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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

New Poll: Trump Dominates with 20-Point Lead in New Hampshire; Dole: Cruz Nomination Would Be "Cataclysmic" For GOP; Trump, Cruz Battle For Iowa Lead as Polls Tighten; Hillary Clinton Speaking in Iowa Tonight; Clinton Supporters Turn "Socialist" Label Against Sanders; Winter Storm Could Shatter Snowfall Records. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 20, 2016 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:00] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news. Donald Trump, a new poll showing him beating Ted Cruz by 20 points in a crucial state as a major figure in the GOP says a Cruz nomination would be quote, "cataclysmic."

Plus, Donald Trump fighting for every vote in Iowa. If he wins it there, is it smooth sailing to the nomination?

And the Clinton campaign slapping the socialist tag on Bernie Sanders. Will it work? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening to all of you. I'm Erin Burnett OUTFRONT tonight. We begin with Trump in the lead. Our new poll tonight showing Donald Trump a whopping 20 points ahead of his nearest rival Ted Cruz in the state of New Hampshire. This is the new poll from us here at CNN along with WMUR. It adds to the mounting evidence that Trump could win an overwhelming victory in New Hampshire. That is the first state to hold a primary. And it comes as a former GOP presidential nominee tonight predicts a Cruz victory would be cataclysmic.

Bob Dole saying of Ted Cruz, quote, "I don't know how he's going to deal with Congress. Nobody likes him." And then Dole took it even further saying, "Donald Trump could get the job done." In his words, Trump could, quote, "Probably work with Congress. He's got the right personality and he's kind of a deal maker." Trump began his day in Iowa slamming Cruz's Canadian birth yet again and then charging that Cruz covered up campaign loans from big banks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They own him. And what he did was wrong because he didn't want you to know that he's dealing with banks because he puts him down, that he's just like all the other guys. OK? It's wrong. It's wrong. It's really wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Trump today also appearing with Sarah Palin, giving a very fiery speech.

Jim Acosta was there, he is OUTFRONT. And Jim, Palin and Trump seems very comfortable together. JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It looks like they've been out

on the campaign trail for months. But this is only day two. Donald Trump and Sarah Palin once again together here in Oklahoma, less than two weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses. And while they may not be future running mates, both sides seem to be throwing cold water on that idea. Palin supporters and Palin support just might be exactly what Trump needs to get over the top in this campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: Ladies and gentlemen, Governor Sarah Palin.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): Going rogue times two. Donald Trump and Sarah Palin dishing out the conservative red meat and ruining religious voters at the evangelical Oral Roberts University. Palin praised Trump as the only conservative who can stand up to Washington.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Our candidate is ballsy enough to get out there and put those issues on the table.

ACOSTA: Trump was eating up every minute of it.

TRUMP: Everybody wanted her endorsement.

ACOSTA: Palin's jaw-dropping endorsement lit up the social media universe of 21st century campaigning.

PALIN: Go kick ISIS' ass.

ACOSTA: I'm with stupid, blare the New York "Daily News" lady and the Trump screamed the New York Post.

TRUMP: She said what you're doing, Donald, is amazing. It's a movement and it is a movement.

ACOSTA: Asked to explain how he landed the endorsement, Trump says the former Alaska Governor reached out to him.

TRUMP: I've always liked her a lot and respected her a lot and she called and she sees what is happening with the campaign, she sees what was saying, what I'm saying and she sees it's become like a movement.

ACOSTA: But one of Trump's sons Eric tells OUTFRONT, the connection runs deeper than that.

ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: She's gotten to know us, she's gotten to know his family, she's gotten to know his wife, I mean, and she really likes him and she really cares about him and she really believes that he will do a phenomenal job and I know he'll do a phenomenal job.

ACOSTA: Trump and Palin share more than admiration for each other. Michael Glassner who was once the head of her Super PAC now works for Trump. The GOP frontrunner sites up the question about a Trump Palin ticket saying he doubts he would want the job.

TRUMP: I don't think she'd want to do it. I mean, I don't think she'd want to do it, and you know, I really don't get into it right now.

ACOSTA: Palin already has her eye on another job in the Trump administration.

PALIN: I think a lot about Department of Energy and if I were head of that, I'd get rid of it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Now, there may also be a Palin effect on Trump's stump speech earlier today when Palin did not appear with Trump in Iowa. The billionaire tycoon tore into Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president. He also talks about his connections with Goldman Sachs as you played earlier. But when Palin was at Trump's side here in Oklahoma, he did not go after Cruz. We should mention, he was once endorsed by the former Alaska governor when he was running for the Senate -- Erin.

BURNETT: That's right. It seems like her endorsement for Donald Trump is pro-Trump more than it is anti-Cruz as she has not gone after Ted Cruz yet.

ACOSTA: Maybe a little bit.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Acosta. Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT with Ted Cruz's campaign in New Hampshire tonight. And Sunlen, you know, this has been a tough few days for Ted Cruz. Tonight, it's Bob Dole slamming Cruz coming on the yells of the Palin endorsement of Donald Trump. The Iowa governor slamming Cruz and saying, don't vote for him. How is Ted Cruz handling the pile-on?

[19:05:11] SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, Erin. We've really seen Ted Cruz try to spin this to try to capitalize on these hits against him. Specifically, with Bob Dole and the Iowa governor. We really see Ted Cruz almost shift into his comfort zone where he is as a candidate and really trying to hold this up as a badge of honor, proof, basically, in essence, that he thinks he's the anti-establishment candidate of this GOP cycle. Touting tonight that they've raised a lot of money, $700,000 since the Iowa governor's attack yesterday, holding it up as the establishment wing of the party being in panic mode. Here's what he said moments ago here in Hollis.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we're seeing something remarkable happening here in this Republican primary. Right now, the Washington establishment is abandoning Marco Rubio. They've made the assessment that Marco can't win this race and the Washington establishment is rushing over to support Donald Trump. We're seeing that happen every day and Mr. Trump is welcoming the support of the Washington establishment. Indeed, Mr. Trump said that they should support him because he said Ted wouldn't go along to get along. He won't make deals with the Democrats. Well, I don't think there are a whole lot of Republicans who think the problem with Republican leadership is that they are unwilling to make deals with the Democrats. The problem with Republican leadership is that they make deals on everything they surrender at the outset. They stand for nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaker of the house.

SERFATY: And that was interesting there because what we saw from Ted Cruz, really tying both Marco Rubio and Donald Trump to the establishment wing of the party. This is a very good position that he likes to be in, Erin, really touting that he's the anti-establishment one among all of them -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sunlen, thank you very much. Sunlen literally standing in the back room as you could see while Ted Cruz is talking to the rally.

OUTFRONT now, former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz Amanda Carpenter and Donald Trump's campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson.

All right. Amanda, you're here with me. So, let me start with you. This has been a bit of a pile on against Ted Cruz this week when you go down the list. And tonight, it's Bob Dole saying that a Cruz victory would be ca cataclysmic and he went even further. He actually used the word extremist to describe Ted Cruz saying, Donald Trump would be better.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there's a reason he wasn't President Dole. He's shown really bad judgment, I think. Bob Dole opposed Ronald Reagan and now he's going in for Donald Trump. I don't see how this logically makes sense. But we're seeing all the big guns come out against Ted Cruz right now. That means there's a big, fat target on his back. Yes. Donald Trump does have a big lead in the polls but I think it's been Donald Trump's deliberate strategy to play the media. The Palin endorsement is designed to keep him in the headlines all the way up until the Iowa caucus. So, as long as Cruz doesn't get tied up in fighting the media war and keep having those conversations with voters, explaining why this happen, explaining his position on ethanol, I think he's going to perform well.

BURNETT: So, Katrina, Bob Dole is an establishment Republican, right? The point Ted Cruz was just making. Oh, the establishment is now trying to support Donald Trump. The Iowa governor, who is the longest-serving governor in American history, not just longest serving living governor in American history, another establishment leader coming out against Ted Cruz. Are you glad or are you worried that the establishment, which Donald Trump also professes to dismiss, might be coming around to support him?

KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: Well, it hasn't worried me at all because we all know that it's going to take a coalition to win in the general, anyway. But you know, and Amanda knows that the Governor Sarah Palin endorsement, there really is no method to these types of things when it comes to Governor Palin. If she wants to support you, she will reach out to you and she will support you. So, there was no secret media sorcery going on there. But with the bigger picture with regard to Donald Trump and the establishment, I mean, we're seeing articles in "The Hill" and "Politico" saying that they are warming up to the idea. He's ahead by so much, Erin, they would be fools not to get behind their own nominee, which looks like it's going to be Donald Trump.

BURNETT: Well, Amada, what do you make of Sarah Palin, I mean, she is this anti-establishment -- I mean, this is a tough one for Ted Cruz. He is said that you know, without her endorsement, he wouldn't have won his Senate seat. You know, he would love to get that endorsement, right?

CARPENTER: Well, endorsements are good. It's better to have endorsements than not have endorsements. But you know, I want to pick up on something Katrina mentioned that, there's no method. And this is really what I find baffling about the Palin endorsement. You know, Palin rose to national prominence in the aftermath of the bank bailout. So, it really gave birth to the Tea Party. Donald Trump is for the bailouts, you know, conservatives opposed to stimulus. Donald Trump is for the stimulus. There's big issues, like eminent domain where Donald Trump is on the wrong side of it.

And so, I have a hard time seeing what lead Sarah Palin to make that endorsement. Maybe she made the calculation that polls and personality are more important right now than principles. That I don't think many other voters agree with that assessment. I would like to hear more about the policy reasons she got behind Donald Trump. Because as a conservative who has been a big fan of hers for a long time, I'm really following logic here, hard to follow.

[19:10:10] PIERSON: It would be one thing if Donald Trump had written policies or cast votes for them but he had not. As a businessman, he wasn't in any of these meetings or briefed on any of these topics, any of the bills that Amanda is talking about. But what Donald Trump was concerned about like many Americans in this country is saving jobs. He employs tens of thousands of people. And when the whole government is saying, we have to do these things or the economy is going to collapse and it's going to fail, of course he was like, well, if the whole government is going to collapse, maybe we should move forward with this. It was a business decision.

This was not something that he was in a room with politicians being briefed on or even reading the legislation. And I think we can look back, even to Ronald Reagan, who was a Democrat, who campaigned for Democrats and supported Liberal policies that became Republican after the fact. This is exactly the same thing.

BURNETT: Right.

PIERSON: So if the Cruz campaign wants to keep promoting Reagan, then they are promoting Donald Trump.

CARPENTER: Well, I really hope that someone who is campaigning to be president would take an interest in the bank bailouts. I mean, Donald Trump is on record supporting it in statements and this is an issue that you didn't have to be a senator or member of Congress to understand that Republicans in Washington were working with Democrats to get $700 billion to Wall Street that is coming out of the --

PIERSON: Including Goldman Sachs.

BURNETT: I will say, just for the record, they did pay back every dollar with interest.

CARPENTER: Yes. But this was -- my point is, this is the issue that really divided Republicans and conservatives at that time. This is the reason we have a term like the establishment. Because that was such a divisive issue. And Donald Trump stood with Wall Street and not with regular Tea Party people at that time.

BURNETT: So --

PIERSON: Today. That's the question.

BURNETT: All right.

CARPENTER: Well, he did very well for himself. I'm not sure everyone else has done as well as Donald Trump.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. This is going to be, I guess there will be a part two and a part three on this one.

Thank you both.

And next, Donald Trump with a laser focus on Iowa voters. If Trump wins there, is he all but certain to be the nominee? It's a question many people thought would never be asked.

Plus, Clinton supporters calling Sanders a socialist and not in a complementary fashion. Will that stop Sanders or not? And 65 million Americans in the path of a major, epic snowstorm. Warnings that the numbers here could be historic. The latest forecast is coming at this hour OUTFRONT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:16:10] BURNETT: Tonight, a brand-new poll CNN-WMUR poll out of New Hampshire, this is a very, very strong poll for Donald Trump, a 20-point lead for the businessman, the GOP front-runner leading the field with 34 percent. Ted Cruz second at 14 and then you've got Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio tied at 10. So, that's New Hampshire. OK. That means Iowa becomes crucial. Because if Trump could win them both, some think this could be over. The latest poll though in Iowa showing Cruz with a three-point edge over Trump. So, it's within the margin of error but it is advantage Cruz.

So, is Trump's ground strong enough to pull up a win or not? Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: Don't forget, Iowa hasn't picked that winner for 16 years. If they pick somebody other than me, they are going to pick another loser. SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump barrels

into Iowa for boisterous rallies.

TRUMP: Thank you. It's a hell of a crowd.

MURRAY: Leaving behind a sleepy campaign office and a tight-lipped team to quietly turn crowds of nontraditional voters into a big turnout on caucus night, all while his closest competitor Ted Cruz barnstorms by bus.

CRUZ: I believe the only way to win and compete in the state of Iowa is to come and spend the time asking the voters for their support. And if a candidate is not doing that, that ought to be an indication.

MURRAY: An army of volunteers working the phones while Cruz works to hit every one of Iowa's 99 counties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a volunteer of Senator Ted Cruz.

MURRAY: By the Des Moines Register's count, Cruz has held nearly three times as many events in Iowa as Trump has since 2012. But, like all things Trump, his playbook is unconventional, leading his Iowa effort, Chuck Laudner, the man who engineered Rick Santorum's last- minute victory in 2012.

TRUMP: If he doesn't do good, Chuck, you're fired.

(LAUGHTER)

MURRAY: Laudner predicting Trump's under the radar ground game would surprise on caucus night.

CHUCK LAUDNER, IOWA DIRECTOR, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I know we go radio silent on those things but there's nothing about this campaign that's like all the rest or any of those in the past.

MURRAY: Some Iowa voters aren't sure what to make of Trump's unorthodox campaign.

(on camera): Do you think that, you know, Donald Trump can win in a place like Iowa?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's going to be chance.

MURRAY (voice-over): Others can't blame a billionaire with a jet for rarely overnighting in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he has his own world and I don't -- I think we knew that before he arrives in a jet and leaves in a jet. It's OK.

MURRAY: Just over a week from the Iowa caucuses, Trump may be second guessing his go-big strategy. Last week, he made a rare appearance at a popular campaign stop, a pizza ranch.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) MURRAY: A brush with retail politics that lasted all of ten minutes.

TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY: Now, Donald Trump may feel like he has little more wriggle room than some of his competitors. He can turn out crowds of thousands in areas where his GOP rivals would be thrilled to have just hundreds of supporters. But it is clear that Donald Trump is not taking any chances. He told his supporters in Iowa today that he's spending more money on the airwaves, that he's going to be here next week. He even told them they need to show up on caucus on February 1st, even if it's the worst day of their life, saying he wants to win Iowa. Otherwise, this has been a waste of time -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara Murray, thank you very much from Iowa.

OUTFRONT now from Des Moines. The campaign manager for Donald Trump Corey Lewandowski. Corey, good to have you with me. The governor of Iowa opposes Ted Cruz. Has opposed him and said, don't vote for him. But the governor of Iowa admits that Ted Cruz has the best ground game in the state, they say they have got a thousand precinct chairs, even like a camp Cruz, a dormitory for out of state people to come in and, you know, camp out while they try to get people to caucus. Is your ground game good enough to overcome all of that and get those few extra points you need?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, let's wait and see in 12 days on all the answers to that. And if 12 days from now, Ted Cruz wins Iowa, I'll tell you right now, we'll be disappointed. You know, we've been very clear in this election that Mr. Trump is going to compete in Iowa, and we want to win in New Hampshire and we want to win in South Carolina and Nevada and right down the line. We'll find out in 12 days. And I think what you'll find is that, from the beginning of this campaign in June until today, many pundits and political operatives continue to underestimate Mr. Trump, many at their own peril. So, let's see what happened in 12 days.

BURNETT: So, the New York Times has said the magic number that you're looking for for turnout in Iowa is 48,000. That would be the highest in history for a Republican, the highest that we could find was Mike Huckabee at 41,000 votes. So 48,000 would be a record. Are you shooting for a record?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, again, I don't want to say that we're taking our campaign advice from "The New York Times." I think Mr. Trump is very clear in the last debate that many times that "The New York Times" has been inaccurate and I want to go on record of saying that that's not a number that they've gotten from this campaign. So, if that's what they are reporting --

BURNETT: Uh-hm.

LEWANDOWSKI: I hope they are willing to stand by it because that's not the number that we are reporting.

[19:21:05] BURNETT: OK. So, you're saying that 48 isn't right, you want to win it but you are not predicting any sort of record or anything as they say?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, we're not predicting anything. We're hoping for a great night. Twelve days from tonight, we want to win Iowa. We're very clear about that. And Mr. Trump was here today, was here yesterday, he's going to be back here again in a few days and we're going to compete very competitively in the state of Iowa. Our goal is to win the state. It's a lot easier to say, hey, look, you know what, second place is a great finish, too, but that's not the case. We want to win and that's what the American people want. They want a winner. And that's what we want to do is win.

BURNETT: So, when you say the American people want a winner, you want to win, I mean, that's everything Donald Trump talks about, right? He talks about being a winner and that the United States will win more if he's president. But in terms of the polls and winning, let me play for you how he said it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm winning with the smart people. I'm winning with the not so smart people, too. I'm winning with everything.

I do believe we're winning Iowa and if you pick me, you're going to pick a winner.

We want to see winning. We want to see win, win, win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: I mean, you know, he says it in a very compelling way. But Corey, you talk about coming in number two. Obviously coming in number two that doesn't mean you're going to lose the nomination. It often doesn't mean that when it comes to Iowa. But for Donald Trump, would a lose damage his brand of being the best, of being the winner?

LEWANDOWSKI: No. It wouldn't damage his brand. But why would you want to try and compete for number two when you want to be number one? I mean, I don't fundamentally understand it. You know, candidates say, maybe I'll finish second or third or fourth and be happy with that? Absolutely not. We want to compete with every single vote, we want to win every single primary, every caucus available to us. We want to go on and win the nomination, if we're fortunate enough to do that, go on and ultimately win the general election. But we're going to compete for first place everywhere because that's the type of thinking that this country needs for a change is to be the very best and -- for second or third place anymore.

BURNETT: So Sarah Palin has appeared with Donald Trump, obviously the big endorsement. And then appearing with him today in Oklahoma. You know, he said that Palin reached out to him about the endorsement. What can you tell us about it, Corey? How long was the process? LEWANDOWSKI: Well, Governor Palin and Mr. Trump have had a long-

standing relationship. It's been well documented. They've been friendly for a long period of time. I think she understands, you know, that Mr. Trump is really the only candidate in this race that can change our country fundamentally. To go to Washington and change way things to operate, to truly make our country great again. So, you know, she understands how desperate our country is right now, the desire to have better trade deals, to get our debt under control, to make sure that we leave our country better tomorrow than it is left to our children today. Something has to fundamentally change and I think Sarah Palin understands that. And that's why she chose to endorse Donald Trump in this race for president.

BURNETT: She also, of course, helps him, hopefully, from your point of view, dramatically with the evangelicals, a group that Ted Cruz is trying to cling onto as well. He was just at a campaign stop moments ago and he was responding to Bob Dole, right? The establishment Republican who said he'd prefer Donald Trump to Ted Cruz tonight. And Ted Cruz talked about the order of his values. And I wanted to just play for you exactly what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Well, listen, it is exactly right that in terms of who I am, I am a Christian first, I'm an American second, I'm a conservative third and I'm a Republican fourth. And I'll tell you, there are a whole lot of people in this country that feel exactly the same way, that are fed up with Republican leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Corey, how would Mr. Trump rank his values? I mean, would he do the same thing as Ted Cruz and quit being a Christian, ahead of being an American, or Republican or a conservative?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I don't want to speak for Mr. Trump because I don't do that. But what I do think is that, you know, many people think that just because you're a Christian or you're evangelical, that you don't care about the other issues. And I don't think that's the true at all. I think they are concerned about illegal immigration, and the crime that takes place. And you know, these terrorists attacks that takes place in our soil. So being an evangelical is not a single bucket person. I think those people are very concerned about the same issues. And Mr. Trump has talked about this whole campaign, the notion that just because you're an evangelical or self-described evangelical that you don't care about illegal immigration or the economy, or having a job or having safe roads to drive on or our national debt is preposterous.

So, I think what you see, when you look at the people who are supporting Mr. Trump, his support is broad, it's wide, it's deep, it's right across the board and the Washington Post did a story on it today. It said, the people are very conservative supporting Donald Trump the most. The people moderately conservative. You know, right across the board. His broad base of support is so wide, that that's why he's done so well in these polls across the country, including, you know, up 32 points in Florida today, up 20 points in your poll in New Hampshire. I mean, he's a clear front-runner in this race and we're going to know in 12 days what the people of Iowa decide.

BURNETT: All right. Corey, thank you very much. Appreciate your time as we said from Des Moines, Iowa tonight.

And OUTFRONT next, the "s" word, Bernie Sanders proudly calling himself socialist.

Will it comeback to hunt him. And a massive blizzard about to slam the northeast. I mean, massive record snowfall is expected. Fifty plus million Americans in the path of a storm. Our live report ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:29:55] BURNETT: Hillary Clinton about to take the stage in Burlington, Iowa. Poll say her race with Bernie Sanders now is too close to call. And as poll show Clinton getting trounced by Sanders in New Hampshire, and as her national lead shrinks, Clinton supporters are trying a new tactic. Trotting out the "s" word on her opponent.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT in Iowa with the Clinton campaign tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders is a proud democratic socialist.

LESTER HOLT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: Senator Sanders, let me continue. You call yourself a democratic socialist --

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do.

ZELENY: Now, Hillary Clinton's allies want to turn the label against him. With Sanders on the rise in the Democratic primary fight, some Clinton supporters are increasingly throwing out the "S" word, saying the socialist could spell doom for the party.

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, CORRECT THE RECORD, A PRO-CLINTON SUPER PAC: He's not electable in a general election and that's because of the elephant in the room. He's a socialist.

ZELENY: While Clinton hasn't said the word "socialist", tonight, she's running a television ad saying she's the most electable.

AD NARRATOR: Is the one the candidate for president who has everything it takes to do every part of the job.

ZELENY: Senator Claire McCaskill a Clinton supporter, said Republicans can't wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle, if Sanders became the party's nominee.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: I think the Republicans would be very excited. They obviously are helping him in every way that they can and I think it tells everybody all they need to know.

ZELENY: Today in Oklahoma, Donald Trump seemed happy to do just that.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sanders, can you imagine, this socialist/communist is doing well?

(BOOS)

No, he's beating Hillary Clinton. Can you believe this? I would really love to run against Bernie Sanders.

ZELENY: Sanders gave a speech at Georgetown last year defining socialism.

SANDERS: I am not coming before the American people and say, look, I'm this radical, wide-eyed socialist. Crazy ideas. But listen to me.

We want to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, raising the minimum wage widely popular. I want to create 13 million jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Wildly popular.

ZELENY: But the line between socialism and communism is a fine one, opened to being misinterpreted by voters or exploited by rivals.

This week in Iowa, Jane Nettleton went to see Sanders. She believes in many of his ideas, but is alarmed at how many Republicans would define him.

JANE NETTLETON, IOWA VOTER: I think it would be political suicide, frankly.

ZELENY (on camera): For the party?

NETTLETON: Yes, I do -- in my view.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: And that is the challenge for Sanders to show that he can keep socialism from becoming the kryptonite for the Democratic Party that could cripple this Democratic Party.

Now, in the final days of this campaign, the closing arguments are shaping up. It's revolutionary for Bernie Sanders and results for Hillary Clinton. But voters, at least some of them, seem to be in a mood for a revolution -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Well said, Jeff Zeleny.

And now, let's go to Tom Foreman with the breakdown of the Sanders strategy, all right, because Iowa and New Hampshire do not a nomination make. So, Tom, let's start with how Senator Sanders has shaken up the race, because, certainly, nobody has expected him to be where he is right now.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He's up into the early numbers for the Clinton campaign. Look at the early voting states, Erin. If you look at Iowa, we know the numbers there right now are in a dead heat, very tight there. We know that in New Hampshire he's stomping her.

She's doing very well in South Carolina and in Nevada but in that first month, if it comes out this way, he gets rid of the whole argument about her inevitably and then look at the next month, we suddenly have a wash of all these other states come in here and it becomes a long slog, not a dash to the nomination.

Yes, Hillary Clinton could do very well, for example, in the Southeast where there are a lot of minority voters. Polls show that they like her a lot. But Bernie Sanders has very strong organization out there in many places, and he could do well with white voters and younger voters. The polls say they like him, too, Erin.

BURNETT: Some of the red states that Sanders is eyeing, which is an interesting strategy, right? I mean, what is the strategy there? They're a caucus state. So, why would that possibly make the difference for him?

FOREMAN: The caucus states could be really important. Let's bring them up here. They could be important for several reasons.

First of all, passion. Caucus is requiring you to come out for the whole evening to talk about voting. You don't just go to the school and cast your ballot. You're involved for a while. Who does that? Passionate voters. And right now, Sanders has a lot of passion followers.

Add a caucus as people change their votes and discuss them, it gives a chance for the passionate voters to sway others to the Sanders cause. And the caucus matters for Bernie Sanders because every state matters in this broad attack.

Look, go back to 2008. Look at what Barack Obama did. All of his winning states here are in the dark blue. Hillary Clinton's in the light blue. You can look at this and see, he did not go into Democratic strongholds and get some door-closing deals here. He had a lot of grindy little winds that went on for weeks and weeks and weeks.

[19:35:02] He forced Hillary Clinton's campaign into a marathon when it was built for a sprint. And you can bet that Bernie Sanders is strapping on his racing shoes right now hoping he can do the same thing -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Tom, thank you very much.

Let's go straight now to Bernie Sanders' campaign. Tad Devine is a senior adviser for the senator's campaign.

Thanks for being with me, Tad.

So, obviously, momentum right now, a lot of the media coverage is on your side. The polls look strong in New Hampshire. They look strong in Iowa. Nationally, Bernie Sanders chipping away of Hillary Clinton's lead.

But the reality is, that he is still in a deep hole, trailing by 15 points in the newest Monmouth University poll, 52-37. That's still a really tough lead to make up. How can you do that?

TAD DEVINE, SENIOR ADVISER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN: Well, we moved 18 points in that poll in the last month. So I think there's plenty of room to grow. You know, this process begins in Iowa and goes to New Hampshire. We've built great campaigns on the ground in both of those states if you come out of those early states with victory, you can get incredible momentum and that's always been our plan. We'll go out to Nevada and South Carolina. We've got people in place in all of the March 1st states.

So, I think, you know, the American people and the Democratic Party voters are looking for someone who's willing to take on a rigged economy that sends most of the wealth to the top and take on a corrupt system of campaign finance. Bernie's message is resonating. So, we'll deliver that message and if we do, I think he's going to win.

BURNETT: You heard Jeff Zeleny say that he's looking for a revolution. But the argument was made last night on the show, that Republicans are dying to run against Sanders, in part because of comments like this one, a light-hearted comment he made with Larry Wilmore. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY WILMORE, COMEDIAN: Do you think America is ready for the first socialist president?

SANDERS: Yes, I do. I do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. They are eating fried chicken there.

DEVINE: Yes, I noticed that.

BURNETT: He does think America is ready for a socialist president. Today, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, a Clinton supporter, thinks that is a problem. She said the Republicans won't touch him, talking about Sanders, because they can't wait to run an ad with a hammer and a sickle.

I mean, are you concerned about what voter told Jeff Zeleny, that Sanders would be suicide because of the socialist issue?

DEVINE: No, I'm not. You know, I can't think of two people who have been more attacked for being a socialist than Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama. OK? You know, I don't think this attack is going anywhere because what Bernie Sanders is proposing is to take on a rigged economy in America, to break up the big banks, to fight for health care for every citizen, to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, to demand equal pay for equal work for women.

You know, this is an agenda which I think is the mainstream thought in politics. And, you know, that's what he's talking about in his campaign. People understand that's what he wants to do as president. They also understand he's prepared to take on a powerful interest on behalf of ordinary people. I think that's a winning formula.

BURNETT: All that maybe true, but a Gallup poll we found says Americans are actually pretty resistant to voting to a socialist, 50 percent said they won't vote for a socialist candidate. Look, you could end up with a third party candidate this time around and get less 50 and still win the whole thing. However, half the country writing off Senator Sanders before he even gets going, that's tough.

DEVINE: I don't think you can take one question from a poll months ago and say this is going to predict the outcome of an election that could happen this November. You know, the American people have already begun to learn about Bernie Sanders and what they have learned is he's someone who's willing to stand up to powerful interests, he's someone who cares about the issues they care about. He's someone who tells the truth as he sees it. He's someone who's willing to speak truth to power. I think that's resonates with them.

No, I don't think this label is going to get in the way of Bernie Sanders and victory. The American people have plenty of time to examine the candidates, particularly in Iowa and New Hampshire. And, by the way, if they look at the poll you just put out, he's beating Donald Trump by 23 points in New Hampshire. He's beating all the Republicans by massive margin.

Hillary Clinton is barely beating some of them and losing to some of them. So, I think that's what people are going to look at. That Bernie, by far, could be the strongest candidate.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Tad Devine, thank you very much. We'll be talking again soon, I'm sure.

And all three Democratic candidates are going to be taking part in a town hall with Iowa voters just a week before the caucuses. That is Monday night at 9:00 here on CNN.

And OUTFRONT next, winter is finally here and it's coming in with a bang. A snowstorm for the wages bearing down on 65 million Americans. Our report on what's about to hit you.

And Sarah Palin center stage again. What happened to her after her election loss and her TV career?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:43:14] BURNETT: Breaking news, 65 million Americans right now in the path of a potentially paralyzing storm that could shatter records across the East Coast. Warnings and watches in effect from New Jersey all the way to Arkansas. But Washington, D.C. is right now the bulls- eye.

And to give you an idea of just how serious the storm is expected to be, this is a grocery store in Virginia. Yes, not the Soviet Union 20 years ago. Virginia today. Shelves are empty.

Tom Sater is OUTFRONT live in the weather center.

And, Tom, this is pretty incredible. How many records could be shattered with this storm?

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's a great question, Erin. I used to work in D.C. for about 10 years, and you just whispered the word "snow" and chaos ensues. But when you look at the top three snowfalls for D.C., 18.7, that's back in 1979. All of last year, the accumulating snow in D.C. was 18.3.

They may see that in one 24-hour period. So, I think you're either going to break it, the entire record or get in the top three. Now, already, there's a blizzard watch in effect for the D.C. area. That's 95 corridor to Baltimore, Philadelphia, you're in it to win it, too. You could see over a foot. But it really cuts off when you get to around New Jersey and the New York City area. I'll explain more.

But all of the watches will become warnings. The storm doesn't look like much on the satellite coming out of Colorado in towards Kansas. But later on tomorrow, significant icing in parts of Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, maybe a third of an inch to a half inch in North and South Carolina.

That's going to down trees by itself. That's going to knock out power. The energy gets transferred, Erin, to a storm on the coast. Wind gusts, 60 miles per hour, very possible. Full moon, Saturday, high tide, major coastal erosion, coastal flooding.

But the bulls-eye on the computer model which I've never seen agreement like this is in the last several days is in the D.C. area.

[19:45:04] This is going to be historic if it pans out. But notice in the Washington, D.C. area, up towards New York, that's where the dramatic shut off.

Let me show you some of the computer models that we're talking about. When you talk about the models and the amount of snowfall that's possible, look at Washington, D.C., 32 inches. The all-time record is 28 back in 1922. But this is on the high end. The same model for New York City, Erin, wants to drop about ten.

So, give us a few more days. We have seen the models and want to give eight to 12 in New York. We've also seen some models that give us two or three. So, in a few more days to find out what is going to happen by Sunday in New York and in Boston.

BURNETT: All right. Tom, thank you very much.

Full moon, snow coming down, get your sled and get going.

OUTFRONT next, Sarah Palin clearly enjoying her return to the campaign trail. But whatever happened to the woman who was never off your TV screen, right? You couldn't get away from Sarah Palin. And then she just disappeared into the ether. Where was she?

Our special report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: So, Sarah Palin has been hitting the trail with Donald Trump firing up the crowd at a rally in Oklahoma today and while she may be popular with some of Trump's supporters, her stock has diminished since she first burst into the scene in 2008.

[19:50:02] So, what has the former governor and vice presidential candidate been doing?

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Day two of a political marriage made in sound byte heaven.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Kick ISIS ass.

LAH: It's not so much what Palin says, it's what she strings, says Christian Ferry, the deputy campaign manager for McCain-Palin. Ferry saw it in 2008.

CHRISTIAN FERRY, FORMER DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER, MCCAIN-PALIN 2008: They went from having rallies of 8,000 people to 15,000, 20,000, 30.000, even 40,000-person rallies after Sarah Palin joined the ticket.

LAH: And she continues too fascinate. Ferry calls Palin's endorsement the difference-maker in 2010 when Nikki Haley ran for governor and Ted Cruz as he won his Senate seat. But now for Trump --

FERRY: What are we not talking about? We're not talking about Jeb Bush. We're not talking about Chris Christie. We're not talking about Marco Rubio. And we're not talking about Ted Cruz.

And that is really I think the big deal out of all this for Donald Trump is he, again, has found a way to dominate the news cycle for multiple days.

LAH: The reality-TV-star-turned-politician finding traction in a politic-turned-reality-TV-star.

In 2009, Palin resigned as governor of Alaska and entered the land --

S. PALIN: Pull.

(GUNSHOT) LAH: -- of entertainment.

S. PALIN: Don't retreat. Just reload.

LAH: Sarah Palin's Alaska aired on TLC in 2010 cancelled after one season.

A second show followed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you heading? S. PALIN: Somewhere amazing.

LAH: Amazing America on the Sportsman Channel.

Since her vice presidential run, Palin helped pen three books earning millions in the process. She hit the speaker circuit, pulling in a reported $100,000 an event. She joined FOX News as a commentator and featured parody on "Saturday Night Live".

TINA FEY, COMEDIENNE: I can see Russia from my house.

(LAUGHTER)

LAH: The Palin name so potent, her daughter Bristol got her own reality TV show about being a single mom.

BRISTOL S. PALIN: I was thinking about calling Levi.

LAH: Even Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's first baby, made a few bucks on some nuts.

LEVIN JOHNSTON: Levi Johnston does it with protection.

LAH: Her evangelical base more entrenched by Palin's promises to shake up the establishment than family troubles. And today, the conservative crowd once again embracing Palin, as she addressed her son's arrest this week for assault, calling it the affects of PTSD after serving in Iraq.

S. PALIN: When my son is going through what he goes through coming back --

LAH (on camera): So, where does Palin go from here? Well, the 2008 McCain-Palin deputy campaign manager says his advice: get her on the road as much as possible.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos, D-Strong and how it captured hearts across the United States and at way to the Great Wall of China.

And a sneak peak at our new series, "The Person Who Changed My Life".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: My son helped make me change.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER: These people change lives.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Can you believe we're back here?

ANNOUNCER: Join the familiar faces of CNN as they share their special someone with you.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The voyage that you're suggestion sent me on.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I learned this from you. You have to ask important questions on the most important issues of the day.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Without my mom, I am certain I would not be where I am.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you were to ask how important is a mentor and if they told you they are not that important, it probably means they never had a great mentor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that the letter?

BURNETT: This is the letter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You found it?

BURNETT: From this little bag.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Very few people who tell you the truth. You do that.

ANNOUNCER: Anderson Cooper and Michaela Pereira host "The Person Who Changed My Life", Sunday at 8:00, only on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:57:42] BURNETT: It's a tall order, one America American boy's wish to be famous in China. But this 8-year-old's dream is bringing the world together and Jeanne Moos has tonight's idea.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He sat calmly eating chips as Rhode Island lawmakers sang his praises.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a beam of light.

MOOS: Declaring it D-Strong Day. The D is for Dorian.

Most kids these days dream of being famous. But Dorian Murray is in a hurry, because doctors say his rare terminal cancer may not leave him much time.

DORIAN MURRAY, WISHES TO BE FAMOUS: I'm just thinking before I go to heaven to try to be famous like as much as I can.

MOOS: Dorian specifically wanted to be famous in China because of the Great Wall. When his family posted his wish it came true, D-Strong as in.

MURRAY: You have to like stay strong for D. MOOS: Was displayed all over the Great Wall and beyond from Africa to

Australia to Paris. Above water and below, diving for Dorian. He was serenaded with songs.

(MUSIC)

MOOS: After all, this is a kid that seems to love music.

Dorian and his parents decided to stop any further treatment after tests showed the cancer had spread, but in the Rhode Island Senate, they were still hoping.

UIDENTIFIED MALE: Miracles do happen.

MOOS: Dorian's D-Strong message has been shared by celebs ranging from Conan to Carol King to Paula Abdul. He got a personal visit from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

MURRAY: I'm 8.

ROB GRONKOWSKI: You seem older than 8.

MURRAY: Trust me, I'm 8.

GRONKOWSKI: Do you have an ID?

MURRAY: I have my birth certificate.

MOOS: What does Dorian think is so great about being famous?

MURRAY: Because I can get lots of girls.

MOOS: That he has.

(MUSIC)

MOOS: In his hometown of Westerly, Rhode Island, over 2,500 people gathered on a beach.

Dorian Murray is a kid with heart.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: What a wonderful story. So sad but so inspirational. Thank you for joining us.

Be sure to set your DVR to watch the show at any time.

"AC360" starts right now.