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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Romney Predicts Bombshell in Trump's Taxes; Cruz Looks to Texas to Stop Trump's Winning Streak; Minority Leader Reid Endorses Clinton for President; Interview with Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina; Obama Eyes Republican for Supreme Court Amid GOP Threats. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired February 24, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump on a major victory lap, even talking about his VP pick as Mitt Romney predicts the, quote, "bombshell for Trump."
Plus, Sanders accusing Trump of racism against President Obama. OUTFRONT tonight, a top black Democrat, Congressman Jim Clyburn weighs in.
And new details tonight about the Uber driver charged with killing six strangers. What he is saying to investigators behind closed doors tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFONT tonight, a quote, "bombshell," in Trump's taxes. That's what former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is claiming tonight. He says Trump tax bill doesn't add up, not even close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have good reason to believe that there's a bombshell in Donald Trump's taxes. Either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And at this moment, Trump is firing back on Twitter saying, quote, "Mitt Romney, who totally blew an election that should have been won and whose tax returns made him look like a fool, is now playing tough guy." This battle coming as Trump is celebrating a massive win in Nevada and calls to grow him are growing louder tonight. The Washington Post editorial board today calling on Republican leaders to stop Trump writing and I quote, "History will not look kindly on GOP leaders who fail to do everything in their power to prevent a bullying demagogue from becoming their standard bearer."
Tonight, two mainstream Republicans, a congressman from Donald Trump's home state, both of them are OUTFRONT. One endorsed Trump today, the first sitting congressman to back Trump, the other backing Rubio says, Trump is a terrible move. I'm going to speak to them both in just a moment.
But first, Jim Acosta has been following the GOP imbroglio today, he is OUTFRONT from Las Vegas. And Jim, Trump is celebrating today.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Erin. He's still celebrating. Donald Trump is savoring his big victory here in Nevada and he's predicting more wins next week on Super Tuesday. And even though he only has a fraction of the delegates at this point, neither to capture the GOP nomination, Trump is sounding like he's already measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Donald Trump's first campaign event after his win in Nevada says it all.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, everybody.
ACOSTA: Eyeing the Bible belt states up for grabs on Super Tuesday next week, Trump appealed to Christian conservatives by sitting down with televangelist Pat Robertson.
PAT ROBERTSON, TELEVANGELIST: You inspire us all.
ACOSTA: Trump talked about forgiveness, perhaps even for his archrival Ted Cruz. Maybe.
TRUMP: I can forgive, every once in a while there will be somebody that went too far over the last few weeks and, you know, things that were said that were lies. I have to be a good person today, at least for the next hour or so.
ACOSTA: But Trump isn't spending much time talking about his opponents, he's busy envisioning his days in the White House. The ultimate political outsider saying he would likely want a political insider as his vice president.
TRUMP: I do want somebody who is political because I want to get lots of great legislation that we all want passed.
ACOSTA: And strong conservatives for the Supreme Court.
TRUMP: Pro-life. Starts with that. Starts with that.
Very conservative, very, very smart. I mean like Judge Scalia. He was a perfect representative.
ACOSTA: On day one of a Trump administration, the GOP frontrunner vows he'll scrap ObamaCare, improve veterans' health care, and end the President's actions to slow deportations of the undocumented.
TRUMP: Especially the one on the border where people are allowed to come in and just pour into our country like Swiss cheese. ACOSTA: Trump is heading into Super Tuesday with a lead that is
ballooning quickly with five times the number of delegates as his nearest rivals.
TRUMP: The establishment, the media, the special interest, the lobbyists, the donors, they're all against me.
ACOSTA: Trump is also running a new ad warning the D.C. establishment is out to get him and he's making the case Republicans should consider how he's expanding the party and get on board.
TRUMP: We have won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated. And you know what, I'm really happy about because I've been saying it for a long time. Forty six percent with the Hispanics. Forty six percent. Number one with Hispanics.
ACOSTA: The contenders vying to be the anti-Trump insist the race is far from over.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't get this wrong. We can't be fooled by P.T. Barnum. The time for the clowns and the acrobats and the dancing bears has passed.
ACOSTA: Cruz went back to delegate rich taxes to secure the endorsement of the state's popular governor. Marco Rubio is urging supporters to pick a candidate who can actually win in November.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't just elect someone that's angry --
[19:05:06] ACOSTA: Now, as Trump is looking more and more like his party's nominee who is just begun sparring with the GOP's last standard bearer, Mitt Romney. In response to Romney's comment that there may be a bombshell lurking in his tax returns, the GOP frontrunner tweeted it was the former Massachusetts governor who sought out his endorsement four years ago and that Romney was quote, "So awkward there was no way he could win."
It is another fight with Trump who is tangled with the Bush family and the Pope in just the last month, Erin, raising the question, who is next? But it is an odd fight for Mitt Romney to pick considering his own struggle with this issue four years ago -- Erin.
BURNETT: Yes, it is. It is what's Donald Trump pointed out and makes you wonder.
All right. Thank you very much, Jim Acosta. And OUTFRONT tonight, the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump. Congressman Chris Collins of New York. Congressman, thank you so much for being with me. I want to start --
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), ENDORSING DONALD TRUMP: Erin, happy to be with you.
BURNETT: All right. I want to start with this news just happening within the hour. Your party's 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney is speaking out against Trump. I want to play for you, Congressman, what he said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: We have good reason to believe that there's a bombshell in Donald Trump's taxes. Either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Congressman, when you hear that, Mitt Romney saying there could be a bombshell in Donald Trump's taxes, are you worried? Could Romney be right?
COLLINS: You know, Erin, it's not my place to address that issue, but what I will tell you the time is now for America to reclaim its past glory as the land of opportunity providing the American dream for our children and grandchildren. Donald trump is the individualist president that can lead this country and we reclaim our great state and we provide a bright future for our children. And I'm looking forward to that debate moving forward.
BURNETT: You know, when you look at Donald Trump, right? He has been in this race for more than eight months now. And Congressman, you are a lonely man. You are the first sitting member of Congress, sitting members of Congress to endorse him and you did it just today. Why are you the first? Why are you the lonely man?
COLLINS: Well, I'm also someone that spent three decades in the private sector. I'm an individual that ran with a slogan elected chief executive, not a chief politician. In a two to one Democrat county, a county that was effectively bankrupt in 2007. I was elected in a landslide with 65 percent of the vote. And then went on to do everything I promised. I implemented Lean Six Sigma for the first time in a large municipal government. We took our county from number 62 out of 62 to number one out of 62 in three years. And myself as a political outsider, elect a chief executive, not a chief politician. And so, I can absolutely identify with Donald Trump and his private sector experience.
COLLINS: And I'm very confident that the cabinet he puts together would be the best cabinet ever assembled in the United States.
BURNETT: So, why did it take you so long to come to this conclusion and do you think more of your colleagues will endorse Donald Trump?
COLLINS: Well, let's start with, we need a chief executive, not a chief politics. Of all the candidates standing today, Donald Trump is the chief executive. He has spent 30 plus, 40 years running a very complex enterprise and what comes with that is the ability, you know, to handle all types of issues that will commit our next president. And I will tell you, early on Jeb Bush supporter, chief executive of the state of Florida. Jeb Bush has pulled out as you know. Would have a great president. His campaign never caught fire. But when I look at the folks, the guy that has been signing the front of a paycheck, not the back of a paycheck, is Donald Trump. And as a chief executive with the experience he has and my own background coming out of the private sector, very comfortable endorsing him today. And for those Americans that want a brighter future for their children and grandchildren, it is the Donald Trump train they need to be on.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate --
COLLINS: Erin, happy to be with you.
BURNETT: I appreciate your time tonight. And now I want to go to Congressman King. Congressman King has endorsed Marco Rubio. And Congressman, I know that you do not agree when it comes to Donald Trump. You just heard your fellow Republican congressman from New York. He supports Trump. You heard him. He needs chief executive as president. And that Donald Trump would build the best cabinet ever assembled. And you say?
REP. PETER KING (R), MARCO RUBIO SUPPORTER: Well, I have a great regard for Chris Collins, but on this issue we strongly disagree. Now, I believe Marco Rubio would clearly -- right now, clearly the best candidate to lead the country, lead the party, and to lead the country. To me National Security and Homeland Security are the key issues and no one has more of a knowledge, more experience, or is able to discuss and debate the issues of Homeland Security and National Security than Marco Rubio.
Donald Trump quite frankly when it comes to foreign policy, I really don't see a coherent foreign policy from him and for that matter even a Homeland Security policy. And as for Ted Cruz, I just think that he's damaged goods right now. That he reached his high water mark in South Carolina. He didn't make it. And right now it is a two-man race, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. And to me, Marco Rubio is clearly the better choice.
[19:10:16] BURNETT: So, Congressman King, the Washington Post editorial board late today, calling on your fellow GOP leaders, not calling on you because you have come out strongly against Donald Trump for a quite some time now. But they call specifically on House Speaker Paul Ryan, former President George W. Bush, to come out and speak out against Trump. They write in part, if Mr. Trump is to be stopped, now is the time for leaders of conscious to say they will not and cannot support him and to do what they can to stop him. Congressman, are those leaders failing your party by not speaking out?
KING: Well, I think the leaders should take a stand. And I think the stand should be, this is now a two-man race. And if they don't believe that Donald Trump should be the nominee, then the only way to go is to support Marco Rubio. And that's why I'm supporting him. Marco Rubio is the person to do it. As far as the leaders, I mean, sooner or later, they'll going to have to take a stand. If they wait too long, this race could be over. It's now effectively a two-man race. It's time to get onboard with Marco Rubio.
BURNETT: Are you concerned though Donald Trump, you know, with his biggest margin ever last night in Nevada, right? He got over 40 percent and it seems like sometimes when you have someone like Mitt Romney come out and said, there's a bombshell in his taxes, there's a lot of people who are going to like Trump even more.
KING: You know, Donald Trump, you know, obviously breaks all the rules of politics. And I'm not even going to get into that. The fact is that, as long as it is a three, four, five-man race, Donald Trump has the upper hand. Once this becomes and it is right now a two-man race and once everyone acknowledges that, and gets behind Marco Rubio, then Donald Trump will be a different story. But for now, he can come in as plurality rather than majority candidate.
BURNETT: Well, you talk about Chris Collins. You know, you respect him. You disagree on this issue.
BURNETT: He of course had endorsed Jeb Bush and switched to Donald Trump. And, you know, we've been told, that's not what people are going to do. Anyone who like Jeb Bush is going to vote for Marco Rubio. Chris Collins has proved that that's not going to necessarily be the case. You talk about it being a two-man race, but of course Marco Rubio has not yet won a state. Is it possibly too late?
KING: No, it's never too late. And to me, right now the fact that again Marco Rubio has gone past Ted Cruz -- Ted Cruz, again, his high water mark is going to be South Carolina. He didn't make it there. He's damaged goods. His record on integrity has hurt him badly within the party. And so, again, if we're serious about this. And to me, Marco Rubio is the only one. Does he have to be anti-Donald Trump? It's a two man race. Go for the better man. The better man is clearly Senator Rubio.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Congressman, I appreciate your time.
KING: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And good to talk to you again, sir.
KING: Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, Cruz scores his highest profile endorsement yet, but just don't ask him about his losing streak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I'm curious how many reporters asked Marco Rubio after losing four states in a row. So, when do you drop out when you haven't won a state? (END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, Congressman Jim Clyburn says, Hillary Clinton is right that there is a double standard for her and he makes his case, OUTFRONT.
And a big name and a possible nominee for the Supreme Court. Can Republicans afford to say no or did they just get outfoxed by President Obama?
[19:17:00] BURNETT: New tonight, Ted Cruz shifting his attention to his home state of Texas. The Senator about to speak to supporters ahead of the state's crucial primary on Super Tuesday just days away. And for Cruz, he is counting on a home field advantage to not only break Trump's winning streak but also cut into Trump's growing lead in the delegate race. As you can see, 82 pledged to 17 for Ted Cruz. The big question though is whether Cruz can deliver Texas.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is now make or break for Ted Cruz.
CRUZ: Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota.
SERFATY: Super Tuesday with super-sized stakes for his campaign and a major test. Can he win his own home state of Texas?
CRUZ: Super Tuesday I believe will be the single most important day of this entire presidential election.
SERFATY: Today, Cruz ruling out a key endorsement in that strategy. Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: The state of Texas has an opportunity to play a Texas-sized role in this primary.
SERFATY: But Cruz is now facing a flood of new questions and today was defensive about his path forward.
CRUZ: I'm curious how many reporters asked Marco Rubio after losing four states in a row, so when do you drop out when you haven't won a state. To win, you've got to win states. You've got to win delegates.
SERFATY: Beneath the surface, there are some warning signs for the campaign. The wind hasn't been at Cruz's back since his Iowa win last month. After spending a lot of time and effort in Nevada, he only placed third last night. After third place finishes in South Carolina and New Hampshire and there have also been stumbles, a staff shakeup. Cruz firing his communications director for distributing a false video about Marco Rubio -- CRUZ: This was a grave error of judgements.
SERFATY: And a growing awareness that the label liar --
TRUMP: This guy Ted Cruz is the single biggest liar I have ever dealt with in my life.
SERFATY: -- could be starting to not only stick but have impact. In Nevada, Republican voters who made up their mind in the last week went for Rubio over Cruz by a two to one margin. His core base of support showing some cracks. Trump beating him among evangelicals in South Carolina. On the ground in his home state of Texas today --
CRUZ: Come and take it.
SERFATY: Cruz reciting classic Texas fighting words.
CRUZ: The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot.
SERFATY: Readying for his next war.
CRUZ: I shall never surrender or retreat.
SERFATY: And Cruz does have a big advantage in his financial strength. The Cruz campaign says that makes him fully equipped for a potentially long battle ahead, especially if the nominating process, Erin, continues on for a few months.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Sunlen.
And OUTFRONT now, Hogan Gidley, the former senior adviser to Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign in 2016. And CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson. Good to have both of you with us.
Ben, let me start with you down in Texas.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be here.
BURNETT: Cruz predicting victory.
BURNETT: Can he deliver?
FERGUSON: Yes, I think he can. And I think he had a huge endorsement today that means an awful lot in this state. The Governor is loved here. He is a super star. In many ways that the endorsement that Rubio received in South Carolina. The difference is, between Nikki Haley in this one is, Ted Cruz is up in the polls in Texas and Rubio was not in South Carolina. So, I think this will continue to help him have that lead. Ted Cruz is loved in this state a lot like Donald Trump is being loved at his rallies. When Ted Cruz goes out, people come around him. He is a rock star in this state. So, I think this will help him tremendously to win this state. He needs to win. He has to win this state. There's no doubt about that.
BURNETT: Hogan, you don't buy it.
HOGAN GIDLEY, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, 2016 MIKE HUCKABEE CAMPAIGN: No, I do. I mean, look, I think Ted Cruz has to win the state of Texas. Governor Abbott obviously is a very big endorsement for him. Here's the problem. He's not as well liked as in his own home state as Marco Rubio. He is ahead of Donald Trump there. It's a statistical dead heat. Independent journal poll came out today. Had them virtually tied in the state. That spells bad news for him. Here's another thing.
Ted Cruz ruffled a lot of feathers when he decided to run for Senate in Texas. Made a lot of people angry and now he has a record. He's been in office now for several years. He's done nothing for the state of Texas. And I don't know that it's going to push him over the top to win the state. Ben is right. He is going -- probably going to win the state, but Donald Trump is going to make a big push there and has a chance to upset him. And if he upsets him there, Ted Cruz is absolutely finished.
BURNETT: Ben, you know, we've also -- go ahead, Ben.
FERGUSON: You know, Ted Cruz is the outsider in Texas that Donald Trump is claiming to be nationwide. When he ran here, he ran against the establishment and won. He ran a campaign where he did not have endorsements. So, he still has that around him here. And for this idea that somehow he's not liked here, he hasn't done anything here, the people of Texas feel like he's done an awful lot for them. That's the reason why his rallies have a lot of people around him. He also has a very good ground game here. All across the state he has got a ground game here. And you can see even more volunteers showing up as this race has gotten tighter because they want to make sure that he, the Senator from the state wins this state.
GIDLEY: But he ought to. He's from Texas. If he doesn't, then it spells doom for him for sure.
[19:22:23] BURNETT: All right. So, Hogan, you know, Ted Cruz going into Texas with a lot of attacks on his character from Marco Rubio and from Donald Trump --
GIDLEY: And Ben Carson.
BURNETT: And from Ben Carson. So, everyone is jumping on top of this. Here's a little taste.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This guy Ted Cruz is the single biggest liar I have ever dealt with in my life. I mean it. I've never seen -- he will lie about anything.
RUBIO: He's been lying because if you say something that isn't true and you say it over and over again, and you know that it's not true, there's no other word for it. TRUMP: Ted Cruz, this is the biggest liar I've ever seen.
But this guy Cruz lies more than any human being I've ever dealt with. Unbelievable. And he holds up the Bible and then he lies. And then he holds up the Bible again and then he lies.
RUBIO: This is a disturbing patter now, because for a number of weeks now, Ted Cruz has just been telling lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is Cruz's character as bad as they're making it out to be, Hogan?
GIDLEY: Well, it's not good. You know, I think we have a pattern developing here with Senator Cruz and it's been a problem from the get-go. Look, how many times in Washington do you look at someone and say they're being loose with the facts or they're being a little bit dishonest about my record? This is one of those times actually where Donald Trump looked at some on the debate stage in a presidential level and said, you are a liar. He called them a liar and obviously it shows it worked and polling showed it worked because all the other candidates began saying the exact same thing. Everyone from Ben Carson to a lot of Rubio's surrogates including Representative Trey Gowdy who is extremely popular in a Tea Party movement and he called him a liar and it's starting to stick. You see it now as he continues to trickle down in the polls and not up.
FERGUSON: Look, here's the thing there. Just because you call someone a liar doesn't mean it is true. I mean, you're also talking about a candidate that says that Marco Rubio is not an American citizen and Ted Cruz is not an America citizen and they can't run for the White House. So, if you want to talk about lying, one, it's just a slam, it is a total slam. And it's a smart one if you don't care about morals or ethics in politics. And Donald Trump has made it clear, he will say anything to win this election. It doesn't mean though that somehow Rubio is not eligible for the White House. It doesn't mean that Ted Cruz is a liar because you call him that. And people in this state and a lot of evangelicals do believe that Ted Cruz is a liar.
GIDLEY: Here's the difference though, when you parade yourself around as the paragon of Christian virtue and your campaign slogan is in essence, am as good as Ronald Reagan but a little bit better than Jesus Christ. You better be pretty airtight on several things and Ted Cruz is not. He's been caught lying multiple times now. And now it's -- the narrative, it's a reputation. And that's what hurts him moving through -- Ben, he was up seven points over Marco Rubio, seven points. He was up seven points over Marco Rubio with five days to go in South Carolina and he lost to him. That's unbelievable. That's a colossal collapse for Ted Cruz.
FERGUSON: I wish you had the same -- I wish you had the same venom for Donald Trump's lies as you do for implying that you don't like Ted Cruz. I understand you don't like Ted Cruz. That's fine, but let's not have a double standard here. He's not walking around acting as if somehow he's Jesus as you're trying to imply. Yes, he is an evangelical conservative Christian, Tea Party candidate who went to Washington and did what he said what he was going to do. He's still an outsider. He didn't go to Washington and play the game, OK? Like Marco Rubio did.
GIDLEY: What did he do?
FERGUSON: Let's be also clear about that.
GIDLEY: What did he do?
FERGUSON: Well, he went there and said, I'm going to fight for this I'm -- about to tell you. When he went there, he made it very clear. I am going to go and stand up for Tea Party conservative values. They were not popular in the Senate. So, what did he do? He ended up standing up for his values instead of making bad deals like the Gang of Eight deal that Marco Rubio did.
FERGUSON: He's never flip-flopped on partial birth abortion like Donald Trump has done. Why don't you use that same logic towards Trump and Rubio that you're doing towards Ted Cruz? It's a double standard.
GIDLEY: Look, for all of his provado (ph), we still fund ObamaCare, we still fund Planned Parenthood. We still have Syrian refugee relocation.
FERGUSON: He didn't fund ObamaCare and he tried to stop ObamaCare.
GIDLEY: But he's in the Senate and he said he would stop it.
FERGUSON: He even got criticized.
GIDLEY: He said he would stop it and he didn't.
FERGUSON: Hogan, he got criticized --
GIDLEY: He is talking about things he would do.
He's got zero to show for it.
FERGUSON: Hogan, you're taking it -- Hogan, as a senator he said if you sent me to Washington, I will go and fight to repeal ObamaCare. That's what he did as a senator. As a senator, you know this.
GIDLEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. He does fight.
FERGUSON: You can only fight for it. He didn't say he was going to go up there and be the President. He says, he was going to be a senator and fight against it.
GIDLEY: Right. FERGUSON: That's a man that has character and stood to his ground and his word.
BURNETT: Final word, Hogan.
FERGUSON: More than Rubio did.
GIDLEY: But that's -- you built coalitions -- you built coalitions to get things accomplished. Look, I can sit in the ring with Mike Tyson every night and call myself a fighter but I get knocked out, sooner or later I'm going to have to win something in order to get elected and he's not won a thing.
BURNETT: All right. I will hit pause there.
FERGUSON: Hogan, if you build a coalition --
BURNETT: Gentlemen, thank you both. Thank you both. Ben, I'll be down in Texas with you tomorrow. Hogan, talking to you soon. Thanks to both.
And OUTFRONT next, Congressman Jim Clyburn on why Republicans are vowing to block the President's Supreme Court nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:27:12] REP. JIM CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, you know, when they're saying anything about race, it's usually about race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, the victory speech heard around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:31:24] BURNETT: Tonight, a major endorsement for Hillary Clinton. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid now officially in Clinton's corner. The Democratic leader urging his colleagues to get behind her and not Bernie Sanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: All you have to look at what happened after 9/11. She did do a good job. She fought for New York like I've never seen anyone fight for anything. I also think that she is the woman to be the first president of the United States that's a female.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: This comes just three days before another big contest in South Carolina. And as you can see in the screen, the stakes simply can't be higher. One pledged delegate is all that's between Clinton and Sanders tonight.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three days before the South Carolina primary, Hillary Clinton is not letting her foot off the gas.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can't get there without your help.
ZELENY: She's keeping her eyes squarely on South Carolina and Sanders, despite her commanding lead here.
CLINTON: Look, I believe every election and caucus has to be taken seriously. I'm taking no vote, no place for granted.
ZELENY: Facing an uphill battle in the first southern primary, Sanders headed west for Missouri and Oklahoma, Super Tuesday contests that could offer friendlier terrain.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to win some states. We're going to lose some states. We're going to have good days. We're going to have bad days.
ZELENY: The fight for delegates is just getting started. Clinton and Sanders are gearing up for a long road to the nomination. But Clinton is wracking up advantages, including an endorsement today from Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
He told CNN's Manu Raju it's time for the party to get behind Clinton.
REID: I think the middle class would be better served by Hillary.
ZELENY: Wall Street is essential issue in the race. And Sanders made clear at CNN's presidential town hall he has no intention of giving Clinton a pass on paid speeches she's made to big banks like Goldman Sachs.
SANDERS: I am very happy to release all of my paid speeches to Wall Street. Here it is, Chris. There ain't none.
ZELENY: Asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo if she'll turn over those speech transcripts, Clinton said yes, but only if her Republican rivals will do the same.
CLINTON: Why is there one standard for me and not for everyone else, Chris? I mean --
ZELENY: Sanders had the last word, sending out a tweet saying, "Hillary Clinton believes Republicans should set the standard for disclosures of her Wall Street speeches. Aren't we better than that?"
A majority of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina is black.
CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you.
ZELENY: And both Sanders and Clinton spoke directly to the concerns of African-American voters. Sanders said the Republican criticism and obstruction facing President Obama is at least partially rooted in racism.
SANDERS: And this is on top of this birther issue which we heard from Donald Trump and others, a racist effort to try to delegitimize the president of the United States. Guess what? Nobody has asked for my birth certificate. Maybe it's the color of my skin. I don't know.
ZELENY (on camera): Now, Bernie Sanders making clear that he is fully supportive and loyal to this president. Erin, President Obama, of course, is not on the ballot here in South Carolina, but he is a central figure in this race.
Hillary Clinton wrapping up a rally right now, tying herself so closely to this president. It's all key to getting out the black vote on Saturday. More than half of the Democratic electorate here is African-American -- Erin.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT now, Democratic congressman from South Carolina, Jim Clyburn. He has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with me tonight.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thanks for having me.
Hillary Clinton said at our town hall last night that she is held to a different standard than everyone else. You know, she said this throughout the campaign. She even said it last time she ran for president.
[19:35:01] Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We are still living with a double standard, and I know it. Every woman I know knows it.
I understand that there has been throughout this campaign something of a double standard. I accept it. I live with it.
REPORTER: What is the double standard?
CLINTON: Well, I think that, you know, it's pretty obvious to anybody who has followed it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Congressman, do you believe there's a double standard for Hillary Clinton?
CLYBURN: Oh, absolutely, for all women.
And my dad, when I was growing up and still a little bit, I was always told, you're going to have to be twice as good and that's because of the double standard. We know that.
The fact of the matter is President Obama has been held to a double standard. That's what's going on with the Supreme Court. This stuff is unprecedented. This treatment (AUDIO GAP)
I think we're going through that. He worked through it and she'll work through it. She's a real fighter.
BURNETT: Now, I want to play -- you mentioned the Supreme Court. Bernie Sanders talked about this at the town hall, specifically about the issue you referred to. Republicans vowing to block President Obama's Supreme Court pick and here's exactly what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: And this is on top of this birther issue, which we heard from Donald Trump and others -- a racist effort to try to delegitimize the president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, when it comes to the reason that they're trying to block a potential nominee, Congressman, do you think Republicans who refuse to consider a nominee of President Obama's are doing it because President Obama is black?
CLYBURN: I think they're doing it because they have failed to recognize and accept the legitimacy of his presidency, and I believe that. That's what the birther thing is all about (AUDIO GAP) you've been hearing from people has been all about.
Trump has made it his business. In fact, the only reason Trump is leading in the polls today, winning all these political contests, is because he is the father of the birther movement in this country.
BURNETT: So, do you specifically think though that it's about race? I mean, some on the GOP who are blocking the nomination say it's about the fact that they want a conservative nominee and they want to wait for that. And are you saying no, that that's not the case, that whatever they're saying, it really is about his race?
CLYBURN: Well, you know, when they're saying it ain't about race, it's usually about race. And so, that's all I'll say to that.
I will say this: we know that that is a situation in this country. Why don't we just admit that's a problem that we have? We've had that problem ever since we've been a country. Let's see what we can do to work through that problem. Not keep trying to ignore or pretend it's not there.
It's there. We know it's there. Let's accept that and let's see what we can do to work through it. If not, let's work around it.
BURNETT: Congressman, your endorsement is very significant for Hillary Clinton, very significant in the state of South Carolina and for many across the country. In 2008, you stayed neutral. Bill Clinton believed you were to blame for his wife losing South Carolina in the race. And you told the story about how he called you at 2:00 a.m. back in 2008 and said, "If you bastards want a fight, you're damn well going to get one."
Do you consider that comment at all before you decided to endorse Hillary Clinton this time?
CLYBURN: No, people tend to forget, that also in my book, I talk about a second telephone that came from Bill Clinton about two weeks later. In that telephone call, he apologized, I accepted his apology and I've been through with it ever since.
I said at the time when I asked, will you tell us what he said? I says, no, I'm not going to tell you, but I'm going to write about it sometime in the future and you can read it. So, when I did my book, I wrote about it and that's it.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman Clyburn, thank you so much for coming OUTFRONT with me.
CLYBURN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, a new name floated for the Supreme Court. Why even Republicans are saying it is a struck of genius.
Plus, disturbing news tonight about the Uber driver charged with killing six people at random. Investigators take us into the mind of the confessed killer.
[19:43:33] BURNETT: A major development tonight in President Obama's search for Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement. Sources close to the vetting process tells CNN that Brian Sandoval, the Republican governor of Nevada, is under consideration.
This puts Senate Republicans in a pretty tough spot, yes, right, I mean, because they said take a hike, Obama. We're not going to take a look at anyone you want. Well, wait a minute, but then he puts out a Republican. It gets very confusing.
Manu Raju has been breaking all of this story for us and the back and forth here.
Manu, is pretty amazing. I mean, you know, this is a popular governor, Hispanic governor, Republican governor, possible vice presidential candidate for Republicans they were talking about. And this -- what's going on?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: Hey, Erin. Governor Sandoval and his office are saying that he has not been in contact with the Obama administration on a possible nomination.
But here's what we do know. Sandoval met with Senate Democratic leader and fellow Nevadan, Harry Reid, on Monday. A source familiar with that meeting said Sandoval was open to being vetted. Reid has discussed the possible nomination with the White House and a source tells us he is being considered among other prospective nominees.
Now, earlier today, I had a chance to talk to Reid and he made abundantly clear he'd be eager to back Sandoval to the post.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I don't pick the justices, but I know if he were picked, I would support the man. He's a good person.
[19:45:00] He has a great record and he's been a tremendously good governor in spite of having to deal with some very big problems there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Now, we don't know, Erin, if this is just a trial balloon Reid is floating in order to put Republicans in a jam over their opposition to any nominee whatsoever. I spent today talking to a lot of Republican senators who said that they still would not consider any nominee even if it were a Republican.
And we also don't know if the White House is taking Sandoval who is a former federal judge, very seriously. But we do know he is under consideration. Now, selecting a moderate Republican nominee may put GOP senators in a jam, but it may not energize the liberal base ahead of November's elections -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much.
It certainly makes it hard for Republicans to say it's about where they stand on things, though if he's a Republican.
OUTFRONT now, our legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
All right. You know, two-term governor, popular swing state, Hispanic. District court appointee of George W. Bush. If President Obama were to pick him, that would be possibly brilliant.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It would be possibly brilliant. And, A, it's not going to happen. And, B, if it did happen, the Republicans would oppose him anyway.
BURNETT: But doesn't that call them out? That this really isn't about trying to find the right person, that this is about, who know? You heard Jim Clyburn say it's about race.
TOOBIN: I don't know if it says it's about race, but I think Mitch McConnell has been basically straightforward about this. We want the next president to pick this person. That we're having a presidential election. We want to have the next president make this selection.
And it doesn't matter who President Obama picks. He's not going to have a hearing. We're not going to meet with him.
Yes, that will be a political problem for some Republicans, but this seat is too important to Senate Republicans. They're not worried about the embarrassment.
BURNETT: And, of course, even though he is a Republican, as I pointed out, he is a pro-choice. He has said same-sex marriage is a settled issue.
TOOBIN: That's right. But he also has said Obamacare was unconstitutional. He said that at first. So, he would be deeply irritating to the Democratic base if the Democrats -- if Barack Obama nominated him.
So, he's a very clever name to float, because it suggests the president is looking in a bipartisan way, he's looking at reasonable candidates.
TOOBIN: He's not rejecting anyone, he's not shutting the door the way the Senate Republicans are about this nomination.
But is he actually going to be nominated? I find that virtually inconceivable.
BURNETT: Pretty fascinating day, though.
TOOBIN: There is more coming. He's not the last name you're going to hear.
BURNETT: All right. Jeffrey Toobin -- thank you.
And OUTFRONT next, inside the mind of the Uber driver charged with killing six people. New details tonight about what the confessed killer is saying now behind closed doors.
Plus, Jeanne Moos on this memorable line from Donald Trump's victory speech last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:51:37] BURNETT: Breaking news: federal agents telling CNN tonight they've removed 15 guns from the house belonging to the Uber driver who has confessed to killing six people at random. We're also learning new details tonight about the mind-set of Jason Dalton. For the first time, a police official revealing what exactly is taking place during their interrogations.
Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): Meek and mild mannered, at times even polite. That's how Kalamazoo's Department of Public Safety chief describes Jason Dalton, the man accused of killing six people and critically wounding two others in a shooting rampage that lasted seven hours.
The chief says Dalton has been completely unaffected while in custody, leading investigators to believe the 45-year-old Uber driver and father two of with no criminal record just snapped.
Sergeant Jim Harrison was the arresting officer. He's received praise for his efforts but Harrison tempered the praise to focus on the victims' family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hope they can just find the peace to know, you know, we've found the suspect and stopped him before he could hurt anybody else.
JONATHAN SOUTHWICK, GUN STORE OWNER: He was a law-abiding citizen up until the time he pulled the trigger on his first victim.
VALENCIA: Gun store owner Jonathan Southwick knew Dalton. He was a regular at the store that he gave the manager a one-armed hug when he walked in Saturday afternoon. These surveillance images given to CNN show Dalton just three hours before the shooting spree began, buying a jacket designed to hide and carry a handgun.
SOUTHWICK: Just some people that will never give you an indication that they are about to do something horrible.
VALENCIA (on camera): Police say by all accounts, Dalton was a normal guy. He even showed interest in police work. He attended community college at Kalamazoo Valley and in 1992, graduated with an associate degree in law enforcement.
(voice-over): There's no record of him having worked as a cop but we know from his neighbors he liked guns and often fired them outside his rural home. According to police, the 9 millimeter handgun he allegedly used in the attack was purchased and registered legally. However, Dalton did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
VALENCIA: Dalton has no history of mental health issues and according to the police chief here, he wasn't on any medications either. Investigators still have not been able to pin down a motive. Meanwhile, two of his victims remain in the hospital. One of them is a 14-year-old girl who remains in critical condition -- Erin.
BURNETT: Fighting for her life.
Nick, thank you very much.
And next, Jeanne Moos shifts gears to Donald Trump's many loves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D. TRUMP: I love the Muslims.
Latinos love Trump, and I love them.
I love the poorly educated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:57:54] BURNETT: Donald Trump has an uncanny ability to love people of all stripes. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is a man in love with love. And we're not just talking about his wife Melania.
D. TRUMP: I love my kids. I love the bible. I love our police. The Beatles I love. And do w love our vets? I love the evangelicals.
MOOS: But the Donald's latest love left some dumbfounded.
D. TRUMP: We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.
MOOS: Instantly, #ilovethepoorlyeducated started to trend. It ended up on merchandise. It was mocked on Twitter. Make America dumb again.
But Donald seems smitten with various demographics.
D. TRUMP: We won with women. I love the women.
MOOS: But why stop at love?
D. TRUMP: I cherish women.
MOOS: Of course there is geographical love.
D. TRUMP: We love Nevada! I love Iowa. I love Las Vegas. I love the country.
MOOS: And there is passive aggressive love.
D. TRUMP: I love protesters. I love "The New York Times." It's great.
MOOS: But the kind of love that tends to worry the recipient is often followed by a but --
D. TRUMP: I love the Mexican people.
I love the Muslims. I think they're great people.
I love China.
MOOS: But --
D. TRUMP: They are ripping use.
MOOS: There is one sure way to win Trump's affection.
D. TRUMP: So Kanye West, I love him because he loves Trump.
MOOS: Even when the Donald expresses his devotion to a cookie.
D. TRUMP: I love Oreos.
MOOS: And in the next breath, he bites back.
D. TRUMP: I'll never eat them again.
MOOS: He's boycotting Nabisco because it shipped some jobs to Mexico.
Trump's never-ending supply of love is apparently contagious.
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: We love you.
D. TRUMP: I love you folks very much.
We love you.
MOOS: To the Donald, love is blind.
D. TRUMP: I don't know who the hell is in this room, but whoever it is, I love you. I love you.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos --
D. TRUMP: I love you.
MOOS: -- CNN --
D. TRUMP: Everybody loves me.
MOOS: -- New York.
D. TRUMP: Everybody loves me.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much for joining us. We'll see you tomorrow night in Houston, the site of CNN's Republican presidential debate.
"AC360" starts now.