Super Tuesday: Fierce Battles Across the Country; Erin Andrews Breaks Down in Court; Warren Buffett's $1-Million-A-Year Bracket

START-03

03

Breaks Down in Court; Warren Buffett's $1-Million-A-Year Bracket

Contest. Aired 5-5:30a ET>

[05:00:02] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Trump had his own confrontation with protesters at the event, telling them to get out.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Get them out of here, please. Get them out. Get them out.

Are you from Mexico? Are you from Mexico? Huh? Are you from Mexico?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: CNN's Sara Murray was at the rally for Donald Trump. She's got the latest for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, John and Christine.

It is just hours until voters hit the polls in the most pivotal day of this campaign so far, Super Tuesday.

And in the run-up to this, Donald Trump was not on the message he hoped to be. He was explaining why it took so long to disavow white supremacist groups that endorsed him, as well as the former leader of the KKK. He had an awkward run-in with a protester at one of his events, and he even had a photojournalist who got into a physical altercation with a Secret Service agent.

But last night here in Georgia, he rallied a crowd of thousands and he sought to look ahead.

TRUMP: We are going to win with health. We are going to win with education. We are going to win at the borders. We are going to win with our military.

We are going to win, win, win. We are going to make America great again, greater than ever before. I love you. Go out and vote. I love you all. Thank you, Georgia.

MURRAY: Not only telling them to get out and vote today Super Tuesday, but also looking ahead with his schedule. He has a jampacked plan today, three different stops, including a rally in Ohio and he will be watching those election results in Florida. Now, you may notice these are two states that don't vote until March 15th. They are also the home of two candidates currently in this race, Ohio Governor John Kasich, as well as Florida Senator Marco Rubio. So, the Trump's campaign is not taking for anything for granted. They want to compete everywhere.

Back to you, guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Sara, thanks so much.

Turning now to the Democratic race. Hillary Clinton is ahead of Bernie Sanders in polls across Super Tuesday states, pretty far ahead in some cases. This has her turning her eyes and her message toward a possible general election battle with Donald Trump.

But Bernie Sanders is campaigning hard. His aides expressed confidence about beating Clinton today in several states.

Jeff Zeleny has the latest from Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, it's Super Tuesday. That means Democrats are voting in some 11 states. Hillary Clinton is making a last minute trip to Minnesota. That's one state where Bernie Sanders hoped to plant his flag.

Now, the Sanders campaign is feeling confident about five states. Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts and his home state of Vermont. The Clinton campaign is feeling very confident in about seven or eight states. So, we some overlap there.

But what happens tonight in these contests is going to give us a big clue in how long this Democratic nominating fight goes on.

Already, as Hillary Clinton campaigning on Monday, she is turning one eye on the general election and one eye toward the Republican candidates specifically.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because at some point, you can't just say whatever pops in your head if you want to be the president of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

People around the world actually listen to what people running for president say.

ZELENY: Now, Hillary Clinton did not mention Donald Trump by name. She didn't have to. That was clear in her remarks as she campaigned here in Virginia on Monday.

Now, going forward, the Clinton campaign believes the next two weeks are a critical period. They believe that they can have an insurmountable lead by March 15th. That's when Florida, Ohio, and Illinois go.

But Bernie Sanders raised nearly $40 million in the month of February. That means he has plenty fuel in the tank to keep this race going as long as he would like -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: And a lot of that money from individual donations, $30 a pop.

Joining us for this morning's Super Tuesday forecast and analysis, CNN politics reporter Tom LoBianco, live in our Washington bureau.

Good morning, Tom.

I keep running all of these delegate scenarios. No matter how I run them, it looks like Donald Trump is going to have a good night, if you believe the polls and you believe the energy at his events. What is your assessment of what's going to happen here today for Donald Trump?

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Hard to see how he doesn't look good walking out of Super Tuesday. The question really looks for Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Where do you go after this?

Trump, he looks like the nominee at this point, again, barring anything crazy or unexpected happening tonight. So many delegates at stake.

This is where you have seen this already in the Republican Party. You have this acceptance. Some people coming to grips with it. You've seen Mitt Romney really emerge as the chief antagonist to Trump, really going after him on Twitter, throwing out the question about the tax returns, pressing that continually.

[05:05:07] You can see the Republican Party coming to terms with what's going to happen tonight basically.

BERMAN: So, Ted Cruz favored to win in Texas. Let's listen to Ted Cruz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Super Tuesday is going to be the most important day of the entire primary. We are doing very well in Texas.

I'll tell you, we are running neck and neck in states across Super Tuesday. We have been traveling across. We were in Oklahoma. We were in Arkansas. We're in Georgia. We're in Alabama.

We are seeing very competitive races for Super Tuesday. I think the likely outcome on Wednesday morning is that Donald Trump is going to have a big chunk of delegates. We're going to have a big chunk of delegates and there's going to be a huge drop off for everybody else.

What we're seeing is conservatives consolidating and uniting behind our campaign. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Now, you can make a case that it helps Donald Trump having Ted Cruz win in Texas because it keeps Ted Cruz around in this race for longer.

LOBIANCO: You know, it is interesting. We had John Kasich on air yesterday, addressing the questions of Republican leaders saying you need to get out. You need to get out of this. There is question to that.

He was saying, no, no way. Why doesn't Marco Rubio get out?

But this goes to the entire dynamic that we have right now. Nobody wants to get out. And if Cruz gets around, it makes it that much harder for Rubio to consolidate the anti-Trump vote. It just makes it the more likely that he is the eventual nominee.

ROMANS: All right. So, Trump is going to have a good night. Trump says so. Even John Kasich say so, even Ted Cruz says so. They agree he will have a chunk of delegates, 595 at stake.

Let's talk about the Democrats. We talked about those numbers. Jeff Zeleny reporting the numbers, how much money Bernie Sanders is bringing in. He has the money to keep the gas tank full.

Let's listen to Sanders on his chances on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In 11 states, including Massachusetts, over 800 delegates are going to be elected to the Democratic convention. And we anticipate winning many of them and a majority of them right here in Massachusetts.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, team Clinton feels confident about the swath of southern states, right? Massachusetts, Suffolk University poll showed him down by eight points, maybe in Massachusetts. But he's hoping to win that state. How important is that for him?

LOBIANCO: Well, he's got to put up some points on the board, especially after South Carolina. South Carolina was a shellacking, you know, to borrow the Obama term. You know, 48 points was unbelievable.

And what he needs to show he is viable longer term. I mean, that path to victory narrows significantly.

They've already laid out the marks here. They said as Zeleny point out earlier, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma.

That southern firewall looks incredibly strong at this point. You know, when you were looking at the exit polls coming out of South Carolina, the black vote was strong for Clinton. Even the young black vote was strong for Clinton.

So, I mean, the generational divide was trumped right there. The turnout doesn't seem to be there. There is enthusiasm at rallies, but it doesn't look like it's been -- it hasn't translated quite yet at the polls, which is where it needs to translate for Sanders to be viable.

BERMAN: All right. Tom Lobianco, thank you very much.

This is Super Tuesday. We are just a short time away from polls opening across the country.

Stay with CNN for complete coverage of the entire day. We will keep you up to date during the day, in the night, into the wee hours of the morning as results come in. Let me remind you, Alaska is a Super Tuesday state. Polls close there at midnight Eastern, which means, gosh, you have to tune in to EARLY START for results there.

ROMANS: Politics doesn't sleep.

An emotional day in court for sportscaster Erin Andrews. She is breaking down in tears on the stand. We've got the dramatic details, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:13:40] ROMANS: Emotional testimony from sportscaster Erin Andrews about the impact of secretly recorded nude videos of her released on the Internet. Andrews is suing the convicted stalker who talked these videos through a peephole in a hotel room and the hotel where it happened. She's suing both of them for $75 million.

She broke down on the witness stand Monday talking about her ordeal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel grief about this?

ERIN ANDREWS, PLAINTIFF/SPORTS REPORTER: I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel shame about this?

ANDREWS: I do. I feel so ashamed. I'm so embarrassed.

I come up here and I sit and hear and I start talking about my job and how much I love sports and then this happens every day of my life. Either I get a tweet or somebody makes a comment in the paper or somebody sends me a still of the video to my Twitter or somebody screams at me and I'm right back to this. I feel so embarrassed and so ashamed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Andrews told the court she suffers from depression, anxiety and panic attacks since that video went viral.

BERMAN: The final batch of e-mails from Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state have been released. Now that makes more than 30,000 e-mails of attachments that have been made public with 2,100.

[05:15:01] That is now deemed classified, according to State Department. Not classified at the time they were sent, from the State Department.

The FBI and Justice Department investigating whether Clinton broke any laws by using a private server. They are offering no timetable for a decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX/MONDAY)

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Shouldn't American voters know Hillary Clinton's legal status as they get prepared to head to the polls?

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, what they should know and I hope they do know, is that any case that the Department of Justice looks at is going to be handled efficiently, fairly, thoroughly without any intent of artificial deadline on it, because what's important is to follow the facts, follow the law and come to an independent conclusion as to what may or may not have happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The State Department inspector general and two Republican led committees also investigating Clinton's emails.

ROMANS: A New York federal judge has sided with Apple, denying a Justice Department request for a court order that would force the company to help hack the iPhone of a criminal dependent in a drug case. It comes less than two weeks after a judge in California ordered Apple to assist the FBI in unlocking the phone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino terrorist. Apple is appealing the California ruling.

BERMAN: The decision also coming on the eve of congressional testimony by Apple and the FBI, concerning encryption, security and privacy. FBI Director James Comey and Apple's legal team appear before the House Judiciary Committee today. Government officials claim the order requiring Apple's help in the San Bernardino case is an isolated case.

The husband of one of the San Bernardino survivors says he thinks the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook is unlikely to contain any valuable information.

ROMANS: All right. Time for an early start on your money, Super Tuesday edition.

February ends with a three-month losing streak for stocks. But this morning, things are looking up. Dow futures are higher. European stock markets are higher. Here is what the three-month losing streak looks like: the S&P 500 closed February with a small loss. That follows a 5 percent plunge in January, a 1.7 percent drop in December.

But a rebound could be on the way. Stocks have been following oil prices and crude has stopped crashing. In fact, oil prices are up an amazing 30 percent in just the past 11 trading days. Still plenty of uncertainty in the oil patch, of course. Major producers struggling with supply decisions.

So don't expect an aggressive run-up for the stock market just yet. But if oil keeps advancing, stocks will likely follow suit. That is really interesting relationship over the past few months, stocks and oil together. Before recent history, that is never a pattern.

BERMAN: There's now linkage.

All right. Severe storms across the country today. Will they affect voter turnout on Super Tuesday?

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, John and Christine.

You know, looking into this, historically speaking, weather actually does play a role in voter turnout. Typically one-third of the turnout is lessened based on studies done in the past when it comes to rough weather taking place on voting day.

But you take a look at the perspective today. We do have severe weather, typically the voter turnout is reduced when it has to do with blizzard or ice storms in place. That's not in place for much of the area, of course, today when it comes to at least any sort of wintry weather.

But the severe aspect is and we are watching that carefully across portions of, say, Eastern Oklahoma and to Arkansas and Little Rock this morning, into Memphis later on into the morning hours and eventually by the afternoon hours in places like Nashville, when we see the storms really develop in a straight line here.

This is a squall line indicates we are going to see powerful winds and isolated tornadoes not out of the question and damaging winds going to be possible along this line as well. But about 22 million people in line for severe weather today. But again, the vast majority of the threat is to do with winds and hail and to a lesser extent, tornadoes -- guys.

BERMAN: Thanks, Pedram.

Warren Buffett going all in on March Madness, offering his Berkshire employees a million bucks in their NCAA pool. I think we need to do that here.

Coy Wire with details on this morning's bleacher report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:23:19] BERMAN: All right. Donald Trump picking up endorsement from the sports world, this time from the NASCAR chair and CEO.

ROMANS: Coy Wire has more in this morning's bleacher report.

Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and John.

NASCAR head man, Brian France appeared at a rally yesterday in Valdosta, Georgia, alongside Trump. They were also joined on stage by NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, his son, Chase Elliott, who was the recent Daytona 500 pole winner, and other current drivers Ryan Newman and David Reagan.

Now, France said he's known Trump for more than 20 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN FRANCE, NASCAR CHAIRMAN & CEO: Any of his children, you'd be proud of have them as part of your family. That's how I judge a winner. How somebody manages their family, raises their family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Not everyone in the racing world was happy with the racing endorsement. The CEO of Camping World, NASCAR's top truck series sponsor Marcus Lemonis tweeted, "There is no place for politics or any political endorsements in any business. Your customers and employees should have their own mind, period.

Speaking of CEOs, billionaire Warren Buffett is offering $1 million a year for life to any of his employees at Berkshire Hathaway if they pick all of the sweet 16 teams correct in this year's NCAA tournament, if that wasn't cool enough, he's also going to award $100,000 to the employee who win's his company's overall bracket pool. Jeff Zucker, your move. Hey, look.

That is Marshawn Lynch wrapping while riding a camel in Egypt. Lynch was there with some other NFL pros participating in a program called American Football Without Barriers.

[05:25:06] It's a program where disadvantaged kids across the world are educated about football and where hump day comes early for NFLers and rappers like Beast Mode.

The L.A. Clippers introduced a new mascot last night. His name is Chuck. He's a California condor. He wears red Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers and get the crowd pumped with nasty dunks.

Chuck is a peculiar looking fellow, but at least one person thinks he's a slam dunk. Team owner Steve Ballmer. Getting some rare air here. Not bad for a 59-year-old.

Now, I did not know this, but the former Microsoft CEO owner Steve Ballmer there, he is 6'5". A big fellow.

I don't know that he needed a trampoline, Christine. What do you think?

ROMANS: He's tall and rich.

BERMAN: You're tall and rich. You can dunk whenever you want. That's the lesson here.

ROMANS: All right. Coy Wire, thanks.

WIRE: You're welcome.

BERMAN: All right. Millions of owners across the country are learning that today is super. It is Super Tuesday. Voters heading to the polls. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ahead in the polls, but are there surprises in store?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(Byline: John Berman, Christine Romans, Sara Murray, Jeff Zeleny, Tom LoBianco, Pedram Javaheri, Coy Wire)

(High: Millions across the country will cast their ballots in their race for president. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lead in the polls, but will the voters deliver big surprises today? Emotional testimony from sportscaster Erin Andrews about the impact of secretly recorded nude videos of her released on the Internet. Warren Buffett is going all in on March Madness, offering his Berkshire employees a million bucks in their NCAA pool.)

(Spec: Super Tuesday; Elections; Government; Politics; Erin Andrews; Lawsuits; Justice; Media; Trials; Warren Buffett; March Madness; NCAA; Sports)

More