coverage of an historic moment for the nation's highest court. >> and i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. moments from now, president obama will address the nation from the white house to announce his choice to fill the seat at the u.s. supreme court. he's expected to step into the rose garden to introduce his nominee. take a look at this. live pictures coming in from the rose garden right now. cnn has confirmed that merrick
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garland is the president's nominee. he's the chief judge of the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit. this decision comes one month after the sudden death of the supreme court justice antonin scalia. republicans insist the decision should be made by the next president of the united states. >> we have reporters standing by to cover every angle of the story. manu raju on capitol hill, we have michelle kosinski at the rose garden. first, let's go to pamela brown. pamela, what can you tell us about merrick garland? on the face, it seems like a fairly establishment moderate pick for president obama. >> absolutely. no doubt about it. he's considered a consensus candidate, jake. merrick garland was nominated to the seat by president clinton in
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1997 with the 76-23 vote. he's wildly respected across the vote, both republicans and democrats have come out to support him over the years. in fact, in the past, he's been considered a front-runner for other high court seats. but those ultimately went to justices kagan and sotomayor. he's 63 years old, which is considered old by supreme court standards. it's rare to have somebody in their 60s appointed or nominated to the high court. of course, this is a different ball game because republicans are saying they are not going to hold a hearing. merrick garland worked for the justice department and he prosecuted timothy mcveigh. he's been part of the d.c. circuit court for nearly a couple decades. as we've been talking about, it's seen as a launch pad to the high court. i will mention, though, that he
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is seen as conservative when it comes to criminal law. in some cases, he voted in favor of law enforcement, not the criminal defendant. so that is something, of course, that liberals will like. on the other hand, jake, he may carry on obama's legacy when it comes to gun control. in fact, you may remember the helder case, the d.c. law restricting gun rights to gun owners. he actually voted not to strike that law down. that could be something, of course, that the liberals like. but no matter what, republicans are vowing not to hold a hearing. it could be a different situation, though, come november depending on who is elected. jake? >> pamela brown, thank you so much. let's go to our white house correspondent michelle kosinski. she's in the rose garden where the president will be making the official announcement any moment now. i understand the president will walk out of the oval office together with merrick garland. the president will speak and then garland will speak. there are not going to be any questions. but the president has been
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waiting quite a while to do this. he thinks he has what they call a consensus candidate. >> right. that was the big deal here. how much of a consensus candidate would each of the people considered be. but in the end, the question is will that even matter? no matter how moderate someone could be, what decisions did garland make more on the conservative side as we've been talking about, is that even going to matter to senate republicans? and we're already hearing from some saying, no, it's not about the person. it is about the process. and they, of course, want the american public to weigh in in the next election. what the white house has countered is, the american public has already chosen -- they have already weighed in by choosing president obama back in 2012. and so, you know, this is going to be something that the president needs to do by duty, something that the senate needs to do according to duty. that's what we've been hearing repeatedly from the white house. so we expect the president to go
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through garland's credentials. the president has laid out who he thought would be an ideal candidate, somebody who obviously has the judicial chops, somebody who doesn't want to legislate from the bench, somebody who has life experience and has a lot of life experience, something that the white house has emphasized. but you know the white house also today really wants to hammer home, you know, this is part of their sort of pr push that the senate should take this up. they understand the reality. they understand the rhetoric that's been out there. they know what's been said but the way the white house has framed it, they believe that the public opinion will also play a role here, that the public will see the nominee, they'll see garland's credentials and sympathize with the place where the white house is right now, that they will agree with president obama that the senate should take this up. how it's going to work out in the end is another story but the white house isn't going to stand by and, you know, rest while republicans are making their
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case. they are going to make their push starting today for this to really happen and to go through and at least get this to the hearing stage. but that seems doubtful, depending on whom you talk to. >> we see the democratic leader harry reid sitting there with patrick leahy and dick durbin. jake, i wonder if there are any republicans in the rose garden watching this right now. my suspicion is no republican senators but we'll take a closer look. >> let's bring in cnn political reporter manu raju live on capitol hill. manu, let's be frank, president obama was under a lot of pressure to appoint someone or nominate someone who was representative of a minority group, an african-american, latino, somebody around who liberals could find a cause and they could help get voters to the polls. merrick garland, a relatively moderate middle-aged -- or 63-year-old, i should say, white guy is not a nakedly political
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pick. >> yeah, it is surprising in that sense. whoever is chosen will be part of the presidential debate going forward. it will be interesting to see the extent to which a number of nominees may uphold themselves out of consideration given the fact that the senate looks like they are not going to move forward on anybody. now, as we've been talking about, merrick garland was overwhelmingly confirmed in 1997. and back then, senators are still senator who voted for merrick garland and it's not clear if any of them will vote for merrick garland now. i just caught up with one of them, pat roberts, a kansas republican senator. i said, well, why did you support him in 1997? he said, i just supported him. i said, will you support him now? >> he said, no, it's not about the person, it's about the process. it's the same argument that they have been making going forward. you are not going to hear republican conservatives dispute his qualifications but the
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argument will be that it should be left up to the voters. they believe this gives them an issue to run on. they can say there's a firewall against a potential progressive justice. but democrats really believe that this is going to be an issue that turns these key senate races, expecting this upcoming two-week recess that starts on monday, an aggressive push in the blue state republican senator districts back home in their states when they are having town hall meetings to be vocal protests outside of those meetings, looking at chuck grassley, who voted against merrick garland in 1997, democrats are really focusing on him. they have recruited him in his own senate race. they believe that pressure back home could force chuck grassley to cave but republicans right now are saying that is really misguided. they are not going to cave on this. they have dug their heels and say they believe they are in a good political position but one thing, jake, the date on the calendar to look at is whether there is any movement by late
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june. i'm told that is a key moment here because when we get into july, we get into the august ves and then we're in full onslaught presidential votes. we will see movement by the end of june or probably have to wait for the next president no matter what. >> all right. manu raju, thank you. wo wolf, if it's that the americans want hearings but we'll see how much they want. >> we'll see if there are any hearings or meetings at all, if merrick garland is even invited in for a courtesy call, a cup of coffee, if you will, which will be indicative if they go forward. let's bring in our panel, chief political correspondent dana bash, senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and legal historian mr.


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