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Trump Wins Six States, Cruz Wins Two; Clinton Wins Six States, Bernie Wins Two; Rubio Wins His First State, Minnesota; Sanders Wins Colorado Democratic Caucuses; Sanders Wins Minnesota Democratic Caucuses. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 1, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: And Chris Christie getting a lot of blowback for his endorsement of Donald Trump back in his home state.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. Six newspapers I believe got together sort of en masse and wrote an editorial condemning Chris Christie actually saying he should resign because of this endorsement of Donald Trump. So, he's getting a lot of blowback from his home state, which he would probably argue, it's because they're all liberal newspapers. But even that aside, it's the people who did support him, supported his campaign, financed his campaign who are trying to take down Donald Trump, the man he was standing behind.

TAPPER: We have heard from Donald Trump, we have heard from Ted Cruz. We have not yet heard from Marco Rubio. In just a few minutes ago, I did sit down and talk to him.

And Senator Marco Rubio joins me now live from Miami. Senator, thanks so much for joining us.


TAPPER: So not a great night for you. The past week you've been relentlessly hammering Donald Trump. Tonight he won state after state after state. Is it possible that your quarrel is not so much with Donald Trump as it is with Republican primary voters?

RUBIO: No, I think you're misanalysing the night. Look, we're going to pick up a major number of delegates in virtually every state on the map. Minnesota is still out by the way which is a state we think we're going to do very and as well. Look at Virginia. I was trailing by 20 points in the latest poll. We're down to maybe a two or three- point race there and we're going to leave with almost as many delegates as he has. Tonight was supposed to be Ted Cruz's night. He said he was going to end the campaign tonight in the southern states, he'll walk away with two states, his home state and where he won't get all the delegates in his neighboring state in Oklahoma where he also won't get all the delegates.

I also think it is important to understand this is a very unique election. Donald Trump is not someone that the Republican support is going to come after me and say, hey, we need everyone out of the race, let's rally around the front-runner now for the good of our party. The contrary is true. The fight is to save the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln and Reagan, from someone who is not just a con artist but who refuses to criticize the KKK. We cannot nominate someone that takes those positions. Someone who shares Hillary's position on Planned Parenthood, who says he going to be neutral on Iran, who basically supports government sponsored health care which indistinguishable from ObamaCare.

TAPPER: Yes. But --

RUBIO: This is a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. And I will not give up this fight. I will go through all 50 states before we stop fighting to save the Republican Party from someone like that.

TAPPER: But Senator, why are you to save your -- you haven't won any states. Ted Cruz you've say he has won two, well, that's two more than you have, and he's actually won three total and meanwhile Donald Trump keeps winning contest after contest. What is your argument that you actually have a viable path to the nomination?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I honestly and continue to believe we see it that there is no path for Donald Trump to get to 1,237 delegates. Every race that goes by that he can't do it, he falls further and further behind being able to meet that objective. I'm very confident that as we move in the March 15th states and even to Saturday, and going into next week, that you're going to see us begin to win contests but especially in the winner take all states. The terrain gets better for us now. Tonight was supposed to be Ted Cruz's big night, not a night where he won two states.

He was supposed to have that southern firewall. It didn't happen. And some of those states were out performing him tonight and getting more delegates that he's going to get. Tonight was not supposed to be my night. Tonight was supposed to be Ted Cruz's big night. We never said we were going to win on Super Tuesday and this would be when we close out our campaign. We have been prepared all along for an extended hall. And if you look at the map now, states that are going to come, that's where we're really going to start to catch fire.

We feel great about the demographics and the make-up of the places we're going on. And we have more support than ever before. I mean, just in the last week, the people coming on board and signing up at our website,, it's just exploded. People are saying they're with us, they're one, and we are going to be in the state, in this race even if it takes 50 states in every territory.

TAPPER: Senator Rubio, there are reports that your governor, a Republican, Rick Scott, is going to endorse Donald Trump this evening. What do you say to that?

RUBIO: Well, look, I have a lot of respect for Governor Scott. We would love to have him on our team. I don't know if those reports are true. I don't think they are, at least as of tonight. You know, so we would love to have his support. But I think presidential races to be honest, I think Rick Scott obviously would be a great endorsement for anyone. But presidential races are not decided simply by that especially here in Florida. We are incredibly confident of our team here and what we're going to do. Look what we did in Virginia. We were trailing by 20 points, 25 points in polls less than a week ago. And tonight, we basically fought Donald Trump to withdraw, in had it been a narrower field, we would have won Virginia.

We are leaving Virginia tonight, we as many -- virtually as many delegates as he has. And this is just after five days of pointing out repeatedly that this man is a con artist, who is taking advantage of, you know, the unrest in this country. People that are really frustrated. He's pretending that he's some sort of man of the people. I hear him talk about immigration.


RUBIO: This is a guy that used illegal immigrants to build the Trump towers. Look at what's happening at Trump University where he fraudulently induced student to sign up for this program. He's doing the same thing to the voters now and every day that goes by that that's exposed, that worst off he's going to be.

[23:05:01] TAPPER: Senator, you keep saying that and he keeps winning states and you're talking about Virginia and that's another state that Donald Trump won. And I'm wondering if there's a certain amount of denial that you're in about this race.

RUBIO: No, Jake. Look, again, again, we're in the winner-take-all phase of this. You know this is about delegate count. This is not a traditional race. Usually in a race like this, you'd have a front- runner and at this point people would be saying, you need to drop out and rally around the front-runner for the sake of the party. They're saying to opposite now. There will never come a time in this race our supporters are asking us to get out and rally around Donald Trump. What people are saying is fight as hard as you can to save the party of Lincoln and Reagan from a con artist who refuses to criticize the KKK.

If we nominated Donald Trump as our nominee for the Republican Party, it will be the end of the modern Republican Party, Hillary Clinton will smoke him in a general election and the next four years are going to be no different than the last state for our country. I will fight as long and as hard as it takes to save this party and the conservative movement from someone like Donald Trump.

TAPPER: Senator Marco Rubio from Miami, Florida. Thank you so much, sir.

RUBIO: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Call it determination, call it denial, Senator Marco Rubio -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Fascinating discussion. We're joined now by Kevin Madden is joining us. Bakari Sellers, we haven't seen both of you for a while. Kevin Madden, what do you make of what you're seeing tonight and what you just heard from Marco Rubio clearly saying, he's in it, he thinks there's a path forward. KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They are. And, there is

this, you know, an old saying -- as it campaigns never really run out of ideas or reasons to run, they only run out of money. And I think as long as Marco Rubio believes he has the resources and a path that he's going to run. The path now though I think gets narrower and narrower on the idea of beating Donald Trump outright. That was plan A. I think plan B, and this is, when you talk to the Rubio folks, they'll tell you that they're in this all the way until the end. That they believe that in a contested convention, that they could be position to unite the party and win in a contested convention. So, that is something that is, is something they're going to have to really start selling not only their supporters and donors on but the rest of the party.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But here is one question that I think Rubio supporters and even Marco Rubio himself has to ask. Not only is he in trouble as a presidential candidate, but given the polling in Florida right now that he has, he probably wouldn't be a good vice presidential pick. I mean, one task of being VP candidate is that you have to deliver the state. He can't even do that as a presidential candidate. So that's a big time problem for him. And I think this is a scenario where the donors may lead the party a little bit just because Marco Rubio at this point objectively speaking, someone who likes him as a candidate, is not a good investment.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But he also had a tough sell tonight even when Jake was speaking to him in trying to antagonize Ted Cruz. I mean, the big winner tonight is Ted Cruz. I mean, Ted Cruz won his home state, he won Oklahoma --

COOPER: It seems like the really big winner is Donald Trump.

SELLERS: Well, yes, I mean, but -- even Lindsey Graham has come out recently and said as much as he despises Ted Cruz, even he would have to rally around Ted Cruz to stop Trump.

LORD: Lindsey Graham said that?


JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Believe it or not, I heard exactly something else from Lindsey Graham.

SELLERS: I'm sure you have. But that just goes to show that the winner tonight is Ted Cruz. And Marco Rubio can fain and attempt to say and he's spun all of these losses very well over the past month and a half. I just think people are tired of him spinning his ills. He can't do it any longer.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I just say Donald Trump was completely dominant tonight, OK? Completely, utterly, indisputably, dominant Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure he wouldn't object to you saying that.

BORGER: Exactly. If he's watching. COOPER: And I'm pretty sure he's watching.

BORGER: And I'm pretty sure he's watching.


The other thing we all have to recognize now is that in Ted Cruz's speech tonight, he basically said everybody else needs to quit. He said we ought to prayerfully consider coming together as a party, which means everybody else ought to get out except for me. And you just heard Marco Rubio talk to Jake Tapper. So where you are now is Donald Trump up here and everybody else fighting some kind of guerrilla warfare and talking about -- as you called it last night I think the unicorn theory of the -- when I was talking about the contested convention, right? This is a unicorn theory but it is a theory that the Rubio campaign is now talking about openly with donors and with people like me and thinking that even if they can't win, they can go to convention and effectively disenfranchise everybody who's voted.

CARPENTER: It's like moving the goalpost. Right. I'll be really quick on this. First, he's going to win New Hampshire, then South Carolina and then we'll do something on Super Tuesday. Now it's the brokered convention. He can't move the goalpost any more that is the last thing. And if you think that -- if anyone thinks the conservatives are going to wait that long to win, there's not that patience there.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It may be the best of bad choices from the standpoint of the party regulars, but the notion of a brokered convention where you ignore the candidate who got the most delegates and choose someone else seems to me like a prescription for disaster, suicide.


[23:10:13] LORD: I mean, if you did that, I mean, the last convention that we had that was even remotely close to this was one I was at in 1976 with Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. I mean, that was a battle right there on the floor of the convention. Gerald Ford, although he was busy and I question, you know, inviting delegates to dinner with the Queen of England, you know, from Kansas --

AXELROD: Jeffrey, let it go, that was like 40 years ago.


LORD: I just -- I just, you know, it was decided amicably. And everybody went off and if not happy, you know, went to fight another day. I mean, what we're talking about here is exactly -- if what we're talking about -- I mean, this would be inconceivable.

BORGER: And then come up with like Paul Ryan or something? I don't see how do you that.

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I was just going to say, but the main ingredient for getting to a brokered convention is you have to win some states and you have deliver some numbers and Marco Rubio has not. He is the master of pretending to be what he's not, right? I mean, he -- he talks about his inaugural address when he comes in third.


AXELROD: But Bill, what they -- as they say, as the Minnesota caucuses go, so goes the nation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I forgot that. I'm sorry.

CARPENTER: We can't overstate the importance of this never Trump movement that is starting. I mean, this is part of the Ted Cruz theory that eventually everyone coalesce around someone. I think he would have preferred that they're coalescing affirmatively around his candidacy rather than as a mechanism to stop Trump. But nonetheless it is happening. In two weeks ago, lot of time to build on that, to continue to define Donald Trump. I mean, just in the last week these comments about the KKK have happened that give people a lot of pause. I mean, there's discussions that I'm having with friends not only with Donald Trump set the conservative movement, the Republican Party back decades, but possibly the country with what you're seeing these fights that we're having on camera. This is negative and we want to stop it.

SELLERS: But I hear the never Trump movement and all of those things but do you know one thing that's greater than all of those things right now? Donald Trump voters.

BORGER: Voters. Yes.

SELLERS: And when you talk about a brokered convention and as much as this pains me to say because I am not the biggest Donald Trump fan as you can possibly tell --


SELLERS: No, it was hard. But can you not just say and push aside all of these voters, these millions of voters who have come out and he's won.

COOPER: Right.

SELLERS: I mean, I said this earlier today, look --


And the question was, we had this question about his ceiling, we had these artificial ceilings, 25 percent, then 35 percent and then could he harness this social media energy. And then could he get all the people who are coming to his rallies, to the polls. And you know one thing, Donald Trump has proven in politics that he is one thing, he is a winner. And until somebody proves him wrong, this theory about a brokered convention or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney, God bless Mitt Romney, none of it is going to work.

MADDEN: The big challenges, you know, Amanda has said, there's two weeks is a lot of time, two weeks is not a lot of time when Donald Trump has spent the last eight months, you know, digging in and his support has sort of calcified. So many of these supporters, they're invested in seeing him win. The idea that we can change the fundamentals of the race I think in two weeks is very, very hard. But, I mean, when you talk to the Cruz folks and you talk to the Rubio folks, they are not going to give up.

They are going to -- they keep using terms like "long slog, and the long journey to the nomination." And do not underestimate, to Amanda's point, I think just how strongly these folks feel, that this is what you could be potentially witnessing if you don't fight this is the destruction of the modern Republican Party.

BORGER: But the more the elite dig in, the more the voters who support Donald Trump will say, what are you doing? What are you doing? This is our candidate.

DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Gloria is exactly right. Like there is a never Trump moment. I see it on twitter, and it's all Republican pundits, columnists, lobbyists, people who are on this station. It is not voters. There's a huge disconnect.

COOPER: Right now it's a hash tag movement. And putting a lot of faith in hash tag movement does not -- I got to go quickly to Wolf -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, thank you. Only a few states outstanding right now. We're watching them very carefully. Right now we have another major projection. CNN projects Donald Trump is the winner in Arkansas in the Republican presidential primary. It's been close for hours now but CNN now projects Donald Trump is the winner. Let's take a look at the actual votes in Arkansas as they've come in. Donald Trump with 82 percent of the vote in, he's got 33.8 percent to Ted Cruz's 29.4 percent, 24.7 percent from Marco Rubio. He's at like 12,370 votes. Eighty two percent of the vote he's in. Donald Trump is the winner in Arkansas.

Let's take a look at the states. He has won now six states for Donald Trump. Let's review. Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas. Ted Cruz, he has won two states tonight, his home state of Texas and neighboring Oklahoma. On the democratic side, Hillary Clinton so far, she has won six states tonight. Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas. Bernie Sanders, he has carried his home state of Vermont, he's also carried Oklahoma, which is not a neighboring state from Vermont but Bernie Sanders has done well in Oklahoma and Vermont. We're following all of these developments very, very closely.

There are still other outstanding races in all of this but I want to go quickly to Jake and Dana.

[23:15:42] TAPPER: I think this is just another opportunity for to us underline the fact that Donald Trump has won six now contests of the eight that we have declared and this is just a momentous night in Republican Party politics, somebody whom I think there's no question that almost every member of the Republican Party establishment opposes and has reminds the voters almost at every turn that they do not want Donald Trump to be the nominee, he's just racking victory after victory. And while it's premature to say he's unstoppable, he's sure almost running the table. Six out of eight right now in -- Arkansas, A, part of Ted Cruz's firewall in the South.

BASH: Absolutely.

TAPPER: And, B, there were those in the Rubio campaign who saw Rubio in second place there and were hoping for a better showing in Arkansas.

BASH: That's right. In Arkansas, you know, kind of has a populist history, Mike Huckabee, his former governor was and is more of a populist Republican. But to your point about doing incredibly well tonight, Arkansas, Georgia, but then go north to Massachusetts.


BASH: I mean, can you think of different electorates between, you know, Massachusetts and Southern states like Arkansas and Georgia. Obviously, the common theme is what we've been talking about all election year, at least certainly in the past several months is Donald Trump has been doing well. People are just done with Washington, done with politicians, angry and they want someone who is going to reflect, mirror and express that anger.

TAPPER: And as has been noted on the panel, you could you see this coming with the rise of the Tea Party.

BASH: Absolutely.

TAPPER: You could see this coming with the primary defeat of Eric Cantor in Virginia, the former House majority leader to a relative unknown. This has been brewing for a very long time. And this is really a revolution. This is a rebellion against the Republican establishment. It doesn't matter how many members of the establishment say no, no, no, you are don't want this guy, we don't want him. The voters are saying, yes, we do. And their Super Tuesday is now Trumper Tuesday.

Let's go to Sara Murray who is at Trump Headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida. Sara, they've got to be celebrating, six out of eight so far when it could be even more.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, I think they're celebrating that you just came up with Trumper Tuesday. Look, Donald Trump when he took the stage in his new conference was clearly elated with how he was doing tonight. But even he said, wouldn't it had been nice to get a clean sweep to just finish this thing off? You know, that's clearly not what they got tonight. But now that they have Arkansas, they do have a number of states in their corner. And like Dana was pointing out, we are talking about very different states in different corners of the country here. And what Donald Trump was talking about -- about tonight, what his

campaign is talking about is the fact that he is expanding the base of the Republican Party. And that is what they are also hoping will be the key to their victory here in Florida. They're hoping this is where they can finally kill off Marco Rubio. And in talking to their staffers here in Florida, they say we already had the blue collar voters, now we're expanding to the country club Republicans. And if we can keep that up, they feel like they can win here. Back to you, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Sara Murray in Palm Beach with Donald Trump in his campaign. And now Wolf Blitzer, you have an update on some of the outstanding campaigns.

BLITZER: We also have something that a lot of people have been waiting for. Another projection right now. It's a big one for Marco Rubio. CNN projects that the Florida senator will win the Minnesota Republican caucuses. This is his first win in all of these contests so far. It's an important win for Marco Rubio. He wanted a win and he now has a win. The Minnesota Republican caucuses. Let's take a look at some of the other outstanding races right now that we're still waiting for more results.

But once again, Marco Rubio wins Minnesota. In Vermont, we have not yet made a projection. Seventy eight percent of the vote is in, Donald Trump is ahead by 788 votes, very close, 32.3 percent for Trump. John Kasich 30.8 percent, Rubio in third place distantly 19.5 percent. You can see Minnesota we projected for Marco Rubio. He's got 37.3 percent, 28 percent for Ted Cruz, 21 percent for Trump. Rubio wins in Minnesota.

Let's take a look at the Democrats, the outstanding races on the democratic side right now as well. Let's put them up. Here on the wall, the democratic races that we're watching in Colorado right now. CNN is watching very closely the Colorado caucuses. There you see it right there, Bernie Sanders with 58.6 percent. Hillary Clinton 40.3 percent. Only a third of votes are in in Colorado. In Massachusetts, it's still a contest. In Massachusetts right now, there you see Hillary Clinton with 50.6 percent, Bernie Sanders with 48.2 percent. Ninety four percent of the vote is in.

[23:20:36] Hillary Clinton's got a lead of about 25,000 in Massachusetts. We have not yet projected a winner yet. Let's go to Minnesota right now. In Minnesota, we have that right over here on the democratic side. Bernie Sanders with 58.7 percent, Hillary Clinton with 41.3 percent, you see what's happening in Minnesota as well. The headline right now, though, is that Senator Marco Rubio finally after all of these contests, he picks up a win, a win is important, Jake. As you know, you just spoke to him.

TAPPER: That's right. A big, big victory for Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He finally has won a contest, the Florida Republican caucuses. Let's go to Manu Raju who is at Rubio Campaign Headquarters in Miami, Florida. Manu, finally a win for the Senator and it sounded like from the interview that he's not going anywhere, he's staying in this contest. MANU RAJU, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right, Jake. I

think the Rubio campaign is relieved for a win. Not because it necessarily puts them closer to winning the Republican nomination, but it puts to rest all the questions about whether he can win a state. They believe that's been sort of the analysis that's been wrong all along. They are picking up delegates here tonight in some of these states and that's going to go a ways to winning the Republican nomination. They believe, of course that, when it comes to March 15th and beyond, they absolutely have to win a state, those winner take all states.

Now, of course Florida is very important. March 15th we've been talking about all night long that he needs to win here tonight on March 15th in order to secure all those delegates. But they are also looking very closely in North Carolina, in Illinois, two other states that are winner take all states that day. They believe that they did pretty well in Virginia tonight over exceeded expectations. And Virginia and North Carolina have similar voting profiles and presumably they could do better in North Carolina win in North Carolina, which would go a long way towards getting towards that nomination. But Jake, watch for Rubio to intensify those attacks on Donald Trump over the next two weeks and shift away from Ted Cruz.

TAPPER: All right. Manu Raju at Rubio campaign headquarters in Miami. We're going to take a very quick break. When we come back, much more analysis. And we're going to call another state, another projection. Back after this very quick break.


[23:26:36] BLITZER: We have another major projection and we want to report you. Right now, take a look at this. Bernie Sanders wins the Colorado Democratic caucus. Another win for Bernie Sanders. Let's take a look at the votes in Colorado as they've come in Colorado. In Colorado, Bernie Sanders has 58.2 percent to Hillary Clinton's 40.8 percent, 36 percent of the vote is in. But Bernie Sanders we project is the winner of the Democratic caucuses in Colorado. Let's take a look at the states won on the Democratic side first.

Hillary Clinton has won six states. Reviewing -- Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas. Bernie Sanders, he has won three states tonight, Vermont, Oklahoma and Colorado. On the Republican side, Donald Trump, he's won six states so far, Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas. Ted Cruz, he's won two states, Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma. Marco Rubio has always won Minnesota, that's the first state he has won. Let's have a key race alert on where we stand right now in some of the outstanding contest that we're awaiting results.

In Minnesota on the Democratic side, the Democratic caucuses, a third of the vote is in. Bernie Sanders has a nice comfortable lead with 58.7 percent to Hillary Clinton's 41.3 percent. Two-thirds of the vote is out. In Massachusetts on the Democratic side, it's close. Ninety five percent of the vote is in. Hillary Clinton has 50.5 percent. Bernie Sanders 48.3 percent. She's up by 22,150 votes, 95 percent of the vote is in. In Vermont on the Republican side, there's still a contest there. Seventy eight percent of the vote is in. But Donald is ahead, 32.4 percent to John Kasich, 30.8 percent Marco Rubio, he's at third place right now with 19.4 percent, three important contest that we're watching right now. I want to go over to the magic wall. John King is watching what's going on. Three contests left to go. So, there are winners and finally Marco Rubio gets on the board.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: He'll be grateful to the people of Minnesota, he finally gets a win. How does he project that going forward? Well, his campaign says, we'll see you in Florida. We just heard Manu Raju said, I think they can win in Illinois, I think they can win in Michigan. Those are all down the road a little bit. We'll see. But for now, Ted Cruz says, he should get out of the race. Marco Rubio says, I've got a stay. We're waiting to see just to be sure. Here in Vermont, as we look for the final results here, John Kasich was hoping to get a win tonight.

Donald Trump has held that narrow lead as they fill them in. But it's a slow count in Vermont tonight we're waiting for that. But the big picture, Wolf, if you look is, there's a lot of Donald Trump on this map, three states for Ted Cruz, one state for Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and we're still waiting on Alaska tonight. Donald Trump expects to win in Alaska. But we'll see what happens late tonight when those results starts to come in. But Trump making the case as you heard him a short time ago, that the party should now unite around him. It's not going to happen. But Trump is beginning to make that case.

And the map is convincingly in his favor. This is just tonight but we've allocated so far. You see these numbers at home and you're little confused -- these are the number of delegates we've been able to allocate so far. Those numbers will update during the night as we get the results. Some of this has done in a Congressional district basis. Flip over to the democratic side, and again, Secretary Clinton, very happy with this map, very happy so far tonight. She's winning --

BLITZER: John, hold on one moment. Because I want to report to our viewers. We have another major projection right now. And CNN projects Bernie Sanders is the winner in the Minnesota Democratic caucuses.

[23:30:02] This is his fourth win of the night. Bernie Sanders doing very well in Minnesota. He's also won in Vermont, his home state. He's won in Oklahoma, he's won in Colorado, he's now won in Minnesota as well.

Four wins for Bernie Sanders. Six wins for Hillary Clinton, John King, right now. So this is important. It's a race on the Democratic side as far as states are concerned.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. And I think the only one left that we haven't called is Massachusetts. So I was just texting some people up there, a lot of friends in Massachusetts, both Sanders and Clinton supporters, believe, they were telling me, they believe that Clinton is going to narrowly win the state but we only got 98 percent. We've got a very close race here obviously. In the delegate math it will be a pretty even split. But both up

there, as we wait the final votes, I'm just texting with people again supporting both candidates who think they believe Hillary Clinton will win a narrow victory here but we'll keep counting them. But if that's the total for the night, if you look at it like this, as you know it, Sanders wins one, two, three, four, Hillary Clinton wins the rest, including a dominant performance among African-Americans across the south. That is what the Clinton campaign is most happy about tonight. And again, she's going to pick up a delegate lead as you -- in the race as you go forward.

But, Wolf, we got a ways to go --

BLITZER: And let's not forget, Bernie Sanders, he has a lot money. He raised $42 million in February alone.

KING: Right.

BLITZER: All of a sudden the Sunday CNN debate in Flint, Michigan, between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, John, that takes on added significance. It's getting close out there between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

KING: Yes.

BLITZER: Right? And he's not walking away by any means.

KING: He's not going anywhere. He has money and he believes we're about to move to more favorable grounds. The Sanders campaign can look down here, they understand Hillary Clinton has relationships going back decades in the African-American community in the south from her days as first lady of Arkansas, from her husband's days as president. So the Sanders campaign, it was a tough sledding for them. They believe when they get back up here, it's the industrial Midwest, the terrain is better for them. So the Flint debate is important.

This is -- this is an estimate, Wolf, based on the contest. We still haven't allocated them all. But -- tonight is going to end something like this, somewhere in the ballpark of -- this is pledged delegates, one on primary and caucus day, including today, with Hillary Clinton at 580 or so, Bernie Sanders at 435 or so. Relatively competitive race but she's starting to stretch it out here. The one thing that the Sanders campaign gets --


BLITZER: Let's play it out, the rest of March.

KING: Right.

BLITZER: We're now into March. Let's play it out, what potentially could happen as far as delegate count between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

KING: So I'm not going to bring the superdelegates into the equation just yet. If you look at the rest of March, it's a lot of starts. And now that we've just -- when I push the button, they all go to Clinton. So the Sanders people at home get mad at me when you do that. They all just turn one way.

Let's just say for the sake of argument, you mentioned the debate in Michigan, and this is a huge state for Bernie Sanders. They understand it. In a hypothetical, give it to Bernie Sanders, that would be 55-45. We're allocating the delegates. Ohio is another big battleground. Secretary Clinton feels very strong, her team feels very strong about this state but it's a place where Sanders says he will try to compete.

This is really the key for Bernie Sanders. He has to do this. He has to make a point in the Midwest, in the big delegate basket states to prove that if she has the base down here in the south, he has to prove that outside of New England he's got another base, that it's not just going to be a state here, and a state there, and a state there, that he can pick up a region of the country and be strong. If he does that, you'll notice again, she will still be stretching out --

BLITZER: He's looking at states like Kansas and Nebraska as well.

KING: Right.

BLITZER: He thinks he could do well there.

KING: And so if you take Kansas and switch it over, smaller, fewer delegates at stake, but if he can pick those up, they are looking at those states. If you pick that up again, he inches a little bit closer. Because of the proportional rules for Democrats, though, Hillary Clinton would still get her share. Just as -- just like he's getting his share. She narrowly wins Massachusetts tonight if that's where it ends up in a few minutes, you know, he'll get roughly half the delegates.

BLITZER: What about Idaho, Utah, Arizona?

KING: These are places that will be competitive. Again the Clinton campaign believes it will have momentum by the time this shows up. But if Sanders could pick up another one here, relatively small delegate, 13 versus 10 when you flip them over. You could come in here to Utah. Again, if you flip it over and Clinton's supporters are watching, saying, hey, wait a minute, we're going to win some of those states. They may well.

Just for the sake of argument as we try to see how competitive the race could be going forward -- I just want to say one thing, though.


KING: At the moment as long as she keeps winning, now this doesn't happen until you get to the convention, you only use them if you need them so Sanders campaign gets mad when we even say this, but at the moment in her back pocket she has 468 superdelegates. These are elected and appointed Democrats who get a vote at the convention. Now the Sanders campaign gets mad saying, hey, you shouldn't count them because they can change their minds. And yes, they can. But these are publicly declared, 468 superdelegates. They're publicly

declared for Hillary Clinton, 21 publicly declared for Senator Sanders. So as long as she keeps winning, they're going to stay on her side. And yes, they're not pledged delegates. They're not won on primary and caucus day, but they are a huge advantage to Hillary Clinton if she needs them down the road. And, again, as long as she keeps winning the majority of the states, she'll hold those in her back pocket like having an ace in a hole.

BLITZER: John, hold on for a moment because right now we're getting ready for another major projection.

CNN projects Hillary Clinton is the winner in Massachusetts, this state -- this state has been outstanding now for the last several hours. But this brings to seven the number of states she has picked up tonight in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a win for Hillary Clinton.

Take a look at the states she's won. Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and now Massachusetts. Seven states for Hillary Clinton.

[23:35:10] Bernie Sanders, though, he's doing well tonight as well. He's captured four states, Vermont, Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota. Four states indeed.

This is a significant, significant moment. I got to tell you, Jake and Dana, as we're looking at this Democratic contest, the delegate count -- John King just laid it out. This is a race, this is a contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It's by no means over.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely not. And certainly Bernie Sanders with the money that he raised last month as has been pointed out, and the fact that he is winning states including most recently you just called Minnesota and Colorado, two states that Hillary Clinton did not win eight years ago, by the way. Bernie Sanders able to win them tonight. There's no reason why, as you heard some Democratic establishment figures talking about maybe he should get out of the race, there's no reason why he should get out of the race. It's still a race.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You know, at the beginning of the night, you and I were talking about the fact that Bernie Sanders came out early after his Vermont win, maybe because that was obviously a short thing. Maybe he wouldn't have other things to celebrate. Well, he does.


BASH: He's got three additional states to celebrate, as you said. Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado. And I'm getting e-mails from Hillary Clinton sources saying well, just don't forget, it's all proportional so you have to look at the margins, it's all about delegates and even in the places where she hasn't won she's still adding it up, so on and so forth. TAPPER: But it works the other way, too.

BASH: But it works the other way, too. Exactly.

TAPPER: Right.

BASH: And Bernie Sanders, and his people, you heard Brianna Keilar reporting tonight saying that they have the money, they have the resources, they have the organization, they have enthusiasm. They're not going anywhere. And why should they.

TAPPER: You know, it's interesting, earlier tonight -- earlier today I was speaking to the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and I was talking about the fact that he is co-hosting a fundraiser for Clinton, for former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, with a bunch of lobbyists.

Why are you doing this with a bunch of lobbyists, Goldman Sachs, NRA lobbyists? Doesn't that feed into Bernie's narrative? And he said basically Bernie is raising a lot of money. We've got to compete.

Let's go to Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: All right, John. Thanks very much. We're standing by to speak to Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Ted Cruz is here. He's going to be speaking with us. We'll take a quick break, we'll be right back.


[23:41:02] BLITZER: So the results are in on all of these states basically. We're still waiting for Alaska. They start their caucuses at the top of the hour.

I want to go right to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Senator Cruz, congratulations on your two wins tonight. You won in Texas, you also won in Oklahoma. What's your plan on going forward? Because you got a long road ahead of you. Donald Trump has done better than you today.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thank you, Wolf. Tonight was a great night. You know, what we've seen throughout the entire course of this primary has been a winnowing process. A year ago we started out with 17 Republican candidates and the field has narrowed and narrowed and narrowed. And I think tonight will serve to narrow the field even further.

At this point, we have had 15 states that have voted and I am the only candidate that has beaten Donald three times. Has beaten him in Iowa, has beaten him in Texas, has beaten him in Oklahoma. And for the 65 percent, 70 percent of Republicans who recognize that Donald Trump is not the best candidate to run against Hillary Clinton, that in all likelihood Donald Trump gets walloped by Hillary Clinton.

BLITZER: Marco Rubio -- Marco Rubio won --


BLITZER: Won a state tonight as well. So you're not the only Republican who has managed to beat Ted -- to beat Donald Trump.

CRUZ: Well. but nobody has beaten him in three states, and three very, very different states of Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas. And the path to beating him is for us to unify.

Listen, if we remain divided, then in all likelihood Donald Trump becomes the nominee. That result was made clear tonight.

BLITZER: So you want Rubio --

CRUZ: But I think Donald has a hard ceiling of 35 percent to 40 percent.

BLITZER: Do you want Rubio to drop out?

CRUZ: Well, listen, I think every candidate is going to have to assess the results tonight, have to look across and assess, do they have a path to victory? To win the nomination, you've got to be able to get to 1237 delegates. That is a high threshold. And I think every candidate is going to have to look at this, prayerfully consider it, and I do believe the other candidates are interested in this country, are putting this country first. And if they don't see a path to coming forward, it is my hope that we unite and come together because that is the only way we defeat Donald Trump.

If Donald Trump is the nominee, much of the media will be thrilled, much of the Democrats will be thrilled because in all likelihood, Hillary Clinton wins, in all likelihood we lose the Senate, we lose races up and down the ballot and we lose the Supreme Court for a generation.

BLITZER: Have you spoken --

CRUZ: I don't want to see that happen. I want to see --

BLITZER: I was going to say, Senator, have you spoken to John Kasich? Have you spoken to Dr. Ben Carson about possibly trying to encourage them to drop out?

CRUZ: You know, I think each of the candidates are going to assess the results tonight. They're going to visit with their teams and they're going to give it quiet, prayerful contemplation and reflection, and I'm going to allow them time to do that. But at the same time, it is my hope that we as Republicans come together because if we don't, and if Donald Trump wins this nomination, I think the results for the next generation would be extraordinarily dire.

It is a mistake for Republicans to nominate a candidate who agrees with Hillary Clinton on a host of issues, who agrees with Hillary Clinton in support of President Obama's Wall Street TARP bailout, who agrees with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that Obamacare should be expanded to government-controlled, socialized medicine with the federal government in charge of your health care. (CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: But, Senator Donald Trump --

CRUZ: Because it was Hillary Clinton - -

BLITZER: He says all the time he's going to repeal and replace Obamacare right away.

CRUZ: Sure, but the reason he wants to repeal it is he thinks it doesn't go far enough. That's actually what Bernie Sanders says, too. What Donald Trump has supported for 20 years is socialized medicine, the federal government in charge of everyone's health care and in every country on earth where that's been implemented. It leads to government rationing. It means if you're a senior, the government decides whether you get a hip replacement, whether you get a knee replacement, what kind of end of life care you want.

BLITZER: But he says he wants private health --

CRUZ: I don't think Americans want that.

BLITZER: He wants private health insurance and he says it should be allowed, without state boundaries, go all over the country and let the health insurance companies compete. He says he doesn't want socialized medicine.

[23:45:08] CRUZ: Wolf, you're a good enough journalist that you know he has said dozens and dozens of times on television that he wants the government to pay for everyone. I mean, that is a simple fact. You're right, in the last debate, he ran away from that position and suddenly supported buying insurance across state lines, which by the way I've been advocating for a long time.

But his position for 20 years, in Donald Trump's own words, he says he is a, quote, "liberal on health insurance," that everyone should get health insurance, it should be mandatory, he supports the individual mandate and the government should pay for it. And if the government pays for everyone's insurance, the government controls everyone's health care. That has been his position.

BLITZER: All right.

CRUZ: It is, by the way, exactly what Bernie Sanders' position is. On the other hand, my position is we will repeal Obamacare. And I'll tell you, if you're a small business owner, Donald Trump's socialized medicine will be even more burdensome than Obamacare. It will kill jobs, it will drive down wages and we need to bring jobs back, not have more government regulations killing us.

BLITZER: Senator, Dana Bash has a question for you.

Dana, go ahead.

BASH: Thanks, Wolf. Senator, something I've been thinking about listening to you and the

way that your campaign and your rhetoric has changed, really incredibly so over the past several weeks and months, is if you think Donald Trump is so antithetical to conservatism, what took you so long to say so? Because you really cozied up to him for the -- for the majority of this campaign.

CRUZ: Well, listen, Dana, for the last couple of months I've been taking Donald on directly. And in fact at the last few debates, prior to this one last week, nobody else was willing to jump into the fray. And in order to -- the way this primary has played out, it's a winnowing process and so there were some candidates that took Donald on when there were 17 of us and they didn't have a strong enough base, and you couldn't do that.

From my end, I needed to build my base of support. I needed to take care so that I was on a strong foundation first before I could take him on and that was a natural process. But let's be clear. This has now winnowed down that the only way to beat Donald Trump is to go head to head. Head to head I beat Donald and I beat him resoundingly.

BASH: Senator --

CRUZ: You know just today, CNN, you all came out with a poll, it shows Donald losing to Hillary by eight points.

BASH: But, Senator --

CRUZ: Your very same poll shows me beating Hillary.

BASH: But Senator, you know politics so well and you know the adage that you have to define somebody before they define themselves. He -- he, Donald Trump, not only defined himself as a conservatives -- as a conservative, he defined everybody else. So in retrospect, did you wait too long to be talking about what you just said to Wolf -- he's a liberal on health care, he is for socialized medicine, he wants to bail out Wall Street?

I mean, hasn't the train left the station in terms of the perception of him, that you're not going to really get that through to voters?

CRUZ: Look, not remotely. And this is an ongoing conversation. You know, let's take another issue, immigration. Donald has talked a lot about immigration. He uses a lot of angry rhetoric, but if you look at his actual record, Donald funded the Gang of Eight that was behind the massive amnesty plan. Donald funded five of the members of the Gang of Eight, gave them over $50,000. And just yesterday the news broke that "The New York Times" has a secretly recorded tape of Donald telling "The New York Times" editorial board that he doesn't believe what he's saying on immigration, he doesn't intend to do it, he doesn't intend to build a wall, he doesn't intend to deport people here illegally.

Now "The Times" says they won't release it without Donald's Permission. The last two days I've been calling on Donald to release that. There are one of two things that may be the case. Maybe he didn't say that, in which case he should be thrilled to release the tapes because it will exonerate him and show he's innocent.

BLITZER: What --

CRUZ: But Donald hasn't done that. And I think the reason he hasn't done that is because what's been reported is exactly right. And if Donald is telling "The New York Times" in Manhattan that he is lying to the American people on immigration, I think the voters have a right to know that and they have a right to know that sooner rather than later.

BLITZER: If he's the nominee, will you support him?

CRUZ: I will support the Republican nominee, period, the end. But I don't believe he's going to be the Republican nominee. I think we're going to unite to prevent him from being the nominee because if he is the nominee --


BLITZER: Including a brokered -- a brokered convention?

CRUZ: He may be the one person on the planet that Hillary Clinton can beat.

BLITZER: Are you ready to go all the way to the convention?

CRUZ: You know, I don't think we're going to have a brokered convention. What I believe is going to happen is that tonight continued to winnow the field, that there are an awful lot of Republicans sitting back saying it is time for adult leadership. We need to step up and say enough is enough, don't throw away this election. We are going to beat Hillary Clinton unless we nominate Donald Trump.

And I think you're going to see the 65 percent or 70 percent of Republicans who believe that coming together. And for everyone who supports other candidates, let me welcome you and invite you to come together. If we stand united, just like in 1980 with the Reagan coalition, if we stand united, that's how we beat Donald Trump. But it's also how we beat Hillary Clinton and how turn this country around.

[23:50:08] BLITZER: Thank you very much, Senator. Congratulations on your two wins tonight.

Once again, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Jake and Dana, back to you.

TAPPER: It is so interesting hearing all the Republicans including the candidates and the fundraisers and the donors, all the people who don't want Donald Trump to be the nominee and all of them try to explain why their timing has been so off, why their attacks have been so late.

I mean, the truth of the matter is, it was pretty apparent that Donald Trump was a force back in August and September and they just were convinced, the entire establishment and almost all of the Republican candidates were just going to self-emulate based on no evidence.

BASH: They were convinced of that. And for Ted Cruz, in particular, he was convinced that because he had never done this before, Trump had never run for office at all before, that he would fade away and that fervor, that anger at Washington would ultimately go to him since he has been the guy standing up for Washington and doing -- standing up to Washington from within Washington and doing all the things that the base wanted him to do but it didn't happen.

TAPPER: And all of Republican candidates who did go after him initially ended up getting --

BASH: That's right.

TAPPER: Getting stomped by Donald Trump. There's a -- Anderson, there's a veritable elephant's graveyard of Republicans who have taken on Donald Trump.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: There certainly is. Let's kind of reset things. Let just kind of take a step back, look at the night so far, David, Gloria. I mean, what has changed? Where does this --

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I -- some things haven't changed. The frontrunners are still the frontrunners. Donald Trump had a very strong night from north to south. Won a bunch of states. Still in command on his side of the fight. Hillary Clinton's southern firewall held. She won all six of those states and she won Massachusetts. She won those southern states with the help of African-American votes, overwhelming support there.

But in a state like Massachusetts right next to New Hampshire where she got clobbered a few weeks ago, she came away with a victory in a state that really has very few African-American votes. So she's in command of this race. She's got a -- she's got a growing lead and it could go all the way to May before she clinches but it's going to be hard for Bernie Sanders to dislodge her now. And then Marco Rubio I think was the big loser on the Republican side.

COOPER: And yet, the race itself has not really -- I mean, as much as Ted Cruz hopes it will with prayerful reflection, it has not really winnowed down at all.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, it isn't. And I think we ought to take just a moment to step back and take a look at the Republican Party right now because I don't know whether you want to call it in turmoil or in chaos or just completely falling apart.

AXELROD: Not really good. Yes.

BORGER: That -- I've covered politics for long time. And I didn't cover Barry Goldwater in 1964, OK. But I can only imagine that this is something like that, where a party finds itself with a frontrunner that is hugely supported by the base of the party, that the party elites don't like and yet they can't seem to come up with anybody who they believe they can rally around as a credible alternative.

COOPER: Well, let's actually talk -- turn to our Republicans here. And Jeffrey Lord, how would you describe the state of the Republican Party?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Rush Limbaugh said today that a lot of the Trump folks see what's happening here and their support of Trump is the only way to take control of the party back from party elites. He cited this book that certainly I've read, and since it first appeared in the American Spectator, a book called "The Ruling Class" by a Boston University professor called Angelo Codevilla. And he talks about how basically over the last 50, 60 years we've got two -- the country class, which is the people out in America itself and the ruling class, people who went to the state schools, they got the same cultural experiences, et cetera.

And they consider themselves to be smarter, morally and intellectually superior, they've got the right to run things and the people out in the countryside are a bunch of idiots. And at long last you got all these people out in the country who are saying, hey, enough of this, you know? No more. And so they look at Donald Trump as their vehicle to express that disagreement. And they're pretty passionate about it.

COOPER: Well, I mean, that sounds like almost like revolution then. I mean, if you're looking for a word to describe, I mean, a class which has been sort of ignored and mocked.

LORD: Right. Right.


LORD: I mean, there's a lot of class stuff going on here.

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, SEN. TED CRUZ: But I will say, I think there's one single issue that has roiled the Republican Party really since 2006, and we've -- you know, we've seen the GOP civil war play out again and again, pick the fight, but the single most clarifying issue that causes this I think is the issue of illegal immigration.

So at least now there's two candidates with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who have taken a fairly hard line on immigration. That seems to be the consensus if there is one among GOP primary voters.

[23:55:04] But this has been an ongoing thing, I mean, since 2006 when we had the McCain-Kennedy bill, and then we renewed that with the Gang of Eight, which ruined Marco Rubio as a candidate. Once this issue gets worked out, maybe we will be coming together as a party.

COOPER: Kevin Madden, just briefly. Civil war?

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think it's -- look, I think it's an existential crisis right now within the party. But to Jeffrey's point, we have seen the power of paradigm shift now. Grassroots conservatives over the elites. COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. At the top of the hour

which is about four and a half minutes from now, polls close in Alaska. We'll see if we're able to make a projection. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Welcome back. There's another Republican contest hanging in the balance just minutes from now at midnight Eastern. The GOP caucuses wrap up in Alaska. We're going to start looking for results in Alaska. Donald Trump went into Alaska with an advantage, the endorsement of the state's former government Sarah Palin.

Let's see where we stand right now in the race for the presidency here in the United States.

States won tonight on the Republican side. Donald Trump, he has won Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas. Impressive wins for Donald Trump. Ted Cruz, the senator from Texas, he's carried his home state of Texas, as well as Oklahoma. Marco Rubio finally got on the board. He carried Minnesota, the caucuses in Minnesota. He -- that's one state tonight.

Hillary Clinton has done well tonight. She has won seven states, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama --