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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Trump: Clinton is Playing "The Woman's Card"; Donald Trump Speaking in New Hampshire; Trump Reignites Battle With His Own Party. Aired 7-8:00p ET

Aired December 28, 2015 - 19:00   ET

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


[19:00:03] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, Donald Trump speaking live in this hour before a big New Hampshire crowd hours after he accuses Hillary Clinton of playing the woman card.

Plus, the leader of ISIS breaks his silence in a new tape threatening attacks on America.

And prosecutors finding a white officer justified when he shot and killed a 12-year-old black boy. Tonight, they are offering video they say proves the officer did nothing wrong. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Trump taking on Clinton. Both of them. Donald Trump today saying Hillary Clinton is playing the quote-unquote, "woman's card." In an interview, Trump also putting Bill Clinton's past infidelities on the table after Hillary Clinton said Trump has a quote, "penchant for sexism."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With all of her past and her past dealings and, frankly, she's been involved in it with her husband as much as anybody, for her to be discussing that I think is out of bounds and I've let them know that. I think we have to have fair fights here and fair dialogue and we have to do what is right for the country and she shouldn't be discussing it. Probably maybe more so than anybody I know she should not be discussing that. So, I let them know that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And right now, we are waiting Trump's live comments at the rally that you see here. That is in New Hampshire. It will begin at any moment. He's expected to take the Clintons on tonight. And we're going to bring you there as soon as he begins.

Sara Murray begins our coverage live in Nashville where that Trump rally is kicking off. And Sara, how do Trump supporters that are in that room with you tonight feel about this fight?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, a big cheer went up in the crowd just moments ago when one of the local officials was criticizing Hillary Clinton. So, I think that gives you a sense that Trump supporters don't have a lot of affection for Hillary Clinton but the bigger question is, how does this line of attack play with independent voters and with women.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY (voice-over): Just weeks before the Iowa caucuses, it seems nothing is off limits.

TRUMP: She's trying to bring out the women's card.

MURRAY: Donald Trump returning Hillary Clinton's charge of sexism and upping the ante.

TRUMP: With all of her past and her past dealings and, frankly, she's been involved in it with her husband as much as anybody, for her to be discussing that I think it's out of bounds and I've let them know that.

MURRAY: Trump is putting Bill Clinton's past infidelities and allegations of sexual harassment on the table. All of this after Clinton accused Trump of having a penchant for sexism.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know that he has any boundaries at all and his bigotry, his bluster, his bullying have become his campaign.

MURRAY: But Trump says, talking about Bill Clinton's past isn't out of bounds.

TRUMP: I think he is fair game because his presidency was really considered to be very troubled, to put it mildly, because of all of the things that she's talking to me about. I mean, she's mentioning sexism.

MURRAY: Today, Trump tweeting, "If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband with his terrible record of women abuse while playing the woman's card on me, she's wrong." Trump's harsh words towards the Clintons a sharp turnaround from his view just a few years ago. In 2008, he dismissed Bill's indiscretions as totally unimportant.

TRUMP: Look at the trouble that Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense.

MURRAY: Targeting Bill's behavior may fire up Trump's backers. But attacking Hillary over her husband's indiscretions could fuel her own supporters.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY: Now, tonight, the Clinton campaign is trying to send the signal that they are not intimidated by these attacks. They put out a statement that says in part, "Hillary Clinton will not be bullied or distracted by attacks he throws at her and former President Clinton" -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much. As we said, Sara live in Nashville, New Hampshire. We're going to be going there and see moments when Donald Trump begins.

OUTFRONT now though, Donald Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson and the founder of a pro-Hillary Clinton's Super PAC "Correct the Record," David Brock.

All right. David, you heard Donald Trump. He said Hillary Clinton should stop using the quote-unquote, "Woman's card" in part given her husband's past. Fair point?

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, PRO-CLINTON SUPER PAC "CORRECT THE RECORD": Not at all. Look, this has nothing to do with bill or Hillary Clinton. Politically, this is a strategy by Trump to feed red meat to the base because Cruz is beating him in Iowa. He can't go to the right of Cruz on immigration because they both have such a draconian position. So, he thinks this is going to work with the base that may want to go back and re-litigate something from 20 years ago but the public rejected it then, as Donald Trump did a few years ago. And what he's really trying to avoid here is taking Hillary Clinton out on the issues where she's got real differences on how to fight ISIS, where she wants to double down on Special Forces and have a no-fly zone and he wants to make an alliance with a criminal and a murderer, Putin. Or let's talk about, quote, "woman card." Hillary Clinton for reproductive choice. Trump says, no. Hillary Clinton for paid family leave. Trump says, no. For affordable health care for kids, Trump says no. Maybe that's why he has a disapproval rating of an astounding 68 percent among women.

BURNETT: Katrina?

[19:05:26] KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: This is so interesting. Talking about criminals and murderers? So this is a Hillary Clinton tactic. This is not Donald Trump that started to talk about Bill Clinton. This was Hillary Clinton calling him a sexist. And she's just putting him on notice that before you start calling me names, you need to stay closer to home with these little antics that she's trying to use. The fact of the matter is, Hillary Clinton is running on the woman card. She's said it before and she's saying it again. She's running because she has to have women to win. The problem here is, Hillary Clinton is polling statistically tied with women, with all of the Republican candidates at the top. This has nothing to do with Iowa. This has everything to do with Hillary Clinton trying to paint Donald Trump as a sexist. Just like she would do with any other candidate that she felt like she might have to run against.

BURNETT: So David, let me ask you, because I'm curious as to whether you think Hillary Clinton is playing this well or has gone too far. Let me just share what another Republican candidate had to say about this issue today, Carly Fiorina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton, first of all, calls everybody a sexist and that's not fair game. She called Bernie Sanders a sexist because he criticized her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Let me just play Bernie -- when he doesn't remember the exchange, Bernie Sanders and Clinton. Here they are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With all of the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns.

CLINTON: I've been told to stop shouting about ending gun violence. Well, I haven't been shouting but sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it's shouting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: David, so now you can't say she shouts without being labeled a sexist?

BROCK: Look, I think the only thing you can do with sexism which we learned in the '08 campaign, when she was subjected to this by, you know, even anchors on other networks, that the only thing you can do is call it out. So, I think she's doing the right thing to call it out. This was blatantly, what Trump did was blatantly degrading of Hillary Clinton. But I'll tell you, I agree with what Carly Fiorina said in the second part of that quote, which is, this is a loser issue. It's not how to win. We litigated all of this in the '90s, 20 years ago. The public rejected it. President Clinton left office with sky high approval ratings and Hillary ended up in the Senate. And if the Republicans want, if Trump wants to push this playbook -- look, the Republicans don't want it. The internal pollings shows that this doesn't work. He doesn't poll so he's probably ignorant of that. But if you want to play this game, you know, President Clinton will end this campaign beloved and Hillary will end up in the White House.

BURNETT: I mean, Katrina, there is --

PIERSON: Well, there is --

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: -- it's not working, Erin, simply because, yes, this was maybe sort of kind of put out a long time ago. This is before social media. This is before Republicans actually had the guts to get out there and fight on the issue. This is about Hillary Clinton calling herself a champion of women.

BROCK: -- Seventy million dollars. A partisan prosecutor.

PIERSON: She is only a champion of one woman and that's Hillary Clinton. And so we're going to be able to talk about some of these issues that when she helped hide some of the Bill Clinton's antics and when she represented a man who she got off and laughed about after raping a 12-year-old little girl. So, don't tell me there's nothing there. BROCK: That's absolutely not right. That's absolutely not

right. That is trash from the Washington Free Beacon and you know it. Now look, don't tell me Republicans didn't try --

PIERSON: The audio is there. The proof is there.

BROCK: Don't tell me Republicans didn't try to make this work. A very partisan prosecutor spent $70 million in the 90s to come up with nothing, presented flimsy evidence for impeachment. President Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on all counts and this was put to bed.

PIERSON: You're talking about one woman's one issue. I'm not talking about that.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

BURNETT: Hold on, let me finish here. Bill Clinton is very popular, Katrina. I mean, that's a fact, right? So, whatever the infidelities may have been, whatever happen then, the American public has moved on. Are you saying that you think because of social media they're going to want to re-litigate it?

PIERSON: No. What I'm saying is that there is tarnish there. The mainstream media has covered for the Clintons for a very long time. And if Hillary Clinton wants to push the sexism statement then, yes, it is fair game and the things that the public never got to hear, we'll finally get to hear it.

BROCK: The public got to hear everything and more than the public wanted it. They got to hear more than the public wanted to hear. And, you know, we can go down this path all night but you know what, George Bernard Shaw said about wrestling with a pig, you shouldn't do it because all you do is get dirty and the pigs likes it. And Donald Trump is a pig and we don't need a pig in the White House.

PIERSON: Well, if Hillary Clinton wants to yell sexism, she can be the miskiel binding the iron ball. Because we're not going to back down either.

BROCK: Why?

PIERSON: Hillary Clinton should really run on the issues instead of trying to paint --

BROCK: She running on the issues.

PIERSON: -- Republicans out to be something they are not.

BROCK: She running on the issues.

PIERSON: She's the one that called Donald Trump a sexist when she was criticized.

BROCK: She running on the issues. [19:10:12] PIERSON: You can't have it both ways. You can't get

out there and talk about, I'm the champion of women, I'm going to be a woman. And then the second you're criticized start acting like a little girl. She needs to run on her own issues and if she wants to put Bill Clinton out there and run on his record, we can talk about that, too, because the Clinton economy was due to Newt Gingrich.

BROCK: What he did to middle class families, she wants to do the same.

PIERSON: Newt Gingrich. No, Bill Clinton didn't do that.

BROCK: Hold on. Hold on one second.

PIERSON: Speaker Gingrich did that. Speaker Gingrich.

BROCK: Why is his presidency --

BURNETT: Hold on one second, David, let me just ask you though because instead of going straight down to Bill Clinton path --

BROCK: Sure.

BURNETT: I do want to ask you one more question about the Bernie Sanders --

BROCK: Yes.

BURNETT: -- back and forth here.

BROCK: Yes. Sure.

BURNETT: That right Hillary Clinton -- Bernie Sanders says, people are shouting about gun controls. She referred to that very clearly, right, and said I'm not shouting, people say that about a woman. Was that fair of her to say that? Is it fair, I mean, that was -- whatever word you want to use pejoratively, that's the quote- unquote, "woman card." Should she have done it?

BROCK: Yes, she should. Look, all I can tell you about sexism is, a lot of times it's very subtle. She picked that up. I'm a guy. I don't even hear it half the time. But she's absolutely entitled if that's how she heard that to call it out.

BURNETT: Katrina, final word?

PIERSON: You know, it's very subtle. I mean, every time somebody says something, Hillary Clinton is a victim. And I mean, that used to work in the past but it's not going to work anymore. And we're talking about the economy, too. You said Bill Clinton did all of this stuff for the working class. Bill Clinton had to sign the bills because House Speaker Newt Gingrich shut the government down several times forcing those economic reforms. So they are not going to get away with it this time.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. BROCK: Thanks.

BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump saying his campaign is entering a new phase, he's going to unify the party. Can he do that? We're going to go to New Hampshire. Trump is speaking live. As we said, we're monitoring that, we'll be going there at any moment as he enters the stage.

Plus tonight, Marco Rubio with a major new endorsement barnstorming Iowa. But will that be enough to get the nomination? We have a special report on exactly how Rubio could do it.

And Jeanne Moos on a colorful character running for president who is now starring in his own coloring book.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:15:30] BURNETT: And Donald Trump live in New Hampshire talking about Hillary Clinton and polls. Let's listen in for a moment.

TRUMP: They're gone. When I say gone they either they left the race or they are down in the very, very low portion. They are low. You just said one but they're low. With all of the millions that we're spending and I mean they're spending -- I guess, so you saw the one where I've spent essentially nothing and Bush has spent 59 million. He's down toward the bottom with three percent or two percent or something. And we have -- we actually had a poll come out, 42 percent. We had 39 percent. Look at these polls. It's crazy. We have numbers. We have to go through them, right? Let's go through them for a second. You know, they always say, why do you go through the polls? Because I'm winning. Honestly, if I wasn't, I have to be honest, if I wasn't, I wouldn't be talking about them, I'm telling you.

And the other candidate, he always talks about the polls. We don't. Well, they shouldn't because they are not winning. So, we have a lot of good ones. CNN, 36 percent. Think of it. Cruz is 19. Carson is 14. Rubio is 12. Christie is four, Bush is three. After -- how about this? You spend $59 million and you're three? But you know what is impressive is the economy. Trump is 55 percent.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

On the budget, Trump is 51. How about this? It was 17 real estate now it's 15 and now it's 14. And it's going down. It's going to go down quickly. By the way, one thing I have to tell you, New Hampshire will always maintain its place if I win. OK? Just so you understand. You know, there's a big movement.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

There's a big movement to put you at the back of the Pac or the middle of the Pac so it would no longer be the same thing. You'll never see me again but you will see me because I have so many friends. You'll never see a lot of people again. But there's a big movement to put New Hampshire way back. I don't know why. I don't know, is it retribution, is it they don't want it? They don't like it? Because you have a lot of power. I mean, you have a lot of power. And --

(INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Buy it.

(LAUGHTER)

They have problems. I mean, they have a heroin problem that is really incredible. I mean, I hear so much about that from the people up here and, you know, we're going to build a wall, we're going to have a real border.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And that whole heroin thing, I'll tell you what, we've got to get it under control but I hear more about it from here than I do anywhere else, you don't think of it --

BURNETT: All right. This is Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire. We're monitoring this. We're going to be going back to it live. He's talking about the polls there in New Hampshire. And even though he's still topping the polls in that state, the top newspaper in New Hampshire is not a fan. The publisher of the Union Leader actually wrote an editorial today calling Trump a, quote, "Crude blowhard whose frontrunner status is an insult to the intelligence of the Republican voters." Now that paper has already endorsed Chris Christie. Today, Trump fired back calling the paper's publisher a, quote, "real low life." And this is just one of several battles that the front-runner is fighting today as we are monitoring his live comments in New Hampshire.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump is in yet another family feud with Republicans. He wields power over the party, a point he made clear today in an interview with radio Iowa.

TRUMP: I think to a certain extent, I already have blown up the party.

ZELENY: So much for that truth with the GOP. He took aim at the Republican National Committee and the Virginia State GOP in a series of weekend tweets. He believes that state party is trying to keep his supporters away from the polls in their critical March 1st primary. Republican Party of Virginia controlled by the RNC is working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters. Bad. The billionaire frontrunner said, Republicans are being short sided by making voters sign a loyalty pledge. The primary would exclude independent voters. Many of whom Trump believes are his supporters. RP Virginia has lost statewide seven times in a row will now not allowed desperately needed new voters. Suicidal mistake. RNC must act now. It's the latest flare-up on Trump's ongoing war with Republicans. He said today his first priority is trying to win.

TRUMP: If I get the nomination, I'd rather have people on my side than against, but I'll do whatever I have to do to do it right.

ZELENY: He's threatened to leave the party before.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Are you going to break this pledge?

TRUMP: I think it's highly unlikely unless they break the pledge to me. Because it's a two way street. If they don't treat me with a certain amount of decorum and respect, if they don't treat me as the front-runner, by far the front-runner, if the playing field is not level then certainly all options are open.

[19:20:18] ZELENY: But at this month's CNN Republican debate, he vowed to uphold the pledge he signed in September to not run as an Independent.

TRUMP: I am totally committed to the Republican Party.

ZELENY: The Republican Party has a complicated relationship with its front-runners. Leaders are reluctant to anger him even as they're worried he could win the nomination. Trump's rumble with the Republican establishment is part of his appeal. Many voters who flack to his rallies like these recent ones in Iowa say they are fed up with the status quo.

JULIE MUSELMAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: So, I think, personally, I think as Americans we are fed up with quote-unquote, "Republican Party" and we want someone who is going to help America get back to where it should be.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: And that is a central part of Trump's appeal, that he's not part of that Republican establishment, that the parties and voters do not like this cycle. He's not part of that group. So that is the central challenge here. He wants to stand up to his party leaders and he knows his supporters will go with him. But Erin, it is so challenging here for these Republican leaders. What will they about Donald Trump if he bucks the party? We still don't know if he will but that's the central thing we're watching -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jeff, thank you very much in Iowa tonight.

And OUTFRONT now, Trump supporter Jeff Lord, he served as political director in the Reagan White House and Rory Cooper who worked in the George W. Bush administration.

So, Rory just heard that voter there at the end of Jeff's speech. And he said, Americans are fed up with the Republican Party and Donald Trump, let's just be honest is generating an excitement broadly speaking that we have not seen it in a long long time for the GOP. Is he really the only person who can reinvigorate your party?

RORY COOPER, SERVED IN GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Well, no, let's look back at the last seven years under President Obama. After ObamaCare and the stimulus past, what did the Republican Party do? They went out and won over 900 state legislature seats, 113 senators, 69 House members, 12 governors. That's a strong record that actually stopped a lot of President Obama's agenda. The Republican Party has been a force of good and what happened to the Democratic side under President Obama who has rather self-centered focused all his attentions in organizing for America whole the Democratic Party floundered and couldn't win any of those state and local races.

Does that sound like somebody Donald Trump would be the exact same effect for the Republican Party? If he's the nominee, it would be about Donald Trump, not about winning all those state local races, Congress, Senate, governors that the infrastructure that the party needs and meanwhile that's not even to say the types of messages that he would make other Republicans have to associate with which you would spend almost all of our time either denouncing or defending.

BURNETT: All right. Jeff, what he say about that, Rory saying, he would make it all about himself in a way that is, let's just be frank, very negative for the party.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, this kind of thing used to be said about Ronald Reagan, President Ford -- then- former President Ford in March 1980 were saying to "The New York Times" that Ronald Reagan could never win a national election because he was too conservative and conservatives can't win national elections. This is what the party establishment always does.

COOPER: I actually did not say he's too conservative, he's not conservative at all.

LORD: Well, he most certainly is conservative. The point is, he's bringing new blood just as Ronald Reagan did into the Republican Party. As the Republican Party unfortunately, as it was in 1980, has a bit of a clubby atmosphere about it. They want all of the right folks and none of the outside folks and the outside folks are exactly the folks that win elections. Those are the folks that made those Republican victors in 2010 and 2014 possible. And when we nominate establishment candidates in 2008 and 2012, we lost. There's a reason for it. And Donald Trump is the anecdote to this.

BURNETT: So Rory, what about this point, though? Because it gets down to Virginia, as Jeff was talking about. Right? Why not -- I mean, I understand the point you want Republicans to decide who the Republican nominee will be.

COOPER: Right.

BURNETT: But why not allow new voters in, Independents, the people that might be energized by someone like Donald Trump. Doesn't he have a point? Why exclude them?

COOPER: Well, I think what Donald Trump does not know about politics which could -- by the way we could spend an hour on, is what the Republican Party actually is. The party is a campaign infrastructure. It is designed to have Republican Party voters select their candidates. Not for independent voters like independent candidates, not for green voters, just like green candidates. It's for Republicans to nominate who they think is their best pick and this election should be decided by Republicans. The reason why Donald Trump wants it to be decided by other voters is because he knows Republicans do not want him as their nominee.

LORD: Well, the problem Erin is, the Virginia Republican Party opened it up. I mean, that's perfectly fine if they want to have a close primary with only Republican voters. Then do it. But don't open the process and say, everybody can vote and then say after you've done that, but you've got to sign this piece of paper. It's either one or the other.

COOPER: Well, the state of Virginia or the commonwealth of Virginia does not have party affiliation, as you may or may not know in Virginia.

BURNETT: So according to Politico --

LORD: Well, yes --

BURNETT: -- yes -- the people in the White House say when it comes to Trump the President is amaze at the quote, "GOP leaders inability to understand Trump's supporters and the long term damage the President thinks Trump is doing to the party with the groups who will determine future elections." Talking about, for example, Hispanics.

[19:25:30] You know, Jeff, is the President right? It's interesting that Rory is saying, Donald Trump and the President have a lot in common in terms of what he said are self-centeredness. But does the President have a point about Trump?

LORD: I appreciate the President's concern for the Republican Party. Well, you know, Donald Trump is exactly the kind of person, just like Ronald Reagan again, who scares the heck out of these people. I think Erin, we've mentioned before that wonderful Gallup poll from December 1979 that said, Jimmy Carter was going to beat Ronald Reagan 60 to 36 percent.

BURNETT: Yes.

LORD: It didn't happen. It was exactly the reverse. And the reason that was the reverse is because they brought in people who had not voted Republican before. That's what Donald Trump is doing. That's how you grow the base. That's exactly what he is doing.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. OUTFRONT next, we are monitoring Donald Trump's live event in New Hampshire. We're going to go there live. He's been talking about the wall. He's going to build. He's been talking about ISIS. We're monitoring that.

Plus, a young charismatic man who is scoring very well at the debate. But can Marco Rubio still win? Our special report on how he could steal the nomination from Trump is next.

And the leader of ISIS speaking to the world threatening the United States in a new audio recording.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:30:09] BURNETT: And this is Donald Trump live speaking with reporters in New Hampshire right now in Nashua, as I said, speaking live and we are monitoring that, talking about Iran right now. We'll be dipping in, of course, as he talks about Hillary Clinton.

It is one of his competitors that is expected to pick up a key endorsement hours from now, and that is Marco Rubio. A popular South Carolina congressman, Trey Gowdy, who chaired the Benghazi committee, is about to jump onboard with Rubio. The big question now, though, is, can Rubio still win the nomination if he loses New Hampshire and Iowa as polls suggest he will? Those are the first two voting states.

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, look at four polls from four early voting states and you can see the challenge in front of Marco Rubio. It starts in Iowa. Here, you have Trump and Cruz duking it out for the lead. Rubio is a distant third.

Go over to New Hampshire, similar situation. Rubio is still in a distant third. Come down to South Carolina, he drops in to fourth place. Same thing over here in Nevada.

He's got some family ties that might help him out here but, still, this is kind of a mess of a first month. And yet he has to try to fashion a winning campaign out of this. How does he do it?

First of all, he's going to have to pick up enough delegates because, remember, this is proportional. It's not winner take all, to seem like he's still in the race. His campaign needs to have momentum, appeared to be moving forward, not falling further behind and he needs interference with Trump.

By that I mean, if Trump and Cruz start duking it out for all of the voters who want an outsider to win, Rubio might be able to thread the needle, appeal to the Republican base, which is weary of outsiders like this and seem to be a unifier for the party.

If that's the case, if that's his reputation coming out of that early month of voting, then, as you sweep in to all of the other states and all of the other delegates, he may be able to continue picking them up because, remember, still proportional. By middle of March, when it switches to win or take all and you have huge prizes out there, like his home state of Florida, he may get some big pushes towards the finish line.

All of this is a long shot based on the current poll numbers, Erin, but this is a strange year in politics. Stranger things could happen.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT: That's true. Stranger things could happen. You never

seem to know, everything could change completely in a day.

Back with me now, Katrina Pierson, along with Matt Lewis, the author of "Too Dumb to Fail: How GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots".

All right. Matt, you just heard Tom. It's possible but very difficult, according to the polls for Rubio to pull this off. Do you really think Rubio can beat Donald Trump and Ted Cruz?

MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY CALLER: Yes. I think it's entirely possible. Again, it's tough for anybody to do. I think it was a great package. It really explained what needs to happen.

I think Rubio has to stay alive early on. He's not going to win Iowa. No one expects him to win Iowa. If he can win New Hampshire or South Carolina or Nevada, then I think he's in the game.

And if nobody else runs the table, nobody else starts winning every state, like Trump doesn't win Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, if all of those things happen, then Rubio is very viable once we get to the big winner take all states like Florida.

And, look, I would say, number one, this is the guy who I think matches up best against Hillary Clinton. If Republicans care about actually winning the general election, Marco Rubio's probably the best way to go and maybe that's why I think he has a pretty good chance, with all of the caveats we've laid out already.

BURNETT: All right. So, Katrina, is Donald Trump concerned about Marco Rubio? Is that something that you're worried about?

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Not even a little bit. It's a long shot and there's a lot of ifs in that scenario that Matt just put out there, and I don't think it's going to happen.

Trump supporters are solid Trump supporters. For people that are supporting Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Marco Rubio is not an option. The gang of eight is still there. He's still soft on immigration and that is a key constituency for Republican primary voters. It's why it hurts some politicians in the past because we have to get a handle on illegal immigration in this country. So, Rubio is a nonstarter for many Trump and Cruz supporters.

BURNETT: So, Matt, you know, Rubio is trying to overcome that. I mean, immigration is it an issue with him among some of the Republican base, right, maybe in the general election, it's the opposite, right? But for the base voter it could be a problem.

Rubio though is getting some key endorsements from early states. One, the South Carolina, what I mentioned from Congressman Trey Gowdy, which is coming in the next few years. The question for you, though, Matt, is, do these endorsements matter? I mean, is anyone going to vote for Marco Rubio because some congressman says so? LEWIS: Well, first, I think Trey Gowdy, of course, is a highly

respected conservative. Katrina actually raised money for Trey Gowdy to try to draft him to be speaker of the House. So, this is a guy who is a highly respected conservative who thinks Marco Rubio would be the best man to be president.

I think you make a valid point there, Erin. Endorsements, by and large, are overrated. They don't matter as much as we think they do, except I think there are a couple of extenuating circumstances here that could matter.

[19:35:05] Number one, I think that Rubio is maybe the only game in town for endorsements, especially if it's Ted Cruz, whom basically most of his colleagues hate, so he's not going to get a lot of statewide endorsements, or Donald Trump, the outsider, he's not going to get them for obvious reasons.

So, what if right before New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte endorses Rubio? And right before Iowa, Joni Ernst were to endorse Rubio? This, I think, at the right time, the right person and right place could make a difference.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Katrina, what do you say to that? As Matt points out, you yourself have supported Trey Gowdy.

PIERSON: Well, actually, no, that's not true. I supported an organization that supported Trey Gowdy. I personally supported someone like Jim Jordan or Mark Meadows as speaker, but we did have with an organization that I represented, 280,000 consistent donors that supported Trey Gowdy.

But I don't really expect Republicans to understand what it means to represent anything. But I don't think that political endorsements are going to matter at all. People are tired of politicians. That's why we're having this upset right now.

So, no, I don't think if Kelly Ayotte or even Joni Ernst went out there and endorsed Marco Rubio or anybody else that it's going to matter. People don't want politicians. Marco Rubio has proven he is a politician. He lied to the voters of Florida when it came to amnesty and they are not going to forget that.

BURNETT: Matt?

LEWIS: Where to begin? I'll just go with the endorsement thing again. You know, I do agree that endorsements oftentimes are much to do about nothing, but I do think it's important for Rubio. I think he has a path. I think that path involves winning some conservatives but also owning the, quote/unquote, for lack of a better word, "establishment lane".

And, look, let's go to South Carolina. Not just Trey Gowdy. What if Nikki Haley, the governor of the state, comes out and endorses Rubio in the 11th hour? I think those things actually might matter in these early states.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both. Appreciate it. See you both soon.

LEWIS: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, leader of ISIS speaking out for the first time in seven months warning of attacks. We have a special report on that.

And a 12-year-old black boy shot by a white police officer in just two seconds. The prosecutor today saying the officer's actions were justified. He has the video to prove it and you'll see it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:41:00] BURNETT: Tonight, the leader of ISIS speaking out in a new audio recording. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi rallying followers in a 24-minute message. This is the first time he's spoken to the world in seven months, which has led some to believe he was incapacitated or dead.

Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): From the ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a new audio recording seemingly to boost fighters' morale with, quote, "the world united against" them.

In the 24-minute tape, al Baghdadi says the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS does not dare send ground troops to fight ISIS. He threatens Israel and praises ISIS fighters engaged in combat.

BRIAN MICHAEL JENKINS, RAND CORPORATION: This message is intended to reassure them that he is still there, he's still the leader, that ISIS is still in business.

SCIUTTO: Baghdadi makes no mention of recent terror attacks claimed by ISIS, including armed assaults in Paris and San Bernardino, and the downing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai.

JENKINS: He doesn't really make any references to the current condition of the so-called Islamic State, either in Syria or in Iraq.

SCIUTTO: The message comes amid a rough week for ISIS on the battlefield. As Iraqi ground forces backed by coalition air strikes reclaim much of the western Iraqi city of Ramadi from ISIS fighters who have held it since May.

Iraqi security forces claiming victory on Sunday after taking full control of the key central government compound. U.S. military officials, however, however, are more cautious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside the city center, there remain some neighborhoods that have not yet been cleared. There's a real threat for unexploded ordnance, mine fields, booby-trapped houses. So, there's a lot of still danger inside of Ramadi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: With the gains in Ramadi, we heard the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi say today that Mosul will be next, but when you speak to U.S. officials, you speak to former U.S. commanders, they say there's a lot of ISIS-controlled territory between Iraqi forces and Iraq's second largest city. It's much further from the stronghold of Baghdad and it's five times the size of Ramadi, a much bigger task. No officials I've spoken to have a timeline for forces taking back Mosul.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto.

And OUTFRONT now, Bob Baer, former CIA operative.

So, Bob, Baghdadi was reportedly seriously injured in an airstrike. Experts have been looking at this tape, right, this 24- minute tape that we have. The first time we've heard from him since May. They say it was recorded after those injuries.

So, now, silent for seven months and now this. What does it say that he's well enough to record this but it is, I should note, audio, not video?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, there are a couple things, Erin. We're not absolutely certain he was wounded. Those are rumors coming out of Raqqa that can't be trusted.

BURNETT: Yes.

BAER: You know, we hear these over and over again, that bin Laden had died, you know, in Tora Bora, and the rest of it. I just don't think that you can trust them.

I think what is more interesting is he's appealing to the followers because things are not going well. I mean, this is an apocalyptic movement and it expected more groundswell of believers coming to their side, whether in Saudi Arabia or even the United States or Europe and we just haven't seen it, and he's trying to remind people, the followers that the real enemy is, well, the United States and Israel, and the Saudi royal family and the rest of it.

I -- it sounds to me that this message is one of almost desperation. I mean, he's lost Sinjar. He's now effectively lost Ramadi.

BURNETT: Yes.

BAER: ISIS is a shark and it only lives if it keeps moving.

BURNETT: So, in a new poll today, you got more Americans than almost any time since 9/11, saying the country is at risk of terror attack. Are they right then or no? BAER: Oh, I mean, I think they are right. I think ISIS is most

dangerous when it's under attack when it's failing and the true believers, wrongly, of course, think that if they commit violence in this country, it will help the cause.

[19:45:05] And I think almost certainly we're going to be attacked again. It will probably be a smaller attack, like San Bernardino, but I think we brace just ourselves for it.

BURNETT: All right. Bob Baer, thank you.

And OUTFRONT next, a grand jury saying the white police officer who killed Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old black boy, they say that police officer is innocent. And we have the video for you to see tonight that they say proves they're right.

And on a lighter note, Jeanne Moos with a huge new coloring book for winners. Donald Trump in Technicolor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Tonight, no charges on Ohio grand jury, late today finding the actions of a white police officer who shot and killed a black boy justified. Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback killed a 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of arriving at the Cleveland park you see here. Rice was playing with a toy gun.

The special prosecutor Timothy McGinty says no crime was committed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM MCGINTY, CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTOR: The death of Tamir was an absolute tragedy. It was horrible, unfortunate and regrettable. But it was not by the law that binds us a crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[19:50:01] JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty announcing the grand jury's ruling on the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

MCGINTY: The grand jury declined to bring criminal against Cleveland Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.

CASAREZ: The prosecutors said that newly enhanced video made it indisputable that Rice was drawing a gun from his waistband as the officers' patrol car pulled up alongside him.

MCGINTY: It is likely that Tamir who size made him look much older and who have been warned that his pellet gun might get him into trouble that day, either intended to hand it over to the officers or show them it wasn't a real gun.

But there was no way for the officers to know that.

CASAREZ: And tragically, he now never had the chance.

Rice was shot just two seconds after the officers arrived on scene. That was 13 months ago. Rice was walking back and forth in a Cleveland park playing with the toy gun. A witness called 911.

CALLER: The guy keeps pulling it in and out. It's probably fake, but you know what, he's scaring the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of people.

CASAREZ: In addition to reporting that the gun was probably fake, the witness added that the black male was probably a juvenile. Dispatchers failed to relay those two pieces of critical information to the officers who believe they were responding to an active shooter in a high crime area.

MCGINTY: A moment later, as the car slid toward him, Tamir drew the replica gun from his waist and the officer fired. Believing he was about to be shot was a mistaken, yet reasonable belief given the high stress circumstances in his police training. He had reason to fear for his life.

CASAREZ: Shortly after the press conference, the Rice family issued a statement, slamming the prosecutor.

"Tamir's family is saddened and disappointed by the this outcome, but not surprised. It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: And, Jean, you're with me here. I mean, you know, we've seen that video so many, many times, but never with that enlargement, that resolution, where you could see him puling the gun out and walking towards the officers.

What happen next?

CASAREZ: Well, there will be no criminal charges, but the U.S. attorneys office of Northern Ohio, so these are the federal prosecutors, they released a statement today saying they have been following the investigation and they will continue to investigate, but saying that civil rights charges have a very high bar to bring something like that.

And we also know that the federal government, the Justice Department has been investigating Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, for two years now. And in March of this year, they issued their conclusions saying that there was excessive force that they have documented and with the consent agreement, they were working with the county to implement changes. BURNETT: We know that the officer who was involved in this also

had had a past series of issues, that the family is very upset about this and says that the prosecutor manipulated the grand jury. Is there anything else that they can do to pursue that line or are they just now going to be left frustrated and angry?

CASAREZ: Well, the grand jury is the community and they have spoken and we have reached out to the prosecutor because these are strong words from the family. And we have not received a response from him. But they do have a civil suit, and so they can proceed in that matter and the potentiality of federal charges. But as far as state charges, the grand jury, they spoke.

BURNETT: And what happens to this officer now who did have that history but has now been found by the grand jury to be innocent in this case?

CASAREZ: He's still on administrative leave with pay. There is an internal investigation. So, what they may determine in that, we don't know at this point. But still a police officer, technically speaking.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jean Casarez.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on the campaign's leading action figure now with his own adult coloring book.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:57:51] BURNETT: You can usually count on Donald Trump to provide the color, but in this instance, voters are the ones coloring outside the line. Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump is used to being parodied. But now the parody is interactive.

You can color him Donald.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here, let's get those eyebrows.

MOOS (voice-over): Donald as the Statue of Liberty, on Mount Rushmore, on the million dollar bill. Donald with his wife, Melania, Donald arm wrestling Hillary.

Donald as a Beatle?

MOOS (on camera): I never thought I would be coloring Donald Trump's fig leaf.

(voice-over): Even Donald on the Sistine Chapel.

I colored my way through the entire interview with the creator and publisher of "The Trump Coloring Book."

(on camera): Do you think Donald Trump would be flattered or insulted by his coloring book?

M.G. ANTHONY, WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR: I'm not so sure if he'll sell this at his gift shops in his casinos, but I think he would enjoy this.

MOOS (voice-over): It turns out adult coloring books are the hottest category in publishing right now. So, cashing in on Trump made sense.

There's also the off-color coloring books, featuring notable Trump quotes.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Mr. Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you Batman?

TRUMP: I am Batman.

MOOS (voice-over): Go ahead and color that quote.

But who needs a whole box of crayons?

ANTHONY: Which is the beauty of this coloring book. You really only need one or two colors.

MOOS (on camera): You only need orange and yellow?

ANTHONY: That's pretty much it. And you're good to go.

MOOS (voice-over): But we weren't good to go almost from the get-go.

(on camera): Oops. Oh, no. That's trouble. I just broke the yellow.

(voice-over): But just that yellow stub was enough to get to the roots of The Donald's hair on the page he shared with Albert Einstein.

(on camera): I'm just doing Einstein's tongue.

(voice-over): Twenty-five thousand copies will be shipped so you can color the candidate who is already beyond colorful.

TRUMP: Bing, bing, bing.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

ANTHONY: Well, we're trying to make coloring great again.

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch the show anytime. I'll see you back here tomorrow.

"AC360" tonight with Jim Sciutto starts now.