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Romney: Something Trump's Taxes Could Derail Him; Clinton, Sanders Battling Over Votes in South Carolina; Rubio, Cruz Looking Towards Super Tuesday. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired February 24, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We'll see you the 12 a.m. Eastern for another edition of 360. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Donald is on a row but is there a bombshell in his tax returns?
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
You heard the Republican frontrunner say to Anderson Cooper in the wake of his big in Nevada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, we've had three in a row now, three special groups of people, but the whole country is special, the people. And its -- you know, I sort of think it's a movement, Anderson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But Mitt Romney says something in Trump's taxes could derail him. Is he right? Or will the Trump train just keep rolling right to the nomination?
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders fighting for every last vote in South Carolina, but will black voters make all the difference there?
Lots to discuss tonight. And I want to begin with Mitt Romney's accusation that there could be a bombshell in Donald Trump's tax returns.
Mark Preston is CNN's politics executive director and he joins me now for the very latest on this. So, Mark, Mitt Romney launched a bombshell tonight by predicting a bombshell for Donald Trump. What happened?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: He did. No doubt about this. This comes at a time right now as you said that Donald Trump right now is motoring towards his nomination, causing a lot of fear among the republican establishment.
Now just a few hours ago on Fox, Mitt Romney speaking about Donald Trump's taxes had this to say. Let's take a listen, Don.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, U.S. FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Frankly, I think that we have good reason to believe that there's a bombshell in Donald Trump's taxes.
NEIL CAVUTO, YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO SHOW HOST: What do you mean?
ROMNEY: Well, I think there is something there, either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay, or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing.
And I think that's the reason that I think there's a bombshell in there is because every time he's asked about his taxes, he dodges and delays and says, well, we're working on it.
Hey, we're not talking about the taxes that are coming due this year. Of course they're working on those. They won't be ready for months. We're talking about taxes already filed, back taxes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PRESTON: And there you have Mitt Romney just a few hours ago, not only questioning whether there is a bombshell but really perhaps indicting Donald Trump on his charitable giving. Now the irony behind this, Don, is that the same thing happened to Mitt Romney back in 2012, the Senate democratic leader at that time, Harry Reid suggested that Mitt Romney himself had some of his own tax issues, Don.
LEMON: You know Donald Trump is going to respond, Mark, and he did that tonight on AC360 with Anderson. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You've been asked when you'll release your tax return. On Monday, you said you'll do it at, quote, at some point. Just today, you probably know Mitt Romney said, quote, "I think there's a reason to believe there is bombshell in Trump's taxes." Now we should point out, Mitt Romney refuse to release his taxes for quite a while. And he ultimately did, but why not just get them out there?
TRUMP: Well, because my returns are extremely complex and I'll make a determination at the right time, I'm in the rush to do it. Nobody has been bringing that up except for Mitt Romney. And the reason he brings that up is that he lost in the last election and lost very badly.
So, I don't know why he's bringing that up. But tax returns are very complicated. I have many, many companies. I have, you know, tremendously, you know, I have a very complex system of taxes and, frankly, I get audited every single year.
So, you know, mine are unlike everybody else who never gets audited, I get audited every single year, which I think is unfair. But I go through large audits and that's the way it is. But we'll make a determination over the next couple of months. It's very complicated.
COOPER: But point blank, does that mean you absolutely will release them, it's just a question of when?
TRUMP: No, I'll make a determination. I will be making that determination over I would say over the next couple of months, we'll make that determination. Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You know, Mark, it is standard that presidential candidates release their tax returns. I don't know if they're obligated to. But do you think Donald Trump is going to have to release his tax returns?
PRESTON: Well, look, at some point he's going to have to. At this point in the campaign though, I don't know if there's enough pressure in the republican primary that he will have to do so.
At this point, he has won three of the last three contest, came in second place in Iowa and he's motoring ahead to March 1st. But if he does win the republican nomination, though, Don, he probably will be pressured into doing so heading into the general election.
LEMON: OK. We have to play this -- go ahead.
PRESTON: But, Don, we have to you. Right. No, no, I was just going to say I do have to tell you the pressure is going to build on him, no doubt. And look, at one point Donald Trump and Mitt Romney had better times.
LEMON: So, Mark, you know, there are some different advice for Mitt Romney. You mentioned Mitt Romney back in 2012 when he was under similar scrutiny. What did he say back then?
[22:04:59] PRESTON: Well, let's take a listen again. As I said that there was better times between Mitt Romney and Donald Trump back in 2012 when he was under the scrutiny, Donald Trump was defending Mitt Romney at that time. Let's listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Going back to tax returns, Barack Obama released seven years, John Kerry released 12 years, Mitt Romney's own father released a dozen years. What's to stop him in this new spirit of transparency that you want to see. What is to stop your friend Mitt, just saying, you know what, I know there are doubts, people still don't see the offshore records, here it is going back 12 years.
TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you, as far as I'm concerned, I think and I told this to Mitt, if you -- if he release I'd like to do a swap. College records, passport applications for every tax return he ever signed. I mean, his returns are absolutely beautiful and perfect. I looked at them. A lot of people look at them.
I mean, those returns are perfect. Now I would say if I were Mitt and I'm not and I've never discussed this aspect of it, but if I were Mitt I'd say, hey, listen, I'll released all of the rest of them, he's already released a lot, I'll release the rest of them if you release your college records and your college applications.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PRESTON: And there you have Donald Trump defending Mitt Romney just a few years ago. But time have changed right now, Don, and we do have to look through the prism of politics right now. Donald Trump is on a roll heading towards the republican presidential nomination.
Mitt Romney shortly part of the republican establishment. The republican establishment is doing their best or at least trying to figure out how to stop Donald Trump from winning this nomination, Don.
LEMON: Mark Preston, always a pleasure. I want to bring in now Hugh Hewitt. He'll be one of the questioners at tomorrow night's CNN GOP debate in Houston.
Hello, Mr. Hewitt. Listen, I know you ask Donald Trump about these taxes as well.
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: Hey, Don, how are you?
LEMON: I'm great. You've spoken to him about his taxes as well. How big of an issue is this for him? Why not release them?
HEWITT: Well, I do believe that it's the easiest thing to take last year's tax returns and dump them out. Twenty fourteen are finished, they're in the box, just throw them out there, let's see what's in them get it out.
I've always been a big believer of putting out whatever bad news there is if there's bad news in it to put it out early. There's an old adage in politics, hang a lantern in your program. And he was, as Governor Romney parsimonious in his charitable giving, that he had a complicated tax structure, it will be a one day story.
But it becomes a much longer story the longer that you do delay. And it did tell me this week that he hadn't done it yet but then he would get around to it. I also asked Ted Cruz this week if he's released his tax returns and he hadn't, John Kasich hasn't released his tax returns.
It typically does come down to the frontrunner has to lead the way on tax returns.
HEWITT: So, I suspect that he will do it, pressure will grow and I think that a lot of republicans will say let's get them out before we get to Super Tuesday to March 15th, to make sure there aren't any surprises. LEMON: So, Hugh, do you think there's any there to these Mitt Romney
allegations? The reason he hasn't done it is because there's some sort of bombshell. I mean, why not do it. Do you think there's something there?
HEWITT: Well, a bombshell could be any number of things. It could be charity giving not at a level one would be consistent with billions of dollars. It might be with overseas tax situations, such as Mitt Romney had grand Cayman accounts.
It could be with anything that provides a grip on which to launch an attack. And a bombshell, no, I think. I think Donald Trump has the best accountants in the world; he's got one of the best companies in the world. He's got one of the best accounting staffs in the world. So, you're not going to find any misdoing there.
You're just going to find a lot of money and a lot of people's eyes are going to roll back in their heads because tax returns can be complicated.
That said, if you're going to run for public office it's part of the gut in recent years to put them out there. I'll also say, though, I think John Kasich and Ted Cruz have to put them out there because it's not enough to blunt the Trump momentum which is built.
Nevada was a big win for him last night. He's coming off of three in a row. History tells us no one has ever been stopped who has won three in a row. Of course history has strange. We've gone different lands. We're Alice in the wonder haul when it comes to politics 2016, reality politics, not normal politics. Nevertheless, I would -- I'd play it straight, put out 2014, get past it and move on.
LEMON: So, he is riding, Hugh, a high as a clear frontrunner. You know, you talked about last night that was a big win. But there's a huge debate tomorrow night right here on CNN. Can anything happen there, maybe you have a crystal ball...
HEWITT: Oh, yes.
LEMON: ... I don't know, that could derail him?
HEWITT: You know, I got a note today from a staffer, one of the campaign who said "expect the red wedding," which is a reference to the "Games of Thrones" episode where everyone basically got killed. I tend to be devisee worth in these things and stay away from the night nightmares and survive all these things.
But it could be genuinely the toughest debate we've seen thus far. I expect the audience to be enormous, the stakes are then high. I know I saw the set today during the rehearsal that Donald Trump stands on the middle, on his left is Ted Cruz, on his right is Marco Rubio.
Both of them have got to shoot to politically wound if not kill him, at the same time John Kasich is playing happy ball, Ben Carson is playing a very, very long game and interesting game. [22:10:08] So, it will be fascinating. And the amount of preparation
that went into it today, Wolf Blitzer, of course, the consummate pro at this, Dana Bash, whom are terrific people to work with. We've got great questions. It gets underway tomorrow night. It's going to be a terrific debate. I know you'll be doing the post-game show, but I expect it to be the most interesting debate that we have seen in the 2015, 2016 cycle today.
LEMON: And don't forget, you'll be there as well. But I want to talk about Trump looking ahead. This is what he said today about his possible V.P. pick, Hugh. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I do want somebody that's political because I want to get lots of great legislation that we all want passed that's sitting there for years and years and years. We have things sitting there that would be so good, including proper health care and other things. So, we're going to probably choose somebody that's somewhat political.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, an outsider who wants an insider. Explain that.
HEWITT: Well, let me be -- let me be very Shermanesque. If asked, I shall not accept, if nominated I shall not run. That reduces the rule by one. I think he's going to look for someone who has a gubernatorial experience, someone who has a lot of political experience, someone like John Kasich, if he is willing to do it, someone like Chris Christie if he is willing to do it, someone like Scott Walker, if he is willing to do it, someone like Governor Nikki Haley if she is willing to do it.
A governor would be a great match with Donald Trump who spent most of his time banging on Washington. I don't think a senator matches up with him very well, not another business person, as he said, but someone who has a genuine successful reformer and not got any of his immigration issues.
He can't ask Arnold. Arnold could succeed on "Celebrity Apprentice" but he can't be his vice presidential nomination because that is one person we know genuinely is disqualified from running for president.
LEMON: I like the way you put that. Hey, Nikki Haley certainly is an interesting choice, a woman and a governor. So, that would be very interesting. And she -- but she endorsed Rubio. but still, you know, if Trump is the nominee, maybe she'll -- maybe she'll come over.
HEWITT: Oh, it doesn't matter. After you get a nominee everyone is been on the hunt, you know, George Bush, Herbert Walker Bush banged away at Ronald Reagan for seven months campaign in 1980, came down to figuring out who is going to be the vice president after Gerry Ford said no, he didn't want to be co-president. Ronald Reagan turned to the guy he had been in a knife fight in the phone booth with for five months and he picked George H.W. Bush. So, what happened before doesn't matter come Cleveland in July especially after the cast went to ring.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Hugh. A lot of people are having fun where you are. I appreciate them over your microphone.
HEWITT: The Houston people, they're upset with me because I said go navy, beat Houston. They are very upset.
LEMON: Oh, that's it. Thank you, Hugh. See you soon. Good luck tomorrow night.
HEWITT: Thank you, Don. Be well.
LEMON: When we come right back, are angry voters the key to the nomination for Donald Trump? Plus, Melania Trump has said next to nothing on the campaign trail. That was until now why she says she has known to disagree with her husband.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: Do I agree all the time with him? No, I don't. And I tell him that. I tell him my opinions, I tell him what I think. Sometimes he listens, sometime he don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump's big win in Nevada moves his closer to the GOP nomination, but, but Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are looking ahead to Super Tuesday and more key races in March to boost their campaigns.
I want to talk about all of this with a republican writer Kayleigh McEnany, republican strategist Kevin Madden who worked for Mitt Romney's campaign -- well, I got something to ask you about, also Kellyanne Conway, president of Keep the Promise One PAC, a super PAC supporting Ted Cruz, and Jason Roe is here with us as well, senior adviser to Marco Rubio. Guess where I'm going to start. Mr. Madden, having worked for Mitt Romney, he thinks there could a...
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Taxes, taxes, taxes.
LEMON: That's where I'm going to ask you about. He thinks there could be a bombshell there. Why do you think he says that, especially after taking heat, you know, in his own campaign over his own taxes?
MADDEN: Yes, well, I mean, I think there is certainly going to be questions about whether or not he's the most effective messenger. But I think the case that he's trying to make is that Donald Trump is at some point going to have to endure a higher level of scrutiny if he's going to be the potential nominee.
And the tax question is one that not only did Donald Trump, not only -- I'm sorry, not only did Mitt Romney have to face in 2012, but so many of the other candidates have had to face. And it's something that the democrats are going to bring up.
So, if there is going to be a debate and if he is going to get a level of scrutiny here, he has to come forward on it now. Otherwise, everybody is going to continuing to question whether or not he has something to hide. And I think that's -- that's the point of that controversy today.
LEMON: So, all of them will have to come forward. You agree with Hugh Hewitt, at some point they all have to come forward. But because Donald Trump is a frontrunner, he should be leading the pack and doing it first?
MADDEN: And look, I think the way he responded to it today I think invited more questions, which is he said, look, my taxes are very complex and they take a while to put together. We're talking about taxes that have already been filed. He could release those right away.
The democrats are going to make that argument. I think other campaigns are going to make that argument; the media is going to continue to make that argument. So, any time he doesn't come out and make that at least -- make those disclosures, there are going to continue to be more questions.
LEMON: So, Kayleigh, listen, this is something as you know Donald Trump, he brags about his financials about how much taxes he pays, and all of those things. So, why not, why not release it?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Because look, he's not going to play by the rules that other people set by the conventional political rules. He hasn't played by them thus far, and it served him well. You know, if you try to push Donald Trump in a certain direction, you try to brought him in a certain direction, he's probably going to go to other direction and good for him.
You know, quite frankly, I wonder why Mitt Romney even waded into this and put these questions out there. You know, when I first heard the story, I asked myself is this Hillary Clinton who, you know, put these questions out there about a republican's taxes that there might be bombshell, no, it wasn't republican, it was Mitt Romney.
MADDEN: But Kayleigh, just real quick.
LEMON: Go ahead, Kevin.
MADDEN: Kayleigh, really quick, these are routine questions that candidates get in campaigns. These are routine. This is standard operating procedures that send it released their tax returns.
MCENANY: But they are routine questions that they should get by democrats, not by a former republican. They shouldn't be getting questions...
MADDEN: No, no, everybody, democrats and republicans.
MCENANY: ... from former republicans that there might be a bombshell. That severe speculation saying there might be bombshell in his taxes. I mean, that speculation to the point of view, you have to ask yourself whether Mitt Romney is trying to...
[22:20:07] MADDEN: That's fair.
MCENANY: ... push the establishment together in another direction. I just don't...
LEMON: Kellyanne, why are you are smiling?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Because I think they both raise excellent points. It is standard operating procedure. I remember the delay by Governor Romney in 2012 was perplexing to many because we always knew he'd be running for president again...
CONWAY: ... when he got out in early 2008. He paves the way for John McCain's nomination. And Kayleigh got a point about not playing by the rules. Now I'm smiling because I'm thinking of how well Donald Trump would do under Ted Cruz's tax plan. Ten percent flat tax and you file on a postcard.
CONWAY: We were having this discussion.
MADDEN: On message.
LEMON: That was a pivot. That's what I call a pivot. Jason, your turn. What do you think?
JASN ROE, MARCO RUBIO'S SENIOR ADVISER: Well, listen, the reality is no one is going to become president of the United States without releasing their tax returns. Marco Rubio released his tax returns when he ran for Senate this 2010. He's going to be releasing them shortly.
And you know listen, by Donald Trump's own admission, his are very complex. So, we probably need a lot more time to go through them. So, I would say the sooner he releases them, the better.
LEMON: OK. Let's move on. Kayleigh. So, last night, you know, three big blowout wins for Donald Trump. Is the game over? Is he unstoppable?
MCENANY: I think he's unstoppable. Look, anything can happen of course, politics is crazy at times, but I think to me the biggest indicator of his strength is looking at home states, and looking at the fact that now a poll just came out showing Cruz and Trump tied in Texas.
The latest poll we had, which is unfortunately a January poll in Florida, shows Trump winning over Rubio by 20 points. And in Ohio he's beating John Kasich, a poll released yesterday by five points when.
So, you're beating these candidates in their home states, at least according to polling you've got to start and ask yourself, you know, the Trump train is coming through. And it's maybe time for people to get on board instead of questioning it.
LEMON: Those who are riding the Trump train, Kevin -- you can respond after this. Let's look at this; they're angry Americans, OK? Ninety four percent of Nevada republicans either angry or dissatisfied with the federal government, Trump won that group. And 61 percent of these voters say that the next president should come from outside the establishment.
Those voters went big for Trump as well. Based on these three numbers, it is, these angry voters propelling Trump to the top. Is that who is propelling him to the top right now?
MADDEN: Yes. Look, Donald Trump has, I think he's really tapped into this feeling that many voters have that there's this canyon between their community and Washington. And there's a lot of frustration about the idea that Washington is not listening to people and their everyday concerns.
And so, they, you know, Donald Trump's candidacy for many of these voters has become a vehicle for those frustrations. And he has talked about it, you know, whether it's been about the economy, whether it's been about immigration, whether it's national security.
He has not offered real substantive positions, but instead what he has offered is, you know, clarity. He has defined that -- he has defined what he thinks is the wrong approach by Washington and then he has offered of what he believes, you know, rather simple remedies.
LEMON: Abut a lot of people in the beginning...
MADDEN: And that is something that is really resonating right now.
LEMON: Yes. But a lot of people in the beginning, I think, maybe you're one of didn't believe that, you know, he has to -- they didn't believe that he could do it. That he had to have more substance, even if he has tapping into that. That everyone that all of this people misjudge the pundits, the people in the Republican Party misjudged the anger of the people.
CONWAY: And they really shouldn't have gone because...
MADDEN: Yes, absolutely.
CONWAY: Oh, sorry.
LEMON: Go ahead, Kellyanne.
MADDEN: Go ahead, go ahead, Kellyanne. Go ahead.
CONWAY: Thank you, Kevin. They really shouldn't have because the three people who are the frontrunners, Marco Rubio in 2010, Ted Cruz in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2015, what do they all have in common? They were the outsiders challenging the establishment.
So, Cruz and Trump are still doing that as the outsiders and they together they have a coalition of over 60 close to 70 percent in some places and Marco Rubio of 2010 is gone. He now wears the establishment label proudly. He has endorsement after endorsement this week. He's got the Scarlet E, and the idea that you could beat Donald Trump in the left...
LEMON: Jason does not like that.
CONWAY: He can wait until March 15th. So, when the state -- Senator Rubio himself was asked by George Stephanopoulos, tell us which state you'll win. Senator Rubio said I'll win Florida on March 15th.
Ladies and gentlemen, by March 15th 50 percent of the delegates and 26 of the territories and states will have voted. He's skipping the first four contest, 0 for 4, he's not going to win anything on Super Tuesday.
According to Senator Rubio himself, nothing on March 5th, nothing on March 8th.
CONWAY: Then we get to -- then we get to Florida and he may win Florida. I think Cruz has a much better chance of winning Texas than Rubio does of winning Florida.
LEMON: OK. Jason Roe, how -- you're going to say, how dare you call him an establishment candidate? But, go ahead, respond to what she said.
ROE: Well, I mean, listen, he is the original tip of the spear of the anti-establishment. When he ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, he ran against the anointed establishment candidate, Charlie Crist.
[22:25:09] Everyone told him he shouldn't do it. The establishment tried to talk him out it have. He rejected that and he ran. And not only did he run and win and beat the establishment candidate and turn that guy into a democrat, he beat him so many badly.
And as a senator, he got a 98 percent conservative rating from the American Conservative Union. He's the tip of the spear of the conservative movement...
CONWAY: And now he's the establishment.
ROE: ... and God bless that Ted Cruz came along.
ROE: But listen, the way you win elections is by addition, not subtraction.
LEMON: All right.
CONWAY: Add it up.
ROE: Ted Cruz does not have one single endorsement from one conservative colleague that he served within the United States Senate.
CONWAY: You need delegates, not endorsements.
LEMON: All right.
ROE: We need help, but you know what, we do need someone that can unify the conservative movement and win in November.
LEMON: We've got to take a break right here. So, everyone stay with me. Hold your thoughts. We'll get to it on the other side.
Just ahead, a home state advantage or not so much? Can Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz beat Trump in their home states of Florida and Texas? We'll talk more about that.
LEMON: Live now to the University of Houston campus. There is the debate hall.
[23:00:00] It takes place tomorrow night right here on CNN. And of course you know it's going to be a good one. Make sure you tune tomorrow night, CNN's final republican debate before Super Tuesday which is next week.
All right. So, I'm back now with my panelists here. So, listen, there are three candidates who need to win their home states to have a chance at the nomination. That's Ted Cruz in Texas, Marco Rubio in Florida, and John Kasich in Ohio. All of them stand a very decent chance of losing their home states to Trump. Who at this point has the best chance to win? I'll let you have a crack at it first, Jason.
ROE: Well, I think after Senator Cruz loses Texas, there's going to be very little reason for him to remain in the race, and at that point I think Marco starts to consolidate the non-Trump vote. And I think we get to a two-person race and that's when I think we really start to take off and claims his nomination.
LEMON: Do you think he can win his home state, though, right?
CONWAY: Well, I think the Cruz voters go to Marco Rubio.
LEMON: Hang on. So, you think he's going to win his home state or because he has a chance of losing to Donald Trump.
ROE: Listen, it is weeks away and this thing is shifting constantly.
ROE: You know, listen. You know, we can look at Nevada and look at that 46 percent, but that's an anomaly just like Ted Cruz winning Iowa was an anomaly.
ROE: Ted Cruz has got three straight bronze medals and has been trending downward while Marco is trending upward. At some point Cruz is going to understand that there's not really a place for him.
LEMON: So, Kevin, who has the best chance of winning their home state?
MADDEN: Well, I think Cruz right now is in the best position if you look at some of these -- some of the polls that we're seeing. One of the big challenges that Marco Rubio has in Florida is that Donald Trump is so well known there, he has a home there. He is well established in the state.
But Jason is right. I think Marco Rubio can win Florida. I think for a lot of these candidates, I mean, all of three of them that we're talking about with regard to their home state, you know, it is -- the time has passed to be managing expectations. They have to either meet or exceed expectations right now given the level of momentum that we see Donald Trump has because of his three wins in the first four contests.
LEMON: OK. Here is someone we don't hear from very often on the campaign trail, and that is Melania Trump. She was interviewed on MSNBC this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: In what areas do you advise him?
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: I follow the news from a to z. And I know what's going on. I'm on the phone with my husband few times a day. He calls me. I call him. I tell him what's going on, he's on the road and I give him my opinions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Kayleigh, do you think Melania Trump is going to be an asset to her husband's campaign as we start to see more of her out in the trail? MCENANY: No doubt about it. You know, they say every -- behind strong
man is a strong woman. And I think we saw that today for sure in this MSNBC interview. You know, Melania Trump she speaks five languages, she is very articulate, she is very intelligent.
And beyond that, I think she's very likable. She's done a ton of philanthropic work for breast cancer and other organizations. You know, I think she's a strong asset. And I really like seeing the closeness in their relationship. It reminds me kind of Michelle Obama and Barack Obama. They have a really strong relationship. And I think that they have a similar scenario that we see from Donald Trump and his wife. And I think Michelle was an asset to Barack, and likewise, I think Melania will be an asset to Donald.
LEMON: Kellyanne, do you think she's going to be an asset?
LEMON: You do.
CONWAY: I think Melania Trump is a tremendous asset to her husband in his campaign. People forget, she's an entrepreneurial success in her own right. And I would just add to -- add to this conversation that for candidates to have his family, in this case the wife and the children that are all in is incredibly important.
And there are very few families that have had to sacrifice as much as the Trump family to do this, in my mind's eye. I know firsthand that Heidi Cruz is sacrificing her job and they have two small children on the trail.
So, it's not the Trumps. But it would be very easy for the Trump children to have gone back to their dad and say, hey, this was fun for a couple of month, but let's make the Trump Corporation great again. We make a million dollars a week here. We have somewhere else to go.
But that family is all in. We see his wife and his children at his side, at these debates; they're in the audience and at his side on the podium. And I think every wife in America, every partner in America, female partner in America could relate to what Melania Trump was saying before the break, Don, which is sometimes he agrees with me, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes I express my opinion, sometimes I don't. I think that just a very real explanation of a very common relationship.
LEMON: As adults who have all been in relationships, sometimes you agree, most times you don't. So, thank you. Thank you, Kevin. Thank you, Kayleigh, Jason and Kellyanne. I appreciate that.
Stay with us in CNN for all of the big events in politics. Tomorrow night the five remaining republican candidates take to the stage for the last debate before Super Tuesday.
Do we still have the large picture of that all? The CNN GOP presidential debate is in Houston moderated by our very own Wolf Blitzer, that's beginning at 8.30 Eastern. That is a hall in Houston, Texas for the debate night.
[22:34:59] And when we come right back, I'm going to talk to two South Carolina voters who questioned the candidates in our town hall last night. Did the answers they got change their minds? We'll see.
LEMON: The South Carolina primary is this Saturday and voters got a chance to question Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in our live town hall last night. Two of those voters are with me now. They are Angela Houlemard-Smith and Kyla Gray.
Great to have both of you, ladies here. Thanks for joining us.
KYLA GRAY, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: Nice to be here.
ANGELA HOULEMARD-SMITH, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: Thank you. Nice to be here.
LEMON: So, Kyla, you got the opportunity to ask Secretary Clinton a question last night at last night's town hall. You really spoke from the heart about some of the challenges you're facing every day. Let's look at this and then we'll talk.
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