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CNN Projects Clinton Wins South Carolina By Wide Margin; Hillary Delivers Remarks to supporters. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 27, 2016 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We are counting down. We're only seconds away from the top of the hour.

This is the moment Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have been waiting for. The polls will officially close at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. That's when we'll be able to report the exit poll information that we have.

[19:00:01] We are getting hard numbers right now. Stand by for this.

As CNN makes this major projection, Hillary Clinton is the winner of South Carolina Democratic presidential primary. Based on the exit poll information we get, we have projected that the former secretary of state, former U.S. senator, the former first lady of the United States, will win the South Carolina Democratic primary. A very important win for Hillary Clinton going into Super Tuesday.

Let's go to Brianna Keilar over at the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters. They are about to hear the word right now.

And I assume there's going to be a lot of joy behind you, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, that's right. In fact, there is a delay here. CNN is playing on the speaker.

So, they are just hearing this right w, that the polls have and they are waiting for this projection. You're about to hear it.

And the crowd is starting to get very excited obviously because -- and here you have it, Wolf. That's the crowd hearing right now. You announced that Hillary Clinton is projected South Carolina.

So, we do understand at this point that she is going to be making her way from her hotels in Columbia where she has been waiting with some girlfriends with Hillary Land back with her days as first lady when husband was in the White House. And she'll be coming her to savor a victory.

Of course, what folks are hoping for is a victory that has a very large margin. A decisive win that will propel them into Super Tuesday, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Brianna, a lot of happy people over there. At some point soon presumably, we'll hear from Hillary Clinton herself in a moment.

Jake, this is an important moment, especially if it's a precursor to what could happen in those Southern states on Tuesday.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What a difference it makes. Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton got her clock cleaned in South Carolina. She lost by almost 30 points to Barack Obama. But now, she is the heir apparent to Barack Obama and doing so much better with the African- American community than s she was back then -- a staggering, staggering victory for her.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And it is obviously a numerical victory but it is a psychological victory.

TAPPER: Yes, huge.

BASH: Which matters a lot in this race, which she has been trying to out maneuver Bernie Sanders rhetorically and in terms of message and theme. But now, she has been able to do it in the state. Look, the Democrats inside Hillary Clinton's campaign said South Carolina is her firewall. And it was.

Tell us why we were able to project it so early? Because it was that much of a firewall, right?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICS DIRECTOR: Well, right. So, the way in which we go about this, as you know, we send people around the state of South Carolina to dozens of precincts and we -- not only do we interviewed them about they tell us who they voted for, but then we also observe in sample precincts the actual raw vote coming in. So, even though the state party has not reported the raw vote totals and we can't see actual vote yet, we, we because of our exit polls and because of our sample precincts where we actually do observe the vote count, we were able to make the projection that she is clearly going to be the winner here.

And I just want to the point that you were making, Dana, about the psychological impact that you're making, because we now have to take stock. This is true on the Republican side, that she has now won three of these four early contests. That is a big deal. And that is a complete shift from where we were last time.

And you're right, they pointed to South Carolina as a firewall, and it's proving to be. And when you win three of four early contests and you build that kind of head of steam moving forward and there are these structural changes going forward, it's just a formidable position enough that Hillary Clinton finds herself in.

TAPPER: And let's also talk about the fact that the education of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton that has taken place when it comes to dealing with the concerns of the African-American community and the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember how caught off guard both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were at the initial people approaching them saying, do you think black lives matter?

I remember Hillary Clinton was in Ferguson or near Ferguson. Her first response was all lives matter. She didn't even know that was the, quote, unquote, "wrong response" to Black Lives Matter. But there has been an education and outreach by both Sanders and Clinton. But much more successful for Clinton this evening to the needs and desires of what the African-American community wants to hear from them. You see the results this evening.

BASH: That's right. It's not as if Bernie Sanders didn't try when he was with Anderson at a town hall last week. But in South Carolina, he had a very specific answer to the question -- to a question that was clearly aimed to reach out to the African-Americans, saying that the only people who are asked if they're actual legal citizens or if they are eligible to be president are people of color, because he said my father was from Poland and nobody asked me.


[19:05:10] BASH: That was very specific.

But one other quick thing I want to point out going forward, this is a big win for Hillary Clinton, no question about it. Structurally, it is hard for Bernie Sanders to win. However, it is also hard for Hillary Clinton to shut it down because of the Democratic structure.

It is proportional, and all the states going forward, unlike the Republican side, which starts winner-take-all starting March 15th. That means if Bernie Sanders continues to raise money the way he does and is determined to stay in, he can for a while.

TAPPER: Oh, yes. He can stay in the race for a long, long time.

Anderson, you were talking about the education of the two Democratic candidates. You have some of the educators at those tables behind you.


I should also point out, it was Chris Cuomo during the town hall in South Carolina. He is in very good shape. I'm the pencil neck geek. So, that's how you can distinguish us.

A huge win, David Axelrod and Gloria, for Hillary Clinton.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I just say? It is a huge win. And I will also point out to those in the Hillary Clinton campaign who might say it's time for Bernie Sanders to shut it down -- well, Hillary Clinton didn't shut it down when she lost by 28 points in South Carolina. And Bernie Sanders, as Dana was pointing out, he's not going to shut it down.

COOPER: Does this have to -- does this change, though, for Bernie Sanders?

BORGER: Yes, it does. It does.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's a preposterous notion that he should shut it down. And even if everything points pencils it out the way it might going forward, it will be May before Hillary Clinton gets the requisite number of delegates.

COOPER: To John King's point earlier though, does this mean the Clinton campaign tells him tone it down?

AXELROD: Well, I don't know if they can and I don't know if they will. What it does mean is that momentum is not on his side. On this issue of fund-raising is interesting. I know they said, well, they raised money off of losses. I don't know if they have yet proven they can raise money off a 25 or 30-point loss, which is apparently what's going to happen tonight.

And so, you know, I don't know that he is going to have the resources, that is just going to keep on going the way it was going.

BORGER: He also isn't the kind of candidate. He's in a way been hamstrung by his own appeal. His appeal is that he is not a politician. He is authentic.

So, he didn't take on Hillary Clinton in many of the ways that a politician would have like, the damn e-mails. And he is sort of hinted you've got to release your speeches, but he hasn't attacked the way you might expect.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Just to go in that room, because I was there January 27th, 2008. That emotion overcame everybody. We were literally crying because Barack Obama won.


SELLERS: But to say there is this enthusiasm gap per se, maybe is it as fair as one may seem. Because Hillary Clinton went out and didn't take anything for granted 20 or 30 points. She was having campaign stop after campaign stop after campaign stop with Bill Clinton.

What you see in this room right now. I'm sorry. But what you see in this room right now is so much emotion. I just think for one moment we have to pause and recognize that today Hillary Clinton completely turned the page from that just sound defeat she got in 2008 and made the necessary changes to have this time.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Duly noted the moment is received.


CUPP: Let's acknowledge the huge enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats. The map doesn't bear that out. And I think there's a reason why.

The way the parties are framing this election is vastly different. Republicans from Donald Trump to Ted Cruz are talking about anger. Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, are talking about Obama, preserving his legacy. That might turn on Democratic operatives. That does not turn on the base of Democratic voters.

And I think you're going to see really low turnout here in South Carolina.


DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We're going to (INAUDIBLE) South Carolina. So, let's not have a heart palpitation.

Here's what I know about turnout, and the turnout, of course, has been insanely for two candidates. But I can guarantee you when you look at registration right now, Democrats are still, you know, going out there, they're registering to vote. Republicans have the lion's share of the media attention, the lion's share of the media. But I'm not afraid yet.

COOPER: What do you mean you're not afraid yet?

BRAZILE: Because I don't believe what we are seeing today on those four tests, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada will give us any evidence of what's going to happen in the fall.


BRAZILE: You talk about that --

AXELROD: Do some therapy with the gala because he's not sleeping.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a huge Christie fan.



BRAZILE: I don't think we should panic right now. All I'm saying is when we look at registration, people are still going about registration.

[19:10:02] Democrats --


COOPER: So, Bakari, how do you -- you talked about trying to fix that enthusiasm.

SELLERS: Yes, I think it will change. I think that especially Democratic base voters are getting more excited. I was giving the example I was coming because I knew I was coming on the show with Anderson. I had to get a fresh haircut.

My barber was literally talking about obstructionism in the United States Supreme Court. That's a big issue. Lets me tell you something, when you have African-American and Hispanic voters coming out based on the Supreme Court and the fact we get to run against Donald Trump, I mean, I think that blows the roof off of all of this.

COOPER: OK, David? AXELROD: I think it is important to note, though, there is a reason it is difficult to elect a third president of the same party. It is natural for those voters to feel more comfortable with the status quo. It is more -- it is natural for the opposition party to be hungrier.

I think what we are seeing is historically -- the question is with these other things on the ballot, the Supreme Court, Trump and so on, whether those patterns will not hold.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think when Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are actually out there when this thing is decided, whether it's Clinton or Sanders and campaigns for those folks who end up being the Democratic nominee and talking about his legacy and talking about the preservation of that legacy, I do think that will be a motivating factor for this core constituency of the Democratic base.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The public excitement is because Donald Trump, in the eyes of Democrat, Islamophobic, anti- immigrant campaign. That is fighting resonance in the Republican base. OK, it is getting a lot of turnout, because I have to do my job. Other Democrats will have to do their jobs, but that will also motivate Democrats. Believe me. And we will make sure.

This week, a Univision poll came out. And Mr. Trump's negative among Latinos was near 80 percent. I think it was 80 percent, maybe 82 percent -- 82 percent, that's because 18 percent haven't heard from him yet.

COOPER: Van, we have to go.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENATOR: I just want to say one thing about Hillary Clinton. It is very hard to win back trust, right? There was a break of trust.


JONES: To win it back is very hard, and she did that. She did that in South Carolina, which means people say she has a trust deficit, it is possible she may be able to win back trust with other voters. That's important tonight.

COOPER: All right. Wolf, let's take it back to you.

BLITZER: All right, Anderson.

We are getting immediate reaction from the Clinton and Sanders campaign. I want to go to Brianna Keilar at the Clinton headquarters where they are celebrating. We projected she is the big winner tonight.

What's the reaction over there, Brianna?

KEILAR: I want to take you behind the scenes when Hillary Clinton and staff found out they won South Carolina, which certainly they expected but very much savored. Shortly before polls, Marlon Marshall, who is top ranking African-American on Hillary Clinton's campaign staff, he is the director of states of political engagement who has been key to her African-American outreach, which was so important for her win here in South Carolina, he was leading the roaming in chant of "Clay, Clay, Clay". Clay Middleton is South Carolina's state director, acknowledging his efforts here.

A little woo-wooing I'm told by an aide. Then all the staff sat down. And then that projection came in and the room erupted, everyone on their feet. Hillary Clinton tweeting shortly after that, "To South Carolina, to the volunteers at the heart of our campaign, to the supporters who power it, thank you. Signed, H." Which means she wrote it or she had a hand in writing this along with a couple of her top aides, congratulating all of those who have been working on her campaign here in South Carolina and beyond.

BLITZER: Though they had to win South Carolina, clearly the Clinton campaign has won South Carolina.

I want to go to Bernie Sanders headquarters. He's in Rochester, Minnesota, right now.

I take it there is a statement now from the campaign. What do they say?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is, Wolf. Senator Sanders said he congratulates Secretary Clinton on her victory, but he makes clear this is just one contest.

Let's look at this a little carefully. He said, "Let me be clear on one thing tonight. This campaign is just the beginning. We won a decisive victory in New Hampshire. She won a decisive victory in South Carolina. Now, it's on to Super Tuesday. In just three days, Democrats in 11 states will pick 10 times more pledged delegates on one day than were selected in these four early states so far in this campaign." So, he says we are not going to stop now, Wolf.

That is why Senator Sanders is en route to Minnesota. He'll arrive in a couple of hours or so, and will give a speech here. And, Wolf, it's not even clear that his supporters here who are gathering behind me even know what happened in South Carolina. This is not a watch party. There are no televisions here. There are no screens here.

[19:15:01] So, unless some of these reporters are looking at their iPhones, they don't even know what happened yet in South Carolina. That, of course, is by design from the Sanders campaign. But the reality is here, Wolf, the Democratic Party is seeing this and tonight represents a shift in this campaign. It certainly has a long way to go, but tonight is an important night for both sides -- Wolf.

BLTIZER: All right. Jeff, thanks. We'll get back to you.

We have a key race alert: the first numbers coming in from the election results. Let's show them to our viewers right now. This is the first real numbers coming in. Only 1 percent of the numbers are in. You can see how decisive right now, very, very early. Hillary Clinton win is in South Carolina. But only a few hundred

votes are in, but 87.5 percent for Hillary Clinton. Only 12.5 percent for Bernie Sanders. Once again, very early. But by all accounts, this is going to be a very, very decisive win for Hillary Clinton. She will win by a wide margin in South Carolina.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: David Axelrod, if you're Bernie Sanders, do you commit a lot of resources to Louisiana, to Mississippi, to Georgia?

AXELROD: No, no, no. I think he will commit his resources to where he thinks he can win and his time, which is just as valuable. Or maybe more so.

Look, I think one of the things that happened here, Tad Devine, the very, very smart strategist who has been running the Sanders campaign, said in "The Wall Street Journal" this morning that their strategy was if they could run the table on the first three contests that they felt they had a shot in South Carolina. That didn't happen. And so, they didn't have the momentum they needed to get the push here.

This is a momentum problem today for them going into Tuesday. That's what they need to worry about. But they are certainly going to concentrate on Tuesday and beyond on the states where there's a predominantly white electorate, because that's where they have an advantage. Even tonight in some of the returns, you see some evidence that he has done well among white voters. But white voters were a relatively smaller portion of this electorate.

BORGER: And the question is, will younger voters, who always disappoint, even disappointed in 2008 to a degree, they never turn out as much as you think they are.

COOPER: You are speaking as a mom.

BORGER: I am. By the way, I will tell you my boys vote.


BORGER: Because I make sure. My boys vote.

But young voters disappoint. They don't turn out. We'll see in South Carolina tonight whether that is a problem and whether it's going to be a problem with some of the states like Minnesota. Colorado is a caucus, right? So, maybe he can organize.

HENDERSON: It's also true that Sanders has done better. We don't know what the final exit polls is among black voters. But he was at 3 percent in South Carolina, then 7 percent. Maybe he will end up getting 20 percent at some point.

But he is getting better. I don't think he's going to give up on the black vote. He's got really tough surrogates. People like Nina Turner, as you said, Killer Mike, Cornell West, going out to these different states. So we will have to see if he is able to -- what's that?

JONES: Yes, this is not just a verdict. This defeat, and it may turn out to be an epic defeat with Bernie Sanders with black vote. It is not just a judgment on Bernie Sanders. It is a judgment on the black left.

We also make the mistake of seeing the black vote is as monolithic, or just looking at the age. But there is a left, a middle, and a right.

HENDERSON: And he is doing well with the left.

JONES: And the black vote came out and tried. Harry Belafonte came out. Danny Glover came out. Spike Lee came out and failed. Why? Because the character of the black left is an anti-electoral left. It loves to protest. It does not love to sign up voters.

So, what you're now -- this is just the reality. What you are now seeing is the black left is up against a real challenge. Can it produce votes? Right now it can't. That is not just Bernie's fault.

COOPER: We're going to have this discussion more in the hour ahead. But first, let's go back to Jake -- Jake.

TAPPER: The voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971. You can ask President George McGovern how that worked out for him in terms of young voters turning out.

But let's talk about who did turn out today after the Nevada caucuses, Dana, Hillary Clinton made a big point of saying African-Americans went overwhelmingly for her in Nevada, credited them in many ways with her victory in Nevada. It looked like she was looking ahead to South Carolina. Did they turn out today?

BASH: It seems as they did. You just a few minutes ago talked about how big a proportion of the Democratic electorate tonight African- Americans were. So, I assume given the fact that she won, she did pretty well with that.

CHALIAN: Very safe assumption on that part. Yes, the black electorate is 62 percent of voters are African-American in the Democratic primary. And look how they split, 84 percent for Clinton, 16 percent for Sanders.

That is huge. This is greater than what she saw in Nevada.

BASH: And the other question that I have found fascinating as we've done this for the past three elections, the nights, four election nights, is how the candidates have been appealing to the voters based on their own particular character. And it seems to be a little bit different tonight for the Democrats than we have seen in Iowa, and New Hampshire, and in Nevada.

CHALIAN: It is, without a doubt. Take a look at this. We asked people the kind of qualities they're looking for in a candidate. Among those voters who are looking for somebody who cares like people like me, Hillary Clinton beats Bernie Sanders 61 percent to 38 percent. And this was the top quality that people were looking for.

Another quality we asked about, voters looking for a candidate who is honest and trustworthy. Those are not the right numbers there. But 72 percent does believe that Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy.

But the numbers that I wanted to share with you is that among the voters who said that the most important quality was a candidate who was honest and trustworthy, she does lose them to Bernie Sanders, 54 percent to 45 percent. She loses by nine points.

But compare that to this in the other states. She lost them by 73 points in Iowa, 86 points in New Hampshire, 70 points in Nevada. Here on honest and trustworthy, she's losing them by nine points.

TAPPER: This is her New Hampshire.

CHALIAN: Exactly.

TAPPER: So dominant in New Hampshire, this election cycle. And she's just cleaning up. David, I don't know the answer to this question. Has she ever done that well when it comes to cares about people like me? Because that's also the category where Bernie Sanders tends to win even in states where she wins.

CHALIAN: That's right. We have not seen her do this well, 61 percent to 38 percent. This empathy vote, we were doing the same. We have seen how the qualities have split. This has been more of a Sanders quality or at least they would battle it out, nothing this dominant among that poll.

BASH: And the fact that she came so close to Bernie Sanders on honest and trustworthiness. I mean, if I were inside the Clinton campaign right now, I would be incredibly happy about that since that has been her biggest Achilles' heel, for obvious reasons, right?

CHALIAN: Right. Even if states where she does well, Bernie Sanders is considered more honest and trustworthy. Really remarkable that the empathy is -- her empathy is taken so seriously by the Democratic voters of South Carolina. It just goes to show how important the African-American community is to Hillary Clinton and to the coalition.

And should she become the nominee, how important it will be to get them to the polls. Because I mean, these are just staggering numbers, 84 percent of the African-American vote. This is what the polls were like five months ago in South Carolina. And the Sanders campaign said, yes, we have a lot of work to do. Well, they didn't get it done.


TAPPER: I'm sure he tried. We know he went down there. We know he really attempted to reach out and get the African-American vote. But for Hillary Clinton to get 84 percent of the African-American vote is almost like he didn't do anything over the last five months to try to get their vote. BASH: And as you said, he did. Even though they're downplaying it inside the Sanders' don't saying, well, we never thought we would do really well here. We're looking forward. It is all about delegate math on Super Tuesday. They did try.

TAPPER: We are waiting for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to come out and declare victory. We will bring that to you live. We will be right back after this very quick break. Stay with us.


[19:27:25] BLITZER: Hillary Clinton we projected as won a decisive victory in South Carolina in the Democratic presidential primary. We're standing by to hear from her. She's going to be making a statement very soon. We will, of course, have live coverage of that.

Let's get a key race alert on actual numbers coming in to CNN right now. You can see Hillary Clinton with 2 percent of the vote and way ahead, 79.3 percent. It's only 20 percent for Bernie Sanders. She's got about 9,300 votes, 2,300 for Bernie Sanders.

Still early, but all of our projections, as a result of the exit polls, the real numbers come in she will win decisively.

Let's walk over to John King over here at the magic wall.

John, she did it impressively, very impressively across that state.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And the result is too early, as you noted, only 2 percent in, but 80/20. If we end 80/20, that would be stunning if we end 80/20. But if we end even 60- 40, or higher than 60 percent, Hillary Clinton not only wants to win here, she wants to win big. She had a healthy win in Nevada. Now, she wants a huge win.

As Jake just noted, Bernie Sanders won big in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton wants the momentum back in this race for a couple of reasons, one, because momentum is your best friend in politics. But two, because this state could be so instructive as what happens next as we go south.

So, you see 80 percent, 20 percent. Lexington County, she's getting 70 percent there, 87 percent here. I want to show you something as we go up here, 87, 83 percent here, 77 percent here. Greenville County, huge area. Waiting for Spartanburg to come in next.

Let me come back to the state, you see this belt here, or I just showed you -- 70 something. We start the get into the 80s as we go up here. What does that tell us? Looking at the African-American population in South Carolina, the deeper the color, the higher the percentage of African-Americans. Where you see that bigger African- American population, obviously, it's a big part of the Democratic primary tonight, she's winning big in the areas with the higher African-American population which is key for her as the race moves on, because most of Super Tuesday is played out down here, most of Super Tuesday is played out down here. And you see again, huge African- American population on those states.

So, big win in South Carolina tonight. Right now, in terms of pledge delegates, she's only up by one. Now, she has 445 super delegates. So, she has stretched the lead in the delegates race, but she wants to win big among the pledged delegates. This is the delegates you win on primary day, you win on caucus day.

Yes, she loves having the establishment support but she wants to get the voters to put her way ahead of Senator Sanders. And if she can hold this demographic edge, Wolf, as we move on to the south, again, if you take this off, and you'll come back to 2008, these are the states that were critical to then Senator Barack Obama. This is where the Obama coalition came together once he became a viable candidate.


The African-American vote put him over the top across the south and by big healthy margins, that you go through these states and look at them again, this is where he started to rack up the delegates.

This is what Hillary Clinton wants to do on Super Tuesday. So she's hoping to get a huge thing -- Barack Obama with 55 percent, Hillary Clinton wants to top that because the Democratic delegate rules are proportional. If she could keep it up like this, that means she gets most of the delegates and if she can get a big delegate lead tonight, carry that demographic advantage through Super Tuesday, still early in the race but she starts to stretch it out.

BLITZER: And our exit polls shows she is even doing better in the African-American vote among Democrats in South Carolina than then Senator Barack Obama did eight years ago when he decisively carried that state. We'll, have the exact numbers for you later. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. We are expecting Hillary Clinton to speak any moment in South Carolina where, of course, we're going to cutaway and bring that to you live as it happens. So stick around for that. Let's first go to our analyst, reporters, Gloria Borger, (INAUDIBLE) Anderson, David Axelrod and your commentators. In terms of Hillary Clinton, what does this mean for her? Obviously, this is a huge deal for her. Gives her a lot of momentum, gives her sort of bragging rights, sets her up very nicely for these southern states siwng, moving forward, how do you see it?

AXELROD: I think it's a big hinge in so many different ways. It is a big turning point in so many different ways. One, as Bakari mentioned earlier, when you think back to the scene eight years ago, she wasn't even in the state of South Carolina, much like Bernie Sanders isn't there tonight. She got there as quickly as she could. She knew she was going to get womped. Now she turns the corner into Super Tuesday with real momentum. That's important. I do think that on these numbers, though, we are going to have to look at these numbers by race. Because I think, on the honest and trustworthy numbers cares about people like me, these numbers are inflated by the absolutely huge amount of support she has gotten in the African-American community. It may mask the underlying problem that we've seen in some previous --

COOPER: Some of the underlying problems could very well still be there.

BORGER: Right. She always had a problem with white male voters. We will have to see how she does with white voters overall. Look, this is a huge victory for Hillary Clinton. You cannot understate it. She has momentum now going into Super Tuesday. You have the Sanders campaign. Now talking about the longview. This is going to be a delicate fight. It is just the way she sounded in 2008, which David remembers better than anybody else when she lost the state by 28 points.

If there are red flags there, it could be among the white voters. We'll have to see about that. But on the issues of empathy and trust, it is very clear from this electorate, Hillary Clinton has made up a lot of ground with this electorate that she did not have in the previous states.

JONES: And the way that she did it I think it is important for her to study. There were times when she was very warm on stage. There were times -- one of our town halls. Those who know her personally, see her personally know that feeling. They know that feeling. She can be as warm as Oprah one on one. But you don't see that on TV often.

So I think she should -- I mean, she should go back and look at those warm moments and see if she can roll it out. A lot of what I think people get their hackels (ph) up about Hillary Clinton, it is not at all sexist. Because we say she is screaming. It is not that. There's something tonally that can get off sometimes. When she is lining up that strength, that conviction, that policy smarts and the right tone, she's very formidable. She's shown that.

AXELROD: Warm is better than hot, basically. And when she is hot, she tends to substitute decibel level for passion. That's the way she signifies passion. It comes across as artificial, comes across as grating. The other thing is she has been much more empathetic in her approach since New Hampshire.

She is talking more about the country, about people, about not about herself.

JONES: She is growing.

AXELROD: Very important.

JONES: This is one of the hardest thing to do in life to do. (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFED MALE: I've been there. Most people we've ran campaigns. It's a gut punch. And she built herself back up. Then she goes into South Carolina, a state, I think of all the states, probably where there are more hurt feelings from her the campaign against Barack Obama and she rebuilt herself. Men and women in that room, I can't say enough about them -- Hillary is somewhere working her speech and you did great. I'm proud of you and I love you. But you put a team together that rebuilt a coalition that had been shattered in 2008.

I can't say enough about what it takes. We should -- I suppose focus on the bad and her problems. It is not that Bernie was weak. He didn't make any important mistakes in the African-American community. Currenlty has $2 million, 200 staffers, slightly making his ads and she's still (INAUDIBLE) because she and her team rose to the occasion.

CUPP: We have to acknowledge the fact that she kind of did away in recent weeks, maybe a month with some of the more, I think offensive campaign tactics against Bernie. The idea that he's sexist. She has surrogates out there saying that he doesn't know the Hispanic community. I mean really low-level kind of stuff.


She stopped doing that at a point and focused more, as Axe was saying, on warm, empathetic language. Obviously that's playing in Nevada and South Carolina.

SELLERS: But it was very issue driven. I mean, we can talk about the tone, we can talk about all these different things. But the message that Hillary Clinton used in this campaign, the direct targets towards African-American afternoon women which today won the day. And talking about again, you go justice and using the word justice intersectionality and all of these terms with some type of compassion is what won the day here.

Btu as we pivot to Super Tuesday, we are going to also see that that is going to be a very successful messaging point in Georgia. It's going to be very successful in Tennessee and beyond. And you kind of have to look at Bernie Sanders and say he has to now win Massachusetts. He has to now win Colorado. He has to now win Oklahoma. Those are must win states.

AXELROD: We actually heard anecdotally that people went marching to the polls chanting intersectionality. I don't know that that has ever happened.

BRAZILE: The notion is not just winning states. You have to start winning delegates.


BRAZILE: The delegate population of the Democratic parties is very diverse in Iowa and New Hampshire. If you look at 457 of the 4,051 pledged delegates, I'm a super -- I shouldn't talk a lot. But if you look at the -- and I've earned it, Bakari. When you look at the number of pledged delegates, 11 percent basically represents states like Iowa and New Hampshire. The rest represents states that are far more diverse like Nevada and South Carolina. That's the rules change we made back in 2007 for the 2008 primary season. That is the political terrain that Bernie Sanders has to run on. He has to be able to approve delegates in all of these states. You can't win a state. You got to also win delegates. And the majority of Democratic areas like the sixth congressional district in South Carolina. That's how you win. That's how you take a winner (ph). SELLERS: She gave a good lead real quick and I just have to comment on that because she kind of walked me back into this. But going back to the relationships that she build, everybody remembers the 3:00 a.m. phone call that Bill Clinton made to Jim Clyburn saying "you want war I'm going to bring you war." But today she got Jim Clyburn on war. Jim Clyburn is part of that apparatus that landed her to victory. So when we were talking about redemption Saturday, she had to humble herself.


BORGER: Let's not make any bones about it. President Obama hasn't come out and endorsed Hillary Clinton. But he does everything but endorse Hillary Clinton.

JONES: What do you do if you're Bernie Sanders?

Let's just talk a little bit about Bernie Sanders since there are two candidates in this party. So I think if you're Bernie Sanders, this African-American problem is going to be a real problem. I think it is impossible to overcome it by Super Tuesday. But you have to look at Michigan. You got to look at someplace you can go. What can you say to black voters in Michigan. You can talk about trade. You can say Hillary Clinton was for NAFTA and I wasn't. You can talk -- I do think you can talk about war and peace. There are other issues besides criminal justice that I think he's going to have to expand his racial argument. I think he's going to have to figure out ways to wedge there, to at least stop the bleeding.

COOPER: And you think he made a mistake early on in terms of his folks?

JONES: I think he let himself --

BRAZILE: I disagree. I would hope that Bernie Sanders would not listen to you. You know why? And I love you. But I wouldn't listen to you on this. You know why? Because relationships with Democrats is based on, as you well know, love. These Democrats have relied on the Clintons and Obama. But the Clintons to raise money, to help get out the vote over the last couple of years. I wouldn't try to divide Democrats. I would try to go and find those young millennials that he's been to put together, create the voters. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) that's what I would do.

JONES: You are the grandmaster. Tell me if I'm wrong.

BRAZILE: Thank you for not calling me grandmama.

JONES: (INAUDIBLE) I didn't say anything.


JONES: I think that Bernie Sanders can talk to those young folks about something. You can say this Hillary Clinton wants to defend some of these gains from Obama. I want to extended those gains. BRAZILE: That's fair. But don't try to break the bonds. Because the

bonds. There are voters in the Democratic coalition that will hold on to those relationships. Because they know that the Clintons have been there. They know Barack Obama has been there. They got to make sure that Bernie --

COOPER: Just so you know I think Hillary Clinton's aide putting her speech on the podium. We expect Hillary Clinton to be speaking any moment. So stay tuned. If folks are somewhere else in your house, get them in here.

AXELROD: You know, Van talks about the state of Michigan. I think Hillary Clinton scored a lot of points there by being up front on this Flint issue.


AXELROD: She's really ahead of everybody else. That's going to make it tougher. If that's the state he's thinking of breaking through him. I think that's going to make it tougher for him.



UNIDENTIFED MALE: He did go there, though. He did go there.

SELLERS: That just makes the debate that they we're having in Flint that much more -- I'm promoting the debate. It does mean that that dialogue that we're going to have in Flint, there are going to be a lot of people who are watching that debate. Because we are now talking about going back to the word "justice." I mean, kids are being poisoned.


BORGER: He did. He did go there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We should just point out that -- I'm going to do a little programming (INAUDIBLE) we should point out that our town hall/debate in Flint is on Sunday night.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Let me just say --

COOPER: Wait. It's not a town hall. It's a debate.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: It will be Chris Cuomo.

AXELROD: I want to say this, Bakari, as an older guy, you're going to go far in this organization.

COOPER: If you were Bernie Sanders tonight, do you even make a speech?



BORGER: I mean, you're in Minnesota. You're not in South Carolina.

BRAZILE: Anderson, you have 812 delegates at stake. And you're not talking to the people of South Carolina. I love South Carolina. They try to cook rice better than we do in Louisiana. But if you're Bernie Sanders tonight, you're talking to people in Texas. Of course you're trying to reach some people --

COOPER: And we believe, by the way, he is going to speak around 9:00 p.m.

BRAZILE: So you're trying to talk Oklahoma, Colorado, Minnesota. Of course you're there. You're trying to get delegates. You're looking beyond that to the caucus states that would be held on 3/5. And then you're looking at my beloved state of Louisiana. You know, he can get 20 percent.

COOPER: But unless Bernie Sanders is able to attract younger African- Americans, more African-Americans, a greater percentage of African- Americans, is there a path forward?

NIA MALIKA-HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: He's trying. Donna talked about creating new voters. I think one of the things they're particularly trying to do is focus on working class black men. That's where Killer Mike comes in. He's been going into barber shops talking up Bernie Sanders. So, you know, he is trying but it's certainly an uphill climb.

COOPER: Jim Clyburn, being introduced now -- Congressman Clyburn being introduced now to the crowd. Obviously as we were just talking about him, instrumental. We'll keep the conversation going as we --

AXELROD: One of the things that -- one difference between them is when Hillary Clinton gets geared up, she does this sort of interpersonal campaigning very well. She goes into these venues, she connects with people. That is not Bernie Sanders. He gives a very -- he gives very eloquent speeches, inspiring speeches about -- particularly about economics. But he generally leaves after that. He's not a guy who works the room the way she does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And in the south, that's really important.

AXELROD: I agree with that. That's my point.

BORGER: It is easier to build on a win than a loss.

And Hillary Clinton gets more comfortable campaigning. We have seen that. And I think it will continue.

CUPP: Well, the whole argument has been that Bernie Sanders isn't electable. She wasn't able to prove that decisively until this Nevada-South Carolina push. I mean, there just wasn't evidence that he wasn't electable out of Iowa where he was really close and in New Hampshire where he creamed her.

Now I think she gets to prove to her Democratic voters that that is a real concern even if you love Bernie Sanders.

AXELROD: I'm not sure it's fair to say that any of these are the ultimate test of electability. Barack Obama lost many primaries and caucuses in 2008 and still won the election. But I'm sure that will be spun that way and that is the nature of politics.

SELLERS: It also goes to show and I have been saying this a lot in recent months because I think it is starting to play out. But Bernie Sanders -- I mean a lot of us thought it's going to be Joe Biden but Bernie Sanders has really made Hillary Clinton a much better candidate. I mean, pushing her on these issues. She now she has to have -- she now has to have that ear to the occupied left movement now. And the liberal left. It is so eloquently occupying today.

She is beginning on to now listen to a more robust party which is going to help her because we are going to need every single piece of this party to come out and run against that hate and divisiveness of Donald Trump.

AXELROD: She became a better candidate in 2008, by the way, after she lost the Iowa caucuses.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: This is what we learned from '08 -- I thought was the Hillary/Barack death march. It turned out to be a victory march. It made the senator then now president better, tougher, stronger, smarter. It was painful. It was like a blessing in disguise. (INAUDIBLE) damn good disguise.

AXELROD: I was there.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: This is how this is playing out so far for the Democrats. People are saying, Bernie should get out. Nobody not named Clinton loves Hillary more than I do. Bernie should not get out of this.

COOPER: Because in your opinion, it is making her a better candidate.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Hillary a better candidate. I think he is making Bernie a better candidate.


COOPER: Let me ask you though, you were gleeful about Donald Trump getting the nomination months ago. I remember there was a lot of talk about it being a gift from god, I think at one point. Do you still -- are you still so sort of gleeful about that idea?


COOPER: You're not?

UNIDENTIFED MALE: No. Formidable. I still believe this. This is the most talented Republican field we have seen since Ronald Reagan ran in 1980. Really a lot of gifted people. He has steamrolled them. (INAUDIBLE) he had shown me a lot.

COOPER: Here is Hillary Clinton being introduced by Congressman Clyburn. Let's listen to the crowd and listen to the candidate.

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you so much, South Carolina.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!

CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much from one end of the state to another. I am so greatly appreciative because today you sent a message in America when we stand together --

There is no barrier too big to break. We have not gone through four early states and I want to congratulate Senator Sanders on running a great race. And tomorrow this campaign goes national.

We are going to compete for every vote in every state. We are not taking anything. And we're not taking anyone for granted.

I want to thank all the local leaders, legislators, mayors, pastors, organizers, volunteers who have worked their heart out for this campaign. I thank all of our great South Carolina friends going back so many years. I especially want to thank two of your former great Democratic governors, Dick Riley and Jim Hodges.

And I especially want to thank your statesman in Congress, Jim Clyburn.

I am so looking forward to working with the congressman to make the changes and continue the progress that we can build on the record and accomplishments of President Obama.

And to the almost 850,000 people who have contributed what they could, most giving less than $100, I thank each and every one of you. Now, every day since Iowa, more and more of you have stepped up. Today grassroots donors are powering this campaign.

And to the millions of people watching across our country, please join us by making a donation to And here's why. Because together we can break down all the barriers holding our families and our country back. We can build ladders of opportunity and empowerment. So every single American can have that chance to live up to his or her god-given potential and then and only then can America live up to its full potential too.


This campaign and this victory tonight is for the parents and teachers in rural South Carolina. They showed me crumbling classrooms in communities too long neglected. We're going to work together to give our children the education and that need and deserve here in South Carolina and across America.

This campaign and our victory is for the entrepreneur who told me more dreams die in the parking lots of banks than anywhere else. And that's especially true for women and people of color. So we're going to work together to give people, particularly young people, the tools you need to start that small business you've been dreaming of. And this campaign and our victory is for the reverend, a presiding elder of the AME church who looked at all the violence and division in our country and asked me the other night, how, how are we ever going to strengthen the bonds of family and community again? Well, we're going to start by working together with more love and kindness in our hearts and more respect for each other, even when we disagree.

Despite what you hear, we don't need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers. We need to show by everything we do that we really are in this together.

Today too many people at the top, too many corporations have forgotten this basic truth about what makes America great. Prescription drug companies that increase the price of drugs for no reason than greed and then double and triple bills of folks overnight. Corporations that use shell games to shift their headquarters overseas for no other reason than to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Companies like Johnson Controls, an auto parts company in Wisconsin, that we taxpayers helped to save with the auto rescue in 2008.

Now, let there be no doubt in any board room or executive suite across this country, if you cheat your employees, exploit your customers, pollute our environment or rip off the taxpayers, we will hold you accountable. If you turn your back on America, you'll pay a price.

But if you do the right thing, if you invest in your workers and in your country's future, then we will stand with you. Now, together we have to break down all the barriers. Not just some. It's important that Wall Street never threaten main street again, no bank can be too big to fail and no executive too powerful to jail.

But America isn't a single issue country, my friends. We need more than a plan for the biggest banks. The middle class needs a raise. And we need more good jobs. Jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. Jobs that provide dignity and a path to a brighter future. And we can create those good jobs by building on the progress we've made under President Obama.


So let's make new investments in manufacturing and small business, in scientific research, in clean energy, enough clean energy to power every home in America. And don't let anybody tell you we can't make things in America. I know we can and I know we will.

Let's break down the barriers that keep people on the sidelines of our economy, especially women. Don't you think we've waited long enough for quality affordable child care and paid family leave? Don't you think it's time for equal pay for equal work? And let's break down the barriers that stop our children from getting the best possible start in life.

We need to support great teachers and great schools in every zip code. Let's break down the barriers holding back our young people, especially the student debt that makes it hard to imagine ever living the life you want. And we are going to give special support to our historically black colleges and universities, which play a vital role in this state and across our country.

Now, breaking down all the barriers means we also have to face the reality of systemic racism that more than a half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. We have to invest in communities of color, reform our broken criminal justice and immigration system.

We have to guarantee opportunity, dignity and justice for every American. And tonight I want to pay tribute to five extraordinary women who criss-crossed this state with me and for me. Five mothers brought together by tragedy.

Sabrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, shot and killed in Florida just for walking down the street. Lucy Mcbath, mother of Jordan Davis, shot and killed by someone who thought he was playing his music too loud in his car. Maria Hamilton, mother of Donte (ph), shot and killed by police in Milwaukee. (INAUDIBLE), mother of Eric Garner choked to death after being stopped for selling loose cigarettes on the street. And Geneva Reed, mother of Sandra Bland who died in police custody in Texas. They all lost children, which is almost unimaginable. Yet they have not been broken or embittered. Instead, they have channelled their sorrow into a strategy and their mourning into a movement. And they are reminding us of something deep and powerful in the American spirit.

By now, we all know the story of Flint, Michigan, how a city's children were poisoned by toxic water because their governor wanted to save a little money. But there's another side to the story in Flint. It's a story of a community that's been knocked down but refused to be knocked out. It's hundreds of union plumbers coming from across the country to help install new water fixtures. It's students raising funds for water deliveries and showing up in Flint to distribute supplies, to see United Auto Workers and General Motors donating millions of dollars. We know there are many other Flints out there, communities that have been left out and left behind.

But for every problem we face anywhere in America, someone somewhere is working to solve it. Our country was built by people who had each other's backs, who understood we all have to do our part, and that at our best we all rise together. Imagine what we can all build together when each and every American has the chance to live up to his or her potential.

Imagine a tomorrow where no child grows up in the shadow of discrimination or under the specter of deportation. Imagine a tomorrow where every parent can find a good job and every grandparent can enjoy a secure retirement.