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Countdown To Iowa, New Hampshire; Trump, Palin Hit The Road Amid GOP Chaos; Palin Links Son's Arrest To Pres. Obama On Vets, PTSD; Trump Rips Cruz: "Worse Than Hillary"; Bob Dole: Trump Better Option Than Cruz; Cruz: GOP Establishment Wants Trump; What Do Iowans Think Of Palin's Trump Endorsement?; Trump, Cruz Vie For Evangelical Vote In Iowa; New Poll: Trump Leads In N.H., But Many Voters Still Undecided; Iowa Dead Hat, N.H. Mad Dash Amid Attacks; Will The Sanders Surge Squash Clinton?; New Email Woes For Hillary Clinton; Clinton, Sanders Jockey For Iowa Edge; Poll: Sanders Hold Massive Lead Over Clinton In N.H.; Tension Rise Between Clinton, Sanders. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired January 20, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:40] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Welcome. Tonight with Iowa and New Hampshire fast approaching with Sarah Palin entering stage right. And Hillary Clinton facing challenges including big new questions about her e-mails, with a self-proclaimed socialist rising and a guy name bush struggling with so many strange and captivating developments that we all seem to be talking about.

We're devoting the entire hour tonight to precisely that, a conversation with the people were right in the middle of all. Joining us, CNN Political Commentator's Amanda Carpenter and Peter Barnhart. She's a former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz. He's a contributor at The Atlantic. Also CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. New York Times Op-Ed Columnist, Frank Bruni. CNN Political Commentator Tara Setmayer and who worked as communications director for Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

The first topic tonight, Sarah Palin endorsing Donald Trump and campaigning for him today after a short delay to deal with their son's legal difficulties, which she talks about on the campaign trail. We'll show you that. Amanda, do you think Sarah Palin has the power that she once has particularly in Iowa?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, without a doubt the speech she delivered last night did not compare to her 2008 convention speech. I mean things have changed for Sarah Palin. That said, Donald Trump is pulling out all the big stops. I think it says a lot about Ted Cruz that Donald Trump is rolling out the Palin endorsement.

Right now Governor Benson is coming out against Cruz right now. So, there's a big, fat target on Ted Cruz' back. And, you know, Sarah Palin though I don't -- I got to say, I don't know how good of a surrogate she's going to be for Donald Trump seen a performance.

COOPER: You also have Bob Dole coming out attacking Ted Cruz essentially saying it would be a huge hurt. It would hurt the party.

CARPENTER: Which has been, you're going to raise a lot of money off that one, too.


TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You talk about, you know, having political capital. I mean God bless Bob Dole but I don't think he really matters at this right.

COOPER: Does Sarah Palin matter?

SETMAYER: I think Sarah Palin matters to a certain degree. In Iowa this was a great stunt by Donald Trump. We are talking about this. It is put Ted Cruz, his message out of the day to day messaging. We're talking about Palin, we're not talking about Cruz. And you're right, Amanda, I was on the convention floor in 2008 when she delivered that speech.

CARPENTER: Such a great moment.

SETMAYER: And it was a fantastic speech and people were inspired. I don't know who that was last night. I mean, the Sarah Palin of today is someone that I think is more problematic than people realize in that?

COOPER: How so?

SETMAYER: Well, just look at the speech was all over the place. She's more of an entertainer now. She was shrill the whole time. It was almost tough to listen to. I almost felt embarrassed for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah I think she's going to hide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a series of yelps.

SETMAYER: Yeah it was.

COOPER: Do you think she's just rusty?

SETMAYER: I think it's a combination of not only being rusty, but I think that she's recognized that she has gone into the entertainment aspect of things. She's a conservative entertainer now. She went from reality shows to, you know, to what she's doing now and it showed. And I don't know, I mean, it's perfect for Trump. That's what he does. But is that in the long run going to be ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's perfect for Trump.

GLORIA BORGER, CNNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she is, because she gives him credibility on his conservatism. I mean, Ted Cruz, you know, has been attacking Trump.

CARPENTER: That's why Trump picked her out.

BORGER: On his conservative credentials she says Donald Trump is a conservative with the evangelicals.

CARPENTER: But he's not a conservative.

SETMAYER: Trump is not conservative.

BORGER: Well but this is what Sarah Palin is doing, right?


SETMAYER: Of course.

BORGER: And then with evangelicals and also she had this great sort of anti-establishment spill that she was wrapping to basically, right?


CARPENTER: ... standing next to a conservative and saying, "OK, now I'm conservative now. That's a pretty hard to pull off.

PETER BIENART, THE ATLANTIC CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: But it's not, it's the thing about the Palin endorsement it shows it's not about being a conservative anymore, it's being about the guy that the establishment hates.


BEINART: If the establishment hates you more than anybody else, you are the guy to that Republicans want and that's essentially the inform mature that she said Donald Trump is hated more than Ted Cruz, therefore he is more offensive to more people in this country therefore he's our guy.

FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: There is a downside to this Palin endorsement that no one's talking about. When you look at Trump on stage last night owing an eye over an endorsement, he looked like a very conventional candidate. He's gotten to this point by being the most unconventional candidate we've ever seen.

And now all of the sudden he's giving sort of issue specific speeches in given places. He's running commercials, he's going to Liberty University. He's doing all these paces of a conventional candidate and a conventional campaign and that's not what has gotten him to this point.

[21:05:01] JEFFREY TOOBIN, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORKER: I did not think anything about that event. Yesterday in was conventional. Well, I mean I thought, you know, that that was so real for him more than conventional. But, I do think, you know, that is a remarkable moment especially the Republican Party that the more people who hate you, the better you're doing. I mean Ted Cruz has built his entire career on people hating him and Bob Dole is the perfect anti-endorsement for him, because Bob Dole is a perfect embodiment of the old Washington threat.

BORGER: Why you say Bob Doll used to be dislike.

BRUNI: Right.

SETMAYER: I mean I remember when nobody left, I do.

BEINART: You know, people you state at the left likes to wallow in victim politics. There was no group than is wallowing in victim politics more intensely today than people on the right. Essentially, the most important thing for them to know is that the supposed culture or elite's to run everything, hate you. If they know that about you, then that's what they want.

COOPER: Will Sarah Palin was supposed to campaign earlier in the day in Iowa with Trump? She didn't do that. She did show up later in the day and she talked particularly about the legal troubles that her son, Track is having because he's been arrested on allegedly domestic violence issues. I want to play what she said because she essentially linked it to President Obama and treatment of veterans. Let's watch.


SARAH PALIN, (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But my son like so many others, they come back a bit different. They come back hardened. They come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military, so sacrificially have given to this country.

And that starts from that, the top with the shame that our military personnel even have to wonder if they have to question, if they respected anymore. It starts from the top. The question, though, that comes from our own president where they have to look at him and wonder do you know what we go through?


TOOBIN: Yeah, Sarah Palin is saying that her son beat up his girlfriend because of Barack Obama. Now, let us not hesitate to admire anyone who serves their country as Sarah Palin's son did, but how repulsive, how disgraceful.

BEINART: These are the people who believe in responsibility.

TOOBIN: Right.

BEINART: Personal responsibility, right?

TOOBIN: I mean what a thing to say. I mean, it's just ...

SETMAYER: Well, it's clear that Sarah Palin doesn't have an issue taking things like that and giving red meat to Republican primary voters who are very frustrated and upset with the way veterans have been treated under this administration. We're not, you know, unfamiliar with what happened with the V.A. But I think now does that open her up then for people to go in and start digging into her family? Does she really want to go down that road again?

And that's where I say that sometimes, you know, this could be a blessing and a curse that he's bringing her out and she's using this, but then OK now we're going to have a week of stories about her son and PTSD and all of, you know, and her daughter having two kids and all the crazy things that we've gone on in the drama in the Palin family.


COOPER: She got also pointed out the problems that being able to discover under this administration. They probably existed ...

SETMAYER: Absolutely.

COOPER: ... priorities in administration as well.

SETMAYER: You know, in politics it doesn't matter. It's what is happening now, how people feel now and is about perception and their capitalizing on that.

TOOBIN: Who is capitalizing?

CARPENTER: Well I think this is one of the reason, I just don't find her to be super effective sort of that chaos follows Sarah Palin. We've seen this play out again and again and there such a mismatch I think of the direction that Donald Trump may want to go where Sarah Palin has been in the past.

And I know where the Cruz campaign would love to drive this eventually is asking the question of what kind of Republican is Donald Trump? Sarah Palin has stood for these things. The Tea Party stood for all of these things like bail, you know, gets the bailouts. Donald Trump supported the bailouts.

And so, you know, Donald Trump can stand up to Sarah Palin. Pretended to be conservative, he can talk about, you know, how he'll take on special interest but no, we're going to increase the ethanol mandate in Iowa ...


BORGER: He was very effective I thought today in criticizing Cruz, forget let set the birther thing aside but the -- OK. Well that's a big thing to set aside.

CARPENTER: Sarah Palin should answer that.

BORGER: Yeah, but on the senator whose bought and sold by Goldman Sachs and the loans and the, you know, which -- I mean, he keep -- that's his new thing now and he'll keep harping on it to make Cruz look like an establishment person.


BEINART: The problem is that Cruz can't be the establishment opponent to Donald Trump because the establishment hates Ted Cruz more than they hate Donald Trump because they actually know Ted Cruz. That's the problem.


COOPER: What is the establishment, everybody is now trying to make themselves the enemy of the establishment. We're going to talk more about this in just a moment. We'll going to take a quick break.

We'll pick up that thread more and what seems to be Donald Trump's most effective campaign tactic so far going on the attack even against former friend Ted Cruz, that and more when we continue.


[21:08:19] COOPER: Focusing tonight on the state of the presidential race on both sides of the primary. Just ahead tonight, how Bernie Sanders could end up taking both Iowa and New Hampshire, right now, there're more on Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. So far Trump, is going to a boost out of attacking just about every opponent who comes close to him. Cruz, obviously, his current target. He took a fresh shot today.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And he said, with being a Canadian citizen, he said, "Oh, I didn't know that." How did he not know that? Then he said with the loans, "Oh, I didn't know that." Smart guy. He doesn't know that, yeah, that's worse than Hillary, what do you think of that?


COOPER: It's interesting. That was at the event that Sarah Palin was supposed to be at. When he's with Sarah Palin so far, he hasn't taken shots at Cruz even when he was introducing Sarah Palin, didn't mention Cruz by name at all. But when she's not there, he does.

But are the attacks by Trump on Cruz have an effect to mandate, because I want to share the latest Monmouth poll. According to Monmouth, a third of Republicans either don't believe Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen or they're unsure.

CARPENTER: Yeah, I mean, this is something that the Cruz campaign has got to take seriously. And it's fairly easy to arm surrogates with the facts since I expect while Donald Trump is having all these wonderful media attention with Sarah Palin, they are having serious conversations on the ground to walk people through it so that they can take away this question.

But man, it just gets to the fact that Donald Trump -- I just can't get over the fact, he was the Obama birther now he's a Cruz birther. How is Sarah Palin going along with this stuff? I mean, there's a reason why he's not making attacks ...

TOOBIN: You can arm the surrogates all you want.


TOOBIN: But the fact is, it is not clear what a natural born citizen is. I mean, that Trump is, you know, touching on two issues and you know, Trump is good at what he does.

[21:15:02] There is no definitive answer about natural born citizens. Do I ...

CARPENTER: Well, lots of things haven't gone to the Supreme Court that I don't need the Supreme Court to tell me that this guy is bully.

TOOBIN: Yes, I do. But it is not a settled issue. And, you know, his answers on those loans are petty bad that he didn't, you know, he didn't mention it but he happened to get a million dollars from Goldman Sachs. I mean, those are problems with that is.


COOPER: Also you're in arm circuits all you want but the clock is ticking. I mean Iowa is coming up fast.


BIENART: People are -- it is now a question in people's mind, Trump has succeeded in that regard.

BORGER: Why are Republicans coming out and defending Ted Cruz ...

BEINART: Because they hate ...


BORGER: That's my point, that's my point.

SETMAYER: That's true. This is where not having friends in Washington that you know ...


BORGER: Right, like John McCain who was born in the Panama Canal Zone could have come out and defended Cruz and didn't.

TOOBIN: Right.

SETMAYER: But here's the thing, this is the brilliance of Donald Trump. He is a brilliant marketer, brilliant when it comes to messaging and he knows that social reputation creates reality. Repeat it, repeat it. Repeat it. Back to what I've said before, if he is created a perception now that people actually, 24 percent of people don't know, this wasn't even on the radar a couple of months ago. If it Trump himself in September said it wasn't an issue until it was.


SETMAYER: People listen.

BEINART: Because the Trump people distrust the media and distrust so- called experts. It doesn't matter who you put on T. V. ...

SETMAYER: That's correct.

BEINART: ... to tell them that this is actually not true.


BRUNI: There's something else really interesting going on with Trump and Cruz that we haven't talked about and this is one of the things that was in the Bob Dole comment which is you're hearing murmurings from the establishment to the extent that such a thing exists. But they would prefer Trump to Cruz ...


COOPER: About all those your paper essentially he could be a deal maker ...

BRUNI: Yes. Can we talk about how remarkable it is and were at the moment when the Republican Party has so given up hope in it's more traditional candidates the people are actually talking about whether they prefer Trump over Cruz?

CARPENTER: But doesn't that conversation we've been having in the Republican Party since the bailouts in 2008. What do we stand for? If we stand more for having power and performing well on the polls and getting on board with Donald Trump and getting back to the values of the Le Mirage Government, balanced budgets, things like that the GOP is done.

BORGER: But the establishment folk, I mean I'd talked to a couple today and yesterday who said to me and it kind of stunned me to your point, Frank, is that well we would rather have Trump than Cruz and the reason they would rather have Trump than Cruz in this new reality, they find themselves in, is that they believe Cruz would more definitively cost them control of the Senate ...

CARPENTER: And this is the case for Cruz candidacy.

BORGER: ... and this is one establishment whatever that is the Republicans saying to me calling Cruz "dangerous" whereas they believe Donald Trump is more malleable.

BRUNI: But it's either something else she said as not just about the Senate. They -- I hear this all the time. Donald Trump believes in nothing. And this is now suddenly an attribute.

CARPENTER: Is that better?


BRUNI: Donald Trump as you said perfect word is malleable.

COOPER: What exactly what -- I mean, Trump himself has sort of trumped that as one of the characteristics in the past as a businessman and saying look, you know, when I was in New York, I needed to get along with New York politicians and so yeah I donated money I'm businessman. That's what I did but ...

BEINART: Right, I was saying is that Donald Trump is also a authoritarian. Right? He may not have strong idealogical member (ph), but we know he's doesn't have a lot of respect for basic constitutional processes and civil liberties. That when you say you should have a religious test for getting into the country, that's a pretty large deviation.


BEINART: So that's the dangerous thing. You know, he could be left, right and center but what we know is he probably more than Ted Cruz is actually dangerous to our constitutional ...

COOPER: I want to play something Cruz said today about Trump and the establishment because we keep talking about that out of the establishment. Look, let's listen.


TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are seeing more and more the establishment calling out their support for Donald Trump, and if you believe what we need is more deal making, more going along to get along to use his phrase with Harry Reid and Barack Obama and the Democrats, then know you can understand why the establishment is unifying behind him.


COOPER: This does get at the essential heart to your point of what does it mean to be a Republican today? Do you go for compromise or do you stand on principles?

CARPENTER: Yeah and look at what Donald Trump is doing to win. You know, spreading conspiracy theories about Ted Cruz. Going, you know, giving that's in lobbyists in Iowa everything they wanted and more in order to win. I mean, these are not fair tactics and may work.


TOOBIN: What does it say about a political party and what does it say about Cruz that absence of compromise is his main attribute. And remember this is the politician who became known as the national figure by single handedly shutting down the federal government.



CARPENTER: ... on popular live they are, why would you compromise with a failing agenda?


[21:20:02] BEINART: ... the popular rating is 60 percent. It's only -- no, no, the -- it's only among the certain group of older white voters who think the country is in total of apocalypse, that is not the reality as perceived by the majority as a whole. It's important to distinguish these days.


BORGER: Are you sure about the Republican base?

BEINART: Yeah, Barack Obama just 50 percent who was just ...


BORGER: What's a worse thing you can say on the Republican base?

SETMAYER: Because we're talking about his record, we're talking about Donald Trump.

BORGER: That are you are establishment and this is where Cruz was clever, I think. I don't know if it's going to stick but it's a good try to say that Donald Trump is establishment after Sarah Palin spent her entire speech talking about him as anti establishment where men is tell we're not going to take it anymore. It's clever of Cruz.


BRUNI: What's also great about that Cruz sound by, what's funny about it, he's basically saying, "Elect Donald Trump and things may actually happen in Washington. Elect me, I promise you nothing will get done".


SETMAYER: Well, here's where the incongruity of the whole Sarah Palin, Trump thing, so she comes out, she's like the Tea Party favorite, people love her in the Tea Party side, which is an interesting thing to see where the Tea Party has done. It's kind of doesn't exist really the way it used to.

But then, you have Donald Trump who is -- he played by the establishment rules. He gave money to whoever he need it to in order to get things done to be -- he played along with special interests, all the things of the Crony Capitalism charge. Donald Trump embodied that. He -- what I did that how it is. But yet, you're standing next to someone who just railed against all of those things. But here's someone that ...

CARPENTER: He is the good old boy.

SETMAYER: That's right. He plays the game but people don't hear it that way ...

(CROSSTALK) BORGER: But he said he learned from it.

SETMAYER: ... that they rally behind ...

BEINART: Right, right.


BEINART: That's an important part of his appeal.


BEINART: He's says, he is the one -- of the Republican candidates ...


BEINART: ... he's the only one and even Hillary Clinton is not going to say it. Right. He's the only one perhaps behind Bernie Sanders who says, "Our political system is fundamentally corrupt because politicians are bored". And, you know what, that plays really well in both political parties.

COOPER: Right.

BEINART: And most politicians can't say it.

COOPER: There's a lot more to talk about ahead, just ahead tonight. What are the polls not telling us or John King is in Iowa. Time to figure that out. We'll talk to him, next.


[21:26:02] COOPER: Well the clock is ticking, less than two weeks now until the Iowa caucuses just over two weeks until the New Hampshire primary clinched time. The candidates pulling out the stops including what they hope are key endorsements for Donald Trump of course Sarah Palin, they're trying everything they can to move the polls.

The question is, what are the polls not showing. Joining us now from Berlin in Iowa, John King, Chief National Correspondent and Anchor of Inside Politics. John, I know you're cold up there so I appreciate you staying up with us. It is possible?


COOPER: Yeah, yeah.

KING: It's a spring day.

COOPER: Yes exactly. Your teeth are shivering. Is it possible that the polls are not capturing something?

KING: They are always not capturing something. Look we know it's a Trump-Cruz pretty much dead heat here. There's a big fight for third place here. We go move on to New Hampshire. And you always know that the top line of the polls which you don't you know is what's happening underneath and every year, every cycle there is a big shakeup here.

Newt Gingrich his running strong in Iowa until the final week or two back in 2012 then he collapsed here to became a Romney Santorum race. At this point in 2012 Rick Santorum was maybe just into double digits. He ended up winning Iowa with the only 25 percent of the vote. So, when you're out here in the ground in the last few days, you're trying to figure out what am I missing or what are the polls is missing, and part of that is did voters get strategic.

I was talking to Rand Paul's campaign organizations today. They still think they can make a showing here but one of their worry is convincing their people our guy is still viable. Because what you worry about if your a guy is at six or ten and their looking at, you know, Trump at 20 something and Cruz at 20 something, do voters decide and I'm going to go with the winner and my guys still not viable and trade up.

So that's why things get interesting in the final 11 days and some hours now until caucus days. That's why campaigns way more than in the past every day called their most committed supporters even to the point of annoying them, Anderson, saying, are you sure your still with us? Do you need a ride? Where you going to be? Do you remember what time? Do, you know, precinct? Because they are worried especially for the candidates third, fourth and fifth the things could collapse or get into turmoil. That's what makes to the final week and they so much fun.

COOPER: Do you talk about in New Hampshire in there is a new CNN WMUR poll, it shows Trump in a wide lead with the rest of the Republicans and a lot of Republicans still not -- have not made up their minds.

KING: But, if you look at these numbers and again, Trump has a big lead there, which is why a lot of establishment people think that Trump can win Iowa or come in essentially a dead he little behind Ted Cruz, that he won't lose the big lead in New Hampshire.

We have the numbers, 34 percent for Donald Trump in our New CNN WMUR poll. That's a big lead. Yes, there will be some volatility in the polls. Yes, what happens in Iowa always causes at least a bit of a domino affect in New Hampshire often its contrarian affects. The people New Hampshire say no thanks to whatever decision Iowa makes.

But look at Trump at 34. It's hard to move those numbers in a 18 days, 19 days until New Hampshire. Not that people won't try but that's a big lead. Look at Ted Cruz at 14 percent. A lot of people think if Cruz can win here in Iowa, you have spring board to second place in New Hampshire. But what gets interesting in New Hampshire is look at the Bush at 10, Rubio at 10, Kasich and Christie just behind them.

If you add up, Bush, Rubio, Kasich and Christie and throwing maybe Carl Fiorina who is more or less of establishment figure. You get Trump, you get a little bit more than Trump but that the problem for the establishment. There are voters splintered. Will this shift dramatically? 31 percent of Republicans as you noted on that state say this they haven't made a final decision, they're leaning this way or leaning that way. Again, the volatility of the race A all the T.V. ads but B, because it is become more of a national race, the impact of Iowa definitely will somehow stir on the New Hampshire pot, exactly how? We don't know yet.

COOPER: All right, John King, get a hot tatty and go that's catfish bend, whatever that is behind you. Thanks very much. I'm going to bring back here our panel and you see this numbers Gloria, what do you make in New Hampshire? I mean you see Jeb Bush there in double digits.

BORGER: Well this is great for him. And he hasn't been a double digits in quit number.

COOPER: Ten percent.

BORGER: So, this is-- the Jeb Bush come back.

COOPER: That bellows double digit you can get, 10 percent.

CARPENTER: It's happening.

BORGER: Yes, I know. It is his people would love to think it is the Jeb Bush come back. They're happy to be up a little bit. But this establishment lane is so crowded that they are eating their own, you know. Christie and Rubio were fighting, Bush is fighting with Rubio. I mean you just take your pick.

And, so what you have the anti-establishment guys fighting each other and one accusing the other one of being establishment and the establishment guy is fighting each other. I mean it's kind of nutty.

[21:30:10] TOOBIN: In many respects that I -- the second and third place winners are finishers in Iowa, it's more important than winning. I mean, we talk so much about Iowa. I mean, think about who has won the Iowa caucuses over the past 20 years. Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee.

BORGER: George Bush.

COOPER: Santorum.

TOOBIN: Yeah. But George Bush is the only one ...

BRUNI: Rick Santorum.

TOOBIN: Rick Santorum. George W. Bush is the only one who won Iowa and went on to be the nominee. So, we spent all this time focusing on who wins Iowa and then it turns out not to matter.

COOPER: People get a ticket beyond New Hampshire? I mean, how many people can last beyond New Hampshire?


BEINART: Well, I think what makes it unusual this year is the changing role of money. I mean, I think conventional wisdom would be three basically, probably Cruz, Trump and whoever comes in first of that establishment group.

The difference is that you can have someone like Jeb Bush who has so much money, that even if he doesn't do well in New Hampshire, he has the money. Usually, what happens to these candidates run on money.

COOPER: Right.

BEINART: Jeb Bush won't run out of money even if he's rejected by the voters. That's the disaster for let's say, Marco Rubio because if Jeb Bush stick stays in there continuing to spend a lot of money preventing Rubio from establishing himself as that third establishment candidate ...


TOOBIN: Kasich and Christie, Kasich and Christie I think are the two candidates for whom New Hampshire is clearly life or death because they don't have the money.


BRUNI: Yeah.

TOOBIN: ... to continue afterwards. Other than that, I think everybody stays ...


BRUNI: Rubio's problem is we have for months been talking about the brilliant promise of Marco Rubio and poll after poll comes out and there's no substantiation. I mean, he is going to be -- where going to sort of narrative about Rubio that's developing if that's where is he?

COOPER: Positive debates for Rubio.


BEINART: It's partly because there's a gap between the main stream media and the conservative media. The main stream media says Marco Rubio is doing great. But, you listen to conservative media ...


BEINART: ... on Marco Rubio, they hate that guy. They hit it -- no, no, listen. Listen.


COOPER: One at a time, one at a time, one at a time, one at a time.

BEINART: ... had merged as in many ways the single biggest -- and it's not just that. The more the establishment loves him, the more suspect he'd therefore ...


COOPER: So, Tara, you're saying there is not hatred there.

SETMAYER: No, there is not hatred for Marco Rubio by any means. He's the future of the Republican Party. And the problem was that he got into bed with Chuck Schumer's as the world and the canes and all those guys on immigration and even though he's walked back and said that he regretted that, he's evolved, just like Ted Cruz evolved on things, just like Donald Trump who said a couple years ago during that same debate that he amnesty was acceptable as long as border security happened first. But that doesn't facts don't matter in this campaign, apparently.

TOOBIN: Well, apparently speaking of facts, how is Marco Rubio possibly the future of this party when he's giving up his seat in the Senate and if he doesn't win and it certainly doesn't look like he's winning at this point.

SETMAYER: Well, if he doesn't win, then I think he has an opportunity to come back because their are plenty of people who look at Marco Rubio and see his story where he's come from, what he represents and his vision as something that conservatives and the Republican Party rally.


BRUNI: ... but think about this, he began this campaign being very upbeat, that story was central...

STEMAYER: That's correct, that's correct.

BRUNI: ... the tone was sudden.


BRUNI: He has gotten darker and darker and darker and he strayed from what his brand is supposed to be.

BORGER: But he also, he has a foot in each camp and in this race you either are establishment or you are anti-establishment. And the problem for Marco Rubio is that he was for an immigration measure then he changed his mind. The establishment likes him and that's a problem for him and he kind of tries to be polite to that people ...


SETMAYER: ... alternative, changed his mind on a number of issues but on one specific issue, Marco Rubio comes back and says, "No", I mean that the double standard ...


BEINART: If Donald Trump is selling anger and that's what Republicans are buying and Marco Rubio is selling hope and change, right.


BEINART: He was, he was. And now he's giving it up to try to sell the same kind of fear.


COOPER: Amanda the voters that Ted Cruz is appealing to New Hampshire. They're not the same ones is appealing to in Iowa, are they?

CARPENTER: Well, I mean ...

COOPER: I mean, there's a different strange in one of them.

CARPENTER: Yeah, we all know that, you know, Iowa has a lot of evangelical voters. Cruz is very close to that community. At the same time, New Hampshire is more liberty-minded kind of voters that he can have conversations about the constitution, what he did as lister general, has excellent track record on those issues.

So, he can have all of those conversations which makes him I think a very versatile candidate. But, you know, on the Marco Rubio thing, I said before I think he would have been the de facto Republican nominee accept for immigration.

I do think there is love for Marco Rubio still in the movement, but I wanted to see this race come down to Cruz and Rubio. That would have been so much healthier for the Republican Party than what's going on with Trump and Cruz.

[21:35:01] COOPER: Healthier because?

CARPENTER: Because it would have been more substantiate debate, I think it would've painted the Republican Party as handing the reigns to a new generation.

BORGER: Absolutely.

CARPENTER: These were both tea party guys that beat, you know, the establishment and their respective senate races.


CARPENTER: And I think Rubio's fatal mistake aside from immigration is that he never cultivated a Grassroots base. He had such an opportunity to do things in the Senate and lead there. He had such a prime platform to do it and he, as we know now was absent and I think that's really hurt of him.

COOPER: I want to talk about what is happening on the Democratic, we're going to take a quick break. But, including Hillary Clinton in danger of losing to Bernie Sanders in both Iowa and New Hampshire. The latest poll numbers, the question is will she ever shake the e- mail scandal? We have new information about that tonight, as well.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well the big news today in Democratic side the presidential race is once again Hillary Clinton's e-mail server. A new report says as a private server contained classified intelligence about some of the highest top secret information.

Today Clinton told MPR that this is just more of the same a leak designed to hurt her in the presidential race with Iowa and New Hampshire approaching the e-mail scandal a ledge are no, is not the only challenge, though, Clinton is facing.

[21:40:01] There is a surge happening for Bernie Sanders, the poll number show it. Let's start in Iowa with CNN, Senior Washington Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny.

What is the sense there on the ground that you're getting about how things to go between Sanders and Clinton?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, there's no question the energy and excitement and enthusiasm is on the Sanders side. But the Clinton campaign has been at this longer. They've been organizing for months, and months, and months. And the Sanders campaign, remember how they spent the summer, they're having big rallies all across the country and not focusing as much on Iowa. So that is, I would say the key difference here between Sanders and Obama eight years ago.

The Obama campaign spent so much time building. The Sanders campaign now is sort of arriving at this moment and they're trying to make sure everything is in place here. It all depends how many people turn out on the Iowa caucuses.

In 2008, 230,000 people came out, more than ever, ever, ever before. They're probably expecting a smaller turnout, there's really only these two campaigns here. So, the Sanders campaign is trying to bring new people under the process here. The energy is on their side, the question, is have they been organizing long enough for this.

But if you see long lines on the night of the Iowa caucuses, out the door that means Sanders is doing very, very well. Has young people on his side and others.

COOPER: You know, at the first CNN Democratic Debate, Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a pass on the e-mail saying, you know, I don't care about your damn e-mails or whatever it was, got a huge applause line in the room. As there have been more revelations, what is his attack now?

ZELENY: He is not mentioning the e-mails at all and his advisors telling that he doesn't plan to at this point. Because they believe that other Democrats wouldn't necessarily like him to do that.

Again, Sanders supporters don't necessarily dislike Hillary Clinton but like his policies more. But he is attacking her more on specific things like speaking fees at Goldman Sachs, on her Wall Street, the concerns, on her policies. So, I believe that Senator Sanders is going to keep on that line of attack. I would be surprised if he brings up e-mails. If he does, that will be a change in strategy and something that might be controversial among some of the supporters and voters.

But, I can tell you, Anderson, it is getting very intense between all sides here, both sides here. So we'll just have to wait and see what happens in the final 12 days I guess, until these Iowa caucuses.

COOPER: Yeah, it is -- it's fast approaching. Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much.

I want to turn now to New Hampshire, joining me now is Paul Steinhauser, political director and anchor at New Hampshire One News.

What about these latest polls? I mean, a huge lead for Bernie Sanders, certainly caught a lot of people by surprise. And that both campaigns are saying that's an out liar poll. What are you hearing on the ground?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, NEW HAMPSHIRE ONE NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR/ANCHOR: Yeah, your poll that came out last night, Anderson, definitely heating up a very cold night. But yeah, you're right, the people I've talked to both -- close to both campaigns here in New Hampshire think it is a little bit of an out liar. But nobody disputes that Bernie Sanders is the clear leader here in New Hampshire.

And Anderson, it's been that way for quite sometime. You know, Hillary Clinton was the overall frontrunner everywhere else in the country. We had a heck of a race here. We've had Bernie Sanders topping the polls dating back to early August. So, he's got a strong ground game here too. That's the difference in Iowa, he had a pretty much of a late start as I think everybody will admit. That was not the case here.

You know, when it comes to his ground game versus Hillary Clinton's ground game here in New Hampshire, they're pretty much even when it comes to staff, when it comes to outreach, when it comes to offices across the state. So, this is a formal place for Bernie Sanders, Anderson.

COOPER: Well a lot of people still remember Bill Clinton, kind of roaring back to a strong second place finish in Hew Hampshire back in '92. And the primary there, gave us campaign a big boost. Does any of that Clinton machine, that energy that they had up there, does that still exist?

STEINHAUSER: Listen, they still have a big machine here. While Sanders may have a strong operation here in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton has an extremely strong operation here in New Hampshire. She's got the backing of most of the establishment in the state. But yeah, the energy right now seems to be on the other side and it's been that way for quite sometime.

And remember, eight years ago, the primary was right after the New Year. A lot of those college students, they weren't back yet. They weren't back here in New Hampshire if they were out-of-state students. That's not the case this time. So those younger voters that I see all the time at Sanders rallies, well, they're here in New Hampshire or they will be on primary day.

COOPER: All right, Paul, let's see if they'll come out at the vote. Paul, thanks very much.

Coming up next, what the panel makes of what's happening on the Democratic side. We'll be right back.


[21:48:06] COOPER: Recap in the big the big news tonight on the Democratic side, a new report says Hillary Clinton's private e-mail servers contained highly classified intelligence from the most top secretive programs is the report that the Intelligence Committee, Inspector General sent the leaders on congressional intelligence committee is according to a spokeswoman.

Clinton told MPR today that is just another leak and attempt to inject the issue back into the campaign and a Clinton's spokesman said a new day that the information could have been nothing more than a forwarded news article. You may remember Bernie Sanders saying in a CNN debate that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about her "damn e-mails".

The question is, whether this will ever go away. And also, Clinton can withstand the surgeon of polls that the senator's camp is in joining right now. I want to bring back our panel. How big Jeff, you think a political problem is this for Clinton?

TOOBIN: I think it's a huge political problem. I don't think it's a big legal problem. I don't think the FBI is going to wind up charging her with a crime.

You know, it is only a crime if you knowingly distribute classified information. And from everything we've been able to see and we don't know all the facts, there is nothing with a classified stamp on it that she ever just -- handed out inappropriately.

There is information that retro actively has been declared classified but that's a very different thing.

Still, this idea of using a private server was a terrible idea, she is paying a major political price and until the FBI comes forward, which they may do and says, we have closed our investigation, it is a festering wound and it's a big one and it doesn't go away until Jim Comey, the director of FBI says it does.

CARPENTER: But simply does about Hillary's e-mail. I mean, I think Hillary Clinton is up against a broader cultural moment. She has been in politics for so long, she has been involved in so many scandals.

And the Bernie Sanders surge is not because people are dying to pay trillions upon trillions more in taxes. I think it's a protest against Hillary Clinton and what she has embodied over the years. (CROSSTALK)

[21:50:04] BRUNI: No, that's was 100 percent wrong.

BEINART: That's all due respect, it's 100 percent wrong.


BEINART: In fact, it's where that poll show it's that Bernie Sanders, people like Hillary Clinton, they don't see other candidate where Republicans do. They think she's fought a good side, but they find Bernie Sanders more inspiring because he's willing to say that politics is corrupt ...

COOPER: But there is no authenticity.


BEINART: If you see him, just the same reason that people who like Barack Obama didn't hate Hillary Clinton but they didn't feel like she was as authentic and messenger for big change. And that's what Bernie Sanders, he's only like Donald Trump represents some of the people who like him, the idea of big systemic revolutionary as he called the change.

BORGER: And this is where the Goldman Sachs $600,000, it's Bernie Sanders raised the other day, in speaking fees for Hillary Clinton comes in because it makes her look less authentic, right? And it makes her look like somebody who didn't think about a presidential race while she was doing this.

SETMAYER: Or was so arrogant she thought that it wouldn't matter.


COPPER: Yeah. He either to wasn't thinking about presidential races ...


BRUNI: That's what so crazy about the Goldman Sachs thing. She had-- she knew, she might be running for president. She's smart enough and politically savvy enough to know that this might come up. How badly did she want that money that she took the speaking fees? It would have been very easy to say, no to Goldman Sachs and to make your speaking money doing different sort of audiences.

SETMAYER: But here's the thing, you know, the Clintons -- we already know they live by a different set of rules. And this is a perfect example. She thought that she could go out, take this money from Wall Street, cozy up to them and then come out and say that she's a champion for the middle class.

Well, that's a little tough to do when you have someone who's a self- proclaimed socialist coming in, saying that, you know, I've never taken a dollar from these folks and he's made a total political career fighting it, pointing out the fact that this is not exactly her life's mission.

And even Vice President Biden made that comment during that interview and said, "You know, well, you know, she's kind of new to this part of it" because he knows that she's a Crony Capitalist just like everybody else and the authenticity issue is what is really hurt her.

Not only that, she is really yesterday's news. I mean even her attacks ...

BRUNI: What is that even mean?


SETMAYER: She's yesterday's news, even her criticism of what's happening with her e-mails which is absolutely legitimate, she's going back to the whole, "Well, it's a conspiracy, oh, there are leaks". That hold back right wing conspiracy is 20 years old.


TOOBIN: Yeah. These days, Republicans, you know, Republicans don't -- that they have wonderful investigations like the Trey Gowdy's investigation, that is precisely like a 1990s investigation. And if you want to talk about making things up, how about an entire political party that doesn't believe that climate change exists when -- today it came out -- and I'm sorry for mentioning an actual issue as opposed to authenticity.


SETMAYER: Let's not deflect, let's not deflect from the fact that Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal was legitimate, that the inspector general who came out with the latest report is discussing that the special access programs which is higher than top secret that that information was concern on those server. That inspector general was appointed by Barack Obama. He was approved by a Democratic Senate. He was lauded by Dianne Feinstein. So she -- is she insinuating then that this individual is in cahoots in Oboma appointee ...

BORGER: Yes, it is.


COOPER: Frank Bruni.

BRUNI: Here's another dimension of the e-mail story, because a lot of voters aren't getting as deep in the weeds as you just got there. There's another dimension which is we were about Trump's brilliance earlier. Trump's brilliance that he has driven the narrative every step of the way.

Ted Cruz on a given day is talking about what Donald Trump wants him to talk about. Did all for other candidates? Donald Trump controls the story. Hillary, through this entire campaign is responding defensively to things.

SETMAYER: That's true.

BRUNI: As long as this e-mail story stays alive, as long as reports are investigating the Clinton Foundation, she can't talk about what she and her campaign want to talk about and that's becoming a seemingly intractable problem.

BORGER: How about attacking Bernie Sanders on medic and not wanting Medicare or Medicaid?


BORGER: I mean, it's -- I remember when Hillary Clinton was saying, "You know, I'm not going to talk about Bernie Sanders" and Bernie Sanders is saying, "You know what, you're not going to get me to attack ...


SETMAYER: They are calling each other names.

TOOBIN: Why shouldn't she attack Bernie Sanders? They're running against each other, I mean ...


BORGER: Like now, when after Joe Biden said, "You know, that he's got that Bernie Sanders has some authenticity and he has been talking about, you know, income and equality for a long time. She change the subject ...

COOPER: Is she making the same mistakes that she made with then candidate Barack Obama?

BEINART: Well, the good news where is she's not running against Barack Obama. And Barack Obama had two advantages that Bernie Sanders doesn't have. First of all, he was able to create a coalition of these white progressives that Bernie Sanders has with African- Americans. When African Americans saw that he was credible candidate after he won Iowa, they shifted on mass. There's no evidence that's going to happen ...

COOPER: And Hillary Clinton has very strong African-American support.

BEINART: Right. The second thing is that Barack Obama and the people around him like David Platt, and this goes to what Jeff Zeleny said, we're terrific organizer. You know, people make fun of the fact that he was a community organizer, that's part of the reason he won because they were so affected with organizers.

[21:55:05] We don't know whether in the DNA of the Sanders campaign, they have that same capacity. Are they more like Obama or they're more like Howard Dean? Remember, Howard Dean in 2004, got a lot of young people, a lot of progressive super excited but they couldn't organize them. We don't know whether Sanders can do that.

CARPENTER: But I think the explanation is really very simple. It may just be that Hillary Clinton is a very bad candidate. Listen to the way she talks. She has been a bubble so long. We've all read those e-mails from her aides, we're just gushing with praise in a way that's almost embarrassing.

BORGER: That never happens in the Senate.

BEINART: Yeah, yeah, no.

CARPENTER: I may have know to Ted Cruz we're not like being into Hillary Clinton and I can tell you that. But she's been surrounded by a bunch of yes people and I don't know that she knows how to speak normally to voters and then the age of authenticity, she doesn't pass the test.


SETMAYER: That's why she's having so much difficulty. How many times has Hillary Clinton reinvented herself in the last year, we like five times over and it's not working for her.

BEINART: With all due respect, I think, you guys are talking about Hillary Clinton a little bit from within side of the Republican bubble. But Hillary Clinton has going for her even for people and I will admit to be one of them, who don't find her particularly inspiring and who do question her authenticity is -- that people remember the 1990s very fondly because they were the last time in this country that wages actually went up. That is a very powerful brand that she still has.


SETMAYER: Then why is she losing women to Bernie Sanders, then?

BEINART: She hasn't lost anything.

SETMAYER: She is not polling well even with women, Bernie Sanders ...

BEINART: Look at the vetting market, she is still predicted to be the next president.

COOPER: All right everyone, I want to thank you. Good discussion tonight. Thank you very much.

We're going to be right back with more.