Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SUNDAY
Trump Wins South Carolina: Clinton Takes Nevada; Rubio: Narrow Race Means Trump "Needs To Step Up"; Bush Suspends Floundering Campaign; Seven Killed, One Wounded In Shooting Rampage. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired February 21, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:00:11] AMARA WALKER, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be you this Sunday morning. A towering win for Donald Trump in South Carolina. Jolt of momentum for Hillary Clinton in Nevada, and the end of the road for Jeb Bush. We're all waking up this morning to a very new race for the White House.
WALKER: Absolutely. This morning we're covering it all for you including new reaction from the candidates today and what comes next?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": CNN projects Hillary Clinton is the winner of the Nevada Democratic caucuses beating Bernie Sanders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an important win, a decisive win.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other.
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a corrupt campaign finance system.
CLINTON: We aren't a single issue country.
SANDERS: Now it is on to Super Tuesday.
CLINTON: The fight goes on. The future that we want is within our grasp.
BLITZER: Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate magnet will win the South Carolina Republican primary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this now represent the defeat of skepticism.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looks like Donald Trump is on his way to winning. JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken so tonight I am suspending my campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been the writing on the wall for some time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death of a dynasty in a way.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are only six now and I'm still one of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is down to the final four.
SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This has become a three-person race and we will win the nomination.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As people drop out I'm going to get a lot of those votes also.
CARSON: I'm not going anywhere.
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This country is now ready for a new generation of conservatives to guide us into the 21st Century.
CRUZ: The Washington cartel in full terror that the conservative grass roots are rising up.
TRUMP: We won. We won.
WALKER: Of course, plenty to cheer about for Trump supporters after winning the South Carolina primary with 32.5 percent of the vote. Trump is now the unrivalled frontrunner among the Republican candidates. Marco Rubio edging out second place over Ted Cruz.
BLACKWELL: Well for the Democrats, a crucial win for Hillary Clinton, blunting that rise of Bernie Sanders, for so-called Nevada firewall held up, helping to ease anxiety among her supporters.
We'll have more of the Nevada caucuses in a moment, but we're going to start with Donald Trump's commanding victory in South Carolina and the now shrinking Republican field.
CNN's senior political reporter, Manu Raju, joins us from South Carolina, Colombia, to be specific. The Trump campaign must be motivated as we move to the south on March 1st.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: A very encouraging victory here. This is a man who has never run for office before and taking two of the first three primary states is such a resounding manner really gives him a head of steam heading into Nevada.
Where he's a heavy favorite to win the caucuses there on Tuesday ahead of the March 1st Super Tuesday states and a lot of southern states in that March 1st primary.
What was very encouraging for the Trump campaign was how well we did in a state that has dominated by Evangelical voters. His main rival in the state Ted Cruz had aggressively courted those voters and really at one point was seen as the possible -- seen as possible favorite in this state.
But Donald Trump did incredibly well with those voters all across South Carolina and when he addressed supporters in (inaudible), he did not hold back his excitement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love you all. Again, South Carolina we will never forget you. We will never forget you. We will never ever forget South Carolina. We will never forget our great volunteers. We love our volunteers.
We'll never forget all of the people that have helped us so much. My family and folks, let's go -- let's have a big win in Nevada. Let's have a big win at the SEC. Let's put this thing away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Now the other big storyline of the night was Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who really outperformed expectations. Ended up in second place when polls had him showing about a third place finish here.
But after Rubio's really underwhelming performance in New Hampshire he came out of here with a head of steam, really getting support from the party establishment.
And aboard his campaign plane last night, he made very clear he's going to sharpen the contrast with Donald Trump. Here is a little about what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: I think Donald now that the race has narrowed needs to step up and outline his foreign policy. And it can't be that he relies on experts he won't names. I mean, presidents have to know on day one about the difficult issues that confront this country on the global stage.
[06:05:05]And presidents have to be uniters, people that are willing to serve all the country, all Americans, even people that don't support you. So now that the race is going to be narrower, I think we'll have a chance to see those differences in a respectful way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So perhaps the most encouraging news of the night for Marco Rubio was the fact that Jeb Bush dropped out of the race. Of course, Marco Rubio has been competing very aggressively for the same type of supporters and for the donors in that Bush network. In addition, Bush being out of the race means that millions of
dollars of attack ads that have been launched by Jeb Bush's super PAC will no longer be on the air.
That will have a big impact on Marco Rubio going forward who said this is a three-man race, but one person he has to still look out for is John Kasich who is competing for that establishment lane and moderate voters as well.
Marco Rubio also plans to sharpen the contrast with John Kasich as well. Lots of storylines coming out of South Carolina. We'll see how it plays out in the coming days -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, looking ahead to that next debate right before Super Tuesday. CNN senior political reporter, Manu Raju, thank you so much. Of course, that debate here on CNN.
WALKER: On the Democratic side now, a big win in Nevada for Hillary Clinton propped up by the support of minority voters and casino workers. She defeated Senator Bernie Sanders. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I am so, so thrilled and so grateful to all of my supporters out there. Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Clinton is already moving forward, attending an event in Houston late last night as she looks forward to South Carolina primary next week in which she is already the crowd's favorite.
CNN's senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar, joining me now live from Houston. Brianna, a great night for Hillary. This was also a crucial win for her.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes this is so important, Amara. I'll tell you the Clinton campaign really thought that they might lose Nevada. It was very clear to them that this meant so much. They were so relieved, talking to a lot of top aides.
They said this is the best day of the campaign since Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy back in April. And the reason they are so really ecstatic about this win in Nevada yesterday is that even without a win in Nevada, there was a clearer path to the nomination for Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders.
So with this win in Nevada which had sizable minority groups, African-Americans and Hispanics. But still, you know, these were not giant percentages of the overall Democratic electorate.
The fact that she was still able to clinch a win they feel so positive about. And then you saw her move almost immediately here to Houston where she spoke at a historically black college last night.
A very excited crowd, especially for one that had to wait four hours for her. This is where they feel like her strength is going into South Carolina and these other southern states to vote on March 1st.
WALKER: And so what about Bernie Sanders? Where does he go from here? Obviously one of his biggest challenges has been appealing to non-white voters and clearly Hillary Clinton has the upper hand when it comes to South Carolina with the black vote and also the Super Tuesday states.
KEILAR: She certainly does and I think what we'll see, Amara, is he's going to continue to focus on African-American voters. He's going to continue to focus on Hispanic voters. The question is, is he really going to be able to make up that gap in support between what Hillary Clinton has and what he has.
We're a week from South Carolina. A week and change from March 1st and then other key states March 15th. So this could all move very quickly here in the next few months, but he's obviously moving forward towards South Carolina, looking to pick up some support there.
Really one of the issues though for him was that he was banking on a win in Nevada so he could say look, I have two. She only has one. Bracing for a defeat in South Carolina which seems almost imminent here and then he was going to try to pick up some delegates.
But probably Hillary Clinton would pick up more for Super Tuesday. Puts a little bit of a dent in some of the math his campaign was banking on.
WALKER: Yes, unfortunately, he's lost some of that momentum. We'll see how things go forward. Brianna Keilar, great having you. Thanks so much for that.
And coming up at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, a very special commercial- free "STATE OF THE UNION." The lineup, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, that's today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern only on CNN.
BLACKWELL: There are so many subplots after last night's big win for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Let's try to answer some questions here. With back-to-back wins now. Big wins. Is Donald Trump unstoppable?
Also will Jeb Bush's departure give another candidate a much- needed boost? Maybe through his supporters or possibly an endorsement before Super Tuesday.
[06:10:04]WALKER: Also former New York governor and former presidential candidate, George Pataki joining us live to talk about how Marco Rubio is in prime position to pick up some of those additional supporters.
BLACKWELL: And many of them millennial. Find out what young voters say will take the candidates to earn their votes.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There is nothing easy about running for president. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, and it's beautiful. When you win it is beautiful and we're going to start winning for our country. We're going to start winning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. You hear Donald Trump there. When you win it is beautiful. Donald Trump last night after winning the South Carolina primary, big win, 10 point win there.
The victory was more than just his second consecutive primary win. It proved that he's got that strength in the south. Strength he's going to call upon as we move into the March 1st contest.
Joined now by CNN political commentator, Ben Ferguson, and Republican writer and commentator, Kayleigh McEnany. Good to have both of you. Kayleigh is also a Trump supporter.
Ben, I want to start with you. Yesterday, the three of us were sitting on the campus of the University of South Carolina, and you expected that there would some backlash in the polls after Trump has that skirmish with the pope and called George W. Bush a liar. It proves that even if there was some backlash he still won by ten points.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it was ten points, a very solid victory for Donald Trump. A lot of people thought it was going to be even bigger than that. I think this what you see now is this is a three-man race and it is going to be between Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.
[06:15:02]The other thing is that, look, if you're Donald Trump after last night, you don't want anybody to drop out. You wish Jeb Bush was still going to be coming out this week in Houston on the debate stage.
Because the longer that this is a large race the better it is for Donald Trump because it is obvious that his supporters are solidified behind him. There are not going anywhere.
When he joked about being able to shoot a man in the street and people would still support him, his supporters would not leave him. I think it's pretty obvious now that his supporters are solid.
And the rest of the field, as long as it is large he's going to continue to win states and that is why when you see Jeb Bush drop out, a lot of people are saying Ben Carson should absolutely drop out. He says he's stilling in and it long as they are in it, it helps Donald Trump.
BLACKWELL: Kayleigh, we are going into Arkansas and Alabama and Oklahoma and Tennessee, all states that have large portions of Evangelical voters. All states that according to at least the surveys and anecdotal information are strong Trump strongholds, I guess I should say.
How much closer does this New Hampshire paired with the South Carolina win? How much does that pairing put him closer to the nomination?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN WRITER AND COMMENTATOR: It is a huge pairing because in addition to all those southern states you mentioned, those are Evangelical strongholds, Tea Party leaning states.
You also have the Virginias and the Massachusetts. You are putting all of these guys on high alert because you can compete in all of those states. You are going to force someone like Rubio to take a hard look at which states he should even consider competing in.
A lot of the states have 20 percent thresholds so if you don't get above 20 percent of the vote, you walk away with no delegates. So now there is a lot of really interesting math and because Donald Trump competes so well in both demographics, you're going to have Cruz and Rubio having to make some very strategic decisions.
BLACKWELL: So Ben, let's talk about Marco Rubio. He had an important second place finish last night, but he's only one contest removed from that poor performance in New Hampshire. Is the establishment now more confident? Are you expecting to see them now line up behind him?
FERGUSON: I don't. And I think that is because people don't know exactly where they are going to go moving forward depending on where you live. There is a lot of establishment that bombards the country.
I think what you are going to see the establishment start to do now is really try to apply pressure to Kasich and the Ben Carson to say it is time for you to get out. There is not a viable path for you to the White House.
I talked to one establishment Republican yesterday who said at this point you have to be able to explain to me why you should stay in. And if you cannot give me math that shows you a viable candidate then the only thing left is that you are doing this for your own personal ego, your own personal gain.
Because you should release your supporters and your donors once you realize the math doesn't work. That's what Jeb Bush did last night. Remember, Jeb had a lot of money. He spent a lot of money. He could have kept going.
He realized the math for me does not make sense, I cannot win this thing, and he got out. Same thing Mike Huckabee did after Iowa. He was a statesman for doing that.
And I think that is what you are going to see the establishment do is really start to apply that pressure and say, guys, this needs to be a three-man race right now not a five person.
BLACKWELL: Kayleigh, let's talk about the pressure that is now on Jeb Bush after leaving the race. Let's listen to a part of his speech last night and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision. So tonight I am suspending my campaign. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Governor Bush who's super PAC has a hundred million has now moved to the also ran list in this primary. Give us an idea of the pressure you expect he is facing to endorse before Super Tuesday.
MCENANY: In that establishment lane if you want a viable candidate who can pose a threat to Donald Trump you need every single bit of establishment support behind Rubio because the Jeb Bush support will be divided between Kasich and Rubio.
You will even have some folks tipping off and going to Donald Trump and maybe even Ted Cruz. But if Jeb Bush came out and solidly endorsed Marco Rubio and then you had that pressure on Kasich.
And all of that support could be as tightly consolidated behind Rubio as possible, you all of a sudden have a very competitive race.
But I would make the argument that I do think it is an outsider's election. Last night exit polling of CNN showed that 67 percent of people who were very angry at the federal government consolidated behind Cruz and Trump.
So even with Jeb Bush endorsing someone like Rubio it might be tough because I just think it is an outsider year.
[06:20:11]BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it there because we've got Governor Pataki coming up. You are back next hour. We'll talk about that endorsement potentially. How much it helps and who likely will get it. Kayleigh, Ben, thank you both.
Less than 15 minutes we will be joined by former Republican presidential candidate, George Pataki, former New York governor.
He'll talk to us about why he's backing Marco Rubio for the nomination and how he thinks the Florida senator can beat Donald Trump after this South Carolina win.
WALKER: The race for the GOP nomination becoming more competitive as we are down to five Republican candidates now and all five will be on one stage debating this Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Wolf Blitzer will moderate the GOP debate live from Houston Texas only on CNN.
And the CNN Democratic town hall is this Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. in Colombia, South Carolina. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face the voters one final time before South Carolina votes. That's Tuesday at 8 p.m. live on CNN. BLACKWELL: All right, lots more coming up on politics, but first we're following breaking news in Michigan this morning. A gunman on a shooting spree in Kalamazoo killing at least seven people including children. We are getting new details on the suspect. We'll have a live report next.
BLACKWELL: Let's go to Michigan now. It's 24 minutes after the hour. Where there is a man in Kalamazoo who is in police custody.
[06:25:05]WALKER: Yes, 45-year-old Jason Dalton is expected to be charged with open murder. He is accused of killing at least seven people in a shooting rampage last night including a child.
Police are calling it their worst case scenario because it seems he chose his victims randomly. Let's go right out to Ryan Young where he is standing by live.
Ryan, what can you tell us about this? Apparently this gunman want to three separate locations?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Three separate locations and we know within the next hour we're going to have another news conference where they are going to give us some more information about this case and some of the things they developed from this suspect that they have under arrest at this point.
What we do know this started around 6:00. They pulled into a parking lot and just decided to aim his gun at a woman who was walking with several children. He opened fired at her, shooting her, four times is what we're told.
She's in critical condition. Then it took four hours before the next shooting. That was around 10:00. Police say they did have a description of a car that they were looking for. But that didn't stop him from showing up at a Kia dealership and shooting two people, a father and son.
Then he moved on to a cracker barrel location where he shot five people there, killing several of the people in that parking lot. Seven people dead in total. We talked to the undersheriff just about the impact that this has on this community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL MATYAS, KALAMAZOO COUNTY UNDERSHERIFF: Well, I was born and raised in this town and I still live here and this just shock this is community. You know we're not a naive community. We have our situations that all communities have. But to have somebody just drive around randomly gunning people down for no apparent reason, that just attacks the psyche of the community and any community for that matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: You think about the impact of this. The idea that the suspect was just driving around, trying to figure out whether the motive is at this point. We're hoping the news conference that is going to happen that we'll be able to get more details.
There is a scene at the suspect's house right now where they are going through his apartment. We've asked several questions about the apartment. Whether or not he left any messages behind or booby traps, but so far they are not sharing that information with us.
The idea that someone would go from parking lot to parking lot and opening fire and shooting innocence people in front of children and shooting children you can understand why the community is shaken at this point.
WALKER: It is just horrific. Ryan Young, keep us posted and of course, we'll stay on top of that news conference in the next half hour or so. Thanks so much.
With Jeb Bush out of the race, can Marco Rubio win enough delegates to clinch the GOP nomination?
BLACKWELL: And for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders comes close in Nevada. The polls said it was much closer than it ended up being. Five points behind Hillary Clinton. Does this prove he's in trouble as the contest edge out?
WALKER: Mortgage rates inched up this week. Have a look.