tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 1, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
a kidnapping suspect at large after a police pursuit, kids in the car. tonight the manhunt to find him. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening from lex headquarters on super tuesday, a night that could be the tipping point in both the republican and democratic races for the presidential nomination. 12 states are in play tonight with the first poll closings just a half hour from now. but ahead of that, we have a new snapshot of the state of the race nationally. republican donald trump has a 2-1 lead over marco rubio, who's now in second place, according to a new nbc news/survey monkey poll. democrats, hillary clinton with a 10-point lead nationally over bernie sanders. will she pull away from sanders for good? will trump close the deal tonight? there's an awful lot to cover.
let's start with the trump campaign and nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: another dramatic entrance for what's shaping up to be a dramatic super tuesday. trump is riding high. chris christie by his side. and brushing off the insults. >> he said i had small hands? they're not small, are they? i've always had people say, donald, you have the boast beautiful hands. >> reporter: nine months ago his unconventional campaign and the outsider is poised for a blowout. confident enough to call on marco rubio to quit on fox news. >> i think he has to get out. you know, he hasn't won anything. ted cruz very rightfully points out marco has not won. >> reporter: if trump wins big tonight there is already talk he might refuse to take part in future gop debates. the next on thursday in detroit moderated by fox news and megyn kelly who trump has repeatedly trashed for reciting his own words back to him during the first debate. the campaign telling nbc news it
but that there is a lot of speculation about who will be on stage. trump late today saying he won't skip it. >> no, i'm not going to skip it. but i think these debates are ridiculous. >> donald trump has played by his own rules since he started this campaign last summer. should he not choose to play by them now i don't think we should be surprised. >> reporter: the bombastic millionaire promising to turn to the general election and hillary clinton. >> hillary cannot make america great. she was talking about something yesterday, making america whole. whole. no, no. i don't want whole. i want great again. i want great again. i don't want whole. >> reporter: meanwhile, the grand old party is worried about its grand old legacy. after trump failed to immediately condemn the kkk over the weekend. >> if a person wants to be the nominee of the republican party there can be no evasion and no games. they must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. >> reporter: ryan said he will
nominates but gop sources tell nbc news there is real concern about how the candidate and his staff will cooperate with the party. and whether he'll quit calling people losers and start acting more presidential. to put it into perspective, that is campaign that started out with little organization and no establishment. a campaign that many called a joke. despite all of that and despite all the drama, donald trump is expected to run away with the majority of delegates in 11 states tonight. >> all right, katy. if trump dominates as many storyline of the night may be place. both marco rubio and ted cruz are competing to be the face of the anti-trump effort within their party. as nbc's hallie jackson reports both campaigns believe they have viable pathways to the nomination. >> how are you feeling? >> reporter: ted cruz can't
today in his houston hometown. >> how do you feel? >> i feel very good. we've got tremendous support at home in texas. >> reporter: it's the biggest super tuesday prize, 155 delegates where cruz leads and needs a win. also watching arkansas. >> if you think -- >> reporter: spending more money there in the last 24 hours. his campaign privately acknowledging to nbc they're all but conceding vermont, massachusetts, and virginia. >> why should i cast my vote for you instead of donald trump? >> reporter: cruz's argument to voters like cindy that trump has a ceiling. 60% of republicans opposed to him. >> by that same logic, 80% of republicans are not backing you. 85%. >> it is qualitatively different. >> why? >> donald trump loses the general election and republicans recognize that -- >> reporter: cruz wants a two-man race by tomorrow. but won't get it. with marco rubio in the mix. >> i will campaign in all 50 states -- >> reporter: he's again shifting his strategy against trump, not below the belt now --
men with small hands. >> reporter: but above the fray. >> donald trump has small hands! >> we're not talking about that today. i want this to be a serious election -- >> reporter: his aides telling nbc rubio wants to focus on more serious warnings, calling trump dangerous. the florida senator hasn't won anywhere yet and probably won't tonight unless he pulls off shocking upsets in virginia or minnesota. >> he needs to get his fair share of second places. >> reporter: even if rubio drops 15 in a row his campaign's looking to the 15th of march where he has to win his home state. john kasich needs a win in his home state too. ohio in two weeks. he's already looking past super tuesday. but ben carson is not. on political life support, a top campaign aide acknowledging how important these primaries are to carson's future. the bigger storyline, that's cruz, rubio, and this showdown
one of them can slow down donald trump. >> we're joined by nbc news political analyst nicole wallace. if trump wins in a big way tonight will sound we hear be the sound of the republican party fracturing? >> i think the republican party is already fractured along the lines hallie laid out. cruz represents and the people hoping for cruz to have a strong night, win his home state, represent those that feel trump is inadequately -- not conservative enough. rubio represents the last best hope of the establishment. all the warring, excitement and momentum is behind donald trump and what he's captivated in this republican electorate. >> thanks very much, good to have you on. turning to democratic race, hillary clinton also expected to have a very big night. her campaign hopes that tonight spells the beginning of the end for opponent bernie sanders. as our andrea mitchell reports clinton is already looking ahead to the general election and sharpening her attacks against donald trump. >> reporter: trying to run up the score, front-runner hillary clinton today in minnesota, a
>> i need your help with the caucus tonight. >> reporter: bill clinton in boston challenging sanders in the new england senator's backyard backyard. the clintons tag teaming sanders, trying to put the nomination beyond his reach. meanwhile sanders voting this morning in his home state of vermont where he's expected to coast to victory. >> i know that bernie sanders here in vermont got at least one vote. i was working on my wife but i think i probably got two. >> reporter: no matter tonight's result, sanders vows to fight clinton all the way to the convention. he's got the cash to do it, raising more than $41 million in the last month alone. mostly from small online contributions. thousands turning out yesterday for his rally in massachusetts where the race is tightening. >> your state led the american revolution. now it is time for massachusetts to lead the political revolution. >> reporter: but clinton with
african-american voters is counting on a southern firewall tonight. she has a commanding lead in texas, tennessee, and georgia. according to our nbc news/"wall street journal"/maris poll, already confident enough about the nomination to start focusing as well on donald trump. >> i'm just speaking out against bigotry and bullying wherever i hear it. >> reporter: campaign officials telling nbc news the strategy against trump includes hitting him early and often, portraying him as dangerous and bigoted because of his comments on race and ethnic minorities, energizing minority voters to turn out for her. clinton already testing new attack lines against trump. >> you know, america never stopped being great. we've got to make america whole. >> reporter: trump is threatening to turn the campaign into a knife fight. >> i guarantee you one thing, we're going to be talking about those e-mails every moment of every day. >> the clintons know that donald trump does not play by the rules but the clintons are also known
so if clinton and trump become their parties' nominees, you ain't seen nothing yet, lester. >> well put, andrea, thank you. we're joined by chuck todd and savannah guthrie, joining super tuesday coverage in primetime. chuck, i'm always curious what you're going to be watching tonight. >> let me start with the republican super tuesday map here. there's really four states i'm watching. early on it's going to be virginia. it should be a competitive race tonight. can marco rubio do well with the most-informed electorate in the country? then arrange, oklahoma, texas. ted cruz has to do well. if there are going to be places cruz and rubio can beat trump it is in these four states. that's why i think they matter the most. let's move on the democratic side of the super tuesday map. it's slightly different. there's basically a north-south strategy. in the south it's about hillary clinton, she expects to do well, minority voters. where sanders hopes to have better nights is in the northern states, fewer minority voters, we'll see. i think the targeting, he may
couple of southern states. we have learned a couple of things from the exit polls. experience versus outsider. what's interesting on the republican night, not surprising, want for an outsider presidential candidate, half of republicans in all the super tuesday states said shouldn't that. only 40% want experience. on the democratic side, 80% want an experienced next president versus an outsider. that's good news for hillary clinton. >> let me turn to savannah. you've been working the phones for the campaigns. rubio and cruz, what do they see as the pathway out of super tuesday? >> they see two different paths ironically they'll see a path without the other and they're focused on that even though both have fired on trump more in the last few days and weeks than they had before. rubio has said it plainly and his advisers repeat it behind the scenes, he's it in all the way. they think he has the money. they think this whole part of the republican party that is mortified that trump could be the nominee will come to them. troouls thinks, i'm going to win texas tonight.
border states and cobble together enough delegates to challenge trump. rubio's folks are ready to go all the way to the convention. >> good to see both of you. you'll be with me on our 10:00 primetime broadcast. we'll have live updates throughout the night as results come in. i'll be joined by chuck and savannah and our entire team across the country starting at 10:00 p.m. eastern with all the breaking news. the battle between apple and the fbi reached all the way to capitol hill today. apple is fighting the fbi's demand to help unlock an iphone used by one of the san bernardino attackers. as our pete williams explains, both are asking congress to play referee and find an answer. >> if you would please rise i'll begin by swearing you in -- >> reporter: the fbi director faced a skeptical house judiciary committee over requiring apple write special software to help the fbi unlock an iphone used by one of the san bernardino attackers. >> essentially we're asking
dog away, let us try and pick the lock. >> reporter: comey said the fbi asked every part of the u.s. government to crack the phone and concluded only apple health the key. >> when has it been the function of government to compel or force a private citizen or a company to act as an agent of the government to do what the government couldn't do? >> reporter: apple's top lawyer warned if the fbi gets what it wants the software to disable an iphone security could get into the wrong hands. >> we think that protecting the security and the privacy of hundreds of millions of iphone users is the right thing to do. that's the reason that we're doing this. >> reporter: but some committee members worried about phones keeping evidence out of the reach of law enforcement. >> you can go into people's bodies and remove bullets but you can't go into a dead person's iphone and remove data? i just find it baffling. >> reporter: the federal judge in brooklyn has ruled for apple in a battle over access to a drug dealer's locked iphone, saying the government cannot force apple to bypass the
its customers. something the judge said would be plainly offensive to the company. for now apple is on a roll, a win in court, its stock price up. next the san bernardino court hearing in three weeks. pete williams, nbc news, washington. >> there's a lot more ahead tonight. back on the stand, more emotional testimony from erin andrews. the trauma she still feels years after a stalker secretly taped her. the defense firing back suggesting the incident actually helped her career. also police say he led them on a chase in a hummer holding children hostage. but he slipped away. now the manhunt is i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business...
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for a second day, sports reporter erin andrews took the stand to testify in her $75 million civil trial. today the defense got its chance to cross examine andrews. she is suing both her convicted stalker and the hotel where he admits secretly videotaping her. andrews told the jury it's a trauma she has never recovered from. nbc's morgan radford has more. >> reporter: another emotional day on the stand. >> i know i'm not fine. >> reporter: erin andrews describes the daily nightmare of that secretly taped viral video and the therapy she still needs. >> always have to go get treatment for this, always go need to talk to somebody about this. because this will always be on the internet. >> reporter: she was particularly emotional when describing what could eventually happen when she has kids. >> what happens when my kids come home from school, "mom, kids are saying you're naked on
>> reporter: traumatized, andrews says she now does a thorough sweep of every hotel room. >> i look everywhere. i look for lights, i look for red lights, i look to see if there's cameras. >> reporter: her testimony complete. >> the manufacturer rin andrews rests her case. >> reporter: it's up to the defense to make their case. first up former employer espn. >> do you see her suffer in any way as a result of the actions of mr. barrett? >> no. >> reporter: the hotel's legal team trying to convince the jury -- seven women and five men -- that the hotel shouldn't pay for a video that wasn't their fault and that didn't damage her career. >> your income has gone up substantially since this occurred. >> reporter: andrews argued back saying the work is her escape. >> i've been overcompensating in my life and i admit that. i feel likefy can do the top nfl game, if i can work the world series, if i can pass out the trophy -- then people will forget. >> reporter: but, she says, shouldn'ts the jury to remember. morgan radford, nbc news,
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but this was high drama. >> whenthis vehicle is stolen with kids inside -- >> reporter: police say the driver thomas wano kidnapped his girlfriend and two young children, a domestic dispute playing out on one of the nation's busiest freeways, i-5, endangering the public over five hours. >> he's not going to get very far. >> reporter: onlookers with cameras when the pursuit comes to an end in affluent newport beach, the suspect holding up this 1-year-old. finally the women and children able to run towards police as wano flees into the night. the suspect is shot with nonlethal rounds. >> the suspect in a hoodie comes running up and says, i'm hit, i'm hit. >> reporter: he escapes. slips through the dragnet into the night. today it's a manhunt. but like this chase police say it's only a matter of time before they have their man. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. after spending nearly a year in space, astronaut scott kelly
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we're just moments away from the first poll closings on this super tuesday. we're joined by tom brokaw. we've talked about the insults, the personal attacked, the anger. is that the only thing driving thing tonight as we head into super tuesday? >> i think it's driving a lot of it. we've seen how well donald trump has done as the most unconventional candidate i can remember who could be the front-runner. the speaker of the house, a republican, and the senate majority leader, another republican, condemned him for his remarks about the ku klux klan or rather his remarks not against the ku klux klan. the question is did the country care about that? they were establishment politicians. one of the things i'm going to be looking at tonight is whether
high as it is. the other thing is not just who wins tonight but who stays in the race. >> a lot of republicans would like to clean this on it a little bit but there is the possibility tomorrow morning we'll still have a full team back in there with just enough to hang on at the bottom to keep this thing going for a while and that works in trump's favor. >> we'll look forward to it throughout the evening. thanks very much. that's going to conclude our first half hour of "nightly news." for many of our stations we'll continue another half hour of special coverage. and we're back on the air at 10:00 p.m. eastern across the country with all the breaking results. i'm lester holt.
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let's look at the democrats now. in georgia, nbc news projects hillary clinton is the winner in georgia. in virginia, nbc news again projects hillary clinton will win. vermont, bernie sanders' home state, we project he will win in vermont. bernie sanders wins the vermont democratic primary. chuck todd is with me right now. your first thoughts as the evening begins? >> i think the bill surprise is virginia republicans, too close to call, good news for marco rubio. if there was a state that he had a shot at winning it was virginia. moderate electorate. anybody can vote in the primary and there's a lot of evidence a lot of democrats may have turned out to help rubio in virginia. so a big deal. if you're ted cruz and marco rubio you're not happy about that georgia result. the fact that we could call that poll closed that's a big win for trump, a premonition of what arkansas and alabama could look like. >> we'll be looking at four more states.