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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 30, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." live tonight from the historic fox theater right here in detroit where we're just hours away from the first of our two cnn democratic debates. ten candidates will face off including bernie sanders and elizabeth warren tonight. but this is a big night for all of the men and women who want to be president of the united states. those who need to boost their poll numbers to qualify for the next round of debates and those leading the pack who need to get an edge up on their rivals. >> 100%, wolf. i'm chris cuomo, pleasure to be with the captain. we're here outside of the fox theater. excitement is building. you're seeing different waves of supporters to come through and no reason to exaggerate the significant, it is very simple. you'll never see these collections of candidates tonight and tomorrow again. because not all of them will make the next cut. so what do you do tonight and
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tomorrow night to save your space? the candidates have had time to walk through and take a look at the inside of the stage and also to review their attacks on the rivals since the last showdown. all right. now one after the other, how does it look? does negativity work? what is that angle? will anybody talk about detroit and flint and about people and try to make a positive moment? a lot of different angles going on. so now let's get to our coverage. let's go inside of the fox theater and we have phil mattingly and we were talking before, holy cow is it beautiful inside of that room. >> yeah, no question about it. a beautiful theater, a beautiful stage. but for the candidates, a very clear focus less maybe on the aesthetics and more on the strategy. and make no mistake about it, all ten candidates on stage tonight standing at the lecterns over my right shoulder are going into this debate with a strategy. whether or not that strategy lasts, that will be an open question. the way you have to break these
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things down right now is in tiers. you have ideological and polling tiers and you have candidates that are just trying to survive. all eyes will be on the center of the stage. where the top two progressives in the polling field, senators bernie sanders and elizabeth warren will be standing. they're very aligned on policy issues but also competing for a similar pool of voters. how that plays out over the course of two hours will be very interesting to see. what will also be interesting to see is as you tart going down the line of those lecterns, there are other candidates not as progressive and more pragmatic or moderate and looking for their own moment, whether it is pete buttigieg or beto o'rourke and as you go down the line, moderates like amy klobuchar and john hickenlooper who are clearly looking to strike at those progressives to make their own message the prevailing message of this debate. as you get further down, you also have to keep an eye on those who this may actually be their last moment in the sun. they need to do something
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tonight, whether it is to create momentum or a moment or coalesce voters around their strategy, everybody is watching on the stage tonight, wolf. >> phil mattingly reporting for us. thank you very much. let's bring in our analysts and discuss what is going on. our correspondent jeff zeleny. what are you looking forward to tonight? >> as phil was talking about, the ideology debate, and the range of ideology on the stage is critical to watch. of course bernie sanders and elizabeth warren in the center of the stage. but certainly not in the center of the party ideology. look for some of the moderate governors to make an elect ability argument. i think i'm told they are going to quite bluntly say that if bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are elected president, or elected the nominee, president trump will be re-elected. so look for a broad debate. it answers -- we're going to get a sense of what the party is searching for here. when you step back from this, is it the wiser course to elect a
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moderate to win over the trump voters here in michigan or smarter to find someone who could excite and energize the party. so that is the center of this. but also look for the age divide. when we see pete buttigieg age 37 standing next to bernie sanders age 77, that is also going to represent the future, the direction of the party which way people want to go. so overall, ideology and electability. >> elizabeth warren is 70 years old and will be joined by some of the other candidates who are obviously much younger. but bernie sanders and elizabeth warren, they share a lot of the progressive positions. how will they differentiate between themselves? >> well they've already telegraphed so they're not interested in taking each other on. both of campaigns have said that they are going to focus on their message and they're not going to beat each other up because they have a lot to lose. if these two beat each other up, they are not going to get much further with their people. so what we're actually looking for is to see, as jeff was
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saying, the moderates versus the level and how the two slight differentiation, with bernie sanders backers who are more ideological and elizabeth warren who is appealing to women and younger people, that is where you see the slight differentiation that we're going to monitor tonight. >> michael smerconish, what are you looking for tonight with the ten people on the stage. >> i don't think the fireworks will be in the center of the stage. i agree with what is said so far. i don't think there will be a sharp division evident by elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. by the way, not in her best interest to go after him because as between the two of them, she's the more ascendent. instead my eyes are on stage right or stage left. when you look at the candidates to the right side of the screen, the gang of three, i want to see the combination of bullock, delanie and hickenlooper. because as jeff pointed out, there in lies the divide, the three of them and then warren and sanders and maybe klobuchar
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on the other angle and that is where you'll see the differences, not in the center. >> let's talk about pete buttigieg for a moment. he clearly wants a generational change. >> he does. and it is going to be a very physically a stark contrast having him stand in between -- or next to bernie sanders. and at the last debate you saw him stand next to joe biden. the two of them being the oldest candidates in the democratic field. and buttigieg has been making this argument about needing a generational change but i don't think bernie sanders is going to let that go. remember a lot of the support that bernie sanders has is among young voters. and one thing that i found interesting, being out on the campaign trail with joe biden who is 76 years old and bernie sanders is 77, a lot of the people showing concern about his age are the older voters. so i think that you're going to have pete buttigieg and bernie sanders both trying to make the arguments, buttigieg needs to have a moment. he's raised a lot of cash and looking to build off of that. >> let's not forget donald trump is 73 years old. >> indeed. >> so he's not exactly 37 years old like the other candidates
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are either. so there is a generational issue. steve bullock, the governor of montana we interviewed him in the last hour. he wants to make the point, i won, i was elected governor of montana, a state that donald trump won as well in 2016. i can help deliver for the democrats. >> and that is all about the electability argument and this is governor bullocks first time on stage. he's the last candidate to jump into this race. he was not in the miami debate so of course the country will be seeing him largely for the first time. he's been trying to gain ground but the reality is he wassing into essentially a moving car. this campaign is moving along so he's behind in that case but he's going to be, as michael was saying, making the argument with the moderates on that said of the stage and he's trying to say, look, if you want someone electable and beat donald trump, i know how to do it. that is the central question, the left isn't looking for that. we have to see how he performs in this first debate. he may have stage fright and this is a different moment that a montana governor has it but
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we'll see how he does. >> he was on stage in the last hour and we spoke about him winning in montana and he makes a strong case on that point. >> he does. i had to bend his arm and ask him if he would come on my show on saturday and he said is it dependent upon how things go tonight. there is truth in jest because he needs to throw the long ball otherwise in september given the increasing guidelines which have to do in terms of polling and fundraising, he won't be around. so does that alter the way in which someone like bullock handles themself? the candidates, half of them on the bubble and at risk of not being able to participate in the next debate. >> how does amy klobuchar grain traction tonight. >> she's not been able to pop so far even though i think she's got great credentials that make her in the same way -- this is all about electability. that is why joe biden is running ahead of the pack thus far. but klobuchar should own some of that territory for all of the reasons that biden does. she, too, could be an appealing candidate in the rust belt
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states among the electorate that abanded the democrats the last time around. >> will there be a breakout star. >> we don't know. but if somebody is hoping to break out who is working hard, it is beto o'rourke. i mean, he is someone who has got to have his moment. who had so many expectations starting this. his campaign is saying, look, we learned first time around. we have studied, we understand. he was too wooded and he understands that. so he is hoping that he is going to have his breakout moment. but don't count out somebody like john delaney. when i saw him on the trail with the other progressives, he was unafraid to be booed in california. he was unafraid. so i have my money on him doing something. >> he's been campaigning for the two years. everybody stand by. up next, they've had weeks to prepare for tonight's showdown so what are the candidates' debate strategy? will they focus on policy or the
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man they hope to replace, that is president trump. we'll have much more as our countdown to the cnn democratic presidential debates continues. has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today. age-related macular i've degeneration, with which could lead to vision loss. so today i made a plan with my doctor, which includes preservision. because it's my vision, my morning walk, my sunday drive, my grandson's beautiful face. only preservision areds 2 contains the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of moderate to advanced amd progression.
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so here is a little pro-tip about the plus/minus of debate night, it is an amazing opportunity, a chance to go toe-to-toe to those you want to get closer to in the polls. but here is the minus. you have to make choices. what do you do and not do. you don't have that many at-bats. i have a panel of experts. joe lockhart and alexander raw rojas and mayor mitch landrieu. a nice field here. different perspectives and experiences about which way to go. so joe, you are an old hand of knowing message -- venerable and re-doubtable and experienced of what kind of choice you make depending on who you are. what pops out to you tonight about what somebody has to do and why? >> i think there is two things that i'm looking for. is how bernie sanders engages elizabeth warren. his vote has been hemorrhaging to her and he has to challenge her. >> so he must challenge. not my friend all night.
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>> he has to say i was there first and the real progressive otherwise it goes the same direction. the second thing is there is talk about the moderates, the governors people who are more electable than the progressives, they have to deliver tonight. they did not deliver in the first debate. and bullock is new but hickenlooper and they've got a case and i think they're going to have to be explicit about the people at the far left aren't electable and so that is what i'll be looking for from them. >> bakari pick up on the word "deliver." what does delivering look like on the stage tonight? >> in detroit there is a saying that is a clothing company and you see the shirts everywhere, detroit versus everybody. and i expect delaney, klobuchar, hickenlooper, bullock to be those moderates versus everybody. i don't expect much fireworks. i know we're talking about beto probably will take a swing at pete, everyone will be pensive and see what that looks like.
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i don't anticipate that being that exciting of a moment and i don't think you'll get the warren/sanders issue unless it is over guns and i don't think warren will go there yet but i do anticipate bullock and hickenlooper and klobuchar coming out strong not just against the people on the stage but against the progressive wing of the party. let me warn my democrats because we're proverbial bed wetters, it is very healthy. having this debate on stage about the ideology and the philosophy and everything, letting america see that we are a big broad tent is very healthy. >> i agree with that. we were talking about this the other day, in 2008 part of what was positive about the primary between hillary clinton and barack obama went long made barack a much better candidate and it was a substance and policy conversation. it wasn't personal. and i think we'll see a generational divide because you got beto and mayor pete both trying to compete for this lane of we're the younger joe biden
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and mayor pete apparently is going to try to talk about the generation that he comes from and the future. and try to make this future argument. so i think he's going to be trying to go after biden to say i'm the real alternative. we'll see how it works out for him. >> in terms of the choice of the personal versus the policy, i always have you on because you really have your head and your heart wrapped around what is the progressive agenda in the party. this is also about separation. how did you marry the two. >> it is not just about policy, but about making people feel you'll change history because this is a historical election to defeat donald trump and the real contrast right now is you have progressives like elizabeth warren and bernie sanders that are talking about trump as a symptom of many problems and you have moderates and centrists like joe biden talking about trump is the problem. so it is really a healthy debate within the democratic party where you have more moderate candidates, more of the
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democratic party of the 1990s trying to mimic republicans, not catering more to wall street and corporations and bernie sanders and elizabeth warren that are talking about transformational change, taking on wall street, taking on corporate giants and that is very different again in those contrasting visions are important. and to add to that, i think policy is a a big part. you have to make people feel like you have a vision and it is about looking at the future and not the past. >> so mr. mayor, my metaphor in this situation, look, you're right, this is part of the primary process, they have to talk about ideas and specially the democrats that won't be able to get away from it. but there is a guy standing on the other corner of the ring with a big bat that says identity politics, not plans on it and he's getting it ready to swing at the head of whoever comes out of this primary and i'm not sure the party is ready for that yet. >> they're getting closer to being ready for it which is what the debates are proposed to do. i think the candidates are good. i would caution everybody at the
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end of the day, the mission is to beat trump. people may not be on the same page tonight, the overall goal is to beat donald trump and you have to win the general election and that is something to keep in mind. and i think the country wants stability and it looks different than having a revolution. i think it is possible for all of these folks to be soft on each other and hard on the problems. really aggressively getting after the debates, specifically on health care. i think most of the democrats believe health care is a right and not a privilege but a big debate about what the pathway is to get there and the same thing is true about infrastructure and education and they have to distinguish themselves. this debate is going to begin to narrow the field. that is starting tomorrow. >> this is really the beginning. because you'll never see this same group again. joe, if we use obama and i'm very slow to use former president obama's model because he was unique in so many personal regards of what he represented in the first campaign specially, but he did
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something we haven't seen anybody do and bakari did and he talked about detroit and the people here and what that ethos is and you forget about the people on the stage and obama was dealing with clinton but talking to people. if you are able to marry this and this in terms of, i'm going to deal with you and what you're saying, but i'm talking to the people and talking about detroit and flint and i'm talking about beaten trump because your plans aren't going to get it done. i love you to have the fight and happy to have it with you. you won't get it done and we have to beat this guy and i know how because i'm a fighter and that is what i'm set up for but to talk to the american people, we haven't seen anybody do it yet in my estimation. >> and that is why the debates are important. and i'm totally with bakari on the idea that we ought to have a big fight. because out of big fights come strength, comes the best candidate. and we don't know who that is yet. there were people at the beginning who thought it was joe biden. he stumbled a bit in the first debate so he has a lot to prove tomorrow night.
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but out of this will come the best candidate and you always think this early in the process that that person doesn't seem presidential. here is how they become presidential. they win. they win week after week after week. and like barack obama, he emerges as an incredibly strong candidate which he wasn't the day he got in. >> true, but also we've never seen an election like this. i have to leave it like this right now time wise but this is a very different time. we all know it. we'll see what the direction is tonight. so there is much more. we're counting down to tonight's cnn democratic presidential debate. my thanks to the panel. when we come back, we'll talk to one of the 2020 candidates taking the stage over the next two nights, senator michael bennet. senator has got to make a play, next. so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "three-ring fender bender." (clown 1) sorry about that... (clown 2) apologies. (clown 1) ...didn't mean it. (clown 3) whoops. (stilts) sorry! (clowns) we're sorry!
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we're counting down to tonight cnn presidential debate. the first of two debates each featuring ten of the democratic presidential candidates. one of them is joining us right now. senator michael bennet of colorado will be on the debate stage tomorrow night. thanks for coming in. tonight you're going to watch it on tv i assume. >> i will watch it on tv with my wife and our kids who are here. and it will be fascinating to watch. i think how people up there litigate medicare for all, i think that is really important. >> tell us about your position. you disagree. >> i disagree. for ten years i believe we
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should have a public option. >> so if you were on the stage tonight with bernie sanders, what would you say to him. >> i would say the person people do not have an appetite for raising taxes on the middle class by trillions of dollars to take insurance away from millions of other people who get it at work. i get his ideological commitment to that but that is not where the democratic base is. i spent today with union pipe layers in -- right here in detroit and they want to know why the democratic party is threatening to take away their health care because they are self-insured. >> elizabeth warren supported medicare for all, too. >> i understand. >> do you see a difference between the two of them when it comes to health care. >> i don't. elizabeth said i support bernie's plan and i don't fault bernie. this is his ideological commitment he's had since 1973 but i don't think it should be the democratic party commitment going into the election. >> and you have said, a direct quote, colorado would be at risk if bernie sanders is the nominee. >> and that raises a important point as well.
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we need to nominate somebody who can beat trump and also deliver a democratic majority in the senate and i don't believe you can run on that health care bill and win in states like colorado or arizona or maine or north carolina. these are the places to win if we want to have the democrat control. >> give us your vision of health care. what would you do? >> my view is we should finish the job we started with the affordable care act. give every american, trust every american family with the choice to decide, do i want the private insurance that i have, if i have it, or do i want a public option and if i want a public option, then i can have that. it just seems so -- >> so it sounds like you and joe biden are on the same page. >> we're completely on the same page on this. >> so he's going to be on the stage with you. >> he will be. >> tomorrow night. any significant area where you and he disagree. >> obviously we have big disagreement on foreign policy. he voted for the iraq war. i think this was a terrible foreign policy mistake that he made. and i think more broadly that
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his view that somehow if we just get rid of donald trump, which we desperately need to do, that washington will go back to normal as he said and we're going to be able to strike the kind of bipartisan deals he struck before. i don't think those deals were particularly good to begin with. but i think that era is long past and we need to look forward. >> your polling right now about 1%. is it do or die for you tomorrow night? >> i don't think -- i'm not going to say it is do or die tomorrow night. think this is one step in front of the other. i've won two tough national races in the state of colorado which is a third democratic and a third republican and a third independent and i won those races putting one foot in front of the other. >> because tomorrow night it is not just joe biden in the center of that stage, cory book,er kirsten gillibrand, kamala harris. how do you differentiate -- >> half of the senator is there. >> a lot of senators are there. >> the american people need someone to tell them the truth and tell them the truth about how far we've -- how much time
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we've lost as a nation because of donald trump. the fact that we can recover our balance and we can move forward and once again start building for the future. we can't be the first generation of americans to leave less opportunity not more of people coming after us and i think that is what is at take. when you make claims, political claims that sound great and you can't deliver, to me that is just more politics. >> another hot-button issue, immigration. where do you differ with the other candidates? >> i was the only one that didn't put their hand up last week with the last debate for open borders and maybe that is because i was part of the gang of eight that wrote the immigration bill in 2013. that bill with john mccain, that bill had a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people here. it had the most progressive dream act ever conceived but also had $46 billion of border security. 21st century security and not a wall. that should be our position.
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don't open us up to an attack from donald trump that we're for open borders when we've supported real border security as well as a pathway to citizenship for the people here that are undocumented that need a way out of the shadows and back in our economy. >> senator, good luck tomorrow night. >> thanks for having me. >> look forward to talking again after this is over. >> a lot of excitement building here. >> i'm excited. >> theme are beginning to arrive and coming in. we'll have much more of the special coverage as we countdown to the presidential debate tonight from the historic fox theater. in the meantime, back to chris. >> it is all about politics of course, but what a beautiful venue this is. i just -- we do a lot of these all over the country. and they don't always have the importance of tonight but i got to tell you, there is rarely beautiful. so let's bring back the panel. joe lack hart, alexander rojas and mayor mitch landrieu. we're watching senator bennet and everybody said he's a smart guy and good things to say, he's not in the conversation, bakari.
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>> well, listen, if you are kamala harris or particularly kamala harris but joe biden as well as we say down south, keep your good eye on michael bennet and julian castro because they are skilled and have a great deal of talent and they have a great deal of talent and could attack you and knock you off kilter. that is the same thing with bullock tonight. he's extremely talented and so if bullock gets into a one-on-one spat with bernie sanders and you have that split screen moment that lasts two minutes and he's able to clearly articulate why his vision for health care is more sound, more cost efficient and moderate in approach he could get a big bet. >> and now you have the young aspect of the democratic party and a lot of this appeal, with micro donors is overweighting younger people which is a good thing for the process. what are they listening for tonight? because they don't necessarily want to see somebody going at it
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with someone -- i agree with you by the way. but the split screen, that doesn't work for this demographic we're talking about. they want someone to capture their heart and marry it to their head and say something positive. is there a chance for that tonight or do think it is just too much of a blood fest? >> no, think there is a chance and the beautiful thing about bernie sanders and elizabeth warren is they feel accountable to the small doanors and to people like me and the grassroots they're building and that means they won't get side tracks by attacking each other and they'll differentiate their vision of transformational change for this country versus, i would argue, a more moderate approach that is largely talking about maintaining the status quo, doing things within reach and in an election so historic people want to feel like they're part of changing history and that is why i got involved in 2016. was because i felt i was one of those young people that was sitting on the side lines but finally felt like there was hope in government again. and so i think the biggest thing
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that people are going to have to overcome is cynicism for not just people like me, but a lot of the people that stayed home in 2016. >> i think the biggest irony of the whole cycle, most diverse candidates we've had, and most diverse elector ott our county has seen and yet poll after poll, "the associated press" in june and l.a. times, they want someone with experience and someone with washington experience. and they believe it is the older white man, a name of joe biden when people are asked to say who is the ideal candidate, a majority of democrats still believe that he is the one who can beat trump and what that means is for the women and for the diverse candidates, if you have a vision of change, you have to really convince people that that is a good thing when people are feeling more conservative and they just want to beat trump and they don't feel like it is too much to take. >> if that is the metric, then mayor don't you have to go with biden. >> for the moment you do. this goes back to the public and what are the voters looking for.
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young voters are looking for transformation and revolution and not to say the country doesn't need it but are they willing to take a risk on that now. the most historic thing we can do is throw donald trump out of the white house because it will change history forever and the voters are a little bit unbalanced about what is the best way to do it which is way the candidates have to show up and marry the heart and mind and do both of those things. it is very interesting to me how bernie sanders captures the imagination of young people. it is not just mayor pete. so you have a generational thing but it is not the age of the candidate, it is the poignancy of the message. the other person, bakari, is amy klobuchar can bring some heat. and if you look behind you, these candidates do have to separate because after this debate as i said before it will -- >> with a big field we'll have a lot of options. up next, beto o'rourke's campaign manager how he is getting ready for tonight's debate. you could argue nobody has more to lose. >> how are you going to prepare?
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former congressman beto o'rourke shot out of the gate as an if early candidate. a lot of glow on him. since then there has been some stagnation and now tonight big, big opportunity for him. joining us now, o'rourke campaign manager jen o'malley.
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good luck to you tonight. thank you for taking the time. first, do you agree, i've had panels out here all day long saying beto o'rourke has got to make a move tonight or he may not make the next campaign. i don't think that is going to be right. on the poll side you have to start popping in some polls. but he's got so much of a donor base, so much currency nationwide from the cruz race. do you agree with the stakes. >> it is a big night any time you have a debate and the opportunity to tell the american people who you stand for and will fight for and we're really focused on that opportunity. so, yes, it is a big night but this is a long campaign, a long time before people caucus in iowa and we're building the foundation over time that we need to be focused on. >> you do not believe you're living in fear of an early exit. >> we're already qualified for the debates in the fall and we have a strong organization and more importantly we have an incredible candidate who when he spends time reaching out to folks, the connection he makes with voters wherever he is across the country, that will matter in the long run. >> i saw it this morning and i
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wasn't spying on him and we happened to go to breakfast in the same place and he was with his family members and there is a geniality there. they say has the hardest part of these politics to make with people you don't know and up on the stage and getting into it. he did not thrive in the last debate. what do you do different tonight? >> well, look, we approach tonight the way we approach every day he's out there on the trail. our job is to introduce beto to the american people. the reality is there is still 40% of the american people that don't know who he is so we have a shot to make the case directly to the american people, just like he does out on the trail. this is who we are and who we stand for and these are the kind of issues that he'll focus on and fight for and that is what we owe the american people tonight same as if on the trail. >> you have to fit the strategy to the fight. so tonight it is about a little bit of introduction of course, but differentiation. >> yeah. >> you could make the argument that pete buttigieg is in the lane that beto o'rourke wanted to inhabit alone which is on the
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outside or i'm new and young and i have the energy and idealism. does beto have to draw points of comparison tonight with buttigieg or others? >> well, i think our point of comparison is going to be standing out there and saying who we are. and what we'll fight for. i don't think the american people know beto as well as many of us think because they saw him in the senate race and we have the opportunity to show we're an outd sider and come from texas and beto wasn't afraid to talk about issues, progressive or moderate and no matter what county, red or blue and that is what this moment will take for a president and i think that is what he'll show tonight. >> a little bit of this is obviously dealing with who is next to you but who is waiting for you. what is the best argument for beto o'rourke that when it comes down to him and this president, donald trump, that the most fear some politician maybe in a generation that he has what it
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takes to go toe to toe to win. >> and beto has what it takes and he shows it every day. i hate to talk about polls but there is a poll show us leading all candidates by three points and plus 11 in the general election and i can't remember a democrat placing that high in texas. so there is really a real opportunity in terms of our path to victory. but fundamentally i think the american people want someone who understands the issues that they're facing. that understands what they're going through, what a critical moment we are in, whether it is climate change or health care, whether it is immigration. these are the issues that beto has always stood for and never been afraid to talk about what he believed, not afraid to take the fight to anyone and you'll see that tonight as he's doing out in the field. >> jen, good luck tonight. thank you for taking the time. you have a million things to do but this matters so thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> so coming up, getting ready for the debate and guests arriving and the die-hards behind us. we'll take you to the moment in
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it has brout the course of this campaign. if you look back to this first presidential campaign, the party is largely with him on many
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issues. health care is one defining difference of this race. you will have a soul mate on this issue. elizabeth warren standing next to him. he has been unapologetic about it. he believes this is the correct approach to health care . he said i'm going to raise middle class taxes but it will come out many the wash because premiums will come down. without a doubt he'll have to defend and explain it. i think overall this is where he is, he's not moved around as some other candidates have. is he going to take the opportunity to point out as someone who is not on the stage don't agree with him on this. we'll see if he does that. he's even very vocal about that in past few days. >> the leader on the issue of climate change. >> am i allowed to say nobody.
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the standard bearer is jay inslee. he's not on the stage tonight. this is an issue where they all agree. they generally all agree. they agree social security a problem. they will be more moderate. a moderate versus the left. >> are voters looking to the candidates for substance on policy issues or do they want democrats, do they want somebody who can beat trump? >> it's a combination of both. a lot of voters say they like elizabeth warren because she's been out there. health care is one of the top issues for voters now.
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they will be able the tune in and see the way the candidates spar with each other. >> how important is it for el t electability as far as the democrats are concerned. >> the substance is is vehicthe. it's the only thing that matters. joe biden turned in a performance that was sub par. i didn't think it was as poor as most of the reviewers. he was at 22%. he's now at 34. he doesn't done anything in the last 30 days that would justify that rose in the poll. my theory is it's the behavior of the president. the more the democratic voters say, my god, we have got to get rid of him at all costs. who can beat him? joe biden is the beneficiary of that. the task is the convey they can go toe to toe and beat donald
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trump. >> how are the candidates preparing for right ntonight i? >> they are probably looking in the mirror saying calm down. they are talking to their family and breathing in and out and trying to remember what it is they are about. we saw some imagery of what they are doing. we saw bernie sanders meeting with cardi b. that was really interesting. he was going tuk about climate change. he will focus on the youth and his preparation will share it. >> for them it's do or die. >> the next debate is in september. the rules are harder. the price of admission is about twice as much. i think beyond that even some of the ones who will make it, they
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have to show they belong as serious candidates in this field. it has created a sense of urgency to find a candidate. can beto o'rourke live up to the expectations that were set at the beginning of this campaign. we'll also mayor pete buttigieg. he could have a moment to rise up in the polls which he hasn't done so far. >> stand by. we have a lot more coming up. stay with us. guests are clearly arriving here at the theater. there's much more ahead as we get ready for cnn's democratic presidential debate. back then, we checked our smartphones times a day. times change. eyes haven't.
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hello from detroit where the first of two cnn democratic debates the fast approaching. i'm anderson cooper. thanks for joining us. >> i'm erin burnett. tonight ten candidates with a lot to prove especially the two in the m


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