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Trump Attacks Romney; Why Romney Is Taking Aim At Trump; Trump's Momentum At Stake; GOP Contested Convention?; GOP War Rages Over Trump; Murder Weapon Found?; Grading Trump University; Democratic Campaign Strategies In Michigan; Sanders Vows To Fight On; CNN Original Series "Race For The White House". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 4, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:22] ANDERSON COOPER, "AC360" HOST: And thanks for joining us with the top of the hour on the eve of a string of Super Saturday primaries and caucuses. At the end of Ben Carson's Presidential campaign and the beginning of Mitt Romney's stop Trump campaign which he launch it a speech yesterday.

We begin with the Trump-Romney battle. Today in Michigan, formerly home turf for the 2012 candidate, Trump did what Trump does. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Romney, if this poor guy, he is so confused. Here's a guy -- by the way, thank you for mentioning that, here's a guy, Mitt Romney doesn't have a clue. This poor guy I watched him yesterday, and the internet is exploding. What's he doing? He's making a fool out of himself, I watched him yesterday, and it was sad.


COOPER: As for Governor Romney, he had plenty to say when he sat down with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger earlier today.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wanted to remain as a neutral umpire if you will, calling balls and strikes and some fouls and I've done that along the way. But over the last several weeks, some of the things Donald Trump has said and done, both on policy as well as temperamental things have suggested to me I just couldn't wait any longer.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Do you think it's too late, though?

ROMNEY: Well you know I don't know what impact these things have politically. But I do know that when my grand kid say, what did you do to stop Donald Trump? I wanted to be able to say something, I wasn't going to sit on the sidelines until the end.

BORGER: You could potentially drive his supporters into his arms even more because you are a symbol of the Republican establishment.

ROMNEY: Well, you know, I spent my life in business I didn't get involved in politics until quite late at life. I think everybody that someone is opposed to become establishment. The term anti- establishment is a very popular term so I don't call myself establishment I don't think others do either that want to have the support of fellow Republicans. They may say they're mainstream and they are conservative but Donald Trump is not Republican in any sense of the word.

BORGER: At the debate, the other candidates said that they would support Trump if he became the nominee. Is there any circumstance under which you would?

ROMNEY: Well, I can't imagine supporting Donald Trump for President or Hillary Clinton for President. Either one I'll hopefully be able to find a conservative on the ballot who I can vote for.

BORGER: Did party leaders looking back, and I guess yourself included, misread their own voters in a Republican base by betting on the fact that perhaps Donald Trump would simply implode of his own free will?

ROMNEY: Oh I don't know about other people I certainly paid attention to Donald Trump I didn't expect him to do so well.

BORGER: Right.

ROMNEY: But he has tapped into an anger which is very much understood what he's done with that anger however, is not to build and into resolve in high purpose. But instead to take it down a very dark alley and that, I think, is unfortunate. And at this stage we say, all right, he could easily become the nominee probably most likely to be the Republican nominee at this point but I think there's a better choice out there.

BORGER: Who is it?

ROMNEY: Well Marco Rubio is the right person in Florida. John Kasich is the right person in Ohio ...

BORGER: Here we go.

ROMNEY: ... and Ted Cruz is right anywhere where he's leading right now or where he's closest to Donald Trump.

BORGER: When are you going to choose one?

ROMNEY: Well, it depends in part on how the process continues. I expect that after March 15th, it may be clearer who is going to be the -- if you will, that person who opposes Donald Trump most effectively. And so I would anticipate endorsing at that time. But let's say all three are doing about the same.

BORGER: Right. Then what? ROMNEY: Well then I'd probably again encourage whoever is doing best in a particular state to get the support there and do that state by state and that would lead to an open convention where you'd see the delegates elected make the final decision.

BORGER: So this contested convention. Is this a scenario that you are actively looking at?

ROMNEY: Oh I think it's a realistic scenario. A lot of people have thought that for some side.

BORGER: Likely, likely?

ROMNEY: You know, I think it's more likely than that that we'll have a nominee before the convention it's Donald Trump, I think he has a much stronger shot of getting the 1,237 delegates than that. But, you know, the debate last night was not good for Donald Trump he showed that he cracks under pressure, and I think that may begin to open the door for some people who are looking for a different path.

BORGER: If there is a contested convention, would you allow your name to be put into nomination?

ROMNEY: That's not going to happen what's going to happen in a contested convention is the people who are running for President and who have delegates are going to be able to battle with one another. You know, to be nominated even, to even have your name put in, have to have eight states that nominate you.

[21:05:03] BORGER: But they can change those rules. They can change those rules if they get other.

ROMNEY: You know, there -- Donald is one of a million scenarios and maybe they'll Gloria they'll nominate you, but I don't think it's -- you may be one out of 100 million, I'm on a 10 million, is this is not real.

BORGER: But would you allow it?

ROMNEY: I'm not going to even go there. I have no interest in talking about that. I'm going to talk about the people running for president and who have the best shot of actually becoming our nominee.

BORGER: CNN has done a report which says that he is now going to, for a general election, should he become the nominee, start raising money.

ROMNEY: It's amazing, isn't it, that all during the primary he has criticized his opponents by saying, "Oh, they're raising money from folks and they're going to have to respond to and report to those folks," that he's self-funding. Well, now we learn, no, he's not really planning on self-funding. He's only been loaning money to his campaign which he can get back if he's the general nominee -- general election nominee. It's a form of hypocrisy that I think people will find shocking.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: All right, Gloria is back along with John King, Donna Brazile and Trump supporter, Jeffrey Lord. I mean, it's interesting, you know, if Romney is so dead set against Donald Trump, one way would be for him to kind of endorse one person.

But what he's really saying is kind of spreading it around. Clearly doesn't want to endorse somebody and the idea of, you know, people winning in states where they are most popular and building up the most delegates.

BORGER: I think, look, I think he waited a long time. There were folks who were pushing him to endorse before New Hampshire where he would have had an impact or before Nevada. Most people think he would have endorsed Marco Rubio. That didn't occur for whatever reason. And now I think he feels -- he's kind of a power broker here.

And what he's clearly pushing for saying it's likely Trump is going to be the nominee, but then we might have a brokered convention if he's not. And that's clearly the scenario that Romney prefers which would, of course, blow everything wide open. And as you heard him, he said, no, no, no, you know, I'm not even going to go there about my name.

COOPER: Jeffrey, I mean, he's acting like a power broker. Question is, does he really have any power? You believe this actually works in Donald Trump's favor?

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It does work in his favor. Anderson, you know, I want to point one thing out, this rang a bell when I heard Governor Romney's statement yesterday. And I went back and looked. I'm sure you remember the Teddy White series on "The Making of the President." And in "The Making of the President 1964," Theodore White describes Governor George Romney of Michigan as Barry Goldwater closed in on the nomination holding a press conference and saying that he could never support Barry Goldwater. He was going to do everything in his power to stop him, et cetera. In other words, in essence with some Mitt, has just now done to Donald Trump.

And what I found particularly interesting is in his statement yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney quoted Ronald Reagan from his time to choosing speech. That time to choosing speech was delivered in support of Barry Goldwater when Mitt Romney's own father was out there vociferously opposing him.

Mitt -- George Romney refused to support Goldwater in the fall. I mean, Mitt Romney is doing the same thing. This is sort of, I guess, a ruling class establishment attitude by the Romney's.

COOPER: John, I mean, looking ahead to voting tomorrow, what do we expect?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Teddy White, a Dorchester kid of Boston (inaudible) two in the program, that's pretty good. Well, let's look ahead to tomorrow. Let's get a sense of where we are as we come up. Let's bring up March 5th Super Saturday, we'll call it.

There are a five states voting in all. Not all of them have both parties contest. But there they are 109 Democratic delegates at stake tomorrow, 155 Republican delegates at stake tomorrow. Let's come over now, here is the delegate map. If the Republicans are going to stop Donald Trump, Anderson, you'd think they would start this Saturday and yet the expectation is that Donald Trump will run the board in the Republican states that are voting, Louisiana, Kansas, Maine. If that's the case, you know, it could be somewhere up here he'll start to inch closer to 400 delegates.

Now, Trump changed his schedule skipping CPAC to go to Kansas today because here little worried about Marco Rubio there. Let's say for the sake of argument we get an upset tomorrow, it could be there. A lot of people are wondering why Ted Cruz didn't spend more time in Louisiana, that's state tell he made for him.

But let's assume Trump wins that and maybe there's one other upset. Rubio, people saying now will probably get delegates. Even so, Trump set this up very well for the big contest next Tuesday in Michigan and then, of course, we move on to the 15th.

On the Democratic side, the expectation is perhaps Bernie Sanders can take Kansas and Nebraska, Hillary Clinton wins down in Louisiana. If that happens, she starts to pull ahead here because you have more delegates at stake down here. Bernie Sanders would have some victories but again, the Clinton campaign's argument, Anderson, would be, we win where you have diversity and again, sets up the big contest in Michigan next week.

You have the debate on Sunday, that contest in Michigan on Tuesday. Absolutely critical for Bernie Sanders to prove he can win in a big diverse state. He hopes for a little of momentum out of the weekend, but Michigan looms large for him.

COOPER: Donna, I mean, assuming that Donald Trump is the nominee, assuming the frontrunner right now. Whether he goes against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, or early on, there were a lot of Democrats who were kind of eagerly awaiting the idea of Donald Trump as the nominee thinking he was going to be an easy person to defeat.

[21:10:03] Do you believe that because I don't quite see it? I mean, he's a formidable candidate who is winning in virtually all categories on the Republican side right now.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Anderson for the last two years we've had questions about whether it's Scott Walker, remember Scott Walker? Democrats are scared of Scott Walker. Democrats are scared of Marco Rubio.

And now Democrats -- no, we're not. What Democrats should fear right now is turnout and enthusiasm. We've got to make sure on the Democratic side that once the contest is over, it's not over. Secretary Clinton has to continue to work hard. Senator Sanders have to continue to work hard.

Once it's over, they have to solidify the support, unify the party and then we can focus on the Republicans.

COOPER: But right now the enthusiasm is on the Republican side in terms of number of voters coming in.

BRAZILE: Everything is on the Republican side, right now. I mean, all of the action, all of the drama. I mean, come on, Anderson. I mean, can you imagine the Democrats having a conversation about a size? No, we're not going to do that.

So Democrats understand that let the Republicans end their civil war. All the turmoil that you see, I keep saying hear the turmoil on the Republican side. Let them finish their contest and we will do what is best one.

One thing we haven't mentioned. Secretary Clinton on Tuesday received over 3.5 million votes. She still has a long way to go, but she received more votes on Tuesday than her male counterparts. And that's worth known as well.

KING: I just don't know if we know the answer to this question. Donna is right and a lot of Republicans are saying our brand got hurt last night. It was a childish debate, it was about things. All of the candidates says with the exception of Kasich. Maybe acted president at one point or another.

However, as the drama plays out, Republicans in turmoil, if Trump wins, he will have essentially taken over a party. He will have come in as an outsider. They are all saying he's not one of us and he will become the leader of the Republican Party.

Maybe a fractures from there and it falls apart before the general election. But that's huge drama. It could bring in new voters or David will slay Goliath. Somebody will somehow catch Trump and you'll have that energy at the convention.

So I don't -- I think we should be very careful about trying to get into -- we have many chapters to go. The one we're in is pretty exciting, let's cover it.

COOPER: We're going to take a short break, we're going to continue the conversation shortly in looking to Donald Trump's debate claim that his Trump University went from a D minus better business bureau grade to an A.

Later I'll talk with one of the lead directors in the O.J. Simpson case now that a knife has allegedly surface and has being tested to see if it in fact is a long sought murder weapon.


[21:16:01] COOPER: Rivals have tried any number of lines of attack on Donald Trump so far. It's hard to say which if any have stuck. One centers on his real estate seminars better known as Trump University and the lawsuits surrounding it. Now, it came up the debate last night with the focus on how the better business bureau graded Trump U.


TRUMP: This is a case that could have settled very easily but I don't settle cases very easily when I'm right, 98 percent approval rating. We have an A it's better business have bureau, we have a 98 percent approval rating of people who took the course.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS REPUBLICAN DEBATE MODERATOR: The rating from the better business bureau was a D minus. That's the last publicly available rating in 2010 and it was the result of the number of complaints they have.

TRUMP: I was elevated to an A.

KELLY: That's never been publicly released.


TRUMP: It was elevated to an A. I can give it to you. I will give it to you.


COOPER: Well keeping mind us Drew Griffin has been reporting on fraud claims against Trump Universities since last year. Drew, Donald Trump's attorney was sending around a better business rating with an A on it. Is he right and Marco Rubio wrong on this?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, better business bureau ratings can change constantly and that appears to be what was happening at Trump University. While it was open.

So at times it had an A plus rating and other times it did have that D minus rating. It had ratings in between it fluctuated a lot. It did have a D minus. All of that was confirmed today by the Better Business Bureau of New York which also says there currently is no rating for the school.

This is the page for what's called -- now called the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. It's not rated. It's none accredited by the BBB because it's nonexistent. It's closed. It's also not called the Trump University after being forced to change its name because it was never a real university. Whatever it was stopped operating in 2010. And Anderson that's more than five years ago when any of these ratings would have been up.

COOPER: So even though it's closed still the lawsuit continues for fraud right. What exactly are the claims?

GRIFFIN: Three different lawsuits, very simple cases. Students claim they signed up for real estate secrets and success tools develop and taught by Donald Trump or his hand-picked experts. The lawsuits claim that did not happened. Donald Trump had very little to do with this. And as New York's attorney general said this morning on CNN's "New Day," the so-called experts that were teaching this real estate were hardly with anyone would consider experts in real estate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a pretty straight forward case. It's a bait and switch scheme. Mr. Trump's role was a pitch man and he did add saying my hand-picked instructors will teach you my personal secrets. You just copy what I did and get rich.

The president of the university Michael Sexton is already testified Trump did not have anything to do with picking the instructors. They have nothing to do with developing the curriculum. Wasn't his personal secrets, so people have lured in with the idea that we're going to learn from Mr. Trump and in fact they were hiring instructors because we've got the transcripts of the sessions. We've got the scripts. They give them, sorts of hiring people who worked in retail, work in fast food. Those were the instructors.

This is the equivalent of putting up a science in from hospital when it's not and when the people in it aren't nurses and doctors. That's basically way to do. They can't meet fraud. It's not a light charge. It's a very serious charge for someone who wants the public trust to take a much more important role.


GRIFFIN: Anderson, Trump's attorney of course denies that he says Donald Trump was very involved in the entire process of the school and they will fight and win this case in court. That's what Trump's attorney says.

COOPER: As Trump had pointed it out. This is a civil case and Trump could lose a lot of money. There's no criminal charges involved.

GRIFFIN: It's not a criminal case, but it is a fraud case. It is a serious civil suit. The school had about 10,000 students who attended these seminars. The school took in who reportedly $40 million. And some of those individuals who are now fighting Trump they paid up to $35,000, $40,000 for their specific courses and training and support which they say was worthless.

So potentially you are talking about millions in damages. Trump says he's going to lose either way, he's either going to fight till the end and lose money with his lawyers or he'll end up losing in court but it's going to happen in court, Anderson.

[21:20:03] COOPER: All right. Drew Griffin, thanks very much. We'll continue to follow it back with our panel. Jeffrey Lord, I mean do you think this is damaging for the candidate you support?

LORD: No, I don't. Anderson before I knew Donald Trump, I look into this because I was just curious about it myself. And I smelled frankly a rat. If there's something very peculiar about the notion that a billionaire 10times over would be defrauding people for $36,000, and what I found ...

COOPER: That's $40 million. A lot of money.

LORD: What? I'm sorry.

COOPER: I mean $40 million is what he allegedly was making from this which was a lot of money. LORD: But my point is Anderson, is that the prosecute the attorney general of New York who was accused by the "Wall Street Journal," Reuters and "The

New York Post" on three different other occasions of being something of a shakedown artist, was accused by the Trump family of trying to shake them down for money for campaign contributions, and that when he didn't get what he wanted, he then proceed with this case.

This is a guy I read a federal sentencing memorandum that mentions the attorney general that says with an allegation from a fellow state senator who says he was corrupt. I've read the 228-page legal brief, ethics filing by the Trump lawyers. There is a lot here, and campaign contributions apparently, from according to this brief from lawyers involved in the case to the attorney general.

COOPER: OK, was it's...

LORD: ... there is a whole other side to this that not being threatened.


COOPER: Right, but nobody is assuming that attorney general. Donald Trump is the one being sued here. Donald Trump and this has been going on for years and years.

I mean Gloria, do you think this, in any way, hurts Donald Trump? Because it hasn't been really used by -- I mean Marco Rubio is now using it, but you aren't seeing them running commercials. I guess in Florida now there some commercials with some of the people word in Trump University in the past.

BORGER: I actually wonder why they didn't do it before. If you look back to the way the Obama campaign went after Mitt Romney on Bain Capital they started early. They continued with an assault -- remember over the summer before the election. And they really provided a narrative about Mitt Romney, which Romney played into with the 47 percent now infamous.

But they created this picture of Mitt Romney as an uncaring businessman who fired people, who lost their jobs. This is the same kind of narrative about Donald Trump.

A billionaire who defrauds people who want to get an education and be like him, and are spending their life savings. I don't know why they didn't have any campaign, forget Marco Rubio.

COOPER: John, where you.

BORGER: ... any campaign the more is in.

KING: It goes on two tracks. They're trying to question his personal ethics. They're trying to say he's a narcissist, it's all about him. They put his name on steaks, they put his name bond papers, his name on buildings, they put his name in university, he'll put his name on the White House and he's unethical, and he won't fight for the little guy. I mean that's what you trying to get.

To Gloria's point, they waited 10 debates and six months too long which anyone in anyone in politics that run in campaign that say, never underestimate your opponent. If you have something that will put your opponent down, put him down ...

LORD: Right.

KING: ... and then step on his throat and hit him again. And that is what we do in politics. You know, is a tough business and they waited at the very long time. We will see again, Virginia was very close on Super Tuesday. Some of the campaigns think we're beginning to see some seeds that the tide was turning. So let see as we go forward.

Unlike of this sort of these weekend. Let's get through it. But there is no question. Now that they are attacking him, this is part of it. Again to get out the idea that out can't trust him, he's a making maniac, you see

BRAZILE: John tomorrow in Louisiana. What do you think is going to happen? Donald Trump was in Louisiana just a few hours ago. Of course he had some protesters. My family said he had a huge crowd.

Donald Trump is Donald Trump is campaigning across the country with conservatives who are anti-establishment. They want an outsider. They want somebody who shares their values on immigration, banning Muslims. Donald Trump has built up a lead. Not a hugely but a lead, and now the establishment, they are coming after him, and I keep asking myself, and Gloria, you should have said to Mitt Romney. What took you so long? Why did you wait?

BORGER: Yeah, I did.

KING: But that stage is demographic it goes for Ted Cruz, he's from neighboring Texas. He is this guys who says I'm even tougher than Donald Trump on immigration and you can't trust Donald Trump. Is a Tea Party element in Louisiana?

Ted Cruz has the duck dynasty guys and but he hugged Donald Trump in this bromance for months.


KING: And now he's paying the prices for it.

COOPER: And either him again, evangelical support has been going to Donald Trump?


KING: You look at the map from South Carolina across. Yes, Ted Cruz won Texas and yes he won Oklahoma, but Donald Trump is won everything in what was supposed to be.

Ted Cruz is supposed to be the delegate leader by a pretty good margin right now. That was his plan. BRAZILE: That was his firewall.

KING: That's the idea. He was supposed to -- just like Hillary Clinton is winning across the south. Ted Cruz was supposed to win across the south ...

BRAZILE: His firewall.

KING: ... and he was supposed to be essentially the and the Tarzan candidate going into this moment saying, "I'm in charge. I'm going, you know, grab this thing."

Now, again, they need him to stay in to see if there's some state down the road he could win but as the map comes north, is just hard to find Cruz's opportunities.


BORGER: I was thinking about what Stuart Steven was saying earlier tonight, former Romney adviser.

[21:25:03] His point is that nobody ever targeted Trump because they were so busy trying to knock people out of their so-called lane. OK, we got the moderate lane, we got the evangelical lane. That said.


COOPER: Just how they thought he was going to implode basically on his own.

BORGER: He's going to implode and so they weren't paying attention to his lane.

LORD: They didn't take him seriously.

COOPER: They didn't take him seriously. We're going to leave you there. Thank you, everyone, to our panel.

What Trump supporters have to say about him defending his manhood and his toughness messaging at his rivals?


COOPER: Donald Trump is keeping up the attacks against the GOP rivals and critics. He went on the offensive at all three of his rallies today. One in Orleans and two in Michigan. Louisiana's primary is tomorrow. Michigan on Tuesday.]

Our Gary Tuchman went to a Trump campaign stop in the Wolverine safe to find out what is supporters think of the insults dished out by the front runners. Here his report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They waited in line in the frigid northern Michigan weather. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your campaign buttons. Hillary for president. Bomb the hell out of ISIS. Trump for President.

TUCHMAN: Deceive a man who has shaken up the Republican race for president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, the next President of the United States, Mr. Donald J. Trump.

[21:30:06] TUCHMAN: Donald J. Trump who has never suffered from a lack of confidence.

TRUMP: With me, I think I can do almost anything and you're with me, right?

TUCHMAN: Trump seems to be on to something. Case in point, his off- color remarks during Thursday's Republican debate.

TRUMP: He referred to my hands, if they're small, something else must be small. I guarantee you, there's no problem. I guarantee you.

TUCHMAN: So you heard -- Donald Trump talking about his hands.

SHELLY KUMFER, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Hand, yeah, and the other private parts, yeah.

TUCHMAN: And the other private parts. So what did you think of that, the private parts stuff?

KUMFER: I think all of it is inappropriate whether it's from Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz its all inappropriate.

TUCHMAN: Right. But Donald Trump was only who have debate and place reference to that you call him private parts. Did that trouble you about the candidate you love so much?


TUCHMAN: How come?

KUMFER: Because I think its part of the rhetoric that has to talk place for some reason.

TUCHMAN: Jennifer Thomas has a teenage daughter.

Would you want your 15-year-old daughter to listen to that?

JENNIFER THOMAS, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: To me, I'm not sure they've heard worse in schools nowadays.

TUCHMAN: Right. But he wants to be the leader of the free world.

THOMAS: Yeah. A lot of leaders of this free world have it very bad

TUCHMAN: Donald Trump talked about his hands again at this rally in reference to Marco Rubio. TRUMP: I want to show the size of my hands, how I could grab him. How I could grab him.

TUCHMAN: And he had this to say about a protester who was kicked out of his rally.

TRUMP: He's a friend of Mitt Romney.

TUCHMAN: Which brings up another topic front and center? The comments Mitt Romney made about Trump.

JULIE DELANEY, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: I'm furious with Mitt Romney. Furious with Mitt Romney because he has no business telling those of us how we should vote.

TUCHMAN: No one we talk to it this rally was willing to give Romney a break.

DON FRANK, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: I don't appreciate him getting involved in this. He had two chances he lost both. It's just time for him to back away.

TUCHMAN: Very few days go by that Donald Trump doesn't get some kind of new unexpected attention. His nemesis Mitt Romney, his hands, his manhood, are the latest examples. And while that troubles many voters of the United States, in this room, its part of the mystique of Trump.

And part of that mystique is giving Trump a lot of slack.

CAROLYN JAGIELSKI, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: They are just little boys in the backyard school yard being bullies. Everybody wants to be the top dog, and that's the way it goes.

TUCHMAN: Do you think Romney is a bully?

JAGIELSKI: They are all bullies right now.

TUCHMAN: You think Donald Trump is a bully?

JAGIELSKI: Oh, no, he's not a bully. He just says it the way it is.


COOPER: And Gary joins me from Flint, Michigan. Trump supporters is clearly very supportive. Did they have anything else to say about his remarks?

TUCHMAN: Well, make it very clear, none of them like the innuendo. And a lot of them are weird out about it, but they love Donald Trump. And that's a fact no matter what he says. They are going to continue supporting the man. At least the people we saw at the rally today. But there are a lot of other Americans, Anderson who are weirder out about it, too.

COOPER: Gary, appreciate the report. Just ahead on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigning in Michigan ahead of these weekends CNN debate in Flint and Tuesday's primary in that state. We'll look at how their strategies are evolving, next.


[21:37:08] COOPER: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both had events in Michigan today. On Sunday they face off in a debate in Flint, Michigan, which I'll be moderating. And two days later is the Michigan primary, 147 delegates at stake.

Brianna Keilar tonight reports.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Today Hillary Clinton was in the motor city laying out her plan to create jobs and taking aim at Donald Trump.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'll tell you, when I hear people running for president who spend all their time bad mouthing America, it really upsets me. You know what? We've got work to do. Instead of complaining, let's join hands. Let's lift ourselves up. Let's get going together.

KEILAR: But as she turns her attention to the potential Republican nominee, she's taking incoming fire from Bernie Sanders, also in Michigan, slamming her past support for trade deals that many in this labor stronghold oppose.

BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL REPORT: The people of Michigan want to make a decision, about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America, against these disastrous trade agreements. That candidate is Bernie Sanders.

KEILAR: But Clinton is also courting unions.

CLINTON: I hope they do the patriotic thing and stay in America.

KEILAR: Today at a car parts manufacturing plant, she railed against outsourcing.

CLINTON: If you'll desert America, you'll pay a price. But do the right thing, invest in your workers and your country's future, and we will stand with you.

KEILAR: As the Sanders campaign seems to undercut her appeals to union workers highlighting these comments Clinton made about outsourcing while on a trip to India in 2012 as Secretary Of State.

CLINTON: That I think that the, you know, there are advantages with it that have certainly benefited many parts of our country, and there are disadvantages that go to the need to, you know, improve the job skills of our own people and create a better economic environment. So it's like anything, it's, you know, about pluses and minuses. KEILAR: With the chances of a Sanders nomination dimming, some Democrats think his attacks will only weaken Clinton for a potential general election.

SANDERS: Secretary Clinton has a number of Super PACS.

KEILAR: But Sanders has millions still in the bank to finances campaign and is promising to push to the convention this summer.

SANDERS: We're in this race to win and we're doing the best we can do. I think I don't run negative campaign ads, but I do think it's appropriate that in a campaign you distinguish differences with your opponents, otherwise why run?


COOPER: Briana, what are you hearing from Clinton's campaign about her debate strategy Sunday?

KEILAR: Well we're expecting, Anderson that she is going to be making a play for a couple very important Democratic voting blocs here in Michigan, African-American voters and also union voters which is where Bernie Sanders really comes in here.

[21:40:01] Publicly, the campaign will say he doesn't really have a pathway to the nomination, it would be very difficult. Privately they say there's no chance that it's impossible, but their also preparing for some attacks from him. They feel that this will be a must seize opportunity for Bernie Sanders to make a splash.

And so, they're looking at the criticisms that he has of Secretary Clinton right now, specifically on trade, on a number of trade agreements, NAFTA and others that she supported over the year, years. Her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership as Secretary of State and then just recently as a candidate coming out against it. So, they're ready to be on defense for that as they try to shore up her union support.

COOPER: All right. That's going to be interesting. Brianna Keilar. Brianna, thanks.

CNN Senior Political Commentator and former Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod. You can find his podcast "The Axe Files" at

So David, I mean, it's an interesting line for Clinton to walk. She's obviously got electoral momentum, yet Sanders is vowing to fight on. How do you see this playing out over tomorrow's primaries and the debate Sunday night?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We're really entering a critical period here. There's a thousand delegates at stake in the next 10 days, 300 in the next four days.

And so, yes, she has a fairly significant lead given the way that Democratic system works. A larger lead right now in pledged delegates than Barack Obama ever had all throughout the 2008 campaign. But this is Bernie Sanders chance to get back in the hunt to do well, particularly in these Northern industrial states. States like Michigan on Tuesday.

So Sunday's debate has some meaning and it will be interesting to see not how she deals with it as much as how Bernie deals with it. She'd like to look ahead to the general election. He'd like to keep her right here and now stuck in the primaries.