Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Sanders Leading, Buttigieg Second & Klobuchar Third; CNN Decision Desk Analysis: Warren, Biden Won't Pick Up Delegates Tonight; Klobuchar Speaking To Supporters In New Hampshire. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired February 11, 2020 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: --would worry about. But, you know, watching her, I just want to say one other thing about this. Reminds me that running for President is really hard.

Elizabeth Warren has probably worked harder than anybody in this race over time. And it, you know, it is difficult - just this turnaround from Iowa to New Hampshire is an inhuman test.

And so, you know, all these candidates have worked really, really hard, and she's a prime example.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN HOST, "SMERCONISH": But I have to - I have to say this though, David. It - when she makes the comment "We're just two states in" that's literally true. But one of those states is a state where the Boston media market dominates.

AXELROD: Of course. Oh, and this was a terrible night for her.

SMERCONISH: She's a - she's a known quantity and--

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Yes.

AXELROD: Yes, this is terrible night for her.

SMERCONISH: --and was rejected arguably in favor of another candidate who--

COOPER: I just spilled my water.

(PANEL LAUGHTER)

SMERCONISH: Because something I said?

COOPER: You're talking about media markets or something. I'm going to go back to Wolf for a second. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER: All right, Anderson, thanks very much. We got a key race alert right now. The polls are a bit close in New Hampshire for an hour.

40 percent of the estimated vote is in, very impressive, Bernie Sanders maintains his lead with 27.6 percent, Pete Buttigieg in second place, 23.5 percent, Amy Klobuchar, 19.8 percent in third place.

Elizabeth Warren, she's down to fourth place, 9.5 percent, Joe Biden in fifth place, 8.6 percent, and the rest of the candidates not doing well at all.

Let's go over to Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER: Wolf, let's check in with our reporters who are at the campaign headquarters of these three top candidates in New Hampshire so far. Let's start with Ryan Nobles, who's at Sanders' headquarters.

And Ryan, Bernie Sanders in the lead.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Jake. And you can sense a bit of cautious optimism here in this room.

What's interesting that this is a pretty big room that I'm in right now. And it is filling up slowly because there's a pretty lengthy security line. There's a big line outside, and it's taking them a while to get in here. But the crowd is starting to fill up.

And every time they go up, and they see CNN, over my shoulder, and they see that Bernie Sanders is in the lead, you'll get a big cheer from the crowd, and we're in a bit of a delay here, so when they see me pop up, that may happen here in a few seconds.

I, you know, I've been in contact with a lot of Bernie Sanders' key advisers tonight. They are far from ready to declare victory. That is for sure. But they do feel very positive about these early returns.

They - they sense that this is heading in the right direction.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

NOBLES: And they're now just getting up to speed now seeing me on the big screen behind them.

They're very confident about where they stand right now. They expected to win here. They put a plan in place, a turnout operation that they were very confident in. And right now, they seem to be bearing the fruits of that labor.

Again though, Jake, not ready to declare victory by any stretch of the imagination. But they do feel very solid with where the returns stand right now. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Ryan Nobles at Sanders' headquarters, Bernie Sanders having a very, very good night from neighboring Vermont.

Let's go to Abby Phillip now. She's with former South Bend, Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg.

And Abby, we talked about this. Mayor Buttigieg, number one with a bullet out of Iowa in terms of the delegates, and he is having a great night, although it looks like he's not going to win, but he's having a great night in New Hampshire.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the campaign feels really good about what they're seeing so far.

The - the early returns really indicate that in terms of the expectations game, they feel comfortable that they have beat a lot of these early expectations that were out there for this former Mayor from the fourth largest city in Indiana.

He is now running, according to the campaign, what they're looking at is, he's running ahead of two of the competitors who he came into this race trailing, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, doing significantly better than both of them.

And then, when they look further out beyond New Hampshire, what they're seeing is that their campaign, they believe, is prepared to compete in the states that come next, in Nevada and in South Carolina. They've got a campaign that has about 70-plus staffers in Nevada, 55- plus staffers in South Carolina.

And Amy Klobuchar is doing very well right there on his heels. But they're pointing out clearly that Klobuchar doesn't have as big as a campaign. They're feeling pretty good about what they're seeing so far tonight.

And they're not, as Ryan said, ready to declare anything. But the results so far seem to indicate that they are getting close to Sanders, who has been really - they've been neck and neck since Iowa here, Jake.

TAPPER: That's right. Pete Buttigieg, now, I think it's fair to say one of the front-runners in the Presidential race along with Bernie Sanders.

Let's go to the other strong finisher, at least according to polls, as of right now, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. Kyung Lah is with Klobuchar.

And Kyung, that's the question is after a strong night for Amy Klobuchar, for Senator Klobuchar, will she start staffing up, so that she has a place to go after New Hampshire?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well we took that question directly to some of her senior staff. And I spoke with a senior staffer. And he said the answer is yes, that this team is now ready to capitalize on the momentum that they are feeling here in New Hampshire.

[21:05:00]

This was not a place that any of them were willing to talk about, the possibility of being in third place. The furthest they would go is saying that they are in fourth place.

But what they are now saying is they have 50 staff members on the ground in Nevada. They are ready to play there. They have two ads that have gone up, and will be going up tomorrow, in Nevada, both in Reno and Las Vegas.

They want to get as many eyeballs on the Senator as possible. And they're now looking forward to Super Tuesday. By Saturday, a senior Klobuchar staffer says that they will have staffers in several Super Tuesday states.

This is a rapid expansion. This is a staff that is now looking to do more than just three jobs per person, a scrappy team that has tried to keep it together, and keep this campaign going, the little engine that could, if you will.

They know now that they have got to expand to these larger states, Jake. That is an understanding, especially with her performing at a place that none of them were willing to even whisper before.

It is happening. And they're just saying now they're going beyond cautiously optimistic. They say they are feeling very good about where she is right now.

TAPPER: All right, Kyung Lah, with the Klobuchar headquarters in Concord, New Hampshire, thanks so much.

Now, Wolf Blitzer, you're at the Magic Wall to tell us what is going on.

BLITZER: Yes, I'm going to let John King tell us what's going on.

Right now, 42 percent of the vote is in. That's a little bit more than an hour after all the polls closed in New Hampshire, and Bernie Sanders maintaining his lead, Pete Buttigieg in second place, Amy Klobuchar in third place.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And everybody trying to adjust to this now.

We have Iowa. We have New Hampshire. You just heard Elizabeth Warren. We're waiting to hear from Vice President Biden. Those are the two disappointing candidates.

And before we dive in deeply, these three on top, unless there's a dramatic shift, with 42 percent of the vote in, you're going to have a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, and a national liberal icon, and a former two-term Vice President of the United States come out of the first in the nation primary without delegates.

It's one state. They say they're going to move on. But in terms of bragging rights, momentum, trying to get fundraising done tomorrow, that's embarrassing for both Senator Warren and former Vice President Biden.

Again, we'll keep watching the results to see if they change. But that's been pretty consistent all the night, in single digits, won't get delegates, raises the bar for fundraising, and creates opportunities for others.

Democrats want someone who can beat Donald Trump. It's hard when you're running fourth and fifth to make the case you're the strongest candidate. Again, we'll see if they can adjust and regroup.

But here's what they face right now. Bernie Sanders, beating handily Elizabeth Warren.

Over the summertime, the conversation was who would be the progress - who would grab the progressive mantle in New Hampshire? Could the Massachusetts Democrat take New Hampshire away from the Vermont Democrat or Independent who won it last time?

Here in a state where he's not a - he's an Independent, Democratic Socialist, he calls himself, he's winning, 4-point margin over South Bend, Indiana, the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Minnesota Democrat.

So, two Midwesterners coming into New Hampshire, putting on strong performances, the question is all of our analysts have talked about tonight is can they capitalize as we move on?

BLITZER: And you make the point that Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, if they don't get 15 percent of the vote--

KING: Right.

BLITZER: --they're not going to get any delegates. And our Decision Desk is not telling us they're not going to get 15 percent.

KING: Right.

BLITZER: They'll emerge from New Hampshire, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, without any delegates.

KING: Right. And so, you will hear them and their campaign staffs in the days ahead, saying "No big deal!"

Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, even after that, you're at fewer than 5 percent, less than 5 percent of the delegates that are awarded in a primary. So, there's plenty of time.

Problem is momentum matters, fundraising matters. One of the ways you can raise money, and have momentum, is to say "I'm starting to build delegates." So, that is embarrassing for both Senator Warren and the former Vice President Biden. We'll see if they can continue.

This looks like we're heading. We'll get - we're not there yet. But it looks like we're heading towards Sanders winning again in New Hampshire. Again, this is - this is interesting.

The question is he won Iowa, looks like he's going to finish second in New Hampshire, how do you capitalize on that?

They both will have problems, as all of our analysts, all night long, have said, how to introduce yourself to the Latino communities in Nevada, the African-American community in South Carolina.

But they will have some bragging rights and some momentum to do that. They will make new friends because of getting this. I think David Axelrod just called it a look. So, let's just go through and see some of what is happening here.

What's interesting about this is it looks like Senator Sanders is on his way to victory. We're not ready to say that yet. But it's been a pretty static race all night long. It's just how remarkable of a three-way race it is everywhere.

This is Concord, the State Capital. You come back out, you drop down here. This is Manchester, the largest city, the biggest population center, gritty blue-collar, healthy lead for Sanders there, which he's held them statewide.

It's just we'll go through it this way just to show you A, how competitive these three top candidates are, and B, how disappointing it is for the others. I'm going to start just alphabetically here.

Joe Biden, first, nowhere. Joe Biden, second, in one tiny County. Joe Biden, first, second, or third, very small populations in all of these places. That's just a very bad performance by a former Vice President of the United States.

We'll pop that out, and we'll bring it up here, and let's just stay alphabetically. Senator Sanders, first, that's impressive, right?

[21:10:00]

Look at all that light blue places where he's running second, places where he's running third, competitive over just about everything that is reported, Senator Sanders is in the mix.

He's either winning or in the mix as he goes forward. That's how you keep your numbers up in a closed statewide race. If you're not winning, you got to be competitive.

So, let's move it on down. This is incredibly disappointing for Senator Warren who, again, had a very strong summer.

She's from the neighborhood. You go through a first, second, third, just a tiny smattering of places where Elizabeth Warren is in the mix at all. This is a tough night. It is a night when you have to sit down.

You've been bragging, and you had a right to brag over the summer that you had a very strong organization. Organizations turn out voters, so you have to have a conversation about what are we doing wrong or what is somebody else doing better. Those are the conversations you have.

Pete Buttigieg, first, second, and third, again like Senator Sanders, running competitive just about everywhere, which is how you stay in the mix.

And let's just do Senator Klobuchar real quickly. To be fair to her, move it down here a little bit here, pump that up, first in a few places, second in a lot more, and you add in third.

For the top three candidates, this has been very consistent all night long. Biden and Warren, not competitive across most of the state. Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar running up the numbers.

BLITZER: Yes, we're waiting to hear from Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Joe Biden. We're getting more numbers. Almost half of the vote is now in. Much more of our special coverage right after this.

[21:15:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We got a key race alert right now. Almost half of the vote is in, 46 percent of the estimated vote is now in. Bernie Sanders maintains his lead with 27.7 percent, Pete Buttigieg in second place, 23.4 percent, Amy Klobuchar, 19.5 percent in third place.

Elizabeth Warren, she's down at 9.4 percent, fourth place. Joe Biden, fifth place - fifth place with 8.6 percent. The other candidates not doing well as all.

David Chalian, you're looking at these numbers. You're looking at the exit poll numbers as well.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's right, Wolf. And I am going to show you who had the real strength at the end of this campaign in New Hampshire. It was a late moving campaign.

We talked about that debate factor. Remember, half the electorate today, 49 percent of voters in the Democratic primary said the debate on Friday night was an important factor.

Look how well Klobuchar did among those voters. She got 30 percent of them, followed by Buttigieg at 22 percent, and Sanders at 20 percent. That debate was a huge difference for her.

How about the 15 percent of the electorate who said they decided just today?

Here, Pete Buttigieg is the closer. Among those who say, just today, 15 percent of the electorate, Buttigieg gets 31 percent, Klobuchar, 16 percent, Warren, 15 percent, Sanders down at 12 percent.

And here's a key part of Sanders' strength. His support is sticky. They go with him early and they stay there. They're not all that movable.

Take a look among the 36 percent, who decided before February, last month or earlier, Sanders gets 42 percent of them compared to Buttigieg at 16 percent. That is key.

But you see Klobuchar and Buttigieg as strong closers while Sanders has the advantage of early supporters that lock in. That's important to watch in the future contests as well.

Jake?

TAPPER: David, the big story obviously is who's winning right now. And we have Sanders, Buttigieg, and - and Amy Klobuchar in the first, second, and third place, with the votes still coming in.

But the other story is who's not doing well. And one of those big stories, of course, is former Vice President Joe Biden coming in right now, fifth place. Let's go to Arlette Saenz, who's with the Biden campaign in South Carolina.

And Arlette, obviously, the Biden campaign did not anticipate that he was going to have a good night. And the former Vice President telegraphed that oddly enough at the beginning of the debate on Friday night. But this is a really poor showing fifth place!

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it sure is, Jake. And, so far, no official comment from Biden's campaign about the way that New Hampshire is tracking right now.

But it's very clear that Biden and his team were eager to move on past Iowa, and New Hampshire, and get on to diverse states like right here in South Carolina, also states like Nevada. They see the diverse demographics in states like South Carolina as being part of his path to the nomination.

So, in a short while, he will be addressing supporters here in Columbia, South Carolina. They've been gathering here for a few hours. There's no TVs telling people about the results in New Hampshire. And I've talked to a few of his supporters who are keeping tabs on their phone.

So many of his allies pointing to states like South Carolina, and the diverse demographics here, State Senator Marlon Kimpson, who is a prominent supporter of Biden's, here in the state, he told me that Iowa and New Hampshire are not barometers for the rest of the country, and that states like South Carolina need to get their vote in here.

The majority of the Democratic primary electorate - electorate here is made up of Black voters. That is a constituency that the Biden campaign really sees as a bedrock of their support.

But certainly, the campaign is aware that candidates may be heading out of Iowa and New Hampshire now with momentum of stronger finishes with the former Vice President. And the way things are tracking here tonight is certainly going to be disappointing for the Biden campaign.

TAPPER: All right, Arlette Saenz with the Biden campaign in South Carolina.

And Dana, I can't think of anything more illustrative of the kind of night Vice President Biden is having than the fact that his Party in South Carolina does not even have a TV for people to watch.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Or that he's in South Carolina.

TAPPER: Or that he's in South Carolina too.

BASH: I mean.

TAPPER: That's the other detail.

But he does have an argument to make that he, last poll I saw, he was at 49 percent in the African-American community, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg was at zero percent in the African-American community.

That was a - a Q poll nationwide. And he does have a path forward in the sense that he, you know, does well with African-American voters.

BASH: Yes.

TAPPER: And that's 60 percent of the electorate in South Carolina--

BASH: He--

TAPPER: --in the Democratic primary.

BASH: He does. But even in that poll, I was just looking at it, he's lost a lot of the share of the Black vote, which he had earlier on, because that has always been what his campaign called his firewall, because they didn't anticipate him doing well in the first two states.

TAPPER: This is Jill - Dr. Jill Biden, his wife--

BASH: Yes.

[21:20:00]

TAPPER: --coming and speaking to supporters.

BASH: And - and - so we expect the former Vice President to come out any minute.

But I think we just also have to take a moment and just digest the fact that a former two-term Vice President of the United States didn't even place, it looks like, we're not done yet, but it looks like he's headed towards not even placing in the top four.

TAPPER: Right.

BASH: I mean getting single digits of support, not even getting enough support to get one delegate from New Hampshire, I mean that is stunning.

Now he, at least at the end, set himself up for that, by starting the debate, as you mentioned with - with Arlette, at the last debate, which everybody in New Hampshire who I talked to was watching, by saying that they wouldn't support him.

But still, it is - it is by far one of the biggest storylines of the night, despite the fact that his campaign worked very hard to--

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: --set expectations at these levels.

TAPPER: No one has ever come in fourth in Iowa, and fifth in New Hampshire, and then gone on to get the nomination.

We're going to squeeze in a quick break and so we can come back and bring you former Vice President Joe Biden speaking in South Carolina. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And welcome back. You're looking on the right-hand side of your screen, on the upper corner, Cedric Richmond, in South Carolina, going to be introducing Vice President Biden. We'll bring you some of his remarks.

[21:25:00]

Also, there you see the results. 47 percent of the vote in, tallied in - in North - in New Hampshire, Sanders in the lead with 27 percent, 23 percent for Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar with 19 percent.

As I said, we expect Joe Biden to speaking any moment. It's significant, Van Jones, that Biden obviously is not in New Hampshire tonight, and is in new - is in South Carolina, where if he does not perform well there--

VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

COOPER: --it is hard - it's - I mean this is the state--

JONES: Yes.

COOPER: --everyone has been pointing to as Joe Biden's alleged firewall.

JONES: And it could be firewall paper. I mean, if it - if it turns out he just doesn't have it, it will be revealed in - in South Carolina.

I mean, part of the thing is, it feels like, at times, he's kind of been doing this rope-a-dope thing, kind of laying back on South Carolina, expecting South Carolina to rescue him, and save him, and that thing could fall apart at any point.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, and--

COOPER: As Vice President Biden has taken the stage, we'll bring you his - part of his remarks as soon as he actually begins - begin speaking.

(MUSIC)

BORGER: Even the - even the people in - in the Biden campaign will tell you that if he--

AXELROD: All right, here he is.

COOPER: Let's listen in.

BORGER: OK.

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: --to be back in South Carolina.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

BIDEN: Great to be with you all tonight, all of you being here tonight. I know I hope you - I hope you love me as much as I love you guys.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

BIDEN: I've been coming here a long time. When I die, I want to be reborn in Charleston actually. I like the Lowcountry. You know what I mean?

Look, I hope I - thank you. Please sit down if you have a seat. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am - I'm Joe Biden's husband and I work for Cedric Richmond.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: And David Mack is taking me to school.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: Well, look, I know some of the other Senators came over. They came up to see me. They're in session right now. And I thank them for making the effort. There's so many people here for me to say thank you, thank you, thank you.

So, I just spoke to our folks up in - up in New Hampshire, and they did a good job. But I want to tell you, the people of Nevada are watching. And I want to make it clear. We praise their diversity as a state. And I'm going to be out there seeing them very soon.

Tonight though, I - we just heard from the first two of 50 states, two of them, not all the nation, not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation, not 10 percent, two. Two! Now, where I come from, that's the opening bell, not the closing bell. And the fight to end Donald Trump's Presidency is just beginning, just beginning.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

BIDEN: Thank you.

(AUDIENCE CHANTING JOE!)

BIDEN: It is important that Iowa and Nevada (ph) have spoken. But look, we need to hear from Nevada, and South Carolina, and Super Tuesday states, and beyond.

And, look, we're moving in an especially important phase because up till now we haven't heard from the most committed constituencies in the Democratic Party, the African-American community.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS) BIDEN: And the fast - and the fastest-growing segment of society, the Latino community.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

BIDEN: I want you all to think of a number. 99.9 percent. That's the percentage of African-American voters who have not yet had a chance to vote in America.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS WITH YES!)

BIDEN: One more number, 99.8, that's the percent of Latino voters who haven't had that chance to vote. So, when you hear all these pundits and experts, cable TV talkers talk to you about the race, tell them, "It ain't over man. We're just getting started."

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

BIDEN: Our votes count too. We're not going to let anyone take this election away from you.

Look, I've said many times. You can't be the Democratic nominee and you can't win a general election as Democrat unless you have overwhelming support from Black and Brown voters. It's just really simple.

(CROSSTALK)

BIDEN: No, it's a natural fact. It's true. It's absolutely true.

And folks, you know, all those Democrats who won against incumbents, from Jimmy Carter, to a guy named Clinton, a guy named Obama, my good friend, guess what? They had overwhelming African-American support. Without it, nobody's ever won.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE WITH YES!)

BIDEN: No, really. And you all know you own my heart. Look, more important, should you not win the Democratic nomination for President, you shouldn't be able to win it without Black and Brown voters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

BIDEN: Too often, your loyalty, your support, your commitment, to this Party, have been taken for granted. I have never once in my career, since I got involved as a kid, taken it for granted. And I give you my word as a Biden, I never ever, ever will.

[21:30:00]

Now, if you want to know, what any other candidates are going to do in the future, the tendency is to look at the past.

Well I left the law firm when I was a kid with a great job in a fancy law firm and to become a public defender, to fight for the people of the community I used to work in, in Eastside because they couldn't afford a lawyer.

On the County Council, I fought against redlining. In the U.S. Senate, I passed the extension to Voting Rights Act for two decades, the Violence Against Women Act.

And, by the way, I had the back of a great President named Barack Obama for eight years.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Vice President Biden speaking in - in South Carolina tonight, not in New Hampshire, clearly focused on Nevada and South Carolina. Van Jones?

JONES: Yes.

COOPER: Obviously, I mean, he's being very obvious about--

JONES: Yes.

COOPER: --what he's doing.

JONES: Hey listen, again, this is - he did - he's doing this rope-a- dope strategy.

"I'm just going to get pounded in Iowa. I'm just going to get pounded in New Hampshire. And I'm going to come back based on Black people kind of lifting me over this sort of, you know, all these deficits."

And maybe it'll work for him. But it's a very odd strategy. It's a very weird strategy. And I don't know if he knows that African- Americans actually, you know, are watching TV tonight, and see you can't get White votes.

And the reason that African-Americans liked Obama is he could - Obama could get some White votes too.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Right.

JONES: And so, it's a bizarre kind of a thing. It's a sad thing.

For me, I got a chance to work for Biden and the Obama White House. There's - nobody's got a bigger heart, there's nobody who cares more, there's nobody who - who understands the pain of ordinary people more.

It's sad to see where he is in this campaign. But this strategy, I think, is going to blow up in his face.

COOPER: Well Alexandra, I mean that was the argument for - many made about for Biden early on, which was he not only did he have a support among African-Americans, but he could appeal to working-class White voters in the Rustbelt, in other places, in New Hampshire, in Iowa. That is certainly not the case.

ALEXANDRA ROJAS, FORMER 2016 BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUSTICE DEMOCRATS: Yes, I think - I think, you know, when you base your entire campaign on electability, and you can't win, even if it's just the first two states, as he's saying, that - that burst your bubble a little bit. So, I think that's really important.

I think it's interesting that he also called out, you know, that he wants the Latino vote, where he's in South Carolina right now, the next primary that we have coming up is Nevada.

And so, I think it's really important that, yes, the Black vote really matters. But even in South Carolina, you see him dropping, and folks like Bernie Sanders soaring, in places like Nevada and South Carolina.

So, even that broad coalition of communities of color that he is counting on, we're seeing actually move to someone else.

AXELROD: Yes. I mean, you know, there were two national polls in the last couple of days that showed him dropping significantly.

And what was noteworthy, at least in the Quinnipiac poll, I haven't been able to look inside the Monmouth poll yet, was a precipitous drop among African-Americans, after Iowa--

ROJAS: Yes.

AXELROD: --where he had 51 percent or 52 percent before Iowa, and he was down to like 25 percent, 26 percent, so it dropped by half, which goes to what you guys are saying.

African-American voters are discerning voters. They're looking for a candidate who can beat Donald Trump. They were attracted to Joe Biden, yes, because of his service with Barack Obama, but also because they thought he was the guy who could beat Trump.

COOPER: Right.

AXELROD: And it's hard to look like a winner when you're losing.

BORGER: Right. And - and--

SMERCONISH: And 62 percent - 62 percent of those who voted in New Hampshire today prioritized electability.

You would think if we shared that data at this table, 10 days ago, and then you said "Who came out on top?", you'd say, "My God! Joe Biden must have run awfully well in New Hampshire." That didn't happen.

I can't help but wonder if the impeachment process, a lot of the conversation was it's going to take people outside of the campaign trail and have to relegate them to be in the Senate chamber for that impeachment process.

It didn't harm Amy Klobuchar. It did not harm Bernie Sanders. Did it harm Joe Biden? Did all of the other--

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Well it may have.

BORGER: It shouldn't. But the--

COOPER: And Gloria, we should point out, 50 percent of the vote now has been counted in New Hampshire.

BORGER: Right. And Biden isn't even on our board up there.

The thing I think that kind of surprised people is everyone was looking at the national polls, early on, and saying, "Oh, look, Biden is - Biden is first. Biden can beat Donald Trump by umpty-ump number of points." And voters are looking at that saying, "OK. He's the guy who can win. That's the guy I want."

And then, when you're actually - when voters vote, and you saw what happened in Iowa, voters in New Hampshire were shopping around. They had Biden, for those of us who do a lot of online shopping, they had Biden in their cart, and then--

(PANEL LAUGHTER)

BORGER: --they had Biden in their cart, and then they thought, "OK, well, I might just check out a Klobuchar."

COOPER: Well it's also interesting--

BORGER: "But I'm going to remove Biden."

HENDERSON: Yes, it--

COOPER: It also raises the question about Bloomberg--

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: --which is you'd - you see him on TV commercials.

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: When he - you actually see him in the flesh--

AXELROD: Right.

BORGER: Well that's going to be a whole thing.

COOPER: --and you see him on a debate stage.

AXELROD: Next week will be the first test run.

COOPER: And, you know, is he actually compelling--

HENDERSON: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: --their TV ads.

COOPER: Right.

BORGER: Than they do in person.

COOPER: Yes.

BORGER: Go on.

HENDERSON: I think, and when you start looking at Bloomberg's record, I think there are going to be some problems there in terms of what he did in New York with stop-and-frisk.

[21:35:00]

In terms of Biden, you know, there's not a real reason to believe that Biden has a great organizing strategy in any of the states that are, you know, coming up, South Carolina, Nevada.

Also, I think Steyer is going to be a factor in a way that not many people anticipated in South Carolina. He's all over the airwaves there, doing well with African-Americans. So, I mean, he talks about you need overwhelming support from Black and Brown people to win.

COOPER: Yes.

HENDERSON: He's right. And he doesn't have it at this point.

COOPER: Governor?

HENDERSON: Not overwhelming support.

COOPER: Governor? Amy Klobuchar, we expect her coming out any moment now. We're going to bring that obviously to our - to our viewers live as well. What do you see as the path for her? What is the next step for her?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D) FORMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Well she's got to - really come out tonight. A is got to put the resources together. She has to be competitive. As I say, we got 16 major states coming up in the next three weeks, got to put the money together, got to put the people on the ground.

You got to start buying advertising in all of these states, some of them you'll never be able to do. You've got Texas. You've got California.

JONES: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: Gigantic states.

JONES: Super expensive.

MCAULIFFE: Hey listen, five people are coming out still in this race after New Hampshire. This is extraordinary. And we've got Michael Bloomberg sitting there with a billion-plus hours. You know, none of us sitting around here - this thing could go anyway--

BORGER: To the Convention.

AXELROD: It could go to Milwaukee.

BORGER: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: You bet.

BORGER: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: Could go to Milwaukee. Nobody knows--

JONES: They could--

MCAULIFFE: --how this is going to go.

COOPER: Is that a good thing?

JONES: No.

MCAULIFFE: No.

(CROSSTALK)

MCAULIFFE: Let's get an early nominee. Let's get amplified and let's get after Trump. No, the longer we go, everybody's fighting. And then--

JONES: And Trump is - and Trump is building, building this.

MCAULIFFE: --you'll get a weekend of July (ph) to get organized.

JONES: And Trump is building, building, building this.

MCAULIFFE: Sure.

JESS MCINTOSH, FORMER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS OUTREACH, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN: There is a lot for Democrats to be nervous about with the way that the primary is playing out. One of that is how long it's going to take. One of them is how the - the attacks are getting more pointed. And one of them is voter turnout. Unless we start seeing--

BORGER: That's the question.

MCINTOSH: I mean, since Trump was elected, we have seen record- breaking turnout in elections that usually people ignore entirely. And we're talking about special elections for a state legislature seat.

Why, all of a sudden, when we get to the show, when we get to the Presidential primary, do we start seeing voter levels drop off to lower than 16?

BORGER: Well I don't - what's the answer to that question?

MCINTOSH: And let me just say, if it goes long, let me be very clear, it is going to be a fight for the Democrat, it is going to be a fight, right up to the end, tearing each other apart, right up through July, which is--

JONES: Yes. Can I say something about that?

MCINTOSH: --not good for our Party.

JONES: And--

MCINTOSH: I know Elizabeth Warren said tonight "Let's all be unified." Are you kidding me? They are coming out guns a-blazing tonight.

JONES: I do want - look, I want--

MCINTOSH: You have to.

JONES: I want to say something about that too because Elizabeth Warren kind of came out, and she said, "Hey, guys, knock it off, quit being so mean."

But look at the result. Bernie Sanders saw Pete coming on. If you talk to all people in Pete's campaign, and they said, their internal tracking numbers had him beating Bernie Sanders tonight.

Five days ago, Bernie turned around, and opened fire on Pete, and said, "You're basically a puppet of your billionaire donors." And it stopped Pete in his tracks.

So, what you're starting to see is tough tactics. And then, of course, you had Biden turn around and put a very snarky ad up there against Pete as well, saying that his record is very thin.

So, on the one hand, these tough tactics are bad for the Party, but it's very good for the candidates because Bernie was going to get beaten tonight had he not done that.

AXELROD: Well--

COOPER: We should point out 3.5 percent separate Sanders from - from Buttigieg.

AXELROD: The--

MCINTOSH: I also think attacks are different when we're talking about a candidate who's relatively new.

And as long as - as long as they're measured, I thought the tone of the Biden one was about as if you - if you're going to attack, like Joe Biden would, that was the way to do it. You would - you would watch it while also kind of laughing at it. It didn't make you, you know, want to curl up and die.

But when you're talking about a relatively untested candidate like Pete Buttigieg is, like Amy Klobuchar is also, these are going to be lines of contrast that get drawn much more sharply--

AXELROD: Yes, but listen guys. Let me just saying something.

MCINTOSH: --if they start.

AXELROD: I've been around a long time.

COOPER: Yes.

AXELROD: And--

COOPER: We agree.

AXELROD: --this is not - yes, I know. I think that's obvious. I don't even need to stipulate that. But these are not unusually--

MCAULIFFE: No.

BORGER: Yes.

AXELROD: --a negative campaign. So, I mean campaigns are tough. Barack Obama went 50 rounds with Hillary Clinton in 2008. And they had some very, very acrimonious debates and so on.

The question is do you come together at the end? And that is the concern that if you go, you know, 50 states and to a Convention, will at the end of that Convention, Democrats unite around one candidate?

(CROSSTALK)

SMERCONISH: And - and better - better for Buttigieg--

HENDERSON: Because in '16, we didn't do that.

SMERCONISH: --better for Buttigieg to face that criticism of a thin resume now.

COOPER: Yes.

SMERCONISH: Than to have no one speak of it and wait for Donald Trump to lay it out because if it's going to stick, Democratic Party's--

BORGER: But--

SMERCONISH: --better off finding out now.

BORGER: But Bernie Sanders has said, this time, that he will support the Democratic--

AXELROD: Well he did last time.

(CROSSTALK)

ROJAS: But he did last time when he campaigned in 2016.

AXELROD: But his supporters--

MCINTOSH: It's his supporters.

AXELROD: But some of his supporters did not. And that was the problem. BORGER: His supporters did not. And that I think could be a--

JONES: But - but--

BORGER: --could be a problem again.

JONES: But Bernie gets this knock that he didn't help. You know, he was out there. He campaigned. You - you can't tell his supporters what to do. He can--

AXELROD: Yes.

BORGER: You don't want him to stay home.

COOPER: Let's - let's listen to Amy Klobuchar.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

(MUSIC)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

[21:40:00]

(AUDIENCE CHANTING AMY!)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

(AUDIENCE CHANTING AMY!)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Thank you, New Hampshire.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, New Hampshire. We love you, New Hampshire.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Hello America, I'm Amy Klobuchar, and I will beat Donald Trump.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: My heart--

(AUDIENCE CHANTING) KLOBUCHAR: My heart is full tonight. My heart is full tonight. While there are still ballots left to count, we have beaten the odds every step of the way.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: We - we have done it on the merits, we have done it with ideas, and we have done it with hard work, because we are resilient and strong as the people of this great nation.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you to our incredible staff, and our unstoppable volunteers, my wonderful husband, John, our daughter Abigail.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: And the people of New Hampshire. Because of you, we are taking this campaign to Nevada.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: We are going to South Carolina.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: And we are taking this message of unity to the country.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: We know in our hearts that in a democracy, it is not about the loudest voice or the biggest bank account. It is about the best idea and about the person who can turn those ideas into action.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: We know that we cannot win big by trying to out-divide the Divider-in-Chief. We know that we win by bringing people with us instead of shutting them out. Donald Trump's worst nightmare is that the people in the middle, the people who have had enough of the name- calling, and the mudslinging--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

KLOBUCHAR: --have someone to vote for in November.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: I--

(AUDIENCE CHANTING)

KLOBUCHAR: I cannot wait to bring our green bus around the country.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: I cannot wait to win the nomination.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: I cannot wait to build a movement and win with a movement of fired-up Democrats, of--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --Independents and moderate Republicans--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --that see this election as we do. We see it as an economic check on this President. We see it as a patriotism check. And we see it as a decency check. Because, in the end--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --we know that what unites us is so much bigger than what divides us. And we know--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --we know that we believe, so many of us believe, that the heart of America is bigger than the heart of this guy in the White House.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Tonight is about grit. And my story, like so many of yours, is one of resilience.

I announced my candidacy in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard. And there were a lot of people that predicted I wouldn't even get through that speech, but not the people of my state and not the people of New Hampshire.

Except, then they predicted that we wouldn't make it through the summer. We did. Then they predicted we wouldn't make it to the debates. And man, were we at the debate in New Hampshire!

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: What we've been is steady. We've been strong. And we've never quit. I think that sounds pretty good for a President.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

[21:45:00]

KLOBUCHAR: But across - across the months, and months, and miles of this race, we redefined the word grit. You see it with our "Happy, Scrappy Campaign." You saw it--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE) KLOBUCHAR: --you saw it in our 10 County 30-hour tour in the middle of a nor'easter. Let's not forget that. You saw it in our early-morning diner stops and our late-night rallies. And yes, you saw it on that debate stage.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Just like so many of you out there, I know a little bit about resilience.

My grandpa worked 1,500 feet underground in the mines in Northern Minnesota. He never graduated from high school because his parents were sick. He had nine brothers and sisters, and he had to help raise them.

And every day, he would go down in that cage, in that mine, carrying a lunch bucket that my grandma would pack.

His youngest sister, Hannah, was only 8-years old when they put her in an orphanage. And he vowed, after his parents died, that he would go and get her. And two years later, he borrowed a car, he went to Duluth, and he brought her home. He--

(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --he and my grandma saved money in a coffee can, in their basement, to send my dad to a two-year community College. My dad then became a newspaper man. My mom, she was born in Milwaukee, the site of our next Convention.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: And she came to Minnesota and taught second grade until she was 70 years old. And I still meet people that say she was their favorite teacher.

So, I stand before you today, as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as a daughter of a teacher and a newspaper man, as a first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the State of Minnesota and a--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --and a candidate for President of the United States.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

(AUDIENCE CHANTING AMY!)

KLOBUCHAR: That - that, my friends, that is because we live in a country of shared dreams that no matter where you come from, no matter who you know, no matter the color of your skin, no matter where you worship, no matter who you love that you can make it in the United States of America.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: I - I didn't have a perfect life. My dad struggled with alcoholism his whole life.

And by the time John and I got married, he got his third DWI. And then, the judge said to him "You got to decide jail or treatment." And he chose treatment. And, in his words, he was pursued by grace.

I believe that everyone in this country should have that opportunity to be pursued by grace.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: When Abigail was born, we thought it was going to be this perfect thing, but she was really sick, and she couldn't swallow, and she was in intensive care.

And back then, the insurance companies had a rule, and they kicked me out of the hospital, even though she was in intensive care, in 24 hours.

And a few months later, I went to the legislature, worked with a number of legislators, and we passed one of the first laws in the country, guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48-hour hospital stay.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: That's how I do my work. And, as my friend Elizabeth noted earlier tonight, people told me, just like they told her, that they didn't think a woman could be elected.

In my case, it was elected to the U.S. Senate. No woman had ever done it before. But I came back. I defied expectations and I won. And I have done it--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --and I have done it over and over again in the reddest of Red districts and the bluest of Blue districts.

And when I got to the U.S. Senate, people told me "Oh, it's so hard to get things done." Well in that gridlock of Washington D.C., I have passed over 100 bills as a lead Democrat because I did not give up.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: And tonight, in New Hampshire, as everyone had counted us out, even a week ago, thank you pundits--

(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)

KLOBUCHAR: --I came back and we delivered.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: We have been on quite a journey together. And you've learned this about me. I never give up.

[21:50:00]

But my story is nothing compared to the resilience that I've seen all over this country.

The mom in California, her loss - who lost her child to gun violence, and even through her grief and heartbreak, she has joined the fight to keep our children safe.

The immigrant, who works two jobs, and still struggles to put food on the table, but is determined to raise her kids in America, so that they have a better future.

The farmer, who's facing bankruptcy because of bad Trump policies, but persists in working the land, just like his parents and his grandparents before him.

America deserves a President who doesn't give up or give in just because a decision is hard. America deserves a President who is as resilient as her people.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: America deserves a President who's going to take on the challenges of our time, climate change, and affordable education, and college, immigration reform--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: --justice, and democracy, and yes, bringing down the cost of healthcare.

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Our country cannot take another four years of Donald Trump. The rule--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no!

KLOBUCHAR: --the rule of law can't withstand another four years of a President who thinks that he is above it. Our collective sense of decency can't handle another four years of a President who doesn't care about it.

Our democracy can't tolerate another four years of a President who wants to bulldoze right through it. And our American Dream cannot tolerate a President that thinks he can choose who lives it. He--

(AUDIENCE CHEER AND APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: The President might as - might as well have a sign on his desk that says the buck stops anywhere but here.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)

KLOBUCHAR: He literally he blames everyone. He blames, think about this, for anything that goes wrong, he blames Barack Obama.

He blames the City of Baltimore. He blames the Head of the Federal Reserve that he appointed. He blames the Energy Secretary that he nominated. He blames the City of Baltimore. He blames the entire Kingdom of Denmark. Who does that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one!

KLOBUCHAR: And my favorite--

TAPPER: All right, Senator Amy Klobuchar taking something of a victory lap there.

It looks like she's going to come in third place tonight, although the final vote is not in from the New Hampshire Democratic primary. But she is having a strong night, especially considering where people, especially pundits, thought she might be at this point in the race.

We should note, as more of the vote comes in, how it is narrowing between the lead front-runner right now, Senator Bernie Sanders from neighboring Vermont, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor - former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is now only about 2.9 percentage points behind Sanders.

So, that race tightening a little bit, even as Klobuchar falls behind, still in a strong third place, considering that a lot of people, as she noted, just a few minutes ago, in her speech, had written off her campaign.

BASH: No question. This is a moment for Amy Klobuchar, and one that she, as we were watching her, you mentioned, she seized.

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: She gave the speech that we've all heard her give many, many times, but people tuning in, maybe for the first time, outside of New Hampshire, haven't heard.

The performance she had in the debate on Friday night changed things for her. And I can just - we could see that with the results.

But just anecdotally, how many voters I talked to in New Hampshire who said that. "We were considering Joe Biden, even considering Pete Buttigieg, and decided to go for Amy Klobuchar for a - for a variety of reasons."

She really got - got their attention. And she came in third place, which is a big--

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: --victory for her.

TAPPER: That's right. The big question, of course, that I have going forward, for Amy Klobuchar, is where does she go now? She's popular in New Hampshire. She's proven to be popular with moderate - moderate Democrats. She's proven to be popular with White college-educated voters. But--

BASH: She's not polling well with African-American voters.

TAPPER: No. And that's a real weakness.

BASH: At all.

TAPPER: Especially, South Carolina and Nevada are diverse states. New Hampshire is about 94 percent White. Nevada is only about 50 percent White. 60 percent of the Democratic voters in South Carolina are African-American.

Is she going to be able to attract non-White voters?

BASH: This is going to be a real test of whether winning begets winning, which we have seen in past election years. This is going to be a real question for her because she is going - she's pretty much at the bottom when it comes to African-American voters.

[21:55:00]

TAPPER: All right well let's - stay with us. We're going to squeeze in a quick break. The race is tightening clearly between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. When we come back, we expect them to speak shortly, and we expect to get the final results. Stay with us.

(AUDIENCE CHANTING BERNIE!)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We got a key race alert right now. With 62 percent of the estimated vote now in, it's getting a little tighter for first and second place.

Bernie Sanders with 26.5 percent, Pete Buttigieg, 23.8 percent, Amy Klobuchar in third percent with 20 percent, Elizabeth Warren, fourth place, 9.3 percent, Joe Biden, look at this, fifth place, 8.5 percent, Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, down below.

Let's go over to John King, take a closer look.

It's only a 2.6 percent difference between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, looks to be tightening a little bit.

KING: It has been going back and forth a little bit, somewhere in the ballpark of 5,000 votes. You see it's 48-51 right now.

A few minutes ago, Sanders was up by 53. Few minutes before that, the lead was a little smaller than 48-51. So, we're rocking and rolling a little bit in a close race, say, this is a very close race at the top, competitive race, third race.

So, you're looking at the map now. And you're at 63 percent, and you're saying, "OK, is it mathematically possible?" Well, of course it is. It's few - under 5,000 votes. It is mathematically possible. So, what's out, and what are you looking for, and what's happening? Just want to stretch this map out a little bit. If you're in the Sanders campaign, that's not the margin you want, and you're trying to figure out what's missing.