March 7th, 2012
04:57 PM ET

John McCain on Palin and Syria – TONIGHT On Anderson Cooper 360

Tonight on Anderson Cooper 360°, John McCain will join Anderson and will talk about Syria, the Republican Party and Sarah Palin.

Below are excerpt from the interview clarifying his position on U.S. action in Syria and on Palin possibly jumping into the presidential race –


Anderson Cooper:  So you’re not calling, because it’s been portrayed that you’re calling for basically US planes just flying bombing runs.  You’re not calling for that, you’re calling for other nations in the air as well?

Senator McCain:  Absolutely, and it’s unfortunate, because I’ve always, I said foreign air power.  In Libya they were able to do it with British and French and others, and UAE aircraft and others.  We have the capacity, in my view, to stop Assad and this slaughter.  Now it’s reached the point where you have artillery and tanks against AK-47s.  It’s going to require foreign airpower.  And again, the United States not going alone, but the United States leading.


Anderson Cooper:  Your former running mate, Governor Palin, was on CNN last night saying she would leave the door open to her name being placed into nomination if there was a contested convention. What was your reaction to that?

Senator McCain:  I’m glad to see that Sarah is still willing to get in the arena.  I greatly admire and respect her.  So, Sarah, I view with great interest your comment last night.  But I also think that, you know, this thing is going to be resolved sooner for Mitt Romney than later.

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper
March 7th, 2012
02:34 PM ET

CNN Tops MSNBC on Super Tuesday


  • CNN tops MSNBC in primetime (8-11p) and during key coverage block (7-11p)
  • CNN shows the most primetime growth vs. non-primary nights
  • Super Tuesday represents CNN’s strongest ratings performance this election cycle

During last night’s coverage of Super Tuesday, CNN topped MSNBC in primetime (8-11p) in both total viewers and in the key demo adults 25-54. In total viewers, CNN averaged 1.48 million viewers a +9% advantage over MSNBC’s 1.36 million and in the target demo CNN had 512k, a +34% advantage over MSNBC’s 381k. (FNC 2.84m/728k)

CNN had triple digit growth compared to the prior three non-event Tuesday averages, increasing +105% in total viewers (1.48m vs. 722k) and growing +112% in the demo (512k vs. 242k). MSNBC was up only 28% in total viewers and 54% in the demo; while FNC was up just 22%/41% respectively compared to prior Tuesdays.

From 7-11p, CNN also topped MSNBC in total viewers (1.32m vs. 1.31) and had a +24% advantage in the key demo (454k vs. 366k). (FNC 2.71m vs. 669k)

A special edition of AC 360 at 1a topped MSNBC in total viewers (420k vs. 400k) and in the demo (166k vs. 150k).

Super Tuesday represents CNN’s strongest rating performance this election cycle, topping AZ/MI primaries, ME caucuses, CO/MN caucuses/MO primary, NV caucuses, FL primary, SC primary, NH primary and IA caucuses in both total viewers and the demo 25-54.

Topics: AC360 • CNN • CNN Politics • CNN Press Releases • Ratings
March 7th, 2012
10:50 AM ET

Intersection of Politics and Country Music on CNN

CNN political reporter-at-large Peter Hamby was in Tennessee to report from The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Hamby monitored the GOP primary results and analyzed the state’s political landscape for the network’s America’s Choice 2012: Super Tuesday coverage.

PETER HAMBY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We actually got the news here first before they heard it here in the Tennessee GOP war room, Wolf, where we are at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, which is by far the coolest primary night location so far.

But yes, this is a big win for Rick Santorum. He had to do well here and Oklahoma, these two big delegate prizes. He's won a lot of caucuses so far, not a lot of primaries so this is a good one to have under his belt - Wolf.




Topics: CNN Politics
March 7th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

Democratic strategist on Romney: pessimist about economy, but 'he gets up and he recovers'

On Early Start Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen predicts that while Romney’s pessimistic views on the economy could hurt him in the general election, he is capable of recovering. Rosen also believes that women will play an important role in this election due to the contraception debate.

Rosen says, “Going head to head with Mitt Romney for the next several months would actually be fairly good for President Obama because Mitt Romney is going to talk down this economy. He is a pessimist about it. He doesn’t really have any answers that are new and I think the American people wouldn’t like that the longer it went on. And I think that President Obama could handle that conversation and debate really well.”

When asked by CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin about how the primary process could affect Romney's general election campaign, Rosen responds: “Democrats these days love to talk about how weak Mitt Romney is as a candidate and he is, in my view. But what we have to remember is that every time he gets counted out… He has an organization. He has a smart campaign team. He gets up and he recovers… There is nothing better in a long term campaign than somebody who can recover and win.”

On female voters, Rosen continues, “Not a lot of discussion about women in this campaign… until all of the sudden we find ways to discriminate against women in their health coverage, yet again. You ever notice how when men have medical issues they are medical, but when women have medical issues, they are somehow always political… Republicans have actually woken women up with this crazy conversation about contraception.”

Early Start with Ashleigh Banfield & Zoraida Sambolin airs week mornings from 5-7am ET on CNN.

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Topics: Ashleigh Banfield • CNN • CNN Politics • Early Start
March 7th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

Santorum rep: Winning three states on Super Tuesday was 'tremendous victory'

Alice Stewart, national press secretary for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, speaks with CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien and the Starting Point panel about Super Tuesday wins, moving forward and campaign financing.

On winning three states during Super Tuesday, Stewart says, “It was a tremendous victory for our campaign.”

When Newark Mayor Cory Booker pressed on campaign finance reform, Stewart replies, “Well, certainly, the onslaught of money that we have from PACs and super PACs is impacting the election. We should have the campaigns putting their names on ads and issues that they put out there…. [There are] many aspects of campaign finance that certainly do need to be addressed, and super PACs are one of them, all of that, you know, certainly needs to be looked at.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

March 7th, 2012
08:55 AM ET

RNC Chair: Primary fight 'great for our party'

Reince Priebus, RNC chairman, explains to CNN's Soledad O'Brien why he thinks the long GOP primary is a good thing for the Republican party.

Priebus says, “I personally don't see a brokered convention at all…. As far as like, you know, the idea that a tough primary isn't good for a party, I had our research department just find a few of the headlines from 2008.  And in those headlines some of those, for example, The New York Times: ‘a present from McCain, as the other side fights.’ The Boston Globe: ‘McCain media adviser says Democrats are hurting themselves.’  We all know how that turned out, Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama and legendary primary battle, but ultimately Barack Obama winning pretty easily. So don't always assume that a primary fight is a bad thing.  In fact, I think it's the opposite.  I think it's going to be great for our party.”

Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
March 7th, 2012
08:31 AM ET

Pawlenty on Romney: conservatism and electability

Former Governor Tim Pawlenty weighs in on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's conservative credentials and the direction his campaign will take going forward on Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien.

Pawlenty says, “Mitt Romney is conservative and if you look at his record of cutting taxes, growing jobs, cutting spending and the like, it’s a conservative record, but he can also get elected. The other candidates are not in that same position. They are less electable.”

On Ohio Romney win, Pawlenty states, “Well, a few weeks ago [Romney] was double digits down in Ohio.  So the fact that he closed that gap in a few weeks and won I think is a testament to the fact that he's got resilience and strength and momentum.  So I don't look at Ohio and say what a disappointment.  I look at Ohio and say, my goodness, what a positive result.  He was 14 points down three weeks ago according to one poll, and to win it last night was remarkable.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

March 7th, 2012
01:33 AM ET

Hours before Romney officially wins Ohio, CNN shows shift away from Santorum

CNN’s Dana Bash reports from Hamilton County Board of Elections with exclusive numbers showing Romney pulls ahead in Ohio. Bash is in Ohio to report for the network’s America’s Choice 2012: Super Tuesday coverage.

Please Credit: CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash


Topics: CNN Politics