Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Super Tuesday III Has Huge Turnout; 30 People Killed, 200+ Injured in Brussels Terror Attacks. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 22, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: ... traveling to Europe. Developments unfolding throughout the night which we will of course continue to bring you. Right now, we shift for a while to CNN election coverage. But we will bring you any updates as warranted. Wolf Blitzer will be joining you shortly. Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM SHOW HOST: You're looking live at what could be one of the largest caucus turnouts in U.S. history. This is the line for democrats in Boise, Idaho. It's more than a mile long. And this is the scene in Phoenix, Arizona, where the lines are wrapped around the building.
And in Salt Lake City, Utah, the lines are also long and they may, repeat, may run out of ballots. Five thousand people expected at this caucus site alone. Turnout on this Western Tuesday is very strong.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in CNN election center. Tonight, the final five presidential candidates. They are awaiting results under the cloud of terrorism overseas.
We have much more on the attacks in Brussels, that's coming up. But right now we're standing by for results from primaries and caucuses out west. They're in Idaho for the democrats and in Arizona and Utah for both parties.
On the republican side, 98 delegates are at stake tonight. More than half of them in Arizona where the winner-takes-all. And tonight, it's also critical for Donald Trump and his rivals. Ted Cruz and John Kasich want to deny him delegates so he can't clinch the nomination.
For the democrats, 131 democrats are on the line tonight. Hillary Clinton hopes to extend her winning streak. While Bernie Sanders hopes to have better out west with the caucuses in Utah and in Idaho.
CNN's team of reporters is spread out across the country with the campaign is taking out key voting sites tonight. Let's check in with our campaign reporters. Sara Murray is in Riviera Beach in Florida with the Trump campaign. Sara, what's the latest there?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Wolf, Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he believes tragic terror then fight that one we saw today in Brussels actually give his campaign a boost. And he made that point in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting that he's sort of hammered this idea home today both in television interviews as well as on Twitter.
I want to read you one of his tweets that sort of tied in this tragedy as well as politics. He said "I have proven to be far more correct on terrorism than anybody, if not even close. Hopefully Arizona and Utah will be voting for me today."
And Wolf, we see this bearing out in the polls. In our CNN/ORC poll from February, Trump edged out all the other candidates on who best deals with terrorism, that included former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And if you looked at republican primary voters, it was a blowout. More than 50 percent of those voters said Trump would be best equip to deal with terror issues. The question for Trump going forward is how does he capitalized on this issue as Ted Cruz adding event both today and yesterday. Donald Trump does not have any public schedule for the rest of week, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Sara, we're going to get back to you. I want to check in with Sunlen Serfaty. She's in New York for us right now. Sunlen, what are you hearing?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, tonight, the Cruz campaign really is seeing an opening here to potentially have Ted Cruz distinguish himself from other candidates as this conversation moves towards national security and terrorism.
They really feel that Ted Cruz has the advantage here. An official on the Cruz campaign tell me quote, "it's like Major League versus T-Ball in terms of comparing national security comprehension between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump."
And that's why we've seen Ted Cruz today really go on the offensive over this issue. He held two press conferences in two different cities, four interviews today talking specifically about the Brussels terror attack. Really trying to go on the offensive, get out in front of this issue, take the reins over this narrative.
And Cruz officials tell me that these two perspective going forward. They say they will continue to try to paint Donald Trump as unprepared to be commander-in-chief. Wolf?
BLITZER: Thanks, Sunlen. Thanks very much. As we said, CNN has teams embedded at the caucus sites tonight. Boris Sanchez in Boise, Idaho at the democratic caucus for us. It looks like a really long line behind you, Boris. What are you seeing?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I spoke to a voter who told me she didn't know there were these many democrats in Idaho. The line stretches more than a mile. It goes on for blocks and blocks and blocks. As a matter fact, doors were supposed to close here at 7 p.m. local time, it's now 8.05 p.m. So, there are still people in line waiting to get registered and to
head inside. To give you an idea of just how many voters this is, they head to Boise centers set up to take these caucuses. They had to open the arena next door, the century-linked arena just to have all these people fit.
One organizer told me she expects up to 12,000 voters here, Wolf, that would make it the single largest caucus in U.S. history. Because the way Idaho divides caucuses they do it by counting instead of precinct.
[22:05:07] We're going to watch, and wait and see if all these voters can fit inside.
BLITZER: Very impressive, Boris. Thanks very much. Kyung Lah is also tracking the democratic caucus goers. Tonight, she's in Salt Lake City, Utah for us. It looks like a nice turnout there as well, Kyung.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A very nice turnout. The line stretches and this is just one section of the line, Wolf, all the way down this hallway. It wraps around the school at least once and stretches down the block. And if you walk with me this way, what we can tell you is that the caucus chair says that they've already run through 4,000 ballots. They're down to their final 1,000.
The plan now is she's going to turn to provisional ballots. Once they run out of those, she's going to find the copier machines here in this elementary school and start copying things because they are very concerned that they are going to run out of this.
These are the ballots that they're handing all the voters. At the very bottom, they can select.
Excuse me, sir, can I take a peep, they get to select which candidate they're going to vote for on the presidential preference ballot. Just to -- here you go, just to give you some perspective on what's happening here, in the State of Utah, what we're hearing, the conversations among all the people here is that there are three people from Utah who were wounded in the Brussels attack.
So, even though you're hearing a lot of talking, it's quite loud in here, the mood is also quite somber. Because it's taken on a bit more seriousness with this race. One person I spoke with here said global events will be -- the reaction here will be to respond locally with her vote. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Kyung. Thanks very much. Remember, there are five contests, we're watching tonight. The democratic caucuses in Idaho. Republican and democratic primaries in Arizona and republican and democratic caucuses in Utah. Five very important contests in this race for the White House.
Anderson Cooper is standing by with more. Anderson?
COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. I want to bring in our analyst and reporters also our commentators. Before we do that I want to show you how some of the candidates have been reacting to the terror attacks in Brussels. Ted Cruz calling for increase surveillance of Muslims. I spoke with the candidate earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CRUZ, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have seen for seven years that being afraid to confront what it is we're facing, being afraid to name it, that it is radical Islamic terrorism, has left us vulnerable to Jihad to acts of terror.
We've seen that in Paris, we've seen that in San Bernardino, and we've seen that in Brussels. Now, that does not mean targeting Muslims that means targeting radical Islamic terrorists. You ask what is that mean.
You know, Mayor Bloomberg in New York had a very successful program to engage with the Muslim community and to prevent radicalization and to identify radical Islamic terrorists before they carry out acts of terrorist -- terrorism.
Mayor de Blasio came in and ended that program said we're no longer going to do so. That was foolishness. That was political correctness run amuck. It's exactly the same approach that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton follow of refusing to acknowledge who our enemies are.
And our enemies are not every Muslim. Our enemy is radical Islamic terrorist or the Jihadist that at stakes to murder us. And it's the heart of law enforcement and national security to prevent those who are waging war on you from actually carrying out their attempted acts of war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, in the meantime, Donald Trump in an interview with Wolf Blitzer today called for the torture of terror suspects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I think we have to change our law on the, you know, the waterboarding thing where they can drop off heads and they can drown people in cages, in heavy steel cages and we can't waterboard. So, we have to change our laws and we have to be able to fight at least on an almost equal basis.
We have laws that we have to obey in terms of torture. They have no laws whatever that they to obey.
BLITZER: So, would you start torturing him right away or would you see if he would cooperate and share information? Because Belgium authorities, Belgium police say he has been talking.
TRUMP: Well, you know, he may be talking, but he'll talk a lot faster with the torture. If he would have -- if he would have talked you might not have to blow up all these people dead and all these people horribly wounded because he probably knew about it. I would be willing to bet that he knew about this bombing that took place today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Donald Trump earlier today talking to Wolf Blitzer.
Let's talk to our panel, Gloria Borger, Douglas Brinkley, Dana Bash. What do you guys think? I mean, does this terror attack, does it benefit Donald Trump, does it benefit Ted Cruz, does it benefit the democrats? Does it -- how does it play politically beyond the horror of what we're seeing?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, you have 74 percent of Americans who say they are not satisfied with the way we've been fighting terror in this country. And I think Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, you just heard Ted Cruz plays into that quite directly.
[22:10:04] Most people, 6 out of 10, believe that a terror attack in this country is likely, and they play right into that.
COOPER: Ted Cruz is saying that program in New York was incredibly successful, there are a lot of people in New York who disagree with that assessment.
BORGER: Or that there was such a program.
COOPER: The people including the people involved in the program itself.
DANA BASH, CNN'S CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think -- I think the question that you asked can be answered short term and long term politically. Short term it seems that just based on what happened after the last terror attack and Donald Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the U.S. with everybody here in Washington with and his numbers went up.
And he was so of unstoppable because of what Gloria said, there is an absolute fear. But long term I talked to some republicans today who are not in that camp who are very worried about demagoguing, that this is demagoguery and that it doesn't even -- it doesn't do anything policy-wise except, you know, get people excited and afraid but doesn't really solve the problem.
COOPER: Douglas Brinkley, I mean, presidential historian, it is extraordinary that you have a leading candidate on the republican side saying torture first, ask questions later.
I mean, essentially saying well, just, you know, maybe if we just tortured Salah Abdeslam right away, he would have given up more information that was actionable and have prevented this attack.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think it's tacky and wrong minded of Donald Trump to do that. I think he have to take a little bit of a time out and a breather here and not try to score political points. And it's really Governor Kasich and Hillary Clinton who have acted in a leadership way. Did they try to heal the country gather information?
And you see both Trump and Cruz, kind of gulp trying to say who's tougher in ways that are pretty vial talking about torturing or torturing more all of this. I would have wish they could have waited a cycle before started to get sound bites out there as we just heard.
COOPER: David Chalian, you've looked at exit polls in pretty much every primary night and caucus night that we've looked at. Terrorism has rated pretty low recently. I wonder if that changes and if that is in voter's minds tonight as they go to caucus.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. We see it a little higher on the republican side than we do on the democratic side.
CHALIAN: It's a way low on the democratic side. Even after Paris, it couldn't sustain overtaking the economy. But on the republican side we've seen the economy time and again really be the top issue. I don't think we're just hearing primary season politics from Ted Cruz and Donald Trump tonight.
I think they are setting up a general election debate with Hillary Clinton over this issue of political correctness versus safety and security as they want to frame it that way, and I think that's a debate that whether it's Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, that they're eager to have in the fall.
COOPER: It's interesting because actually the press release that Ted Cruz put out in which he talked about not only increased patrols and in his words securing Muslim communities, he talked about obviously protecting the border, defeating ISIS and stopping refugees, any refugees from entering America who come countries where there is a big ISIS population, Al Qaeda population.
The headline of it was about political correctness. So, the headline actually used the term "political correctness" in it.
BASH: That's where he got that idea.
BORGER: And that's the case from Donald Trump obviously. You know, that's Donald Trump great line and you know, he can swath away anything by saying I'm not going to be politically correct here and it works. But to David's point, I agree.
This is something Trump has been very consistent on. And maybe since Paris or San Bernardino but he has raised the issue of torture, he has raised, you know, raised the question about stopping temporarily Muslims from coming into this country, which by the way, Cruz disagrees with him on.
But I think you do see these -- both of these men positioning for a general election. And with Hillary Clinton, yes, she has been Secretary of State. But if you're going to hug President Obama really close, you also have to hug the fact that we haven't gotten control of ISIS. And this is what scares the American public right now. So, she's going to have to deal with that as well. COOPER: It's interesting that President Obama chose not only to stay
in Cuba and then continue on to Argentina but chose it go to a baseball game in Cuba. I mean, he could have stayed there and decided not to go to a baseball game but he chose to do it and give an interview on ESPN after making brief public comments in pre-plan speech that he made.
What do you make of that decision? I mean, it's Sort of in the line with decisions he has made in the past about not wanting to look like he is changing his schedule...
COOPER: ... based on to respond to the actions of terrorist. Yet, it also opens him up to criticism, particularly during this election.
BASH: There's no question about it. It is a tough call, it really is. And I'm getting because -- I mean, my understanding is because it's not just a regular trip. I mean, this is a very important trip to Cuba and going to the baseball game was such a critical cultural part of the trip that he didn't want to go but I think that you hit the nail on the head.
It's also because it's signal sending. It saying you know what, you're not going to win, you're not going to change the leader of the free world's schedule, especially when he's doing something this important.
[22:15:07] COOPER: I want to go quickly to Ryan Young who is in Phoenix, Arizona outside a polling station. Ryan, what are you seeing tonight?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, if you look at the lines here you can tell, people have been standing here for quite some time. In fact, they are very angry about this. Almost in 2012 they had over 200 sites of polling. Now they're down to 60. We hear people are telling us they've been waiting in line for over two hours and the polls just closed here.
This line here and we're going to take you back this direction, wraps around this building, goes down the street into a neighborhood and people are hoping that they'll be able to cast their vote.
One thing that's when one told us when they went on the inside, they're apparently using iPods to enter people's names in and they are very upset with that process because there's no keyboards, so it takes extra-long to do it.
And once inside it's another hour wait. So, you really hear the frustration from the voters here. This is a state that a lot of people mail in their ballots. But what we're hearing is there a lot of independents who showed up to vote and they're not being allowed to vote because in this state you have to either to be a republican or democrat or green party member to vote on this day.
A lot of confusion, a lot of anger at these hours as people are trying to get in to cast their vote. COOPER: Ryan Young reporting there from Arizona. It is kind of
amazing that given all we have seen on prior primary nights and caucus nights that these problems are persisting. I mean, we've seen this every single night huge crowds. You would think people start to anticipate that election officials with.
BORGER: Well, I think you know, this election in particular where Donald Trump has brought out so many new voters, I don't think they, you know, anticipated these kinds of turnouts that they're getting on the republican side. I mean, it's unprecedented in many states. It could be in Arizona.
Arizona has a lot of early voting, though, and so that's another reason they probably didn't anticipate it because you can vote almost a month in advance in Arizona. So, a lot of people have already cast their ballots.
BASH: Half of them have.
BRINKLEY: And in Idaho, Anderson, I mean, there are a lot of students at Boise State University. They are Bernie Supporters. Herby talks about Idaho being red but Boise itself is like a little blue bubble, little Berkeley in middle of it there. And Bernie is bringing out a lot of it.
You can see how many young college kids are there. It's a college town and also people that work in the environmental, river rafting business and all this; it's a huge federal government hub, national forest and things. So, we will see has a very liberal population when you get down to the democrats in here.
COOPER: We'll be seeing turnout figures shortly. Wolf, let's go back to you.
BLITZER: Anderson, as you heard all of our viewers just heard a two- hour wait to vote in Phoenix, Arizona. Right now we're seeing very long lines in three states voting tonight, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah, a big contest that could sway the presidential race.
We're tracking the results as they come in. We hope to make some major projections soon. This is CNN's special live coverage of Western Tuesday.
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: The race for the White House taking place out west on this Tuesday. We have a contest going on right now in Utah, Idaho and Arizona. But there are also -- we're just getting word of some problems. I want to go to Kyung Lah. She's in Salt Lake City for us tonight. Kyung, what are you seeing? What are you hearing?
LAH: Wolf, you can see for yourself how long this line is. And this is just one section of the line. The line still has about 20 more minutes before they officially hit the cutoff point.
I want to show you, I want you to walk this way with me. Last count we heard that the line was still wrapping around this building. But I want to you look at this guy here. They're handing out now white ballots. If you look, it is a provisional ballot. You see it has provisional here. The reason why is because they've completely run out of the blue ballots that they were originally handing out.
You could see still a few people holding the blue ballots. Because I'm going to walk you over this way, excuse me, sir, we're weaving our way through the room, they've actually had to on the fly come up with a solution.
And, excuse me, you can take a look over here, see this printer? They're printing out these ballots on the fly. The reason why is that they had 5,000 ballots ready, but the turnout was so massive, so unexpected, that they've had to pull out this printer and suddenly start to print out these ballots.
The line is still very long. They have lost count. They don't know how many people now are going to end up voting tonight but they say as far as turnout here, they are very pleased. Wolf?
BLITZER: It's amazing. You know, we always hear these problems, at least increasingly. The other day we were doing some election results, they had to go out it in Kinkos on a weekend, to find the Kinkos that was open at least they had a printer there. So, do they think they're going to be able to get the job done tonight, Kyung?
LAH: Yes. Well, they brought the Kinkos here to this caucus room. So, if they -- as long as this printer keeps working, Wolf, they'll be able to get everything done. Pretty soon all these ballots then are going to head over to that stage over there where they plan on counting.
They do anticipate it will be a smooth night but it going to be a little bit later than it's anticipated because they've got to make sure that this entire line funnels through in and picks up a ballot from this printer.
BLITZER: Let's hope that printer keeps on working, Kyung. Thanks very much.
I want to go over to Bernie Sanders's headquarters on this night. Jeff Zeleny is standing by. I guess the big turnout must be encouraging to them. What do you think, Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It certainly does, Wolf. And you know, the signs that the scenes that we're seeing there in Utah those big crowds they're actually was bit of a precursor. Because on Friday, Bernie Sanders was in Salt Lake City, he had a crowd of some 14,000 people. Now that is huge for any type of political crowd but for a democrat in Salt Lake City, that certainly is considerable.
So, the Sanders campaign is hoping to get some of its mojo back in Idaho tonight, in Utah, and in Arizona as well. Arizona will be a much more competitive contest. But, Wolf, I'm here in San Diego, California and we can just pan around a little bit here and see how big this crowd is. Some -- this room holds about 10,000 people here. And there are lines that are outside that had been people have been waiting in line for hours and hours and hours.
[22:24:59] I talked to one woman who got here at 7.30 this morning. So, Wolf, this certainly is a sign that Bernie Sanders supporters exist here. And their reason they're in California tonight, Wolf, they believe that this is the place where this race ends obviously in the primary on June 7th.
And it's a message that they're going to stay in this race until the very end of this campaign, that they are going to keep winning delegates along the line here.
Now mathematically speaking, the Sanders campaign is well, well, well behind. They hope to make up some ground tonight. But they believe that California is a place where they can win a ton of delegates.
So, Wolf, that's why Bernie Sanders is here tonight. And he will be addressing the crowd in some half an hour or so time. And he is going to talk about the Brussels terror incident, and he's going to of course be talking about the challenges this puts on all presidential candidates, that commander-in-chief test.
BLITZER: Yes. He's been attracting very big crowds wherever he seems to go, especially right now where you are in San Diego. We'll stand by for his speech as well.
Once again, the polls have closed in Arizona. We're standing by for the results to start coming in. And they're about to start the caucuses, the democratic caucuses in Utah right now. We'll stand by for that as well. In the meantime, let's go back to Anderson.
COOPER: We're also closely following the investigations into the terror attacks in Brussels. We're going to bring you up to date on that shortly.
But let's turn to our panelist Donna Brazile, Peter Beinart. In terms of the democrats how do you think the terror attacks today affect Hillary Clinton, affect Bernie Sanders and what you heard from the republican side?
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Secretary Clinton earlier today condemned the attacks, said that the United States must work closely with its European allies and she, you know, of course, reiterated some of the I think steps that she made last she is following the Paris attacks.
She gave a very strong speech. It's a big cloud that I think hangs over tonight's election as voters go to the poll, this is clearly an issue that all Americans care about.
COOPER: It's really the low among democrats in prior contests. Do you think tonight it changes the calculus at all? PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I wouldn't say so. I mean,
I think in the past we've seen that foreign policy gives Hillary Clinton a little bit of an advantage. You saw that a bit the wake of the San Bernardino attacks.
But these are really two very different conversations that you're seeing taking place in the two parties. Democrats are much more focused on domestic and economic issues. Issues like racial justice, that climate change that almost never come up in the context of republican conversations and republicans since the beginning of this campaign have had national security near the top of their concern.
COOPER: And so, Jeffrey, do you agree with the prior panel that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are setting up a conversation for general election?
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Absolutely. There's an interesting article posted tonight in media quoting former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who gave an interview to the BBC apparently before the attacks in Belgium.
And he was making the point that if people in this case we're talking Americans tonight, have a choice between what he called flabby liberalism and a hard line when they see these kind of things, they'll go with the hard line every time. Which I think goes to the point over here that in pivoting towards a general election that is going to be a choice that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will, you know, draw the line here between themselves and Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: And certainly, S.E., I mean, Donald Trump has been where a lot of his supporters were. I mean, when he said the thing about banning Muslims from entering the United States, temporarily there was a lot of outrage in media and elsewhere, And yet, that's been very popular among his supporters.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. It's bizarre that under the umbrella of, you know, standing athwart political correctness, Donald Trump has made the conversation essentially about doing away with the Geneva Convention, which unilaterally the United States isn't able to do.
And making the argument that somehow, because we follow those rules we're weaker than ISIS, when actually, because we follow those rules we're better than them. So, it's setting up an interesting general election argument between doing nothing as the perception on the left and doing everything as the perception on the right.
COOPER: We continue to wait results in Arizona, start of the caucuses in Utah. Our coverage continues in just a moment.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Much more on the election coming up. But there's breaking news on the terror front as well. At least 30 people killed, more than 200 injured in those terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium.
I want to go to our justice correspondent Pamela Brown, she is getting new information. What are you learning, Pamela?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning, Wolf, that officials have long feared that there would be another terrorist attack in Europe. And one of the reasons is because of interceptive electronic communications chatter that they said indicated something was about to pop after the Paris attacks. That something similar to the Paris attacks would happen.
But there wasn't any information that was specific enough for officials to act on it. But one official I spoke to said there was a constant drumbeat constant fear that something would happen and then it happened this morning in Brussels.
And the concern, Wolf, is that there will be follow on attacks. You saw that reflected in the State Department warning to U.S. citizens traveling Europe today saying that they have reason to believe terrorist groups are plotting more near-term attacks.
And we believe at least one of the suspects is still on the loose. We're looking at these brand new pictures and now from the airport in Brussels. These are the suicide bombers. Officials believe these men in the black blew themselves up. This man in the white, they believe he's still at large, manhunt is underway, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Pamela. We're going to get back to you. I mean, all of this the State Department has just issued a travel alert for Americans in Europe right now, among other things. The state department warns all U.S. citizens to avoid to know that there potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following these terror attacks.
Terrorist groups continue to plan near term attacks throughout Europe, Mike Rogers, this is a pretty extraordinary alert, basically telling Americans stay away from Europe right now.
[22:34:59] MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Well, the fact they say they're planning attacks in the near term is pretty aggressive for the State Department. And it is, I think it's a departure from either their -- from their past warnings that, hey, something might happen.
This is basically saying we know that they are planning; they are planning attacks across Europe in the near term. That's pretty specific. And I think that's pretty big deal. Normally they're not going to go out on that far a limb. They know that that will interfere with commerce, people will cancel flights, it will cause tourism losses in Europe. That's a pretty aggressive statement.
BLITZER: Now Juliette, the words "near term attacks through Europe, targeting spotting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation," the State Department doesn't use those words easily.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No. They are -- it's quite specific compared to other learned to have find out though there have been some after-terrorist incidents in Europe. Look, the challenge for the State Department is they're probably getting a lot of pressure from Europe.
It is summertime, it is spring break, people are traveling. You can't simply say don't go to Europe. It's not the right things -- it's not the statement to say right now. So, instead, they're saying, look, as traveler, there are precautions that you can take to minimize the risks to yourself and to your family and to protect yourself if you are traveling.
The pressure to keep the flow of movement between Europe and America is high. The more we say, they're going to counteract. It's the same thing with visas. The more we put the security apparatus on, they're going to do the same thing and then you have a global economy coming to a standstill.
BLITZER: Are they ready in Europe, Paul, and you spent a lot of time in Belgium in France in London, are they ready for what they seem to suggest near-term attacks that are in the works right now.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: No, they're not. They're overstretched. The threat is unprecedented. Too many Europeans have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Too many have come back. More than 6,000 have traveled, 1,500 have come back to Europe, people who have joined these Jihadi groups over there.
ISIS is ratcheting up its international attack planning as its losing territory in Syria and Iraq. It's lashing out with terrorist attacks. It has developed an external operations unit reporting up to the top leadership of ISIS launching these plots.
BLITZER: Very frightening material. Very frightening information and extraordinary warning coming out this travel alert from the State Department.
Guys, stand by. I want to get back to the elections, the Western elections that are underway right now. We're standing by for the first results that come in. We might be able to make some projections.
I want to go to Boris Sanchez. He's joining us right now He's in Boise, Idaho. Boris, huge crowds for these democratic caucuses. What's the latest?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Wolf, the line still about an hour away from being inside. Doors are supposed to close at 7 o'clock. It's now an hour and a half later. Not only that, will mean this line will be going for two and a half hours. How long have you guys been in line?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is about...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two and a half hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN!
SANCHEZ: Who are you guys here to vote for?
(CROWD SHOUTING) SANCHEZ: Bernie supporters. We're hearing a lot of that, Wolf. Actually I spoke to an organizer earlier who told me that she thinks a lot of this enthusiasm has do with Bernie Sanders. He was here in the state yesterday speaking to 7,000 people at Boise State University, challenging them to come out and vote today.
It appears so far that it worked. An organizer told me she printed out 13,000 ballots to have ready for this size of a crowd. They are going to close up 13,000. They have already have to open an overflow. They have room for about 5,000 in one building, about 8,000 in the other. That's 13,000 voters in one caucus site location.
Of course, it's splitting a two caucuses by congressional district. But still that could be the largest single caucus in U.S. history. How are you guys doing tonight? You guys excited? A lot of excitement there, Wolf.
BLITZER: He's not sort of excited. All right, Boris. Thanks very much. I want to go over to John King. He's over the magic wall. Big turnout in Idaho would seem to suggest good night for Bernie Sanders. But really important night for the republicans as well, especially in Arizona where it's winner-take-all.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's start with the republicans because we've been waiting to stop Trump movement says it will stop Donald Trump. Well, the only way to really stop him is on election day.
So, can Ted Cruz pull off the unexpected tonight? Arizona 58 delegates winner-take-all. It's the biggest prize tonight with 98 delegates. Can Ted Cruz pull off the surprise and take that away from Donald Trump? That would send a big signal that Trump's momentum was stopped, especially if Cruz could follow that up and gets 50 percent plus one.
If you get 50 percent in Utah, winner-take-all kicks in. So, can Ted Cruz, after a very disappointing week last week. Remember, John Kasich won one, Mitt Romney the other four. Can Ted Cruz finally prove not only does he say he's the alternative, that he can prove he's the alternative.
If Cruz can do that, look what it would do to the delegate math. It would put Cruz back in contention. It would put him behind, still well-behind Trump. But with two big states in the west it would show that Trump has lot of trouble out in the west. That's where Cruz helps for.
BLITZER: One correction, it was Donald Trump that won the other four.
KING: Donald Trump won the other four. I'm sorry. Thank you for that. Yes, Donald Trump won four, John Kasich won last week and Ted Cruz keeps saying I'm the alternative.
Here's what more expected, though. Donald Trump is favored in Arizona. If he pulls that off, 98 delegates, if he get 58 of them right there he's got almost 6 in 10 of the delegates that at stake tonight. [22:40:05] He needs from here on out 54 percent of the delegates. So, if he wins Arizona, he stays on track, he might even lower his margins. So, the big complaint from Cruz this week, he's been complaining about John Kasich saying why are you out in Iowa -- excuse me, Utah? Why won't you leave it to me? Let me get 50 plus one.
Because if John Kasich gets the chunk of the vote out there and keep Cruz up, let's assume Cruz wins but Donald -- but 45 percent, Donald Trump comes in second, John Kasich comes in third, you could end the night with Donald Trump still picking 70 delegates.
If he picks 70 delegates, look where he moves out somewhere around 750 by the end of the night. If he can pick up 70 delegates tonight, he'll reduce his math from roughly needing 54 percent of the remaining delegates to needing about 52 percent of the remaining delegates.
So, if Trump splits them tonight, especially if he gets some delegates in Utah, it's a good night for him. For Ted Cruz to really prove he can stop Trump, the best way to do it would be to win them both and to get winner-take-all in both.
BLITZER: Because Mitt Romney was out there campaigning for Ted Cruz in Utah right now and he was really concerned that John Kasich could spoil that 50 percent plus one, assuming -- assuming that Ted Cruz could get to that threshold.
KING: And Kasich campaigned hard out there. His campaign is saying look, Ted Cruz proved nothing last week. The Kasich has says, he said, if Ted Cruz could prove it by winning maybe he has a strong argument. But they say Cruz hasn't won in a while, why shouldn't they compete out there get delegates?
Because if Kasich wants to raise money to stay in the raise he knows he's not going to win Arizona. Kasich knows he's not going to win Utah. But if he can get some delegates out of Utah, it will help him with his rationale some say to stretch. But his rationale to say I pick up some delegates in the west, next contest is Wisconsin moving back to John Kasich's Midwest.
So, if he can get some delegates tonight, it gives him some argument to make that let's go back to my home area and see what happens.
BLITZER: Two republican contest tonight, Utah and Arizona, three democratic contest, lots in stake tonight especially for Bernie Sanders.
KING: Bernie Sanders, if you add in the three contests this weekend, to some people think he could go 6 for 6 or more likely 5 for 6 over the next few days. Let's focus on tonight in Arizona.
Hillary Clinton and the Clinton campaign -- Sanders campaign says it's competitive. Clinton campaign thinks it's going to win Arizona tonight. This is a delegate split if it's 55, 45.
Remember, the democratic rules are proportional. If Utah we saw that high turnout. Bernie Sanders says high turnout is good for me, right? So, let's assume he wins. But if he only wins 55-45, Wolf, he only comes out with three more delegates.
And so, he entered the night about 325 short of Hillary Clinton, 324 short of Hillary Clinton. If he wins all three tonight that the problem for Bernie Sanders the issue will be, if he wins just 55-45 here, and she wins 55-45 there, she'll actually pick up one in her delegate lead. That she could actually gain or lose one or two.
So, Bernie Sanders would claim some momentum but the fundamental arc of the race, to Hillary Clinton this would be 325, she enters 324 pledge delegates ahead, the scenarios I just laid out she loses two of the three states but still ends up one more delegate.
BLITZER: And that's the pledged delegates. But you're not even talking about the super delegates.
KING: If you want to add in her super delegates, she gets way out here. Way out here. Now the Sanders campaign complains these delegates don't matter until you get to the convention. Sanders campaign rightly says every one of those 482 can change their mind and say never mind I'm for Bernie Sanders.
BLITZER: Has anyone changed their minds yet?
KING: Not yet. And remember, in 2008 they did. Clinton had a bunch that when Obama got momentum late, they change their mind. So, yes, they can change their mind but the only way they're going to change their mind is if Bernie Sanders fills in this 28 democratic contests left, including tonight.
Bernie Sanders is going to have to start running the board to get these people to change their minds and to get the pledge delegate math to change in any significant way.
BLITZER: It's going to be obviously a fascinating night. These three democratic contests tonight. It's an important night, especially important for Bernie Sanders. He's got to get some momentum going out west. He thinks he will. Big turnouts tonight. Let's see if he can deliver.
But we're also awaiting votes that come in right now from Arizona. Can Donald Trump win and take all the delegates there?
It's a winner-take-all state. We could make a major projection soon. This is our special live coverage of what we call Western Tuesday.
[22:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Very important night in three western Tuesday race that we're watching very closely right now, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah. I want to go to Kyung Lah in Salt Lake right now, where the turnout you can see right behind me, Kyung, is very long. A lot of people standing by to participate.
LAH: Very long. There are still, still lines outside. It is completely wraps around the building, not just down this hallway, Wolf. As we walk down this line, I've been chatting with a couple of people down here. And these folks have been -- how long you have guys been standing in line?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two and a half hours.
LAH: Two and half? Two and a half?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two and a half hours.
LAH: Two and a half hours. It is a very cold night here in Utah. But they say it's worth it. So, what has this meant? Are you handing out ballots? Where are the ballots?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where's the ballot? Are they still handing...
LAH: They were handing out ballots here. I think that we're having a little bit of ballot confusion. Here's what's happening with the ballots once they are handed out. I'm not sure why they're not handing out right now, if they are having an issue with them.
So, we're going to walk over this way. I can tell you that what we've seen here is earlier in the evening they were handing out longer, legal size blue ballots. And then what we've seen is that they have run out of ballots.
So, this printer has been printing out provisional ballots. And this is what they're handing out it the people who are still in line. I want you to look at the stack over here. This stack of paper over here, they've had to keep sending out campaign workers to purchase reams of paper because they keep running out. So, the turnout here, Wolf, it's not just been very good, it's been incredible here.
BLITZER: Sounds incredible. They have printer cartridges for all those stack of copies they are going to have make.
I want to go to Boris Sanchez, he's got some similar problems. They're watching in Boise, Idaho right now. Lines pretty long over there. What are you seeing?
SANCHEZ: Hey, Wolf, they've already started the pomp and circumstance inside the caucus with still huge lines outside, lines that stretch as far as the eye can see. But because of the way things are going, they may have to start taking ballots outside.
[22:50:03] We're here with the bunch of voters. How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good, how are you?
SANCHEZ: What brings you out here tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To caucus.
SANCHEZ: Have you ever seen anything like this before? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never seen anything like this.
SANCHEZ: Is this your first time caucusing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is.
SANCHEZ: And what was it that brought you out, what issue was it that made you want to caucus?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have been so torn which candidate I'm caucusing for today. And I hadn't made my decision when I got into the line. I have some really great conversations with some people to sway me in one direction or the other. And that's what brought me out here.
SANCHEZ: I got you. Are you concerned at all that there may be too many people out here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No.
SANCHEZ: All right. Thank you so much. Wolf, we'll send them back to you.
BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much, Boris. Lots of excitement. We're waiting for the results. Anderson, we're ready to make projections as soon as we get the word.
COOPER: All right. We'll toss it back to you as soon as we do. Let's talk to our panel. David Chalian, in terms of just the pure politics on the republican side, will there be more clarity at the end of tonight?
CHALIAN: Well, I think John King painted the two scenarios. I think there will be clarity on this one, Anderson. Either we're going to learn that Ted Cruz has a strong rationale and argument to make that, he actually can be the guy to stop Trump or he won't.
I think we have clarity on that tonight. Because if he is unable to meet that 50 percent threshold in Utah and if Donald Trump wins Arizona and takes all those delegates there, Donald Trump, he is just steam rolling through this nomination process.
CHALIAN: And I think at that point you got to look at Ted Cruz not winning anything last week. If he falls below that 50 percent threshold, I think this is a big night for Ted Cruz to sort of say I'm here to stay all the way through in a viable fashion or Donald Trump is steam rolling his way to the nomination.
COOPER: And Cruz had Mitt Romney out campaigning for him in Utah then Mitt Romney was campaigning for Kasich in Ohio and part of this strategic voting.
BORGER: Right. And it probably didn't help Trump very much in Utah, that he questioned whether Romney was really a Mormon. I don't think that's a really good idea. He tried to -- he tried to walk that back a little bit.
I think this gives you an idea, though, about why Cruz is so angry at John Kasich. Because if it weren't for John Kasich, the pesky John Kasich as he's like to call him, he would perhaps make that 50 percent threshold and get a bunch of delegates.
But Kasich could keep him from doing that and from getting any kind of momentum against Trump. And so, calling him a spoiler or whatever else you want, I mean, Cruz just wants to get Kasich out of the way.
BASH: And to be clear, it's not just Cruz who is annoyed about it. It's the whole entire anti-Trump movement.
BASH: Which now has pretty much the entire donor world on the republican side behind them to try to stop Donald Trump.
COOPER: Are they still putting a lot of money into it?
BASH: Well, you know, that's a good question. I think that, well, they certainly were in Utah and in this particular race. And they had in the last series of races, which it was questionable whether or not it actually worked, the people who are working the anti-Trump PAC think that they kept Trump's threshold lower than they would have been? You know, who knows if that's accurate.
COOPER: Is that, you know, do you think there might be clarity on tonight whether the whole anti-Trump movement has any leg or whether it goes away?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think it's more about Ted Cruz in Utah. If he doesn't hit that 50 percent mark there I think his campaign takes a huge slide.
Utah does not care for Donald Trump. The Mormons don't care for Trump.
BASH: That's right.
BRINKLEY: They don't like his beating up on Muslims. The Mormon church is very embracive of people joining the church so that so they don't like Trump. That they don't like the foul language that Trump uses.
They don't like the bullying; meaning the Mormon conservatives of the state should be all with Ted Cruz. If he can't get 50 percent, Anderson, tonight in Utah, I think it's a very bad night for Cruz.
BASH: Especially since this is one other factor, which I would add to that, which is it's closed, which means that, you know, only republicans can go in historically with the past several months. That is where Ted Cruz has done with the best. Because Donald Trump is right, that he brings in people from outside the Republican Party. CHALIAN: The thing is going to keep Cruz alive, if you look at our
most recent CNN/ORC poll that came out last night, you see 46 percent of republicans believe their party will still be divided when we get to November.
So that means there still is a real sense of division and there is still a big faction that, you know, would like to stop Trump and Cruz may be their only vehicle. It's just that he has to keep winning somewhere in order it make the argument that it's a viable option.
BORGER: And Cruz is very acceptable by the way, to even people who like Trump who are devoted Trump -- you saw in our poll that as a second choice, Cruz actually does quite well. So, if there is going to be an alternative, Cruz is much more acceptable than say a John Kasich.
BASH: The only thing I will add, though, is that he has to show that he is viable but only so much. Not like he had to, you know, way back when there were all these candidates in this race. Or at the beginning of the calendar year, now it's about trying to keep the delegates away from Donald Trump more than anything.
[22:55:01] COOPER: We're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues awaiting results in Arizona, obviously in Utah as well. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: You're looking at Boise, Idaho right now, where there are huge crowds of the caucus sites for the democrats. In Phoenix, Arizona, polls technically closed an hour ago but lines are still snaked around the buildings.
And in Salt Lake City, Utah, caucus sites have already have to print hundreds of provisional ballots, they run out of the official ones just a little while ago.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. It's a Western Tuesday. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from the CNN election center.
Right now we are standing by for the results from primaries and caucuses out west. Democrats caucusing in Idaho, in Arizona, and Utah, both parties are making their picks for president of the United States.
On the republican side, 98 delegates at stake tonight, more than half of them in Arizona where the winner-takes-all. Tonight is a critical night for Donald Trump. If he wins Arizona get pass the nomination it looks a lot easier. If he doesn't, Ted Cruz and John Kasich may be able to force a floor fight at the convention in Cleveland.
[23:00:02] For democrats 131 delegates are on the line tonight. Hillary Clinton hopes to run up the scoreboard and widen her delegate lead. While Bernie Sanders is hoping to have a better night tonight, more luck out west.