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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Poll: Trump Dominates on Eve of Super Tuesday; Trump Under Fire For Failing to Disavow KKK in Interview; Rubio Attacks Trump Ahead of Super Tuesday; Clinton Focuses Attacks on Trump; Trump Picks Up First Endorsement from Sitting Senator; Interview with Jan Brewer. Aired 7- 8p ET
Aired February 29, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:13] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, a confident Donald Trump heading into Super Tuesday, does its stumble on the KKK hurt his chances on the biggest election day of the year.
And could Rubio lose every state tomorrow and still have a path to the nomination? We're going to show you how with the expert of experts.
And Hillary Clinton laying off her opponent, is she pivoting to the general election already?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Donald Trump supremely confident heading into Super Tuesday just hours from now, hours away, Republican voters in 11 states are going to head to the polls in what could be the most crucial night of the campaign. Minutes ago Trump speaking to a large crowd of supporters sounding very much like a candidate with all the momentum on his side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody, every one of them, every single event, I've been number one in this whole thing with the crazy debating. And --
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And our latest nationwide poll shows why Trump is dominating the GOP field at a commanding 49 percent. More than 30 points ahead of his closest rivals. And a significant number because it's up eight points from just last month. Then a lot of people said, oh, he never gets above 30. He never gets above 30. Well, now, he is at 49. And he is leading in virtually every demographic. Evangelicals, college educated voters, a group that had been slower to come to him.
Nearly seven in 10 of those college-educated voter say they are definitely supporting him. Trump though continues to be dug by remarks to CNN this weekend. His failure to disavow the endorsement of former KKK Leader David Duke, Trump has been under heavy fire for this today explaining it as a miscommunication caused by a technical problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad ear piece that they gave me. And you could hardly hear what he was saying, but what I heard is various groups. And I don't mind disavowing anybody. And I disavowed David Duke and I disavowed him the day before at a major news conference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Which is true. He did disavow David Duke the day before.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT tonight. And Sunlen, is the campaign worried though about this issue and that it's not going to go away?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the fact that we saw Donald Trump today Erin try to clean all of this up speaks volumes about where they see this issue. His rivals were out slamming him at every turn today looking for any opening before Super Tuesday.
SERFATY (voice-over): Donald Trump under fire today.
TRUMP: Well, we looked at it and we looked at the question, I disavowed David Duke.
SERFATY: After refusing Sunday to condemn the support of white supremacist David Duke.
TRUMP: You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about it. I have to look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here but --
TRUMP: Honestly, I don't know David Duke. I don't believe I have ever met him.
SERFATY: David Duke is a well-known former grand wizard of the KKK who ran several unsuccessful bids for higher office, including the White House. Despite Trump telling CNN he doesn't know him, Trump referenced Duke in 2000 as a reason why he decided not to run for president as a member of the reform party. In a statement reported then by "The New York Times," Trump said, quote, "The reform party now includes a clansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi Mr. Buchanan, and a communist Miss Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep." Today, Trump clearly distancing himself from Duke.
TRUMP: So, I disavowed David Duke all weekend long, on Facebook, on Twitter. And obviously it's never enough.
SERFATY: His rivals quick to pounce.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You say David Duke to me, I say racist immediately.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should all be united in saying that the clan is reprehensible.
SERFATY: And the pro-Rubio Super PAC conservative solutions already up with a new ad based solely on the moment.
TRUMP: Well, I have to look at the group.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump refuses to denounce the KKK.
SERFATY: On Thursday, Duke posted praise for Trump on his Facebook page writing that he will, quote, "vote for him and think you should too." On Friday, Trump was asked about Duke.
TRUMP: I didn't even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me. OK. All right. I disavow, OK?
SERFATY: This is not the first time Trump has been pressed to disavow White supremacist groups that support his campaign. He talked OUTFRONT last month about a white nationalist Super PAC running pro- Trump rob calls in Iowa.
BURNETT: Mr. Trump, when you hear that, does that shock you? Do you denounce that?
TRUMP: Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry.
SERFATY: And former Republican nominee Mitt Romney also weighing in tonight over Twitter, blasting Trump saying, quote, "A disqualifying and a disgusting response by Donald Trump to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America" -- Erin.
[19:05:10] BURNETT: All right. Sunlen, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, our all-star panel. Our political commentator Ben Ferguson. Our senior political analyst, former presidential adviser to four presidents including Reagan and Clinton David Gergen. Our political contributor Tara Setmayer. Next to me, a Republican strategist Doug Heye. All with me here in New York. Also with us, the national spokesman for Donald Trump Katrina Pierson.
And Katrina, let me start with you. It's been about 24 hours since the Donald Trump interview where he didn't denounce David Duke or the Ku Klux Klan. Now, he has denounced them before and he said today that he disavowed him. But this interview, the one word he didn't is still dominating the news cycle. Is this what Donald Trump wants to be talking about just hours before voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday?
KATRINA PIERSON, NATIONAL SPOKESWOMAN, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, of course not, Erin. But this is exactly what we expect to happen in the 25th hour when the media and the establishment doesn't get their way. Mr. Trump did disavow David Duke on Friday at a national press conference with CNN with that. But what happened after the fact is that there was no David Duke endorsement. So, when Mr. Trump heard the question again associated with a different organization that he was unaware of, he was confused, which is why he said, I don't know what you're talking about. Send me what you're talking about and then I'll make a judgment.
BURNETT: Ben, let me ask you about this. Because you know, some people say, OK, well, he didn't want to disavow again because he didn't want to alienate voters.
BEN FERGUSON, RADIO HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": Right.
BURNETT: Now, you heard him on the interview on this show when I asked him about White supremacist group making robocalls. He disavowed. And that group heard that he disavowed. OK? And they put a statement out. And here's what they said about Donald Trump's disavowing them. The founder of the white supremacist group said, "Donald Trump's response when he was asked to address it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us but he explained why there is so much anger in America. I couldn't have asked for a better approach from him."
OK. They don't care if they get disavowed. I mean, if he was not doing it because he didn't want to lose votes, that doesn't really make sense, does it?
FERGUSON: Well, I say this. The name David Duke comes out and you're running for president. It's pretty simple what your response should be. He's a horrible human being. And I do not want his endorsement. And then you should go on a little bit of a rant about how awful the KKK is in history. For some reason, he got it right on Friday. And then he decided, oh, wait, there's a big TV audience that is watching right now. On Sunday morning, right before people in southern states where there are some White supremacist groups are going to be voting. And he says, I don't know who David Duke is. He knew who he was on Friday.
He knew exactly who he was on Friday. He knew who he was all the way back to 2000 when he was making comments about David Duke. How can you tell me that it wasn't about and even Jake Tapper clarified it, he said, we're talking about David Duke and the KKK. This wasn't a trick question, it's a very simple one to answer. I think Donald Trump did not want to alienate voters. And so, he's out on the big Sunday morning show, you know what? I'll just say, hey, I got to look at it and maybe it won't be a big issue in the south.
BURNETT: And people are now, David Gergen are saying, this makes him unelectable. Mitt Romney who has already come out against Donald Trump is saying, Donald Trump refusal to denounce David Duke is quote, "disqualifying and disgusting."
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: It's not disqualifying and he may have been confused. I don't know what happened. It's inexplicable. It's also indefensible. But let's not run him out of town on a rail. He has on several occasions denounced, disavowed, white supremacy groups. If they come back and say, we still liked him, what the hell he's supposed to do about that. That's what we ask candidates to do, to distance themselves from it. And that's what he's done. I think this is going to be -- listen, I think in the short-term, I don't think it is going to be a speed bump for Tuesday. Not a flat tire. But in the long-term, he has to clean this up. He has to make it very clear to everybody this was not a dog whistle. He was not signaling quietly. He denounces all this.
GERGEN: I don't think that there's -- background of racism or that kind.
BURNETT: Right. And he did disavow the day before. He disavowed on this show. So, what happened, Katrina? What could possibly explain what David Gergen just said is inexplicable? Why when he was asked directly to disavow a guy he's disavowed before, he elected not to do so?
PIERSON: Well, I think it's exactly what Mr. Trump said, Erin. He couldn't really hear the whole thing, but he did hear Jake Tapper mentioned an organization he was not familiar with. He does not know those associations, which I think is a good thing. But to take this even further, the fact that there are people out floating conspiracies that this was some sort of dog whistle, to whom? Donald Trump is ahead in most cases by double digits in these states. So, why would he need to do that anyway? It doesn't make any sense at all?
BURNETT: Tara, you say this is more than race.
TARA SETMAYER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR REP. DANA ROHRABACHER: Right. It's bigger than that. It's to me, it's an integrity issue. We don't know what's in Donald Trump's heart. I don't know. I mean, I've laid out some issues in the past that he's had with race, and with housing discrimination and with the Trump Organization in the 70s with comments that has been made in passing, talking about how he loves the blacks and things. And, you know, these are inappropriate comments at anyone else and the other Republican candidates would have been running out of town for saying, half the things that Donald Trump is said in this past about minorities and women.
I mean, his casinos have been fined for discrimination against women and minority dealers in Atlantic City, but this is bigger than that. I mean, that's just the race part. I think it's an integrity issue. To sit there and actually say and for Katrina to sit here and say that he was confused and that he couldn't hear the question is asinine. He heard very clearly what Jake Tapper said. He even repeated it back. And the fact that they keep pushing this narrative that this is everybody else's fault but Donald Trump's is insulting. And to me that's a lack of character and integrity, he's dishonest. It's not the first time. He does it consistently. And that to me is a bigger issue. The race thing is just one of many. [19:10:32] PIERSON: I'm not quite sure -- but I'm not quite sure you
can say that you actually heard what Donald Trump heard because no one did. But we can take him for his word.
SETMAYER: He repeated the question back, Katrina, stop it.
PIERSON: -- several time how he has disavowed several other groups and even David Duke in the past. This organization that Jake Tapper mentioned, he had not heard of the association there.
SETMAYER: Jake Tapper said, the KKK.
BURNETT: In the follow-up question Katrina when Jake Tapper said, I'm talking about David Duke and the -- hold on. Katrina, he said in the follow-up question there specifically when Jake said, I'm talking about David Duke and the KKK, there he was specific about it being KKK.
PIERSON: Yes. Absolutely. But then if you listen to Mr. Trump right after that, he said groups. He's still making the association with the initial group that Jake Tapper said when he opened up his first comments. He was associating the groups, not the individual.
BURNETT: That's right.
FERGUSON: The KKK should be enough for it to be a non-issue there. And that's the part that I don't understand is, when you're asking to clarify, if you are having a problem with your IFB -- and we've all been there before.
BURNETT: It's what we're wearing in our ears. Yes.
FERGUSON: You would say, can you say that again? If you're talking about the KKK, I would only assume if I was in the position, I would not want to be remotely close to being on the record as somehow agreeing with the KKK.
FERGUSON: I think he heard it. He responded to the question and he paused for a reason instead of denouncing it.
PIERSON: But to your point, Ben, the Tea Party groups have been labeled KKK groups and Nazi and everything else. So, we just heard that, he did not know that organization --
FERGUSON: There's a difference between labeled and asked a direct question, Katrina.
PIERSON: That is exactly why he said, I don't know. Send me a list of what you're talking about so I can make a judgment.
DOUG HEYE, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I think the Trump campaign is actually very comfortable with where they are right now. Not just with the polls but with this issue. They didn't go in a full crisis communications mode, they didn't go to fix this clean up in I-05 (ph) immediately yesterday morning. Because they were comfortable with this. As the other candidates came out more, they realized they had a problem. He'd have to explain it a little bit more. But ultimately we still have to deal with this problem. He still has to be clear with this. And this will as David alerted to, this will go on further. If he is our nominee, there's yet another minority group that Donald Trump has offended, which makes it tougher not just for us to win the White House but House and Senate seats.
GERGEN: I think he has to be very clear, crystal clear, on his position on a number of issues starting with race. And he has to give a speech about this that is serious, not off the cuff. I don't think all the garbage is being dumped on his head right now is just about this issue. It is a lot about voting tomorrow and people trying to, you know -- his opponents are trying to take him out.
FERGUSON: This maybe a bigger issue in the general election if he gets a nomination because let me tell you, Hillary Clinton's campaign would love to make a commercial of this spot and just play it over and over again in every Super PAC --
SETMAYER: Among many other things --
SETMAYER: All the small business owners that he has stiffed in his bankrupts in Atlantic City and all the people that were hurt by his --
This is one of many things.
FERGUSON: This will be the top of the highlight reel.
PIERSON: And you know what, so? I would welcome -- I would welcome those attack ads. I would welcome those attack ads.
SETMAYER: I think you might think again about that.
PIERSON: We can also talk about -- well, Senator Robert Byrd, are you kidding me?
FERGUSON: No one care about that with Donald Trump right now.
PIERSON: Hillary Clinton -- it's the exact same thing.
SETMAYER: That's old news, Katrina. That's old news.
GERGEN: What are you saying about Robert Byrd? What are you saying about Robert Byrd?
PIERSON: Well, he endorsed Barack Obama and no one said, oh, his political career is over. No one even asked him to disavow that endorsement.
GERGEN: Are you thinking -- are you comparing Robert Byrd to David Duke? Are you really doing that?
PIERSON: We're talking about a clansman, a clansman, particularly one fact that filibuster the civil rights movement.
SETMAYER: David Duke denounced it.
BURNETT: All right.
PIERSON: David Duke denounced the KKK a long time ago too. That's why I say Mr. Trump had already disavowed --
SETMAYER: So, you're saying David Duke -- are you defending David Duke now?
PIERSON: Mr. Trump has already disavowed David Duke, the KKK --
SETMAYER: Are you defending David Duke since he's denounced his White supremacy --
PIERSON: -- several supremacy groups in the past, in the future, today, yesterday, and Friday.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. Of course, the panel is going to be with us. Katrina, thank you.
OUTFRONT next, Hillary Clinton coming off a big win in South Carolina. If she has a Super Tuesday, does Bernie Sanders have a path forward?
And despite all the Republican Party's efforts to stop Donald Trump, he is winning major endorsements. Yes, he is. My guest tonight, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and why she is for Trump. And Marco Rubio matching Trump insult to insult.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: He doesn't sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan that he uses. Donald is not going to make America great. He's going to make America orange.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:18:40] BURNETT: Tonight, an emboldened Marco Rubio taking aim at Donald Trump. The Florida senator about to take the stage and make a final pitch to voters in Oklahoma City. As you can see there, Oklahoma is one of the key states voting tomorrow. Rubio wasting no time dissing Trump today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: What's his famous issue? He's going to build a wall and be tough on Mexico, but he doesn't tell you that he hires on illegal immigrants to work on Trump towers. What he's trying to carry out is a scam to take control of office of the presidency of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Rubio's attacks more aggressive as he tries to pull off some wins in tomorrow's all important primaries, right now, he trails Trump and Cruz when it comes to pledged delegates, but Super Tuesday could be a complete game changer in this race. More delegates in a day than all the states so far combined. And then a whole lot more.
OUTFRONT, Larry Sabato, the expert experts turn to predict the winners. He's also the founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. And Larry, it's great to have you on this show. If Rubio does not win a single state tomorrow, which according to the polls is a very possible outcome, does he have a path forward?
LARRY SABATO, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: Sure he does. Theoretically, he could still win the nomination even without a contested convention assuming there was a dramatic change and direction in the contest. I can't imagine what that would be. If all the ex-presidents, ex-vice presidents on the Republican side came out and begged Republicans not to nominate Donald Trump, I think at this point they probably ignore them. So, it's possible, but very unlikely.
BURNETT: All right. So, possible or unlikely that he would have a path, as you said but without a contested convention. You know, if you're Rubio, what states is he looking at then tomorrow that he must either win or come really darn close because obviously the delegates are proportionally allocated tomorrow to move ahead here?
SABATO: Rubio has clearly targeted Virginia. He did it as a late move. It's a smart move because of the composition of the electorate even on the Republican side of Virginia. High income and high education in many places. He was well behind though and still is in almost all the polls, but he has spent more time and spent more money than any other candidate including Donald Trump in the concluding days of the campaign. So, if he won Virginia, it would be a big win. Virginia is a big swing state for the fall. I'll believe it when I see it, but it's possible.
BURNETT: So, what happens if Marco Rubio doesn't win a state tomorrow? He still wants to push for the nomination? What gets you to this sort of a contested convention scenario? Is that realistic at this point or still a sort of pie in the sky situation? SABATO: Well, Erin, I'm looking tomorrow to see whether Rubio
actually qualifies for delegates in all these states. The states have triggers of either 15 percent of the vote or 20 percent. You have to get at least that much in order to get your share of the delegates. If Rubio is seriously in contention to force a contested convention, he has got to at least qualify for delegates in almost all of the states, if not all. Then he would go next I think to March 15th where he has to win his own state. If he loses it even by one vote, the 99 delegates of Florida go to somebody else and he is out. I don't think he can win Ohio.
John Kasich says he is not going to leave the race and Ohio is also on March 15th. He has a shot at Illinois that day though, he is behind in the polls and so on. But he has to turn things around and start winning a sizable number of delegates to even have that theoretical possibility of a contested convention in which supposedly all the non- Trump people would come together and narrowly deprive Trump of the nomination.
BURNETT: Uh-hm. All right. Thank you very much, Larry. I appreciate your taking the time to lay this out for us.
OUTFRONT now, I want to go to Lanhee Chen, he is policy adviser to Marco Rubio's presidential campaign. Lanny, I too look on your face, you look a little skeptical. But you just heard what Larry laid out. It's going to be really, really hard. He says at this point, if Marco Rubio does not win states tomorrow. Do you think he can put wins on the board tomorrow?
LANHEE CHEN, POLICY ADVISER, MARCO RUBIO CAMPAIGN: Well, look, Erin, the reality is what we're focused on is winning delegates. And we think we're going to do that tomorrow night. We think we're going to do that as the race goes on. Remember tomorrow, up until March 15th, we're in the proportional phase of Republican Presidential Primary. Once we get into March 15th and to Florida and states beyond that, we feel like we're going to do really well. So, look, Senator Rubio has got a number of different pathways here that he can take. And what we're out there doing is we're focused on telling people why Donald Trump would be a disaster for the Republican Party and why Marco Rubio is the only candidate that has got the optimistic vision to lead our party forward.
[19:23:20] BURNETT: So, the tone of the Rubio campaign has changed dramatically over the past few days. I think that's the only way to describe it. It's a fair word. His attacks have become increasingly personal against Donald Trump. Let me just play a little snippet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Have you seen his hands? They're like this. And you know what they say about men with small hands.
How can a person with the worst spray tan in America attack me for what I'm wearing on Twitter? Attack me on Twitter for wearing makeup. He should sue whoever did that to his face. Friends do not let friends vote for con artists. Then he asked for a
full length mirror. I don't know why because the podium goes up to here but he want a full length mirror. Maybe to make sure his pants weren't wet. I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Size of Trump's pants, his make-up, going to the bathroom. I mean, Lanny, are you comfortable with that tone?
CHEN: What I'm comfortable with is that Senator Rubio has an opportunity to share his vision with people. If that means at this point in the campaign we have to make some contrasts with Donald Trump, whenever those contrasts might be, we're going to do that because ultimately we're out there to share Senator Rubio's vision. And again, if the only way to do that is by leading in with some of this stuff, look, that's where we are in the campaign.
BURNETT: You just heard Larry Sabato talk about Florida and how crucial it is. Obviously that is a win or take all state coming up in a couple of weeks. Ninety delegates for the taking. Donald Trump already focusing on the state. He spent a lot of time there. He owns a home there. Florida of course is a must-win for Marco Rubio. How are you feeling about Florida right now?
CHEN: We feel very good about Florida. Senator Rubio has got a great network down there. He's won a remarkable amount of support from Florida. We're going to be spending a lot of time in Florida here over the next couple of weeks. And obviously, we feel very good about where we're positioned in the campaign and the contrast we're drawing with Donald Trump is making a difference. People are starting to see him for the con artist he is. And when we get to Florida, this is going to be a very, very good race here over the next couple of weeks, but we feel good about Florida.
BURNETT: All right. Lanhee, thank you very much. I appreciate you coming on the show.
CHEN: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump picking up major endorsements. My guest, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on why she picked Donald Trump over Ted Cruz. And Hillary Clinton turning her sights to the general election and Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm looking forward to those debates because at some point you can't just say whatever pops into your head if you want to be the president of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:29:50] BURNETT: We're just hours away from what could be a make or break Super Tuesday. Right now, Bernie Sanders is battling Hillary Clinton for key votes in the northeast where he is fighting hard. Speaking live right now on screen to supporters in Massachusetts.
[19:30:02] Sanders is hoping to leave a strong and lasting impression for the 12 contests tomorrow on the Democratic side. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton spending these final hours in the South where she had a decisive win over the weekend in South Carolina.
There's a lot riding on tomorrow when it comes to the future of both campaigns.
Brianna Keilar is OUTFRONT with the Sanders campaign tonight.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are making their final push to Super Tuesday.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I need your help. I need your help to go and vote tomorrow, to bring people to vote with you.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are listening to the American people and their pain and their needs rather than hustling all over the country collecting millions of dollars from the 1 percent.
KEILAR: A new CNN/ORC poll shows Clinton opening up a big lead nationally, besting Sanders by 17 points.
CLINTON: Thank you so much, South Carolina.
KEILAR: After a huge win in South Carolina Saturday, Hillary Clinton sounds like the presumptive Democratic nominee.
CLINTON: I don't think America has ever stopped being great. What we need to do now is make America whole.
KEILAR: She is no longer calling out Sanders by name.
CLINTON: I do have a difference with my esteemed opponent.
KEILAR: Instead crafting her message for the potential fight with Donald Trump, who she is already treating like her eventual Republican opponent.
CLINTON: I think we need more love and kindness.
Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers.
KEILAR: But Clinton still has one eye on Sanders as her rival looks to rebound from his bruising South Carolina loss.
SANDERS: In politics, on a given night, sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Tonight we lost.
We got decimated.
We got decimated. That's what happened.
KEILAR: Sanders says he is looking ahead to tomorrow, hoping to gain ground on Clinton in the delegate account.
SANDERS: Tuesday, over 800 delegates are at stake. And we intend to win many, many of them.
KEILAR: Now after this event here in Milton, Massachusetts, where you can hear a very enthusiastic crowd for Bernie Sanders behind me, he will be heading to his home state of Vermont, Erin. He's expected a big win tomorrow night. So, he'll be in position for certainly a positive phase in what is expected to be a rather uphill climb for Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday. Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls in more states for Super Tuesday than Sanders is.
She is heading to Florida for Super Tuesday. That is not a Super Tuesday state. It has its contest on March 15th, as she tries to signal that she is looking beyond this contest tomorrow night, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brianna.
As you can hear, Bernie Sanders speaking live behind Brianna with an enthusiastic crowd there.
OUTFRONT, our political commentator Charles Blow, political commentator Maria Cardona, Hillary Clinton supporter who's from currently does work for a pro-Clinton super PAC.
And also joining us, former secretary of labor, Robert Reich, who has now endorsing Bernie Sanders.
So, Secretary Reich, let me start with you. You served under former President Clinton. You know the Clintons extremely well. You have come out now and decided to endorse Bernie Sanders. Why?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, first of all, Erin, let me say that I have enormous admiration and respect for Hillary Clinton. I've known her for 49 years. Can you imagine? How can anybody know anybody for 49 years? And she's -- I worked very closely with her. I think she will make a great president.
But I'm coming out for Bernie Sanders because I think the biggest issue in this campaign is the increasing concentration of income and wealth and political power, which goes with income and wealth, at the very top, which is undermining our democracy and making it very difficult for us to get anything done, whether you're talking about climate change, or you're talking about helping the poor, or doing anything in this country.
And so, Bernie Sanders is leading a movement to change that and that movement is the only hope we have. It's only when people are mobilized and organized and energized that you get change in this country.
BURNETT: So, you say that movement, Bernie Sanders is the only hope we have. Of course, Sanders lost the South Carolina primary by almost 50 points. You heard him. He talked about being decimated.
Look, he wants -- he has to do well tomorrow. The polls show secretary Clinton is likely to do much better. Where do you see Bernie Sanders' path to the nomination, Secretary Reich?
REICH: Well, that's a good question. I am not a political prognosticator, Erin. And everybody who has tried to be a political soothsayer in this election has been proven wrong.
We don't know. This is a very bizarre election. A lot of it depends on turnout. I think he'll probably do well in Massachusetts and Colorado and maybe in certain southern states.
But the more people who get his message and understand the importance of what I just talked about in terms of that movement, I think the better he will do.
BURNETT: Charles, if Hillary Clinton does very well tomorrow, if she sweeps minus like a Vermont, right, or even Massachusetts, which we know she's running a little ahead of, that could go either way, are we looking at the nominee? A lot of people are going to say that's what happens.
[19:35:00] She's been the presumptive nominee.
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. I think there's a lot of momentum that will be gained from that, right? So, that's what you're seeing after South Carolina. The poll that you cited was not completely taken after South Carolina, but you saw the momentum that people are talking about, going into South Carolina. She had such an amazing lead.
I think that that starts to build on itself. It snowballs. And that means she can start to pivot a bit away from talking specifically about Sanders and start talking more about the general election candidate. She has more of a sure footing. And that feel -- you can tell by the way she speaks now that she has a sure footing.
That feeds on itself. I think -- you know, there will be a lot of pressure on Sanders to figure out how you can articulate a path to victory or you're going to have to drop out soon.
He won't want to do that. He has no incentive to do that whatsoever, but there will be a lot of pressure.
BURNETT: There will be pressure. Maria, you're saying, as someone who wants Hillary Clinton to win -- you don't want him to drop out.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. I think he has been terrific for this campaign. All the reasons that Secretary Reich mentioned about why he is supporting Sanders frankly are issues that Hillary Clinton completely agrees with, but I think he has made her better in terms of honing that message to make sure that she talks to everyone in this country, especially those particular Bernie Sanders supporters, which, by the way, she's going to need at the end of the day, if she is the nominee.
And she's working very hard to appeal to everybody. She's not taking anything for granted. She's not counting the votes before they have hatched. So, she's focused on winning the nomination. But she's going to need all of Bernie Sanders supporters and Bernie campaign itself and all of his supporters in order to win.
BURNETT: And, Secretary Reich, what do you do to convince people right now who say, all right, maybe they're not completely sold on Hillary Clinton, but she's the safer choice? She's likely to be the nominee, the polls show that people -- even people who want to vote for Bernie Sanders expect her to be the nominee, and they might see it as it's time to get in line?
REICH: Well -- look, I think I'm a case and point. You got to, in a primary, if you don't vote your conscience in a primary, when are you going to vote your conscience? I mean, I would say to people -- this is an anti-establishment era in America. You know, you've got some Americans who are voting the anti-establishment authoritarian, if you forgive me, bigot candidate in terms of Donald Trump.
And I think the real question is who is going to make fundamental change on the small D democracy side?
BLOW: The biggest kind of plus for Bernie to stay on this race is this: he's more likely to win states that a Democrat will carry in the fall. Hillary Clinton is going to rack up these delegates in states that she will not be able to carry in November.
BURNETT: Which enables him to make more of an electability case.
BLOW: South Carolina, she will not carry. All of these Southern states that she's very likely to carry states on Super Tuesday, she will not get those. Those Democratic voters are vastly outnumbered.
BURNETT: That's the crucial point on electability. If he can deliver the states that the Democrats can actually win when it comes to math in November, Maria, that matters more.
CARDONA: Well, but I think what matters more is being able to speak to the very diverse communities that actually make up the whole country, presidential states and non-presidential states. And I think that's where Bernie Sanders has had a challenge in doing that. He hasn't been able to expand his message to speak to African-Americans, to speak to Latinos, to speak to older voters.
And so, I think that is where she has made him better. He certainly has made her better. I really don't want him to drop out because we actually need mobilization. We need enthusiasm.
And both of those candidates talking about that very robust conversation, we're having a civil conversation. The Republicans are having a civil war.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all three very much. Fair description of what I think they would describe it as.
OUTFRONT next, a leading voice on illegal immigration standing up for Donald Trump. The former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is OUTFRONT, my guest next.
And the candidates hitting a new low in campaign rhetoric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Have you seen his hands? They're like this. You know what they say about men with small hands.
[19:43:00] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump racking up endorsements as he marches into Super Tuesday. Republican Jeff Sessions stunning the political world, becoming the first member of the Senate to endorse Donald Trump. It's a major blow to Ted Cruz, who frequently names Sessions as an ally.
OUTFRONT now, Jan Brewer, and a major endorsement. The former governor of Arizona now backing Donald Trump.
And, Governor Brewer, thank you very much for coming OUTFRONT.
You endorse Donald Trump for president. Why?
JAN BREWER (R), FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, I think that Donald Trump will stand up and fight for the United States citizens. I think he's a strong believer and will enforce the rule of law and he'll stand up and support our law enforcement and our police and our immigration officers.
BURNETT: And the immigration officers, this is an issue obviously that is near and dear to your heart. Ted Cruz, though, also wants to secure the border. He's from Texas, a nearby border state to you. A lot of people thought you were going to go that direction.
Why did you pick Trump and not Cruz?
BREWER: Well, I believe that Donald is going to get the job done. I think he's been very forceful. He brought it back on the agenda. I was for decades asking the federal government to do something about our borders and enforce the law and to stand up and help us. There was no response whatsoever at all.
I think it's time for a fresh face that tells us the truth and understands the issue. And I believe he will get the job done.
BURNETT: Marco Rubio says Donald Trump is unelectable. That was a word he used today, Governor Brewer. And he used that because Donald Trump did not denounce David Duke or the KKK in an interview this weekend on CNN. Mitt Romney says that was a disqualifying and disgusting response.
Do they have a point?
BREWER: Well, I was watching CNN on Friday when he did disavow that comment when it was pressed to him. And then on Sunday, I heard him. It appeared to me that he indeed was having trouble understanding the question and was having an audio problem.
[19:45:02] So, I believe, as I truly believe in my heart knowing Donald, that there is no way he would not disavow the Ku Klux Klan. They're racists and they're bigots. They're bad. And, you know, he's just not that kind of person.
I know Donald Trump. You know, I've sat down with him and I've talked to him and he's a nice man. He's very thoughtful. He listens. And he's just -- he's not going to support anything like that.
So, I think that we are now in the crazy, crazy, silly world of politics of which we have never seen before, and there is so much mudslinging all across the board, so much commentary. It's making it really difficult for people to really shake it all out and determine just exactly what it is that is truth.
But the bottom line is, is that Donald is leading. He is a leader and he is leading in this election. And I think he's going to be the nominee. We certainly will know a lot more Tuesday night, but it appears that he is the frontrunner.
And, of course, we all heard all the candidates and I know them all. That they said that they would support the winner of the primary. Well, let's hope they don't go back on their word.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Governor Brewer, we shall see. That, of course, will be the next crucial moment to watch when we do have a nominee. Thank you very much.
Don't miss Donald Trump's wife Melania. She will be at the top of the hour on "AC360."
And OUTFRONT next, with voting beginning in less than 12 hours, will tomorrow be an all Trump Super Tuesday?
And Jeanne Moos on how the candidates are turning name-calling and mud-slinging into an art form.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I call him "Little Marco", that's what he is. He's little Marco.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:50:42] BURNETT: The clock is ticking until the first polls open tomorrow morning, Super Tuesday, a crucial day in this campaign. Thousands of Republicans, tens of thousands, many more than that, in 11 states are voting for the Republican nominee. Trump who already has three victories under his belt is trying to expand his winning streak. And with nearly 600 delegates up for grabs, OK, that's a pretty stunning number, because you look at how many they have so far, right? OK. Trump is trumping everybody else right now. But you've got 600 at stake tomorrow. Talk about a possible game changer. That's what we're really looking at right now.
Back with me now, Ben Ferguson, David Gergen, Maria Cardona and Doug Heye.
OK. So, Ben --
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
BURNETT: -- winners and losers? I mean, what are you looking for tomorrow? Set the stakes here. This is a lot of delegates. This is the big day, the first big day.
FERGUSON: Yes, it's a big day. And there's two things to look at.
One, I think you have to look at Marco Rubio and if he does not win a state anywhere, how do you keep moving forward in this one. There's also a number on the map that people need to look, it's 155. Who is up there? It's called Texas.
There's a guy named Ted Cruz from Texas. And that's more -- if he wins there, that's more delegates than Donald Trump has received so far. So, if he's able to win this --
BURNETT: They are proportionately allocated, right? He's not going to get them all.
FERGUSON: Right. If he goes in there and does very well and wins Texas, I think he's going to be able to stand up and say, hey, I won. The first state we went to, I now went to Texas. This is far from over.
It's going to be a lot harder I think for Rubio to make that same claim that I've got a third place strategy to somehow get the White House. There's no third place strategy to get you to White House.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hillary Clinton sweeps.
GERGEN: Sweeps, Hillary Clinton sweeps --
CARDONA: I like that.
GERGEN: -- and becomes the inevitable nominee for the Democratic Party. I think she even wins Massachusetts.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump likely wins two-thirds of the states tomorrow. The big question for him is if he can keep the other two guys in the race after this. If Cruz were to win Texas and maybe even Arkansas or so, keeps him in the race. He wants Rubio not to win anything, so he's zero for 16 but stays in the race, that's the best path forward for Trump.
I want to say one more word very quickly. We had a representative from the Trump campaign on tonight, a few minutes ago with us, comparing David Duke to Senator Robert Byrd. It was a slur on Robert Byrd.
I just want to say, he made mistakes when he was young. He did join the Klan, but he became a voice of important in the Senate. Barack Obama on his death, on Bobby Byrd's death, "America has lost a voice of principle and reason". We should remember a little more history than we do sometimes.
BURNETT: He forgave him. Thank you for that, David.
CARDONA: Yes, I think that was an important point.
CARDONA: So, tomorrow, I'm looking to see what happens with Ted Cruz and Rubio. Rubio seems to now be the anointed one to try to take Trump out. It's going to be interesting if he doesn't win anything, does he still become that person?
BURNETT: Right. How can you be the anointed one in a two-man race and not win anything?
CARDONA: And not win anything.
If Ted Cruz wins Texas, does he then become the anointed one to go after Trump? So, then, what does the conversation become?
It has become conversations about size of hands and orange spray tans. Oh, my God. That continues tomorrow.
CARDONA: If that continues tomorrow, Donald Trump wins, but Hillary Clinton wins twice.
DOUG HEYE, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NAT'L COMMITTEE: The better the night it is for Donald Trump, the worst it is for Republicans. Republicans right now, if they put themselves on a glide path to nominate Donald Trump, the party will be essentially be committing its own abortion. It's an absolute disgrace for the party. We cannot win the White
House with Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. She will do what the Republicans haven't done and use all the oppo that's out there to absolutely make sure that he doesn't win the White House. We've already seen senators being attacked --
BURNETT: And you think people will care when they hear it then when they didn't -- haven't cared so far?
HEYE: If we care about the Supreme Court, we've got to keep the Senate.
GERGEN: You think a lot more stuff is coming out.
HEYE: There's a whole lot more coming out because Republicans haven't used it for eight months.
FERGUSON: And they should have.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all.
Next, how the candidates have gone from slinging mud to hands and spray tans.
[19:57:43] BURNETT: Donald Trump has admitted to me that he's been, quote, "a little childish" on the campaign trail. And now, Marco Rubio is hitting below the belt.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Which of the following is not an actual 2016 campaign insult?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Maybe to make sure his pants weren't wet.
TRUMP: A guy like Rubio is a baby.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: What? Are you going to cry now? Come on, cry baby, cry for me.
MOOS: The answer is "C", though the electorate should be crying over what's become.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Watch it, jerk.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Shut up, idiot.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Moron.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Scab eater.
MOOS: A schoolboy fight for the presidency.
TRUMP: I call him little Marco. That's what he is, he's little Marco.
RUBIO: He's always calling me little Marco.
TRUMP: Little Marco Rubio.
RUBIO: Have you seen his hands? They are like this.
TRUMP: Little mouth on him. Bing, bing, bing. Bing, bing, bing, bing.
RUBIO: And you know what they say about men with small hands -- you can't trust them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who started this?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I don't know. You started it.
MOOS: But instead of flinging mud --
TRUMP: It's Rubio!
MOOS: -- the Donald is swinging water bottles, imitating a dry mouth Rubio with a tendency to sweat bullets.
TRUMP: And I looked at the puddle on the ground and I said, what is that? What is it?
RUBIO: He doesn't sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan that he uses. Donald is not going to make America great. He's going to make America orange.
MOOS: Some compare the race to mean girls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're plastic. Old, shiny hard plastic.
MOOS: What's next do the bitter rivals start rapping their insults?
EMINEM: Is that a tank top or a new bra?
MOOS: The candidates may hate the press but they're starting to sound like anchorman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your hair looks stupid.
RUBIO: But he's flying around on hair force one --
MOOS: At least Rubio and Trump aren't whacking each other with antennas. Yet.
Jeanne Moos --
RUBIO: Donald Trump likes to sue people. He should sue whoever did that to his face.
MOOS: -- CNN --
TRUMP: He was putting on makeup with a trowel.
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: And even as you laugh, you do have to think, is this really happening? Are we really watching all of this? Oh, yes, we are.
Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT, so you can watch us anytime. Get ready. Less than 12 hours until the voting starts on this Super Tuesday.
"AC360" starts right now.