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Analysis of the Republican Presidential Debate;; Cruz Vs Rubio; First Trial of Officer Involved in Freddie Gray's Death Ends in Mistrial. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 16, 2015 - 20:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who the (bleep) do you think you're talking to?

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're talking to the guy who talks with his face.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

BUSH: But he's a chaos candidate.

MOSS: New York.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, OUTFRONT: Thank you for joining us. AC 360 starts now.

[20:00:20] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening and thanks for joining us.

Tonight, which Republican presidential candidate has the national security know-how to be commander in-chief? That was the focus of last night's CNN debate. More than 18 million people watched. Now the reaction from viewers, fact checkers, and our team of military and intelligence experts.

First, though, breaking news out of Baltimore where protesters took to the streets tonight, marching through the city, marching against what happened at a courthouse late today. Eight months after the death in police custody of Freddie Gray, a hung jury in the trial, the first of six police officers charged. Mr. Gray's death sparked the Baltimore's worst rioting since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This time, local, state, and county authorities appear to be taking great care to avoid a repeat.

Joining us now is CNN's Miguel Marquez.

Take us through what happened today, Miguel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, if you all don't know, introduce yourself.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there was all four charges, there was a hung jury. They were not able to come to a decision and there were protests in the streets of Baltimore. The protesters here, who have ended up at the juvenile justice center here have sort of surrounded me, because one of the individuals arrested today ended up here. And they are upset about that. This is a 16-year-old who ended up here, another longtime activist here, well known, Kwame Rhodes who was also arrested. And they are not quite sure about him. So now they are trying to look after their own. All of this coming out of that courtroom today and what happened there, a mistrial.

I think people are not entirely surprised by a mistrial. This jury certainly is divided, as the city of Baltimore itself. But I think that many of them were expecting at least some of the charges that Officer Porter would be found guilty on at least some of the charges, the lower charges, like reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

I think it comes as a very big surprise to people here tonight. They marched around city hall, down to police station, and then over to this area, demanding that they either produce or at least let them know how the 16-year-old is doing - Anderson.

COOPER: Miguel, do we know much about why there was a mistrial?

MARQUEZ: I think, look, this was a very technical case. There were 16 witnesses that the prosecution brought, 12 that the defense brought. The prosecution arguing that the injury happened in the van, not that famous video that we saw, but happened in the van. The only person that knows what happened in that van is Freddie Gray himself, and he is not here.

They split, clearly, on Officer Porter's role in what he did or didn't do in getting him a seat belt or buckling him in, and then getting him medical attention. These jurors clearly, like much of the city, unable to come to a resolution about what happened in that van.

Officer Porter, tonight, says that, told "the Baltimore Sun," that the process will go on and that he is ready for it, it seems, and that he now remains suspended without pay from the Baltimore police department - Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Miguel Marquez, appreciate it tonight. We will continue to check in with Miguel. And will have more on that story and updates throughout the next two hours.

Now the commander in-chief question. The focus of last night's CNN debate in Las Vegas. The third-most watched primary debate in television history. There is a lot of tough sounding talk on stage last night, a lot of knowledgeable-sounding statements of fact. So tonight a closer look at both.

We begin with chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, Keeping Them Honest.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have people across this country who are scared to death.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the wake of the largest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, the Republican presidential candidates delivered tough talk on national securities.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president hasn't kept us safe.

SCIUTTO: Still their command of some of the defense topics was, well, up for debate.

Senator Ted Cruz has said he would launch an indiscriminate bombing campaign against is, a tactic known as carpet bombing. As opposed to the surgical strikes the U.S. currently uses.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: Would you carpet bomb Raqqah, the ISIS capital, where there are a lot of civilians? Yes or no?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You would carpet bomb where ISIS is. Not a city, but the location of the troops. You use air power directed, and you have embedded Special Forces to direct the air power.

SCIUTTO: But directed strikes, as he calls them, are the opposite of carpet bombing.

CRUZ: We need a president --

SCIUTTO: The senator also blamed the Obama administration for not identifying social media posts made by San Bernardino shooter, Tashfeen Malik, before being granted a visa to the U.S.

CRUZ: We didn't monitor the Facebook posting of the female San Bernardino terrorist, because the Obama DHS thought it would be inappropriate. She made a public call to jihad and they didn't target it.

[20:05:02] SCIUTTO: While it's true that Malik's social media trail was not reviewed during the visa process, her views on jihad would not have been found without a warrant, because they were expressed in private direct messages, not in public social media postings.

TRUMP: We should be able to penetrate the Internet.

SCIUTTO: Donald Trump advocates shutting down parts of the Internet to cut off is' access to the web.

BLITZER: Are you open to closing parts of the internet?

TRUMP: I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure as hell don't want to let people who want to kill us and kill our nation use our Internet. Yes, sir, I am.

SCIUTTO: Trump seemed stumped on a question about the nation's nuclear triad's capability to launch nuclear bombs from the air, land and sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The three legs of the triad, though, do you have a priority? I want to go to senator Rubio after that and ask him.

TRUMP: I think, to me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Rubio, do you have a response?

RUBIO: I do. First, let's explain to people at home what the triad is. Maybe a lot of people haven't heard that terminology before.


SCIUTTO: There was another sensitive moment during the debate when senator Rubio seemed to imply that senator Cruz had revealed classified details about government phone surveillance programs. We learned today that the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Senator Richard Burr, will not be investigating any statements from the Republican debate - Anderson.

COOPER: Jim, thanks very much.

Perspective now on what voters expect in a candidate, or for that matter, commander in chief. Joining us, "Washington Post" syndicated columnist and conservative, Kathleen Parker. Also, Carl Bernstein, a "Washington Post" legend. And CNN military analyst, retired army lieutenant governor, Mark Hertling.

You heard Jim Sciutto's report there. Does it really matter whether Ted Cruz knows what carpet bombing is, Kathleen, or whether Donald Trump knows what the nuclear triad refers to?

KATHLEEN PARKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Well, it kind of reminds people that they don't, you know. And yes, it would be nice if they did know, in advance of using those terms in a public forum.

There are lots of things people learn on the job, obviously, you know that. And you become presidential as you are the president. You learn how to do a lot of the job on the job. But if you're going to start throwing language around that, you sure it is heck ought to do your homework and what it does mean. I was grateful to Marco Rubio for explaining what the triad is. And I was also touched that Donald Trump cares a great deal about the power of nuclear weapons. That was awesome.

COOPER: General Hertling, I mean, when Ted Cruz uses the term carpet bomb or says he's going to find out if sand can glow in the dark, should that instill confidence, do you think, or concern?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It doesn't in me, Anderson. And what I'll tell you is I have listened to the pundits last night and today. It was an interesting debate, but I don't agree with any of them that any issue of national security was addressed adequately. That's what the debate was supposed to be about.

And like Michael Smerconish last night, I was taking copious notes and trying to figure out what was going on. And I was alternating between being amused by Trump talking about something he knew nothing about, the nuclear triad, which he will get that briefcase the first day of office, where he has all the nuclear codes. You had Ted Cruz talking about carpet bombing, where he obviously didn't know he was violating the laws of land warfare by doing that.

I was not only amused, but embarrassed that we were continuing to talk tough instead of talking smart from our political candidates. And that our friends and some of our enemies all around the world are hearing this. Not only ISIS, but Russia. And as reported today, Prime Minister Cameron in the UK is making fun of one of our candidates.

And finally, I was angered. You know, it's continuing the sound bites of every solution is to bomb more, send in forces, and we are talking about a generational issue in this fight against ISIS. And yet, people are treating it like a very simple problem. It's just really unfortunate.

COOPER: Carl, I want to play one particular exchange about the scale and the scope of U.S. military action against ISIS. This is between rand Paul and Chris Christie. Let's play this.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're in favor of World War III, you have your candidate. You know, here is the thing. My goodness, what we want in a leader is someone with judgment. Not someone who is so reckless as to stand on the stage and say, yes, I'm jumping up and down. I'm going to shoot down Russian planes.

CHRISTIE: What reckless is calling Assad a former. What reckless is, is allowing Russia to come into Crimea and Ukraine. What reckless is, is inviting Russia into Syria to team with Iran. That is reckless. And the reckless people are the folks in the White House right now. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the reckless people.


COOPER: Carl, it was an interesting in the exchange. And we saw many like it, because there really is this divide in the GOP. I mean, you have the Rand Paul on one side, Chris Christie, you have Rubio and Cruz.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think Rubio and Cruz are too far apart in their bellicosity, actually. I think there was a recklessness that was astonishing to the whole debate. A bellicosity, an ignorance about real foreign policy and national security policy and history. We carpet bombed last in Vietnam, didn't work. These strategies of

going in on our own and boots on the ground to satisfy an apocalyptic, which I can't say, vision that ISIS would like us, to be invited in, to see our soldiers beheaded. This is real recklessness.

And the generals, if you talk to the generals, you talk to the foreign policy experts as in the national security community, they are horrified by this kind of talk.

[20:10:41] COOPER: Kathleen, were you surprised? I mean, Cruz and Rubio have -- sorry, Trump and Cruz have taken shots at each other out on the campaign trail in interviews, sometimes privately, out on the campaign trail, but on the stage, Donald Trump saying, he's a good guy. I've gotten to know him over the last couple of days.

PARKER: Yes, they have discovered each other in some fresh way that we don't know about, but maybe that's just Las Vegas, you know. It has that effect on people sometimes.

But, you know, just to talk about Trump for a minute, I can't imagine that anyone would feel comfortable with him as commander in-chief.

COOPER: He is leading in the polls?

PARKER: Well, I know that. But again, polls, I think it's very important that we keep polls in perspective. I mean, yes, he is leading. But a lot of the people who love him are not actually demographically the people who show up to vote. I have been talking to pollsters today. People have been in that business for a very long time and how they judge a poll today versus what's going to happen down the line. And there is a vast difference. We still have several more debates, before even Iowa. So we don't know what those poll numbers actually mean.

And remember when Trump was talking to Jeb Bush. And he was saying, yes, you're the tough guy, Jeb, and rolling his eyes and all of that. Jeb's got a little bit -- I don't know why I'm calling him "Jeb." Governor Bush said, well, you can't just insult people, you can't become commander in chief if you're going to insult people all the way up. And Trump said, all I know, Jeb, I'm at 41 and you're at three percent. And Jeb Bush said, it doesn't matter.

And of course, what he's saying is, it does not matter what your poll numbers are. What we're talking about is the character and temperament of the person who is in charge of the security of this country. And what the poll numbers say is not really relevant to the discussion about who's going to make the best commander in chief. And historically, when you talk about the importance of historical context, I mean, Bush is a student, you know. He has -- he does have the context more than some people who just don't take the time to pick up the books and read them.

So I think that even though he didn't come across very well and, you know, even though his poll numbers are now still diving, you know, he is the more -- he's trying to make the point by attacking Trump and pointing out his over the top commentary, that this is a serious, serious job and she's a serious, serious candidate. Now, whether that plays out in a different way towards the actual caucuses and the primaries, I don't know.

COOPER: General Hertling, I mean, you know, the so-called commander in-chief test is not only about what happens in the battle field, but also, here at home. I know you feel strongly about Bowe Bergdahl being brought into this campaign, particularly about what Donald Trump has been saying.

HERTLING: Indeed. And I think Lindsey Graham, Senator Graham got a little fired up about that in the undercard debate. And basically said, hey, as the president -- and I would even expand that and say, even as a candidate, you can't say those kind of things. And the reason why is, it's not just the verbosity and what's being say, it affects the trial.

I can potentially see in a general court-marshal which I have learned before, the lawyers coming up and saying, our client can't get a fair trial, because if there is anybody on the jury that is a Trump supporter, they have heard Donald Trump say, the guy should be found guilty and executed.

So you are affect -- it's something we in the military call command influence. And you can have it in a military trial. But, again, it goes back I think to what I've said to you before, Anderson. We in the military judge our leaders on three very distinct categories -- character, presence, and intellect. And in each one of the candidates last night, I saw a lack in some of those areas.

COOPER: General Hertling, Carl Bernstein, Kathleen Parker, thank you very much.

Coming up next, how the debate went down with a group of voters you may not have heard much about until now, Independents and Republicans who happen to be Muslim.

Later we will check back in Baltimore, get the facts and what happens next now that the prosecutors have failed to get a conviction in the first case they brought.


[20:17:46] COOPER: One of the sharpest confrontations came early last night in Las Vegas. Jeb Bush taking aim at Donald Trump's planned moratorium on any and all non-American Muslims entering the country.


BUSH: This is not a serious proposal. In fact, it will push the Muslim world, the Arab world away from us at a time when we need to re-engage with them to be able to create a strategy to destroy ISIS. So Donald, you know, is great at the one-liners. But he is a chaos candidate. And he would be a chaos president. He would not be the commander in chief we need to keep our country safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, beyond alienating potential allies in the war on ISIS, there is also the risk of alienating conservative voters who might happen to be Muslim. They have seen threats against their community as well as actual attacks on it ramped up recently and they vote.

Some watched the debate and spoke to our Randi Kaye.


BLITZER: Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Thank you. I began this journey -


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was the reaction when Donald Trump first appeared during the CNN Republican debate. This group of mostly Republican and independent Muslim Americans found little reason to cheer for him.

TRUMP: Radical, Islamic terrorism came into effect even more son that it has been in the past. And we have opened up a very big discussion that needed to be opened up.

KAYE: A discussion those here believes puts them at risk. In fact, at this school in southern Florida where we watched the debate, someone spray painted the words "F Muslims" in bright, red letters on the wall, just days after Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the first time that Muslims are fearing for their life, for their children.

KAYE: This woman says some of her Muslim friends have been called terrorists and spit on in public.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wherever there is anti-Islamic rhetoric in the country, there is always a huge backlash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very easy for women who are described to be identified as Muslims. Puts a lot of attention on Muslim women. So definitely there is an air of ac anxiety.

KAYE: During the debate, Mr. Trump once again defended his call to ban Muslims, saying it's about safety and security, not religion. This group doesn't buy that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives ISIS propaganda. ISIS wants to make it seem like the west does not want Muslims. That it is fighting a war against Islam. And that they represent Islam and therefore, they are the only refugee we have.

[20:20:10] KAYE: This independent voter likes Jeb Bush and agrees with him that the U.S., instead, must engage the Arab world in order to defeat ISIS.

Why is this election so important for the Muslim community?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because, unfortunately, the Muslim country has been thrown in the middle, as a political tool. What is a cheap shot, like Trump is doing, and saying things so he can look tough, like he's in a show business? But this is not show business.

KAYE: This group isn't only turned off by Trump, but also by Ted Cruz and his idea to, quote, "carpet bomb ISIS territories."

Watching this debate, was there anything that offended you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the idea of like, we're just going to carpet bomb people. And I think that's a very barbaric and primitive way to address a situation.

KAYE: Does it make you angry watching this debate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it does. Because none of the candidates have talked about a diplomatic solution (INAUDIBLE). All they are talking about, carpet bombing, killing the families of the terrorists. Or just go after breaking the Muslim community. And that is not a solution.

KAYE: This community is hopeful whatever the strategy is, it won't point the finger at them.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


COOPER: Digging deeper now with Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."

You know, I keep thinking back to George W. Bush in the days - I mean, just in the days after 9/11, visiting a mosque and making a point to say, this is not -- we're not in a war against Islam. There were real strategic reasons for saying that?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Absolutely. Bush I think really understood at heart, this was a debate within the world of Islam. That he needed to enlist the majority, the moderates, the Arab states, you know, Muslims in various communities, to speak out against radicals. To speak out against extremism.

But it's also, you know, true that within the United States, when he fought the election in 2000, he had courted the Muslim community in America quite aggressively. And you know, he had found that nobody knows, because we don't have good polling on this, but it appears he actually did better than Gore, because, first of all, the whole idea of a Muslim community in America, these are desperate people. There is some from Pakistan, some from Malaysia, some from Egypt. They don't think of themselves as one, until all of this, really. In a weird way, Trump has herded them into one space, where they would have ordinarily thought of a conservative businessman from Malaysia, a professional from turkey would have parted themselves very different from a Palestinian refugee on the other hand. COOPER: And to paint an entire group of billions of people with a

very broad brush, I mean, it can be a dangerous thing. I mean, just, from a strategic standpoint, it is, essentially, what opponents want? It is what groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda actually want.

ZAKARIA: And they keep making this point. They talk about ISIS propaganda, is talks about a gray zone. They see themselves as representing a kind of radical, in their view, pure version of Islam. Then there is the infidels and that gray zone of people in the middle. They are trying to make sure there is no gray zone.

COOPER: Right. In fact, it is often it's the moderates who get attacked first by these groups, because they don't want there to be this gray zone. They want it to be black and white, them or us.

ZAKARIA: And if you think about it right now, you know, the war against ISIS, the vast majority of the people dying Muslim, from the vast majority of people who are fighting ISIS are Muslim. The Kurds, the Turks, whoever is going out there, the Sunni Arabs, there are virtually no, you know, Americans, Christians, non-Muslims in the fight. It is Muslims, moderate Muslims, if you will, trying to take on the radicals. And what we should be doing, it seems to me, is supporting those people, encouraging them and making them feel, no, you represent what we see as the world of Islam, not ISIS.

COOPER: I mean, it was one of the points that Lindsey Graham made on the undercard debate, which is, what do you say to the king of Jordan, who is an ally in this fight, you know, this offends huge numbers of people in Jordan, you know, does the king of Jordan not get allowed into the country? I mean, he is Muslim.

ZAKARIA: Well, part of the, you know, the difficulty, I think the media is having is how to deal with a proposal that is, you know, quite frankly, nonsensical, right. He begins by saying, it's a complete and total shutdown of all Muslims, then he says, no, I don't mean American citizens. Then somebody asks him about government officials. He says, no, we'll make an exception for that. And then someone asked about athletes. He said, no, we would make an exception for that. So first of all, it's not a complete and total shutdown.

Secondly, there is no way to figure out who is a Muslim. So the whole thing is so preposterous that you almost feel like, I'm not going to take this seriously as a policy proposal. What it really is, is you're trying to push a button. You're trying to get at people's gut by playing with their fears. And that's the level at which Trump is doing it. He doesn't even bother to defend the proposal. Well, we have to do something. Meaning, I just wanted to raise these fears and you can debate the policy proposals, if you want.

[20:25:20] COOPER: Fareed Zakaria. Fareed, thank you very much.

Just ahead tonight, the battle between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heating up. The junior senator didn't attack front-runner Donald Trump much last night. Instead, they saved their punches for each other. See what's at stake for them and what sets them apart.


[20:29:30] COOPER: Fresh from last night's debate in Las Vegas, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz hit the campaign trail today, hoping to capitalize on their debate performances. The two rivals traded punches last night, repeatedly slamming each other's record in the Senate, when Cruz bashed Rubio for co-sponsoring the gang of eight immigration reform bill, Rubio hit back with this.


RUBIO: As far as ted's record, I'm always puzzled by his attack on this issue. Ted, you support legalizing people who are in this country illegally. Ted Cruz supported a 500 percent increase in the number of H1b visas, the guest workers that are allowed in to this country. And Ted supports doubling the number of green cards.

CRUZ: I understand that Marco wants to raise confusion. It is not accurate what he just said that I supported legalization. Indeed, I led the fight against his legalization and amnesty bill. And you know, there was one commentator that put it this way, that for Marco to suggest our record's the same, is like suggesting the fireman and the arsonist have the same record, because they're both at the scene of the fire.


COOPER: Well, that's pretty much how it went all night between the two. Their long-simmering feud now a full-on boil. Both senators similarly in many ways, they are similar in many ways, but are very far apart on others. One thing they do have in common, their determination to be their party's alternative to Donald Trump. Tom Foreman takes a closer look.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even in the fiery midst of the year's final GOP debate, the fight between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio stood out.

TED CRUZ: Marco knows what he's saying isn't true.

MARCO RUBIO: It sounds like what he's outlining is not to lead at all.

FOREMAN: In some ways, the clash might seem surprising. Both are Cuban Americans, both 44, both conservative, both junior senators from southern states. But that's where the similarities end.

CRUZ: ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism will face no more determined foe than I will be.

FOREMAN: When Cruz lit up phrases about bombing terrorists Rubio said the Texan had undercut funding for the very planes needed for the job.

RUBIO: We are going to be left with the oldest and the smallest Air Force we have ever had. FOREMAN: When Rubio railed about Cruz's backed legislation to curb

government data collection, Cruz came right back.

CRUZ: The metadata program was a valuable tool that we no longer have at our disposal.


CRUZ: Well, you know, I would note that Marco knows what he's saying isn't true.

FOREMAN: And on it went. On immigration, Rubio punching, Cruz countering.

RUBIO: As far as Ted's record, I'm always puzzled by his attack on this issue. Ted, you support legalizing people who are in this country illegally.

CRUZ: I understand that Marco wants to raise confusion. It is not accurate, what he just said, that I supported legalization.

FOREMAN: The two have decidedly different political styles. Even away from the debate stage, Cruz is the go-it-alone crusader who's often seen as uncompromising, to a fault, and Rubio tries harder to get along with the Republican old guard, even as he presents himself as a reformer.

But what really has them at odds right now is math. The whole party is looking to see who will emerge as the chief challenger to Donald Trump and these two men know only one person can have that job. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Lots to talk about. Joining me now, CNN political commentator, Amanda Carpenter. She's the former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz. Also, CNN senior political reporter, Nia-Malika Henderson. So, Amanda, you've got Cruz, you've got Rubio head-to-head last night. If Trump does falter, do you see this race as possibly just coming down to the two of them?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Absolutely. I do think that. And a lot of people have forecasted it would come down to them. It's really interesting. We've seen sort of the governor's fall as a collective class and the senators rise. And one of the reasons I think that is, is because the Senate has been the closest, most proximate place for someone to really fight against the Obama agenda. While the governors want to look back and talk about their records, they weren't really in the middle of the fight. So, I do see a Cruz/Rubio primary happening, but for the life of me, I can't figure out why Rubio is picking these fights right now with Ted Cruz, reminding the conservative base of what they view as his greatest sin with the gang of eight, rather than trying to take away support from Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and the others in the so-called establishment lane. COOPER: Well, Nia, I mean the Rubio factor, here's someone that many

say has been effective debate after debate, and yet, he hasn't made really major stumbles so far. Is this someone you can see the GOP coalescing around?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: It's anybody's guess. I mean I think the hope point now, right, is that Donald Trump will just implode. That, obviously, hasn't happened. In that group, where Rubio is, you've got Chris Christie, who had a pretty good debate last night, hasn't been able to gain any traction nationally, but is doing well in New Hampshire. And I thought Jeb Bush was all of a sudden much more relevant, at least on that debate stage. He certainly got a lot of money. Perhaps, he is able to camp out in New Hampshire and gain some traction there.

I think Rubio's problem, he's great on that debate stage. But sort of the Rubio surge has yet to happen, at least in polls. And if you talk to folks, his ground game certainly isn't as good as Ted Cruz's is. And so, you wonder where he starts to play. Is it Nevada? He does look a little strong in New Hampshire. But he's got to figure out where he is able to make his stand. It really is, I think, all about the identity he's tried to carve out, which is to be everything to everybody. Which is a really tough thing to do, to be a kind of bridge between sort of the Tea Party, conservatives and the establishment as well.

COOPER: Amanda, talking about the ground game. Cruz seems to have been playing kind of a long, a long war strategy, a long game strategy. He's been, you know, campaigning a lot in the South.


How strong of a ground game does he have?

CARPENTER: Listen. He's known that this is probably going to be a longer race just due to the nature of having so many contestants in the field. You can't count on just winning Iowa and getting slingshot momentum that will take you through the three states. It's probably going to come down to the super Tuesday. And so, he's been visiting a lot of places like Georgia. He's got a strong support network in Texas and the other Southern states. And so, he is prepared to go the distance through February, in the month of March, whereas I think other candidates are looking for momentum from the early states.

You know, we've seen the last two cycles. You can win Iowa. That's great. It's a good start. It hasn't meant anything the two previous cycles. Although, I think this is a little bit different. Many people who have not been inclined to support Cruz are coming his way, because they see Cruz as a way of blunting Trump's momentum. And he becomes a more practical alternative to Donald Trump.

COOPER: Nia, I mean, I was talking to Van Jones last night. He was saying that, you know, as a Democrat, the people that, the person that Hillary Clinton does not want to face up against is Marco Rubio. Do you agree with that? HENDERSON: That's right. And Marco Rubio very much aware of that notion among Democrats. He sent out a note to that effect, to his supporters today, via e-mail, saying that he's the one the Democrats fear. He does, I think, pose challenges for Hillary Clinton, almost in the same way that Barack Obama posed challenges for Hillary Clinton. He is young, he's a fresh face, he's a minority. That certainly helps him.

You know, he is basically -- he would be sort of the dream candidate that would come out of the GOP autopsy report, right? Somebody who could expand the base of the party and perhaps appeal to Latinos. What's interesting here is, that that appeal to Latinos with his backing of immigration reform might be the big deal breaker among GOP primary voters, and we saw that last night. That's going to be something that he's going to have to continue to explain and that Ted Cruz is really going to want to hit him on, as well as Rand Paul making immigration reform and illegal immigration a security issue.

COOPER: Nia-Malika Henderson and Amanda Carpenter, thank you both.

Up next, more on our breaking news tonight. A hung jury and a mistrial in the Freddie Gray case leading to new protests on the streets of Baltimore tonight. Kind of late update on that. As well as where all this leaves the case against the first officer to stand trial, and five others who are still waiting for their day in court.



COOPER: Back to our breaking news. A hung jury and a mistrial for the first police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a broken neck in police custody. Baltimore on edge tonight. People took to the streets, along with an especially heavy police presence. Gray's family is among those appealing for calm. So are Baltimore authorities and so far, calm has prevailed. I want to check in with Brian Todd who is in Baltimore for us tonight. What are you seeing where you are, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this has been a pivotal moment for the city and so far things have been pretty peaceful. This is kind of an example of what you're seeing in the city of Baltimore tonight. Behind me, three unmarked police vans full of officers. Police trying to maintain a visible presence here, but not an overbearing, not an overwhelming presence. They are, in several streets here, patrolling around kind of subtly, just walking the streets, and hanging around, waiting for any possible protests to happen. This is -- we're walking the route now along Gay Street where there was a protest march earlier tonight. It came up this way and then it came across Gay Street over here to the Baltimore Juvenile Justice Center, where protesters were basically protesting against the arrest and detention of a 16-year-old young man, who was taken into custody after scuffling with sheriff's deputies. There was one other arrest of a protester for doing the same thing down around the city hall and the courthouse area. And that's really the extent of the clashes tonight, Anderson.

Protesters have just broken up here a short time ago. This was a critical moment. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, police commissioner Kevin Davis had all appealed for calm. Community leaders said they were going to be out tonight in some of the critical areas where we saw such violence back in April to appeal for people to stay calm, and if you wanted to protest, certainly you can be loud and be passionate, but don't break the law and don't engage with police. And that is pretty much how it played out tonight, Anderson.

Again, a very critical moment. People here not necessarily pleased with a mistrial, but kind of waiting to see what the next step is.

COOPER: Well, just legally, what is the next step from the D.A.? How closely are the protesters? And I assume protesters are watching that very closely?

TODD: They are watching it very closely. The lead prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, may make a decision as early as tomorrow on whether to re-try Officer William Porter. That's going to be kind of a critical phase here. Because you have got five other trials, of course, of Baltimore city police officers aside from Porter's case. Porter's case was going to be critical. You've got another case, I believe, coming up in January, where Officer Caesar Goodson, his trial may start in January. All of these trials are going to be playing out between now and March. So protesters and protest leaders are watching the next step very carefully. We don't hear of any planned protests for tomorrow, but these things are very dynamic. They're very spontaneous. Maybe depending on what the prosecutor says tomorrow, about a possible retrial of Officer Porter, you may see another protester's presence.

COOPER: Brian Todd, appreciate it. Joining us now, two former federal prosecutors, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin, and CNN law enforcement analyst and former NYPD detective, Harry Houck. Were you surprised by this, Sunny?

SUNNY HOSTIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I wasn't surprised by this, actually.

COOPER: You said she had rushed the charges?

HOSTIN: I've been critical of the decision that the state's attorney made, only because we know that Freddie Gray was arrested on April 12TH. He died on April 19TH in the hospital. She announced her charges on May 1st, Anderson. I have never, in my career, seen murder charges brought against six different defendants in under two weeks. You just simply cannot investigate and put a theory together for a trial that quickly. And so, I'm not surprised that this jury struggled with this case. And I think that we need to call it what it is. This really is a loss for the prosecution. Prosecutors win about 95 percent of their cases. There's a 95 percent conviction rate. Only 5 percent of cases end up in a hung jury. And so, this is a really big problem for the prosecution, especially because they say they needed Porter's testimony for the next two trials. One is January 4TH, which is the van driver, Officer Goodson. The next one is January 25TH, which is Sergeant White. So if you don't have that information, if you don't have that testimony, what do you do? And the public's confidence, I think, in the system, has been shaken, because of really prosecutorial immaturity.


COOPER: Well, Jeffrey, you have been saying all along, the case against Porter wasn't very strong.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And you know, think about it. There was no witness to Porter's behavior, except Porter himself. And Porter testified, and from all that I can tell, he was a credible witness. And he, by the prosecution's own acknowledgment, did call for help, for medical help at some point. Now, the theory of the prosecution case was that he should have strapped him in, he should have strapped Freddie Gray into the van and that he called too late. Those are tough -- that's a tough basis on which to charge -- to convict a police officer with basically a good record. And the jury didn't do it. Now, I think one of the key issues that we don't know the answer to is how the jury split. Was it 11-1 for conviction? Was it 11-1 for an acquittal? That could have a big impact on whether the prosecutor re-tries this case. But in any case, this is a very bad result for the prosecution. And I think all of these cases are in jeopardy now.

COOPER: And Harry, obviously, this has an impact on all the other cases as well.

HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Sure, exactly. This is definitely a loss for the prosecution in this case. I never thought there was any evidence at all against police officer Porter. You know, all the evidence that I saw that was put forth in this case here, regarding it, was statements that he had allegedly made. The statements he made were fine. I mean he informed his sergeant that Gray wanted to go to the hospital. There's no evidence to indicate whether or not, if he went to the hospital, at that time or at the hospital when he finally did, go at a time, had anything to do with his death at all. Would he have lived? There's no -- there's no medical examiner out there that's saying that he would have lived if he went to the hospital any earlier.

COOPER: Right.

HOUCK: So, you know, and as a police officer, you're not -- you're not a doctor. You need -- you've got a little leeway there to be able to make a decision on whether or not somebody wants to go to the hospital or not.

COOPER: Was it a mistake, Sunny, to try Porter first?

HOSTIN: I think so.

COOPER: Or did they think this was the easiest one?

HOSTIN: My understanding is that they tried Porter first, because they needed him to get to Goodson, who is, I think, in their view, the most culpable, the van driver, and they needed Porter's testimony to try to convict Sergeant White. And so, they had to do it this way, once all of the trials were sort of separated, but the bottom line is, if the prosecution thought that he was the low-hanging fruit. If the prosecution thought that that was the easiest or least-culpable defendant, then you give that guy immunity. You don't try that guy. If he won't take a plea, you give the guy immunity and you try to get a conviction against the one that you think was the bad or the one that you think was the worst.

TOOBIN: And I don't think the people of Baltimore would rebel if five officers were prosecuted versus six. It just doesn't have a political or even a great moral significance, the difference between five and six. And the reason why prosecutors usually start with their best case is that it starts a cascade. If you convict one person, you can then usually get plea bargains with the rest of them.

HOSTIN: Exactly.

TOOBIN: So the idea of starting with your weakest case, which now has led to this bad result for the prosecution, leaves them in a worse situation than if they've never charged him at all.

COOPER: So, what happens now?

TOOBIN: I think they've got to try the other cases, with the evidence they have. And Sunny was talking to some of the lawyers involved here, and learned that the lawyers for Porter are not ready? You know, the prosecution, when they want a retrial, they usually say, let's start on Monday. The defense lawyers have other commitments. They're going to push this thing months down the road, which, you know, I think is just, again, bad news for the prosecution.

HOUCK: I see them retrying the case.

COOPER: Retrying ...

HOUCK: Yeah, they have - this is for me, this is a political prosecution. I don't think there's any evidence here at all, Porter or at least the three officers that took him down, that are responsible for the death of Freddie Gray here, so, I think that they have to try him again, just for political reasons.

COOPER: I think the politics are -- I think Harry's exactly right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think what's so interesting about it is, how can they make the decision so quickly to re-try Porter. This is a case where you've got to go back to the office, you've got to get the transcripts, you've got to try to interview jurors, you've got to have an executive meeting and figure out, can we win this case? If they announce tomorrow, quite frankly, that they're charging Officer Porter, it's another example of prosecutorial indiscretion.

COOPER: Sunny ....


COOPER: Jeff Toobin, as well, Harry Houck as well. Thank you.

Just ahead, I'm going to talk to the great family attorney Billy Murphy about how the family is doing tonight and what comes next, what they think about this development. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Tonight's breaking news, Freddie Gray's family calling for calm tonight, urging the people of Baltimore to wait for justice. They made their plea just hours after a judge declared a mistrial in the trial of Officer Michael Porter, one of six officers charged in the death of Mr. Gray. Joining me now, Billy Murphy, the Gray family attorney. Thanks for joining us. Were you surprised by the mistrial today? Was the family surprised?

BILLY MURPHY, ATTORNEY: No. This is an obvious possibility in a case like this, because people from different parts of the community have a totally different perspective on policing. And Officer Friendly who lives in the white community and Officer Un-friendly tends to live in the black community. So I'm not surprised.

COOPER: We were talking just to our legal analysts, Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin before the break. Both of them thought perhaps this was a rushed prosecution. That the charges were listed very quickly after the death of Freddie Gray. Do you think the prosecutor moved too quickly on bringing this first case to trial?

MURPHY: No, I think they brought a straightforward case. It was an obvious case to bring. And I don't fault the prosecution at all for the speed in which they accomplish their objective.


It's going to be a fresh start, as you know, Anderson, because the prosecution is going to go forward with, again, a second trial for Officer Porter, and they're going to reach a scheduling agreement with the judge tomorrow afternoon, and that's when we'll find out what Porter's new trial date is. And again, it's starting from scratch.

COOPER: Does this impact, though, the other cases?

MURPHY: So I wouldn't make anything out of this -- No, I don't think so. I think jurors are intelligent enough to react only to the evidence. But they bring a different lens, depending on what their experience with the police has been.

COOPER: So you're hoping a different jury will just have a different outcome?

MURPHY: Well, across the country, there are about 5 percent of all trials which end in hung juries or without a verdict, and in 70 percent of the trials that are brought again on the same evidence, the prosecution wins. So, the prosecution still has a good chance to get back in the game. COOPER: Is it your supposition they're going to retry Porter or do

you know that for a fact?

MURPHY: Well, I think it's pretty clear. The prosecution is meeting with the judge to set a new trial date, and that means that they're going to go against Porter again.

COOPER: Freddie Gray's stepfather issued a statement, thanking the jury for their service, asking for the public to stay calm. Is the family concerned about possible reaction in the streets?

MURPHY: Yes, the family wants peace. The family wants justice from the jury, and they appreciated the jury's service. They appreciated the jury's sacrifice, leaving their homes and families to participate in this case, leaving their jobs. The family believes that the jury worked very hard to try to reach a verdict, but they just couldn't agree on the evidence. And that means that there were a substantial number of people on both sides, probably. One side wanting guilty on some of the charges or all, and the other side voting not guilty, so the prosecution has room for hope and the defense has room for hope.

COOPER: Billy Murphy, appreciate you being on tonight. Thanks very much. A lot more ahead tonight, including presidential republican politics. How Donald Trump spent the day trying to leverage his debate performance into a post-debate bounce.