and the heat is on in miami this time. it will be followed by the republicans who do the same thing on thursday. it is all right here on cnn. busy week for all of us, and that is the stage you need to stay tuned to. just minutes from donald trump speaking live at the campaign rally in portland. i'm going to turn things over to wolf blitzer now. he'll walk you through all of that and more. thanks for watching, everybody. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. thanks very much for joining us. we begin with breaking political news here in the united states. this hour, donald trump takes to the stage and will respond to mitt romney, who has just unleashed a no holds barred offensive against the presidential front runner. can romney stop the trump juggernaut, or is it too little too late? in a speech a while ago, romney
slammed trump, calling him a phony, calling him a fraud. he went through a point by point argument against the possibility of a trump presidency. >> even though donald trump is offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for american workers and for american families. but you say, wait, wait, wait. isn't he a huge business success? doesn't he know what he's talking about? no, he isn't. and no, he doesn't. look, his bankruptcies have crushed small businesses. and the men and women who worked for them. he inherited his business. he didn't create it. and whatever happened to trump airlines? how about trump university? and then there's trump magazine. and trump vodka.
and trump steaks. and trump mortgage. a business genius, he is not. now let me turn to national security. and the safety of our homes and loved ones. mr. trump's bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling the enemity of our enemies, insulting all muslims, keeping many of them from fully engaging with us in their urgent fight against isis. and for what purpose? muslim terrorists would only have to lie about their religion to enter the country. and then what he said about -- and "60 minutes." did you hear this? it was about syria and isis, and it has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the entire campaign season. let isis take out assad, he said. and then we can pick up the remnants. now think about that. let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over an entire
country? this recklessness is recklessness in the extreme. now donald trump tells us he is very, very smart. i'm afraid that when it comes to foreign policy, he is very, very not smart. think of donald trump's personal qualities. the bullying. the greed. the showing off. the misogyny. the absurd third grade theater tricks. we have long referred to him as the donald. he is the only person to whom we have added an article before his name. and it wasn't because he had attributes we admired. now imagine your children and grandchildren acting the way he does. would you welcome that? here's what i know. donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university.
he's playing the members of the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house, and all we get is a lousy hat. his domestic policies would lead to recession. his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. he has neither the temperament nor judgment to be president. and his personal qualities would mean that america would cease to be a shining city on a hill. i'm convinced america has greatness ahead. and this is a time for choosing. god bless us to choose a nominee who will make that vision a reality. >> mitt romney, as you just heard, did not pull any punches in his blunt criticism of donald trump. we're going to hear from donald trump in a little while. he's got a rally.
you're looking at live pictures coming up, later this hour. romney said, quote, watch how he responds to my speech today. well, we're going to be hearing the response from donald trump momentarily. it's set to get under way just a little while in portland, maine. but joining us now on the phone is trump campaign national spokesperson, katrina pearson. katrina, thanks very much for joining us. give us your immediate reaction to the blistering attack we just heard from mitt romney. >> well, hi, wolf. it's good to talk to you. i've got to tell you. i wasn't sure if i was listening to a republican or someone giving a speech at the dnc. never would i have ever imagined republicans attacking capitalism, or saying "you didn't build that" or pushing for social justice. i really find this to be an astounding moment in the republican party. but it is quite obvious, wolf, that those talking points were handed to him by his wall street buddies and donors, because
they're obviously still detached from the american public. millions of people are turning out for donald trump, because they do believe that donald trump does have a plan, and a vision for america. that does not include the padding the pockets of wall street bankers and the republicans that keep him in power. >> there -- is it your suspicion that there is some sort of coordinated effort under way right now, mitt romney being the front person, if you will, but that the republican party establishment figures are behind him, encouraging him to do whatever is possible to prevent donald trump from capturing the republican presidential nomination? >> absolutely. they have all got together and tried to come up with a plan, a failed plan, might i add, to stop donald trump from winning the delegates necessary to win. and all these republicans coming out behind mitt romney and pushing mitt romney to say these things about donald trump, or even, you know -- we're not immune to the republicans calling their own base names.
mitt romney just called republican voters suckers, for crying out loud. you have never heard -- you have followed this for a very long time on both sides, wolf. you have never heard republicans go after democrats in the fashion that they have gone after their own people. and then they wonder why people want them gone. they have fundamentally rejected the gop establishment and the way that they have decided to govern. because you simply cannot go around talking about cutting food stamps and in the next voice give hundreds of millions of dollars to billion-dollar corporations and say that's a republican value, because it isn't. we are going to fight for mr. trump. we're going to get mr. trump the nomination and he's going to win the presidency and get america back on track. >> we just heard mitt romney say, and i'll quote him directly. he said, watch how -- referring to donald trump -- responds to my speech today. we're standing by to get that response. you're looking at live pictures from that trump rally about to get under way in portland,
maine. and then romney said this. will he talk about our policy differences or will he attack me with every imaginable low-road insult? this may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability and his suitability to be president. katrina, what do you think? how is donald trump going to respond to mitt romney in a few minutes? >> well, i think we're all about to find out. but i will say, with regard to what we're going to see about donald trump, donald trump won more votes in the state where he was governor than mitt romney did. so the people already know who donald trump is. and this is another thing that they keep -- that they are just not understanding. for decades, mr. trump has been the public eye. people know mr. trump. you can't convince people that mr. trump is something other than he is. they know that he is bold. they know that he's brass. they know he's politically incorrect and they appreciate that about him. as for how mr. trump is going to respond, we're all about to find
out together. >> the three other remaining presidential candidates on the republican side, dr. ben carson apparently suspending or getting ready to suspend his campaign. he's not going to be participating in the debate later tonight. they're all basically endorsing what mitt romney just said. that could be a lively moment later tonight. you've got three republican candidates who are probably going to really go after donald trump. >> well, three republican candidates that are losing to donald trump, so i would totally suspect they would all try to band together to stop the guy that is essentially winning. no one anticipated that mr. trump would be able to win over evangelicals or even turn out reagan democrats. mr. trump is the only candidate on the republican side that has built a coalition, the kind of coalition that we have been told for years that we needed to win. and what we see now are the republicans that are lost the last two election cycles, who have told us time and time again, john mccain can win.
mitt romney can win. and they lost. and all these same suits and geniuses now are trying to tell us who can't win. i'm going to side with the people because we know what's best for the country. >> katrina pearson, national spokesperson for the donald trump campaign. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> we're standing by to hear from donald trump. we'll get his reaction to what mitt romney just said. but in the meantime, as we await donald trump, let's bring in the chief strategist, communications director for the republican national committee, sean spicer. sean, thanks very much for joining us. let's get your reaction to what mitt romney just said. he called donald trump a phony, a fraud, who is playing the american people for suckers. what's the reaction? >> well, i think there are two fundamental rights at stake right now. in our country and our party. number one, everyone has got the right to the first amendment to say what they want, to go out for the candidate they believe, talk about who they would vote for or who they're against. the second is at the end of the
day, everyone has the right to vote. the people in our party are going to go out and have their voices heard. whomever the voters and activists choose as our nominee will get behind and support. up until that time, everyone has got the right to go out and express support or opposition to the candidates that they either are for or against. >> did mitt romney reach out to the rnc, the republican national committee, in advance of his speech today? >> no. >> no communications between him and reince priebus, the chairman, for example, or other republican party leaders? >> all i can do is speak on behalf of the rnc. and no, governor romney nor any other individuals -- nor did win associated reach out and share with us what he was going to say or what his plan was. >> let me reread to you something that trump tweeted last night and i'll put it up on the screen. quote, because of me, the republican party has taken in millions of new voters, a record. if they are not careful, they will all leave.
sad, exclamation point. and here are some numbers we put together based on the nearly 15 or so primaries and caucuses so far. trump. these aren't poll numbers. these are actual republicans who have participated in these elections. trump has 3,341,849. everybody else is below. cruz, 2,700,000. kasich, 644,000. but three -- almost 3.5 million have participated, republican primaries and caucuses, and they say they want donald trump to be the republican nominee. that's a pretty impressive number, isn't it? >> sure. absolutely. and like i said earlier, i think if any individual gets to 1,237 delegates necessary, then they'll be our nominee. we have had 625 delegates awarded so far in this process that has roughly 2,500 delegates total. so we're about 25% of the process through. there is a ways to go.
right now he's got 100 delegate lead. if, you know, you look at where he is now, he's about where mitt romney was in terms of the delegate lead. at this point in the cycle, it will take any candidate -- if any candidate ran the entire table between now and going forward, they would probably take until mid may, early -- excuse me, mid april, early may to clinch the nomination. so, you know, i think part of this is to keep the racing context of where we are delegate wise and what it will take to clinch the nomination. >> as you know, sean -- >> one other point that's really interesting. >> go ahead. >> i would just say, the interesting bigger point i would make, if you look at where we are as a party and where the democrats are, our turnout in almost every single state minus one, the first four and the 15 that voted the other night, we are at historic highs. the democrats are at lows compared to where they were 2008. the enthusiasm, whether you're for donald trump, marco rubio, you know, ted cruz, john kasich or ben carson at that point is
much higher than it is for their side. i think we have the enthusiasm and intensity on the republican side. >> and donald trump takes credit for that record turnout of republicans showing up. does he deserve some of that credit? >> sure. >> all right, sean. sean spicer, joining us of the rnc communications director. he's getting ready for that debate, as well. thanks very much. >> you bet, wolf. see you in miami. >> thank you. the new jersey governor, chris christie, is taking questions right now during a news conference in trenton, new jersey. questions about donald trump. let's listen in. >> you don't sit on the sidelines, but you actually get involved in the game. now let me be really clear. i am not a full time surrogate for donald trump. i don't have a title or a position in the trump campaign. i am an endorser of trump. and after i made that decision with mary pat last thursday to endorse him, i went out on the road on friday and saturday with him. to announce and reinforce that endorsement.
and then i went out on super tuesday with him to emphasize that endorsement. i got back to the state yesterday. i'm going to be in the state for the rest of the week and through the weekend. i have no current plans to go back out on the road with him again. but i will at some point, i'm sure, do so. the only plans i have to go away is to finally take a few days off. and march 8th, next tuesday, is my 30th wedding anniversary. it might be a good moment for me to take my wife away and remind her why she might want to stay with me for a few more years after having put in 30 already. so mary pat and i will be going away on tuesday for a couple of days to relax and then i'll be back in the state after that. so, listen, everybody. we have a lot of work to do. and i'm engaged in all of the things we talked about. making sure a great budget gets passed and gets passed by the constitutional deadline on june 30th. making sure we fight against this constitutional amendment that i believe will voice a $3 billion tax increase.
>> chris christie, now going back to new jersey. he is the sitting governor of new jersey right now. but you heard him defending his strong endorsement of donald trump, which has caused a lot of controversy. not only in new jersey, but around the country. we'll stay on top of this story for our viewers. as we go to break, i want to take another look. this is the trump rally set to begin in portland, maine, momentarily. the republican presidential front runner is expected to have a lot to say about what mitt romney just said about him. stand by. you're going to hear donald trump live this hour. also, i'll speak live with jane sanders, the wife of the democratic presidential candidate, bernie sanders. has been a constant presence out there on the campaign trail. there she is, she is standing by live. we've got lots to discuss about the democratic race for the white house when we come back. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing.
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now. "i share the concerns about donald trump that my friend and former republican nominee, mitt romney, described in his speech today. i want republican voters to pay close attention to what our parties' most respected and knowledgeable leaders and national security experts are saying about mr. trump and to think long and hard about who they want to be our next commander in chief and leader of the free world." that statement from senator john mccain. our correspondent, boris sanchez, is in portland, maine, right now, getting ready to hear, like all of us, the response from donald trump. what's it like in that room, boris, where you are right now? >> reporter: wolf, seeming liang an air of irritability, waiting to hear from donald trump. we are expecting to hear his greatest hits, building a wall along the border with mexico and expecting him to go after his rivals, ted cruz, and marco rubio, especially. and we may also see a bit of a
pivot here, his success on super tuesday, focusing on the general election. and we're expecting to hear a response to mitt romney's direct attacks on donald trump. this is a man that just a few years ago trump called a warm, smart, tough cookie, just what america needs. you can expect that today after romney's comments, that will not be the tone that donald trump takes toward mitt romney. so we're just expecting him to come out here in just a few minutes. we'll hear from him soon, wolf. >> no doubt that donald trump's attitude all this time is if you hit him, he's going to hit right back at you. and i suspect he's going to go right back at mitt romney momentarily. we'll have live coverage. thanks very much, boris, for that. stand by. on the democratic side, bernie and jane sanders, have been married, as all of our viewers know, for nearly 30 years. jane sanders is joining us right now, the wife of senator bernie sanders, the presidential
candidate. thanks for joining us. all these days are exciting on the republican side, democratic side. but talk to us a little bit about your reaction, this extraordinary attack by mitt romney, the republican presidential nominee of four years ago, against donald trump. you listened to it. you watched it. what did you think? >> well, it was devastating. i think mitt romney achieved his goal in terms of bringing up all the issues that concern a number of the people that listen to him. and i just listened to what john mccain had to say. on the other hand, that is the establishment integrity the people not to support a candidate. so that's a question. i mean, we're fighting that on the democratic side, the establishment has been on our opponents' side for quite some time. but on super tuesday, bernie won four states and came close and won. and he throughout every one of
them, except for keith ellison in minnesota, the establishment, all the elected officials were on our opponents' side. so, you know, there is two sides to every coin. >> i know that you probably -- when you're talking to senator sanders, you probably mull over the possibility, if senator sanders, your husband, were to get the democratic presidential nomination, who would he rather face on the republican side, for all practical purposes? there are four republican candidates still standing. >> well, i think he could face any of them. if you look at the polls, he's doing better than secretary clinton against all of them. by quite a margin against donald trump. now, donald trump would be the most fun, because the contrast is so clear. he is dividing people. he's dividing them up by race, by gender, by whether you're born in this country or born outside this country. whether you're latino or -- ethnicity. and bernie's whole campaign is about bringing people together,
to make everybody realize we're all in this together. that we really need to work together to take back our government, to deal with the issues facing the american middle class. >> what do you say to those democrats -- >> so it would be fun. >> it would be fun for bernie sanders and donald trump, i can only imagine a debate along those lines if that were to happen. in order for that to happen, you've got to win the democratic nomination. you hear all of the democratic straekts, the pundits suggesting it may be too late for your husband to win the nomination, that hillary clinton is doing much better and delegate -- super delegates. what do you say to them? >> well, the democratic strategists that are on tv obvious have worked for the clinton campaign, the clinton family, over the last 12 years. so we take everything they say with a grain of salt. our strategists don't say that. what i say is that the more people get to know bernie, the more they like him. that's an enviable position to be in. so each time -- his trend line
has gone from 4% at the beginning, as you know, wolf, to in the 40s and in some of the polls showing in the 50s. so it's tough, but i think that you'll see, for instance, in the four states that he won and the fifth he lost by 1%, the voter turnout was very, very high. so he's energizing people. if people vote, and they vote for what they want instead of what they think they should settle for, i think we'll do quite well. >> yeah, he did win four states the other day. super tuesday. how is he going to do this saturday and next tuesday? >> i think quite well. maine looks good. kansas, nebraska. then michigan is coming up. and then in the long run, you have new york and california. illinois. i mean, these are all states that i think that we can do well in. and it's because they are concerned. they're states that have
expressed real concerns about our trade policies. and which there couldn't be a clearer line between the two candidates and the democratic nomination for that. bernie really wants to change the way we have trade. we want fair trade, not just free trade. not trade that only benefits the corporations. but actually creates jobs in this country, and doesn't destroy our environment around the -- in the entire planet. secretary clinton has been on the other side on all of the trade issues. so that's one area. minimum wage. he wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. secretary clinton won't commit to that. there are a number of issues that we feel really resonate with the american people, and bernie is fighting the good fight. he's speaking to the quality of life. >> jane sanders, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me, wolf. it was a pleasure. hopefully i'll see you sometime soon in person.
>> well, i'm going to see you probably sunday night. are you going to be at the cnn democratic presidential debate in flint, michigan? >> absolutely. >> all right. i'll stop by and say hello. i'll be out there, as well. thanks so much, jane sanders. pass along our best wishes to senator bernie sanders, as well. thank you. >> i will. thanks. and to our viewers out there, next week is march madness right here on cnn. it begins sunday night with cnn's democratic presidential debate in flint, michigan. anderson cooper will moderate. it will be followed by the premier of the new cnn series, "race to the white house." then we've got super tuesday, number two, with four states voting. wednesday, cnn simulcast, the univision, democratic presidential debate in miami. and the next night, thursday night, our own cnn republican presidential debate in miami. a week of political events all right here on cnn. right now, we're standing by to hear from the republican presidential front runner, donald trump. he's going to come out on that
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once again, we're standing by live to hear from donald trump. he's getting ready to address a rally in portland, maine. you see live pictures coming in right now. this will be his first response to what mitt romney just laid out, a blistering attack on donald trump. trump's response coming up. stand by for that. we'll have live coverage. in the meantime, let's see what's going on on the
democratic presidential side. the fbi will soon have more answers to questions surrounding hillary clinton's private e-mail server. the former clinton staffer who set up that server back in 2009, now ready to talk. brian pagliano will cooperate with fbi investigators after the justice department granted him immunity. he previously invoked his fifth amendment right in front of congress back in september. with us to talk about that and a whole lot more is brian fallon, press secretary for the hillary clinton campaign. brian, thanks very much for for joining us. i know the campaign said it's pleased that pagliano has now agreed to cooperate with investigators. what's your reaction to this development, because public hears granting of immunity to someone who worked for hillary clinton. what does that mean, what does that say from your political perspective? >> well, i think that in legal circles, it means -- it doesn't mean as much as it's being conflated to mean today by some political pundits. because oftentimes, a lawyer out of an abundance of caution, and
to preserve all of his or her clients, options will advise them to seek immunity in exchange for their testimony. it does not mean that their client did anything wrong. and in this case, brian pagliano didn't do anything wrong. we had urged him back in the fall when, as you mentioned, he invoked his fifth amendment rights before congress, he urged him to instead submit to questions from trey gowdy's committee. other aides did. that is what hillary clinton herself did in the infamous 11-hour marathon appearance where she exposed the sort of partisan bias at the republican deis. and the point was, she was willing to answer any question. so have all of her aides. we wanted brian to do the same. he decided not to, but we're pleased he is at least cooperating with the justice department. the more answers he can give,
the more it will clarify the justice department's understanding that nothing inappropriate took place here. >> and you have good perspective, unique perspective, because you're a former spokesman for department of justice. how unusual is it for department of justice to grant immunity to someone like this? it's not an easy decision, right? >> well, look, i think that, you know, you have to keep into perspective what mr. pagliano may be equipped to tell the justice department lawyers that are looking into this. and i think that if you recall, back in august, when this was first launched, it was a security-related review into the security of the setup and the arrangement of the private e-mail server that was in the clintons' home. and mr. pagliano, i think, was of interest to them, because he could speak to the security arrangements that went into setting up that server. he could talk about the maintenance that was performed, over the years as he continued to reside in the clintons' home.
but in terms of what the reports suggest the justice department is looking at now in terms of wanting to make sure that none of the information that was actually sent or received over the e-mail system was sensitive and didn't belong on a low side system, i actually think that mr. pagliano would have very little to offer there. so that's why i think that too much is being made of his cooperation and the testimony that he gave. and, in fact, according to what i've heard, this cooperation was provided several months ago. it's just only that it's leaking now we're hearing about it and reading about it in the papers. >> let's talk about the political race for the white house right now. the democratic side. the fight between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. how is your candidate going to do this saturday and next tuesday, looking ahead to the several states which have contests? >> well, you know, we were very pleased, wolf, with the showing that secretary clinton had on super tuesday. in addition to winning seven of the eleven states that voted or caucused that day, we amassed a
delegate lead that now surpasses the largest lead that president obama held at any point over hillary clinton in 2008. that gives a sense of the size of the lead she holds now. and we expect in the coming weeks to be building on that lead steadily. having said that, i should acknowledge that it's totally going to happen that senator sanders will be competitive in many states, and he may, in fact, win some states. but our strategy from the beginning has been focused on delegates, and we're confident that within the next couple weeks, we will grow that lead, which is right now about 180 in terms of pledge delegates, we will grow to a margin that will effectively be insurmountable. so we're looking forward to contesting states that are just around the corner. in various parts of the country, wolf. we are running a truly national campaign. we're not conceding any state, even in the caucus states where senator sanders has really put a priority on them, and is predicting victory there. we have staff on the ground, we are really trying to organize those caucus states. so we are fighting everywhere, and running a truly national campaign. i think that the sanders campaign is running more of a
regionally focused campaign, trying to pick off states here and there. that's not a very good strategy if you're trying to maximize your delegate output, which, of course, is what decides the nomination. >> finally, brian, your quick reaction to the scathing attack we just heard from mitt romney on donald trump. we're awaiting donald trump to start speaking. he's about to start speaking. i assume he's going to respond in kind. but from the clinton campaign perspective, what did you make of it? >> well, i know that mitt romney also snuck in some unkind words for secretary clinton. but to be honest, those basically were compliments, compared to what he was saying about donald trump. and i think it just goes to show you, there is an internal civil war breaking out in the republican party right now. for our party, we are focused on our primary campaign, building the delegate lead and hopefully over the coming months, getting closer to clinching the nomination. and we can afford to be focused on mobilizing democrats and winning the most delegates, because what's going on on the republican side, it just shows you that they're doing a good
enough job all by themselves of attacking each other. i think that no matter who emerges on the republican side, donald trump or anybody else, be the democrat in this case nominally will be well-positioned in the general election. >> brian fallon, spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. have a good day. >> thank you. let's go back to the gop, mitt romney didn't pull any punches in the criticism of donald trump. we're going to hear from donald trump at this rally. you're looking at live pictures. coming up in a few minutes. it's set to get under way. joining us now on the phone is trump's campaign manager, cory lewandowski. you were on the plane with donald trump. how is he likely to react? thanks for having me. i think what you know from donald trump, he is going to respond to governor romney and he'll do that here on the stage in just a few minutes. but i think what this really is, it's another indication of how concerned the establishment republicans are, that someone
who is truly going to change washington, d.c., is. about him not only being the nominee, but also being the president. as you know, wolf, the establishment class in washington and the political elite have run amok of our government for a long time. nothing has changed. lobbyists run washington, and they are so fearful that when donald trump is elected president, their days of running washington are over and it's going to go back to the people. >> do you anticipate that donald trump will respond point by point by point, because in mitt romney's blistering attack, he really cited all sorts of specific allegations. >> here's what i think about governor romney. with all due respect, mr. trump is the only person in this race right now that is actually growing the party. and if you go back and look at the election results from four years ago, in mitt romney's home state of massachusetts, compared to what turned out this year for donald trump, donald trump got 50,000 more votes in the republican presidential primary race in mitt romney's home state than mitt romney received four years ago. what that shows you is donald
trump is growing the party. he's the only person getting democrats and independents to come over and join the republicans. and he is the only person who has the ability to beat hillary clinton. >> romney said donald trump, in his words, were a phony, a fraud. he says his domestic policies would lead to recession. his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. you want to respond to that? >> yeah, here's what i think of the hypocrisy of governor romney saying release your taxes when he refused to do it until six weeks before the election. he went out and tried to pay more money in taxes to show he was the everyday man. look, the bottom line is, he was a pretty good, okay, small businessman. he really didn't do that great of a job when it compares to the jobs donald trump has created. he has created tens of thousands of jobs. you know what, this is the problem with politicians. they're all talk, they're no action. he goes out, he begs drurp for his endorsement four years ago, praises him as being one of the greatest business owners and business people in the history of our country. and then today, he has -- when things have changed for him and
he's lost an election because he disappeared the last six weeks, today he wants to go out and try and stay relevant. and clearly, the american people don't want that. because they didn't want him four years ago and don't want him today. >> he said also in his opinion, donald trump will never, ever release his tax returns, even the tax returns that are no longer being audited, because he has a lot of stuff there to hide, whether he didn't make charitable contributions or whatever. that was a pretty scathing attack, specifically on that issue. do you believe that donald trump will at some point release his tax returns? >> here's what i know. i know donald trump has donated over $100 million to charitable causes over the last number of years. $100 million. that's an insane amount of money by any standard. what i also know is that mitt romney took so much pressure from harry reid on the senate floor, he was forced to release his taxes, showing that he wasn't paying a rate, and he was
weak. that's the difference. you can't allow the political pressure to fall on people, because that's what the people want. that's not what the american people want. mitt romney was weak and that's why he released his taxes. >> so what about donald trump? will he release his tax returns? >> here's what he said. he's been very clear. as you know, he said publicly he is in the middle of an audit right now, routine audit because he has such a large tax return. it's 1,000 pages long. he owns hundreds of companies, 500-plus companies. all of this information of the companies he owns and his net worth have been disclosed when you decide to run for office. i don't know what you think you're going to get by looking at mr. trump's tax returns. i think mr. romney is trying to stay relevant. if he has inside information on what's inside mr. trump's tax returns, maybe he's colluding with the irs. i don't know anything about it. >> he also said one other thing, a specific allegation against donald trump, that donald trump says one thing and private off the record meetings with the "new york times." another thing publicly, he wants
you to release that audiotape or the transcript. will you? >> so is this like mitt romney saying donald trump is a great businessman four years ago and changing his mind? that's the problem with politicians, again. they say one thing in public. two years later, when it's expedient to change their mind, they say something different. this is what happens. this is what the american people are tired. this is what happens every day and that's why the voters rejected mitt romney four years ago. the difference is donald trump says the exact same thing in public as he does in private. i think you know that. i think the american people know that. and that's why he has brought new people into the fold, grown this republican party, and will be the republican nominee. >> because what he said is, "let us hear what he said behind closed doors at the "new york times." >> don't forget, don't forget, this is mitt romney who, behind closed doors was talking about the 47% of the american people that he didn't care about until that was released. right?
this is the same guy who didn't want to have that released and he's the one who is embarrassed by that and it still plagues him to this day. that 47% comment doomed the mitt romney campaign. this is a guy who says one thing behind closed doors and something different in the general public. and that's what he is trying to make a point of. but the bottom line, it's hypocrisy, because if that tape was never released, mitt romney never would have admitted to the fact that he said that about 47% of the american people. >> yeah, no. he says, and i'm reading from his speech, that he just made, mitt romney referring to donald trump. "he has too much to hide, nor will he authorize the times to release the tapes. if i'm right, you will have all the proof you need to know that donald trump is a phony." you want to react specifically to that? >> yeah, again, let me from new hampshire to nevada, from vermont down to virginia. and through the deep south, donald trump continuously wins in these elections. as you know, he won every single county in the state of alabama. he won every single county less one in tennessee. every county almost in the state
of south carolina. his message is resonating, because people are tired of politicians who all they do is talk and get nothing done. >> the $100 million in charitable contributions that you just reported that donald trump has given over the years, that's obviously a hugely impressive number. can the campaign go ahead and break it down, tell us the years, give us the sense of where that money went, which groups? >> sure. well, i would be happy to release that information. that's in addition to -- don't forget, eric, his son, has raised $20 million-plus for st. jude, in tennessee. mr. trump has been phenomenal about donating his time and effort and land and money to charitable causes. for many, many years. and i'll give you a full accounting of that 100-plus million dollars he has provided to charitable causes throughout the years. >> that would be impressive and i think it would be important. one of the allegations -- bombshell you heard mitt romney talk about, he doesn't believe
he's given charitable contributions in any significant numbers. he made that -- he repeated that allegation just a little while ago. you heard that, right? i don't know -- were you guys listening? let me just get this sense. were you listening to the romney speech on the plane as you were flying into portland, maine? >> well, i've got a copy of the transcript. and i think, again, this goes back to mitt saying one thing in public and doing something different. his charitable giving wasn't as preface it could have been, clearly. this is a guy who wanted to hide from his wealth. i think the american people want to be successful again. they want a president who is proud to be an american. a person who is going to make everybody successful. that's what the american people want. you know, to go and hide and pretend you're not that successful. to go and pay more taxes than you have to because you're a political opportunist, that's not what the american people want. and i think donald trump has been very clear about that. and $100 million in charitable giving is a substantial -- that's about what mitt romney's true net worth is. that donald trump has given away. >> because he said it -- romney said in a speech, i'll repeat it.
i'll just read what he said. "i predict that he doesn't give much, if anything, to the disabled or to our veterans. i predict that he told the "new york times" his immigration talk is just that, talk." those are specific charges that he is making right now. brutal brutal charges if you will. >> why should we let facts get in the way of what the reality is. as you know, trump just went out and raised a bunch of money for veterans. he's given away millions of dollars. no good deed goes unpunished as we like to say. over $100 million to charitable causes. his son has raised over $20 million for st. jude. that's okay. the american people understand. the bottom line is, mitt romney is trying to find a way to stay relevant. he has no relevancy anymore. he wants to come out and attack the front-runner in this race who is in the exact same position, actually a stronger
position, right now in this race. if mitt romney were in the same position, the gop establishment would be calling him the next president of the united states but he failed in his campaign and now he wants to do something as opposed to being positive and talking like he did four years ago about what an honor it was to get mr. trump's endorsement. he wants to go out and say negative things. that's exactly what the american people are tired of. >> the $6 million he raised for veterans, what, about a month or so ago, when he didn't participate in that earlier fox debate, now there are allegations out there, and you've heard them, corey, that there wasn't $6 million, there may have been a few hundred thousand dollars. is the campaign ready to also release the specific information, where that $6 million went, to which veterans organizations for example? >> it was. matter of fact, think it was just released to your network from the morning, our office sent over a full accounting of maybe 3, 4, $5 million that's been distributed.
there's still more coming in. we've expanded from the initial 22 list of charities we originally sought, in addition to that money going out to the millions and millions of veterans groups, and so we're very proud of the work mr. trump has done raising money for veterans. >> is he ready for the debate tonight? >> the debate tonight is going to be interesting. when you're the front-runner and you're on center stage, everybody's going to come after you. that's what they always do because you've got some candidates on that stage who either haven't won anywhere or have won very, very little and their donors and the special interests who tell them you must attack trump tonight because we must stop them. when you're beholden to the donor class and you try to step out of what you normally do, people understand that too. i think we'll be prepared for what will likely be a lively debate focused on mr. trump as they usually are. >> has he been reviewing potential questions with his top aides like you for example,
corey? >> well, look, we always prepare. mr. trump has been preparing for debates for 30 and 40 years of his professional career. he's done some of greatest business deals in the history of our country. he's the greatest negotiator. he's won all of these debates regardless of which public poll you look at. and, you know, we look to have similar showing tonight. >> we will watch closely. corey lewindoski, thanks so much for joining us. the donald trump campaign manager. we'll be anxious to hear what trump says when he goes up on that stage in the next few moments. thank you very much. at any moment, donald trump expected to come out on that stage for this rally. you are looking at live pictures of maine. we'll hear what donald trump has to say. it will be his first response to mitt romney.
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better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. we're standing by, waiting for donald trump. he's getting ready to walk over to that lectern over there in portland, maine, and dlimp helis response, among other things, to mitt romney in the attack we all heard. cnn politics executive editor mark preston and cnn's chief political correspondent dana bash. his campaign manager made it clear, you hit trump, he'll slug you right back. >> i think the most interesting thing mitt romney said today in that very long critique is he questioned donald trump's temperament and stability, specifically when you're talking about being the commander in chief, code word, i say, wolf, for the ability to control the nuclear arsenal here in the united states. he said a lot of nasty things, but -- or hard things about donald trump but i think that
was the hardest. >> he said, mitt romney, watch how he responds to my speech today. we're about to watch to see how he responds. you know donald trump, first of all, mitt romney, that was an amazing speech, you got to admit. >> extraordinary. look, this is a moment in political history. whether or not it will have any effect at all, whether it's the effect that mitt romney wants or maybe have the opposite effect and actually rally more people out there who are disgusted with the republican establishment, we don't know. but just the fact that the nominee of the republican party from just four years ago is now coming out and saying that donald trump isn't just dangerous for the party but dangerous for america is remarkable. one thing i am interested in seeing is how donald trump reacts not just ithere are only the stage. and one question is whether or not, even though he's going to, no question, hit back, he being donald trump, but whether or not
romney sort of got into his head. because so much of this, especially this particular campaign, is sort of psychological warfare. and to have that kind of blistering critique. somebody who, you know, doesn't usually do that kind of thing, has got to get into anybody's head, especially somebody like donald trump. >> it's going to be an exciting moment. mark preston, we're getting ready to hear from donald trump himself. we'll stand by for that. we'll of course have live coverage of donald trump's response to mitt romney. in the meantime, to all of our viewers out there, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. our special coverage of donald trump's rally in portland, maine, that will continue right now. all right, so we're up, i'm brooke baldwin, you're watching cnn, and you're looking at live pictures here.
we've been watching and waiting for the better part of a half hour here as donald trump is supposed to stand behind that podium in front of those four american flags and speak, speak and essentially react. we're all assuming, to what we heard from mitt romney earlier today. mitt romney, the most recent republican presidential nominee hours ago just stood there at the university of utah ripping apart the man who should be considered the party's presumed nominee. this is how