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Mitt Romney Wins the Michigan Primary

Aired January 15, 2008 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: If you are just joining us, here is the latest from Michigan. Mitt Romney is the projected winner with 81 percent of precincts reporting. He has 39 percent of the vote.
Romney needed this win in his home state. It is his first major victory so far. A second place finish tonight for Arizona Senator John McCain, trailing Romney with 30 percent right now. McCain was hoping for a second win on the heels of New Hampshire. He did not get it tonight.

The two front-runners were tied into a virtual dead head going into today's contest. As expected it all came down to Michigan's battered economy by far the biggest issue on voter's minds today.

Wolf Blitzer joins me again with more on the Romney victory. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER: Let's take a closer look, Anderson, to see exactly what we know right now. And we do know that 83 percent of the precincts in Michigan have officially reported the results.

And as you say, Romney had 39 percent. He will win this contest tonight. McCain 30 percent -- a serious disappointment for John McCain. He was hoping to do better here in Michigan. Huckabee comes in with 16 percent. Ron Paul at 6 percent.

Let's drill in closer to and take a look at the actual votes, the numbers of people who have voted on the Republican side. And as we take a look, Romney winds up with just more than 292,000, that's with 83 percent of the precincts reporting to John McCain's 220,000 or so. Huckabee -- 120,000. Look at this, Ron Paul gets more than 47,000 votes. Very disappointing for Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani; they each get 27,000, or so to 21,000 for Giuliani and Duncan Hunter with about 2,500 votes. But a big win for George Romney.

Let's take a look at the Democrats, they had a contest Michigan tonight, although it was not very significant because Michigan had been stripped of it delegates by the Democratic National Committee for moving up its primary before February 5, Super Tuesday. Michigan went ahead and moved up its primary.

The Democratic National Committee said you're not going to have any delegates at the Democratic convention in Denver at the end of this summer. Only Hillary Clinton's name was on the ballot among the major democratic candidates and she does wind up with 56 percent so far with 80 percent of the precincts reported. Uncommitted gets 39 percent, that would be presumably people who would have voted for Barack Obama or John Edwards.

Dennis Kucinich with 4 percent. A disappointment for the Democratic Party in Michigan because they hope to move up their primary. But unfortunately for them they're not going to get a whole lot of play.

The candidates didn't show up in Michigan, the Democratic candidates to campaign because they're really was not much going on.

Anderson, huge, the big story obviously for Michigan. Not much of a story for Democrats, the big story, Mitt Romney, comes out of the state the winner.

COOPER: And let's find out exactly why he won tonight. For that, let's go to Bill Schneider who's been looking at the exit polls. Bill?

BILL SCHNEIDER: The economy was going to (inaudible) when it should have had something to do with Mitt Romney's victory in Michigan today.

Mitt Romney dominated the vote among voters who said that was their top concern, over John McCain who has never made a big issue over his economic expertise.

Romney is a former business executive, something of an expert in turnarounds and voters there hope that he can turn around their economy if he were to become president.

A second factor in the Romney victory was the fact that voters in the Republican primary who like President Bush, positive opinion of the Bush administration voted nearly 2-1 for Mitt Romney over John McCain.

What's interesting here is most of the voters in that Republican primary did have a positive opinion of President Bush but it was only 53 percent. A lot of Republicans, almost half, did not have a positive opinion of the Bush administration, they voted for John McCain.

And finally, localism -- Mitt Romney is a local boy, he was born in Michigan, his father was governor of Michigan. That meant something to a lot of voters there, 56 percent of the Republican primary voters said, "No, it's not important that he's from this state." But 42 percent said his ties to Michigan, his local ties, are important and they voted very heavily for Mitt Romney.

That clearly was a contributing factor to Romney's victory. He's a local boy with a lot of local pride. Anderson?

COOPER: Bill Schneider thanks very much.

Joined now by the best political team on television -- John King, Gloria Borger, Jeff Toobin. Moving forward for the race, big picture -- how much money do these folks have left? Where does the race go from here? JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The money - it sure becomes very important if it does not get clarity fast. South Carolina is not all that expensive. The winner of South Carolina would hope then to follow up in the state of Florida. And if somebody can win two in a row, the Republican race will at least have some clarity; emphasis on "some".

I cannot tell you how many emails I'm getting from Republicans. Some of them in the campaigns many of them unaffiliated in the campaigns, saying increasingly, they think this could go on well past February 5. Even a couple says, "Maybe we'll go to the convention."

COOPER: What does that mean going past February 5? What does that look like?

KING: It would mean cherry picking; Governor Romney would decide, "I can compete here, and out here in -- state by state delegate counts.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And there are a handful of real primaries after February 5. You have in March, Ohio; in April you have Pennsylvania.

And it could come down to those or some say it could come down to the convention.

Let me have just one other sort of big picture fact here. Turnout in the Michigan Republican primary is going to be down from 2000. Turnout was down in New Hampshire, too. The Republican Party is a demoralized party, they're not raising as much money as they used to or as much as the Democrats. And Democrats are having record turn out in every election so far. So I think that is something to keep an eye out to.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And let me just piggy-back on that because not only do they have to try and match the enthusiasm that you're seeing on the Democratic side. But there's a real challenge here for any Republican candidate to kind of meld economic conservatives, social conservatives, those independent voters into a winning coalition for the Republican Party.

That's what they're trying to do right now. And what we are seeing is that the Republican voters are cherry picking. They're just not sure who they like because nobody seems to have the complete message for them yet.

COOPER: And on the Democratic side let's talk about it. I mean Nevada is ahead, obviously then South Carolina, both important races. The issue of race though has come up in the last couple of days, now both candidates Obama and Clinton trying to sort of dampen down the fires, but is this the last we have heard of it?

KING: I doubt it's the last we've heard of it because they may try to dampen down the fires, they can't control their surrogates who have sparked this in the past. But look Anderson, it is in their interest, each of their interest to shut this down. Because assume this is going to be a competitive race, yes the Republicans are in disarray right now. But let's just assume for the sake of argument, in a competitive race, Hillary Clinton needs big African-American turnout in the big cities; in places like Ohio, in Pittsburgh, in Philadelphia to win a competitive national election. The last thing she needs is African- Americans saying, "What did she do, go after Barack Obama on race issue?"

And the converse, if Barack Obama is the nominee, the big question will be -- Could he attract white voters, the independent voters who decide presidential elections in states like Ohio; so neither one of these candidates wants to have an argument about race right now.

TOOBIN: The Democrats have a debate today on MSNBC and that was the first subject out of the box. And both Obama and Clinton couldn't have been more conciliatory.

I think John's right. They are really going to try to damp this down. It had an ugly feeling and I don't think it helped either one of them and I think both of them just wanted to try to make it go away.

BORGER: Just one more point on the Republican side.

I don't think we're going to hear a lot of candidates talking about, "This is a must-win state for me now, this is a must-win state for me." The shift is, as you were talking about earlier now, to delegates. We're not going to be talking about, "Oh, God, I've got to win Florida." Unless you're Rudy Giuliani.

These candidates are going to now start counting. So what we saw tonight is a shift in this presidential race from states, to delegates, to counting those delegates.

TOOBIN: But this whole business of delegates, in any of our lifetimes, there's never been a convention where a people are actually counting delegates. You know, that is something out of the 1904 or even the smoke filled rooms; no one knows how to do it.

We're talking about who, who meaning candidates and where, meaning which states do they go to next? We're not talking about what.

KING: Yes, the Democrats have a fight on their hands too. And their race is very modeled right now. We know what they want.

They're talking about universal health care with varying degrees of differences. They're talking about who can get the troops out Iraq faster. They are talking about stimulus to help the economy, government spending and things like that.

The Democrats are generally agreed on the message. What is the Republican message right now? As they look for the who, and we search this calendar to say where will a leader eventually emerge; what is it?"

And Gloria's right. You have McCain running as the maverick again in New Hampshire. You've got Romney running on the economy in Michigan. But probably more activist than most Republicans across the country would like a president to be.

They believe in the market forces not a president in pulling the levers of the economy. Now McCain will run on the military, the war record in South Carolina.

Huckabee is a populist. Economic Republicans look at Governor Huckabee and say "Whoa, this is not a guy from our party." We still do not know who the Republicans are as a party. Never mind who their candidate will be. But what would their message be?

TOOBIN: While we're talking about Mike Huckabee, he gave a speech that's just started to be circulated on the web now, where he was talking about amending the constitution in line with God's law.

This is something that is really outside the political main stream. And I think, to talk that way, he's really going to have to defend that. And if he's proposing to be a national candidate talking about amending the United States Constitution to make it align with God's law, that's just something that's pretty unusual.

BORGER: He's got one part of the message of conservative evangelical voters. If he wants to be the Republican nominee, that message just isn't going to work for the Republican Party, particularly if they want to beat the Democrats who have all of that enthusiasm.

COOPER: And for John Edwards, how important is South Carolina?

KING: We could -- we could accept the Republican equation and say nobody can say it's a must-win state anymore. But South Carolina is to John Edwards what Michigan was for Mitt Romney.

It's the state where he was born. It was a state where he did very well the last time around. So he will be judged by the last time around.

John Edwards is having a very hard time though finding a place that he can win because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have more money, they're getting more attention. They have more momentum to the degree there is any momentum on the Democratic side so far. But again, is there incentive for John Edwards to stay in? Until somebody takes command of the race on either side, the incentive is stay it.

BORGER: He's waiting for Hillary to fail. It's what he's waiting for.

COOPER: The discussion about politics continues on the "360" blog. You can check that out 24 hours a day,

Coming up tonight, we're going to look at whether a new candidate may be about to enter the race, New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And also we're going to take a close look at the Democrats debate tonight.

We'll show you the high points of the debate. We'll talk about that ahead. Stay tuned.



SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I certainly have the highest regard for both Senator Obama and Senator Edwards. I have worked with them; I have supported them in their previous runs for office.

COOPER: Senator Hillary Clinton about an hour or so in a debate in Las Vegas. Tonight the three top democratic candidates made nice in the debate that began just as the polls in Michigan were closing 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Nevada's caucuses, just four days away now, are the next big battleground for the Democrats. Dennis Kucinich fought hard to take part in today's debate. The Nevada court actually ruled in his favor earlier today, but in the end the state's highest court said, "No."

CNN's Candy Crowley joins me now from Las Vegas. And standing by in Boston, CNN's senior political analyst, David Gergen, a former presidential advisor who has worked with Republicans and Democrats including former president Bill Clinton.

Candy it had been a pretty rough weekend in the Democratic campaign. The debate was pretty mild to fair, though?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: A sweeter, nicer debate you have not heard. Yeah, they obviously got the message, Anderson and let me tell you that over the past week particularly since this past weekend which was particularly rancorous between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The party elders, those at the base of the party, the regulars were really getting worried about some permanent damage. They really felt if this went on, the party would have wounds that it could not recover from in time for the November general election.

So this was in fact a very nice debate, they differed around the edges, but everybody's stuck on message which is this is not about our bickering, this is about helping people get a better education, get health care et cetera.

COOPER: David Gergen, race was the topic right from the get-go. I want to play for our viewers who did not see the debate some comments from Hillary Clinton, as well as from Barack Obama. Let's listen


CLINTON: I think that what's most important is that Senator Obama and I agree completely that neither race nor gender should be a part of this campaign. It is Dr. King's birthday. The three of us are here in large measure because his dreams have been realized.

John, who is, as we know, the son of a mill worker and really has become an extraordinary success. Senator Obama who has such an inspirational and profound story to tell America and the world. I, as a woman, who is also a beneficiary of the civil rights movement and the women's movement and the human rights movement and the Democratic Party has always been in the forefront of that.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Going forward, I think that, as Hillary said, our supporters, our staff get overzealous. They start saying thing that I would not say. And it is my responsibility to make sure that we're setting a clear tone in our campaign and I take that responsibility very seriously which is why I spoke yesterday and sent a message in case people were not clear that what we want to do is make sure we focus on the issues.

There are going to be significant issues that we debate and some serious disturbances that we have. And I'm sure those will be on display today.

What I am absolutely convinced of is that everybody here is committed to racial equality, has been historically. And what I also expect is that I'm going to be judged as a candidate in terms of how I'm going to be improving the lives of the people of Nevada and the people all across the country.


COOPER: David Gergen, Barack Obama has been very careful not to bring race into this race as much as possible. Is this thing done or is this going to reverberate?

GERGEN: We'll have to wait and see. I don't think -- you couldn't put much more balm under the wounds tonight than those candidates did. They're really trying to heal the rifts that were starting to appear in the party. They all realize they're extremely dangerous.

But Anderson, I think as we come toward February 5 and the big bonanza states, there will be more electricity in the campaign. Tonight they were very civil. They seem extremely tired in every case, especially Barack Obama and Senator Clinton.

I think the differences among them were modest, very modest compared to the differences of the Republicans. What emerged tonight and because there were three of them, you really could hear it was a very civil conversation, it was a good conversation.

But it really showed this is a very liberal party now on many, many issues especially economic and social issues.

COOPER: It was an interesting moment when all the candidates were asked what their strengths and weaknesses are. And usually the king of question where people say, "Well, my greatest weakness is I'm just too nice a guy." But in this instance, Obama actually said he sometimes was disorganized. And Senator Clinton saw an opening in that.

I want to play the exchange for our viewers.


OBAMA: My greatest weakness I think is that when it comes to, I'll give you a very good example. I asked my staff never to hand me paper until two seconds before I need it because I will lose it.

You know and my desk and my office doesn't look good. I have got to have somebody around me that's keeping track of that stuff.

CLINTON: There is a difference here. I do think that being president is the chief executive officer. And I respect what Barack said about setting the vision, setting the tone, bringing people together.

But I think you have to be able to manage and run the bureaucracy.

OBAMA: There's no doubt that you've got to be a good manager and that's not what I was arguing. The point, in terms of bringing together a team, is that you get the best people and you're able to execute and hold them accountable.

But I think that there's something if we're going to evaluate George Bush and his failures as president that I think are much more important. He was very efficient. He was on time all the time, and I'm sure he never lost a paper. I'm sure he knows where it is.

What he could not do, what he could not do is to listen to perspectives that didn't agree with his ideological predispositions. What he could not do is to bring in different people with different perspectives and get them to work together.


COOPER: In a way, he tried to turn it against her by linking her answer with what he says President Bush was like. How did it playing in the hall? On television, it's one thing. How was it playing there?

CROWLEY: What's interesting is that these two answers are precisely what these two have been campaigning about for a year. He sort of started this a while back on the campaign trail when see said, "I don't think we need a CEO President, I think we need a about who can bring us together. I think we need a president who can lift our spirits."

She has always campaigned on her experience, her ability to get things done from day one. So this conversation was really a continuation of what they have been arguing about all year long.

It played in the hall, pretty much as it played on TV, which is that they all understood that these are the talking points of both of these campaigns. In fact the whole night struck me as how the conversation really has not changed in terms of what these three candidates are selling as their strong points.

COOPER: Each of the candidates was allowed to ask each other a question which is a new part of this debate.

Let's listen to Hillary Clinton's question to Barack Obama, David?


CLINTON: I want to ask Senator Obama to join me in doing something. You know, we both very much want to convince President Bush, which is not easy to do, in the remaining year to end the war in Iraq, to change direction.

It appears that not only is he refusing to do that, but that he has continued to say he can enter into an agreement with the Iraqi government without bringing it for approval to the United States Congress. That would continue America's presence in Iraq long after President Bush leaves office.

I find that absolutely unacceptable. And I think we have to do everything we can to prevent President Bush from binding the hands of the next president.

So I have introduced legislation that clearly requires President Bush to come to the United States Congress, it is not enough as he claims to go the Iraqi parliament. But to come to the United States Congress to get anything that he's trying to do, including permanent bases, numbers of troops, all the other commitments he's talking about as he's traveling in that region.

And I want to ask Senator Obama if you will co-sponsor my legislation to try to rein in President Bush so that he doesn't commit this country to his policy in Iraq which both of us are committed to end.

OBAMA: We can work on this, Hillary. Because I don't think -- you know, we got unity in the Democratic Party, I hope, on this.


COOPER: David, what did you make of the moment?

GERGEN: Anderson, this was an excellent illustration of how much she pulled her punches tonight. Just a few days ago her husband was lambasting the media for the way they portrayed the Obama record on Iraq, saying it was a fairy tale and it caused a lot of headlines, a lot of talk.

She could have used this moment to go after him on that question and opening him up on Iraq. Instead she gave him just a very easy question that he naturally just took and made a likeness of it and said, "Well, of course."

But interestingly enough, when he had his chance for a question, he didn't put a hard question to her either. He asked a question of John Edwards. So both candidates I thought were pulling back. And if we were going to make judgments, it could not be on the basis of who scored the most points by jabbing the other one.

COOPER: So Candy, how long does this love fest continue?

CROWLEY: Maybe until tomorrow. It's different when you're talking about to the entire state of Nevada you've gotten the message that people want to hear about their issues. It's really making the Democrats nervous for all this bickering.

But just to face it. This is a very close race here in Nevada. It's a three-way race between Edwards, Obama and Clinton. Whenever you have a tight race, they get back to it.

Will they pull their punches a little? I think it won't get as nasty as it was. I think the race element was what really made this more divisive than other subjects. But they're going to go back at it, there's no doubt about it.

COOPER: All right.

GERGEN: If I can make one more point. It does seem to me that by having a two-hour debate with a conversation just with this three, you did have a real sense of the person.

And I think what we saw here tonight was Hillary Clinton's excellent grasp of the issues. She's got great subtlety. She's up on the cutting edge of something like the Southern Wealth Fund.

She was the only candidate up there who can discuss that with acuity. And yet at the same time he wins on style because he wears well. He has that sense of humor.

Two of your clips tonight you had these to draw some humor from the audience. So I think on substance she is winning but I think on style he emerged as the winner tonight and the voters will have to make choices on that.

COOPER: Also we heard that voters in New Hampshire in the final days. That a lot of the rallies, she talks substance, she talks specifics; he talked bigger picture, inspirational no doubt but sort of larger -- painting a larger picture. And as you say, it's up to the voters to decide.

David Gergen, Candy Crowley thanks very much.

The next Democratic debate is on CNN next Monday. Wolf Blitzer hosts the debate co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. That's Monday night starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Right at after the debate, we're going to have a "360" special report on race and politics.

Up next though tonight - More members of the best political team on television will join us; CNN's Glenn Beck and Roland Martin. Their take on the race so far when "360" continues.



SEN. JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I have to say, on behalf of my party and I have said this many times. I'm proud of the fact that we have a woman and an African-American who are very, very serious candidates for the presidency.

They both asked not to be considered on their gender or on their race. I respect that. I do believe, however, that it says really good things about America.


COOPER: That was John Edwards debating making nice tonight at Las Vegas, with his opponents Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

CNN's Glenn Beck and Roland Martin join me again. There was another exchange where some of these candidates were trying to distinguish themselves one from the other. There's been criticism that their policies are very similar.

John Edwards trying to distinguish himself from Barack Obama on the issue of Iraq. Let's play that for our viewers.


EDWARDS: There is however a difference between us on this issue and I don't think it's subtle. The difference is I will have all combat troops out the first year that I'm president. And there will be no further combat missions and no military bases.

OBAMA: Either you are willing to say that you may go after terrorist bases inside of Iraq if they should form. In which case there would potentially be a combat aspect to that, obviously. Or you're not.

If you're not then that could present some problems in terms of the long-term safety and security of the United States of America.

EDWARDS: My answer to that is as long as you keep combat troops in Iraq, you continue the occupation. If you keep military bases in Iraq, you are continuing the occupation.

The occupation must end, as respects Al-Qaeda public enemy number one, they're responsible for about 10 percent of the violence according to the reports.

I would keep a quick reaction force in Kuwait in case it became necessary. But that is different, Barack than keeping troops stationed inside Iraq, because keeping troops stationed inside Iraq, combat troops and continuing combat missions whether it's against Al- Qaeda or anyone else. At least from my perspective is a continuation of the occupation. And I think a continuation of the occupation continues the problem, not just in reality, but in perception that America's occupied the country. (END VIDEOCLIP)

COOPER: Glenn Beck, I saw you shaking your head during that.

GLENN BECK: Oh, I just think this is ridiculous. Anybody who thinks we can spend the money that we have already spent on this war, building these bases -- we've got the biggest, the busiest airport in the world over there right now.

The embassy over there that we have already spent money on and built is the size of the mall in Washington. Anybody who thinks they're going to get into that oval office and change that course, they're fooling themselves.

Unless, you would say to me, I want to get you out of foreign oil and here is exactly how I'm going to do it. Our economy runs on oil right now. When you come up with a plan that says in five years I'm going to get us away from all foreign oil.

In the meantime, this is a joke.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Also the problem with John Edwards' statement is that what Obama and Clinton were saying in this debate tonight. He's saying, "Look. You have to have some troops there. You have to protect the Americans there. You have to protect the embassy there as well.

So Edwards wants to have a fine line saying not combat troops but troops. Bottom line is if you're the military, you're going to have a gun, you might be forced to have combat. So you're going to have troops there.

BECK: This is the policy that got our marines killed in Beirut. We had troops in Beirut, but they didn't have any bullets in their gun. What the hell, why would we do that to any American?

COOPER: Does it surprise you that people in polls say Iraq is no longer the number one issue?

BECK: No, because it's going well. People are -- look, I have said this from the beginning. People don't have a problem with a war. They have a problem with fighting a war to not win. Americans are winners. We win or we don't play the game.

And what happened was, people were perceiving this as a game. We were sending people in harm's way. Good God Almighty, if you're going to fight a war, it is not righteous to kill -- the idea of war is to kill people as fast as you can and end it.

What we were doing was dragging it out and making it miserable for everybody. What is that?

MARTIN: I'll disagree, I think people are -- I think a lot of people did have a problem with the war. Not only how we got into the war, the rationale for it but also they were continuing the fighting and what progress is seen from Iraq.

BECK: But the reality is this year.

MARTIN: You always understand the closer you get to any election, the economy always trumps it. And it's almost like we have a mortgage crisis where people are losing their homes. You're seeing the collapse that's going on. Pocket book is always going to trump everything else. Because people will see tuition going up, you've seen jobs being dried up. And so that is the most important --


COOPER: That is not what the so-called experts were saying six months ago. They were saying Iraq was going well

BECK: Because it is going well and this is where I get in trouble with a lot of conservatives, I have been saying this for eight months. "Good God Almighty, look at what's happening to the economy. We are facing at least the 1970s." Some people say, "What's coming our way could make 1929 look like a picnic."

And what's interesting to me is if you listen to these Democrats, their solution is to spend more money, to inject more money. And it's not just the Democrats; it's also some of the Republicans.


MARTIN: Don't talk to me about him. He's not a conservative.

BECK: And spend more money. That's what's gotten us into this situation. You listen to John Edwards; he should put the little red star on it and wear a big furry hat. Good God almighty, when did we stop becoming the United States of America?

MARTIN: Bottom line is whenever I listen to my callers, that is what they're concerned about is what's in their pockets. And they are concerned that when you look at the amount of money we're spending in Iraq, in terms of where those resources are going, we can't talk about building schools and building bridges or putting money to the economy.

When we talk about the war, how much was oil before the war and how much is oil now? The pressure that it's putting on that -- you cannot suggest that the war is not having a negative impact on our own economy. It is.

BECK: Osama bin laden has said before, right after 9/11, he said, "What I did to Russia," because he takes credit for destroying Russia, not Ronald Reagan, "What I did in Russia, I will do to the United States."

What he did is he dragged out a giant war -- we sit here as Americans and we listen to our politicians say this might be a 20-year conflict. We cannot afford a 20-year conflict.

MARTIN: John McCain said we're going to be there for at least 100 years.


BECK: There will be Americans there for 40 years.

COOPER: It's going to continue, no doubt on that.

Glenn Beck's Show and Roland Martin's radio program and also on the 360 blog; this kind of discussion happens all the time on the 360 blo.

Roland has a blog on there today. You can hear a lot of different voices. Tonigh Roland blogs about what he called the lack of leadership in the Democratic Party. And Jeffrey Toobin weighs in on the fight over civil rights.

You can log on, join the discussion,

Up next, tonight's winner in his own words. Mitt Romney's message to voters when this special edition of "360" continues.

We'll also hear from John McCain and Mike Huckabee.


COOPER: More on the Michigan primary coming up.

The candidates tonight in their own words, you'll hear from Mitt Romney as well as John McCain and Mike Huckabee.

But first CNN's Gary Tuchman gets us caught up on some of the other stories making news tonight. He joins us with the 360 Bulletin. Gary?

GARY TUCHMAN: Anderson hello to you.

In the news - new details in the case of the murdered pregnant marine. Today authorities found the truck belonging to the suspect; another marine.

It was outside a motel in North Carolina. That marine is accused of killing Corporal Maria Lauterbach.

In Washington, federal investigators say they know what may have caused that deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis this past august. The National Transportation Safety Board believes a design error in the structure was a critical factor in the disaster. Thirteen people were killed in the accident.

And in San Francisco, the 911 tapes of the tiger attack have been released. On the tapes, one of the people mauled pleads for help. The tiger killed one man, two others were injured. Those tapes are very hard to listen to, Anderson.

COOPER: Gary, thanks. We'll be right back with the candidates in their own words. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Big night for Mitt Romney in Michigan, in his home state. He pulled out the victory that he desperately needed with 94 percent of precincts reporting. He had 39 percent of the vote and some much-needed momentum headed into South Carolina.

We wanted to give you a chance to hear what he had to say. You have heard from all of the analysts and now you can hear what he had to say to make up your own mind about the candidate.

You'll also hear from John McCain and Mike Huckabee tonight.

Here he is, Mitt Romney in his own words.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: American voters said that knowing how America works is more important than knowing how Washington works. And what we're going to see in the next few days is a Democrat saying that they're the party of change.

You're going to hear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John Edwards -- saying that they're the party of change and I think they would bring change to America, just not the kind we want.

You see, I think they take -- I think they take their inspiration from the Europe of old, big government, big brother, big taxes. They fundamentally in their hearts believe that America is great because we have a great government. And we do have a great government.

But that's not what makes us the best nation, the strongest nation on earth, the greatest nation on earth. What makes us such a great nation is the American people.

I take my inspiration from Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush who took their inspiration from the American people, hard working American people. People who believed in opportunity, who loved education, God-fearing people. People who also loved their families. People deeply patriotic.


COOPER: Mitt Romney's closest rival in Michigan put up a good fight. Arizona's senator John McCain spent about a third as much on advertising but campaigned heavily in the last week.

Again, we want to make sure you can hear these candidates with no filter. Here's what McCain said earlier in his own words.

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I congratulate Governor Romney on his victory tonight. He and his campaign worked hard and effectively to make sure that Michigan voters welcomed their native son with their support.

Michigan voters were good to the native son and I understand that and support their decision. You won the round, and earned your celebration tonight and I salute Governor Romney and his team and offer my genuine good wishes for the night.

My friends, we fell a little short tonight, but we have no cause to be discouraged or to second guess what we might have done differently. We did what we always do, we went to Michigan and we told people the truth. We always tell them the truth.

And I am as committed as ever now as I am to make sure that no state, whether it's Michigan or South Carolina or anywhere in this blessed country is left behind in the global economy.


COOPER: Up next, you'll hear Mike Huckabee in his own words when "360" continues. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Mike Huckabee coming in third in Michigan tonight. He had hoped to defy expectations, but he did not. Before the break, we let you hear tonight's winner, Mitt Romney and runner-up Senator John McCain. Now it is Mike Huckabee's turn unfiltered. Here he is in his own words.


HUCKABEE: I congratulate Mitt Romney, he won a great race, he worked hard. He of course has a great base there. But our hats are off to him for his victory there tonight.

So it looks like that I won Iowa, John McCain won New Hampshire, Mitt Romney won Michigan, but ladies and gentlemen, we're going to win South Carolina.

We put a flag in the ground here Saturday. We're going to make it real clear that the first in the south primary is going to give their support to the candidate who understands that this nation needs leadership and leadership that comes right from the earth and right from the heart of the people.

Months ago when none of the other Republicans were talking about the economy, when they all said it was doing great. I said you better keep your eye on it because you cannot just spend your time talking to people, but if you spend some time listening to people, you're going to find out that there's a world of hurt out there in America.

COOPER: Mike Huckabee, he is on now to South Carolina.

Joined again by John King, Gloria Borger and Jeffrey Toobin. Does he have a shot in South Carolina?

KING: Of course he does. Most recent polls have shown McCain up a little bit. Others have shown Huckabee right there. But Anderson, we talked earlier about the Republicans can't agree on who. They're also fighting amongst themselves pretty nastily. They're going down to South Carolina tomorrow. They have already run ads against Huckabee in Iowa and in New Hampshire. Now they are going to go do it again in South Carolina and stage events.

It's having this internal Republican warfare. It's quite interesting. We have been talking about when has this happened before. In '76 Ford and Reagan went at it but that was two guys going at it. This is three guys, four guys, five guys. A big "Who knows?"

COOPER: And you now have Mitt Romney who had pulled resources out of South Carolina to go for Michigan. Is he going to be dumping it off? I guess he now feels he's competitive again.

BORGER: Writing those checks for South Carolina. I think he obviously has to do that. But his campaign says he's looking beyond South Carolina. And all of the campaigns are going to say that now.

But what they all have to do is come up with a cohesive message for the Republican Party because the voters are searching for it. And obviously tonight they didn't think that John McCain had it. John McCain has to go back now and retool, perhaps go back to his New Hampshire message which was, "I'm experienced and I have the knowledge to make a difference."

But, you know, these are competing messages and for different parts of the Republican Party.

TOOBIN: And one thing that I think is actually very healthy about what's happening here is that because we in the news media were so burned and so wrong about what happened in New Hampshire among the Democrats, you don't hear a lot of predictions.

You don't hear us saying we think so-and-so is going to win because we honestly don't know. The candidates don't know either. And so they're talking about their campaigns. They're talking about issues rather than the horserace. I think that's a good thing.

COOPER: I wanted to show the actual vote tally on the board right now for both Republicans and Democrats. We're getting a lot of emails from viewers about whether that uncommitted -- that 40 percent uncommitted on the Democrats side, Clinton receiving 55 percent with 94 percent of precincts reporting. Uncommitted 40 percent (inaudible)

John King describe -- why are 40 percent uncommitted? What does that mean?

KING: A lot of democratic leaders in it state encouraged people to come out and vote uncommitted just to show that these have turn out have no energy in the Democratic party. Down the road, somebody will broker a deal to get Michigan its delegates to the convention.

COOEPR: Why weren't all the candidates names on the ballot?

KING: They took themselves off when the Democratic National Committee said, "That's in violation, you don't get your delegates." Most of the other candidates said "I'm going to take my name off the ballot."

Senator Clinton decided not to do that so some headlines will say, "Wow 55 percent." There are people out there thinking Hillary Clinton had a big win in Michigan tonight. Doesn't matter, there are no delegates attached, but she'll take it.

BORGER: This was one of those intraparty fights that essentially the Democratic Party didn't want to have a primary on the Democratic side this early.

And when the Democrats in Michigan said, "Yes, we're going to do it, we're going to do it." They said, "Okay fine, do it, but we're not going to give you any delegates."

TOOBIN: But keep in mind we are now in a position where the delegates may actually matter. That hasn't been true in decades. How is Michigan going to have its delegates allocated? That's a big state with a lot of delegates.

BORGER: On the floor of the convention.

TOOBIN: These are the kind of issues that may come up if it's unresolved by the convention. The way campaigns have worked for the past several decades is by the time you get to the convention it's all decided.

But if Michigan has no delegates come the convention, that's going to be a huge issue.

COOPER: And on the democratic side in terms of cash on hand, Obama, Clinton, do they have plenty of cash?

KING: Define plenty. When you're going into February 5, there's not enough. They have more than the Republicans do. The Democrats have marshaled more resources than the Republicans have in part because of the history of the Republicans is win two and you're the nominee.

COOPER: And John Edward is what, on fumes?

TOOBIN: Interestingly, Obama and Clinton have almost the exact same amount of money. They have both been very successful. But equally successful so I don't think you can really say one has an advantage over the other in money.

BORGER: But I was reading an astonishing number the other day that you could spend $35 million in a day if you wanted to advertise in all of the Super Tuesday states.

TOOBIN: Michael Bloomberg ran, spent $80 million just running for Mayor of New York City. And February 5th, you don't just have New York City. You have New York State, you have California, you have Illinois. So the amount of money you could spend is unlimited.

BORGER: And they won't. But you could. COOPER: When we come back we're going to talk about Oprah Winfrey, she is making news tonight. Obama's biggest supporter, perhaps.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: And you're looking at the results, Mitt Romney, a clear winner tonight in Michigan.

Time to check some of tonight's other headlines. CNN's Gary Tuchman joins us from Los Angeles for the 360 Bulletin. Gary?

TUCHMAN: Anderson hello to you. The U.S. may be on the heels of another baby boom. More than 4 million children were born in 2006. That's the most in nearly half a century. Hispanics account for almost 25 percent of all the births.

Oprah Winfrey's empire just keeps getting bigger. Today we learned Oprah has reached a deal to have her own cable channel. It will be called, surprise, The Oprah Winfrey Network. The launch is set for next year.

And another bad day on Wall Street. The Dow took a nose dive dropping 277 points. At the same time the mortgage crisis took a bite out of Citigroup. It reported a loss of nearly $10 billion. That is some real money, Anderson.

COOPER: Real money indeed. Gary thanks very much.

We'll have more of "360" in a moment. Just ahead, more "Larry King Live" with the latest election coverage and the best political team on television.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: We have a lot more behind-the-scenes political coverage on our 360 blog, Our coverage continues right now with a special edition of "Larry King Live." Larry?

LARRY KING, HOST: Thank you Anderson. Noble work, get some rest. Where will you be tomorrow? Who knows? Anderson Cooper, 360, thank you so much.

And we've got a live edition of Larry King Live. At midnight, 9:00 Pacific and we've got some outstanding guests and a great panel of course with the best broadcast team covering politics and we'll be hearing from other surprises as well.

But with us right here at the get-go is Wolf Blitzer, the anchor of CNN's The Situation Room and host of Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. John King, CNN's chief national correspondent. In Scottsdale, Arizona is Ari Fleischer the former White House Press Secretary and in Phoenix, Arizona is Laura Schwartz, former special assistant to the president and White House director of events in the Clinton administration.

What, if anything surprised you tonight, Wolf?

BLITZER: I thought that obviously Romney had a win tonight and he did win. He came through. I think I was surprised the relatively poor performance of John McCain.