orces beat back a major assault by isis fighters in northern iraq one of several developments in the war against isis. kurdish commanders say their forces were able to repel the isis assault after hours of what they describe as heavy fighting. they say 40 isis militants were killed. also cnn has now learned that the u.s. is maintaining what's being described as a secret kill list of isis leaders. at the top, abark al baghdadi. the list of about two dozen operatives belonging to isis is growing. is isis telling organs at the same time for murdered civilians to help finance this terrorist onslaught? iraq's ambassador to the united nations says maybe. he's asking the united nations security council to investigate. and president obama speaks today at the white house summit on combatting violent extremism. at least 60 countries are taking part in that event. meanwhile, heavy fighting in close contact.
kurdish troops were able to bush isis back. the battle unfolded southwest of erbil, that's the kurdish capital. our senior international correspondent ben wedeman is in erbil with the latest. ben, give us a sense of how intense this battle was. we know the kurdish fighters maintained their positions. >> reporter: they maintained their positions but it was touch and go for a while, wolf. this fighting began at 9:00 p.m. yesterday and went on for about 5 1/2 hours. and it was very dark obviously. but it was foggy as well. the kurdish forces don't have, for instance much night vision capability. so it was intense fighting. we saw on kurdish television pictures of a kurdish position where it appeared that there were empty shell casings more than ankle deep. so the fighting was intense. and even though there were coalition aircraft in the area the two forces were so close together they could not afford
to hit the isis fighters because of the danger of hitting kurdish forces as well. eventually the kurdish forces were able to push the isis fighters back far enough so the coalition aircraft could go into play. but as i said it was really touch and go. and that's only 30 miles to the west of erbil, the kurdish capital. and this is really by all estimates the most intense fighting near erbil in months. >> let's not forget from the u.s. perspective, there are hundreds of americans in erbil right now, diplomats, civilians and u.s. military personnel at the same time. ben, the offensive, at least according to some military analysts seem to be aimed at drawing kurdish fighters away from mosul, the second largest city in iraq a city of nearly 2 million people. that city is still controlled by isis. but kurdish fighters among others have been going after some of those isis positions in mosul.
was that the isis strategy to lure kurdish peshmerga fighters away from mosul to get them to try to protect erbil? >> reporter: that seems to be the interpretation by kurdish officials here in erbil. perhaps this was not an attempt to somehow drive towards erbil itself. but the kurdish forces in recent months have taken territory around mosul. and of course there are plans eventually -- it's not quite clear when -- for kurdish forces along with the iraqi army perhaps with support from the coalition to try to retake mosul. so certainly isis would like to lessen relieve the pressure so to speak, around mosul by this sort of diversionary attack. but doesn't seem to have succeeded this time around. >> the peshmerga, kurdish fighter, clearly won this round. thanks very much, ben wedeman, in erbil for us.
while isis makes increasing moves aimed at trying to pierce the peshmerga lines in northern iraq the question turns to what aid the kurdish fighters are getting from the united states-led coalition. joining us here in washington is the kurdish regional government's representative to the united states. thanks very much for joining us. you've only been here for a few weeks. you've just come back from kurdistan. how intense was this clash that we've just been reporting on? >> well wolf thank you for having me on your show. just before i came here i spoke to the to president barseny's chief of staff. the fighting did continue for several hours. what we're finding is that isis is pushing on the kurdish front line constantly. some weeks ago, they had a lightning attack in several places all at once from mosul stretching down to kirkuk.
what they're trying to do is test and attack our front line. but our peshmerga valiantly, i have to say, are holding the line. but the question is, how much longer can we do that with the outdated and small weaponry that we have? >> because we're also told you know this better because you've gotten firsthand reports, that these isis fighters they're well-armed they have sophisticated armor, most of it u.s. they captured it from the iraqi military. they're going in with tanks, with armored personnel carriers. how good is their weaponry compared to yours? >> well, we have kalashnikovs, outdated weaponries. there are images of 1945 artillery from the second world war being used by the peshmerga. i can give you an example. germany supplied 30 milan rocket launchers. these have been incredibly successful in penetrating heavy armor that isis has captured
from the iraqi army supplied by the united states. they have been very successful. but the problem is the front line that was attacked yesterday only has two of these weapons. we need much more -- >> i thought the united states was providing the kurdish forces with sophisticated weaponry. i hear that from u.s. officials. is that not true? >> we are getting weapons but we need more and we need it to happen in a much more speedy delivery. >> what's the problem? some suggest the problem is the u.s. still maintains it gives the weapons first to the central shiite-led government in baghdad and then it's up to the government there to hand it over to the kurdish fighters it doesn't go directly from the u.s. to kurdistan, is that right? >> that is right. it does go to baghdad and that is the agreement that the united states has with iraq. we understand that we need to keep baghdad on board. but the truth is the peshmerga are the most effective fighting force against isis.
they are the real fighting force against isis. we are holding the line, we are pushing back on them. they are constantly testing and attacking. the question is how much longer we can hold that with this outdated weaponry that can't counter these heavy weapons and tanks that they have. >> i know that a lot of american members of congress would like to see the administration supply these weapons directly to the kurdistan military but they're refusing to do so. here's the question how much -- mosul is still under the control of isis. but how endangered is erbil right now, the capital of kurdistan? >> i wouldn't say erbil is really under direct threat. the peshmerga are controlling the front line. we also have air strikes, we also have shared intelligence with the united states and the coalition partners. i should take this opportunity to thank the united states and the coalition for doing this. but ultimately we need to
defeat isis completely. you can't do that with one hand tied behind your backs. and this is how we find ourselves in the peshmerga. >> are you getting any significant help at all from the regular iraqi army? >> there is coordination. but sometimes you wonder what army are you really talking about? what we saw with the fall of mosul illustrated that the army in iraq in some areas is very strong in other areas, frankly, it doesn't really exist. so there is some coordination cooperation. but as i said earlier, the most effective fighting force on the ground are the peshmerga. they need proper support and that means weapons, heavy weaponry and advanced weaponry. >> i think that's a fair statement. we did see in mosul the regular iraqi army abandon their positions, ran away left all that u.s. military equipment behind for the isis forces to capture and now use in going against your forces not far from
erbil. representative thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. we want to turn now to a very disturbing allegation by the iraqi ambassador to the united nations who says isis militants may be stealing their organs -- the organs from dead civilians and selling them on the black market to make money for terrorist operations. our senior u.n. correspondent richard roth is joining us now from the united nations. tell us more about what the iraqi ambassador is alleging and the reaction you're getting from united nations officials, richard. >> wolf these are disturbing allegations. but there's no proof so far that the media here has been shown, there have been reports over the last few months that there might be some type of organ harvesting done by a group such as isis. but there's never really been any formal clarification of that. the iraqi ambassador told reporters off camera yesterday that the iraqi authorities have
found holes in backs and gaps where kidneys would be in the remaining bodies of murdered civilians inside iraq. he said that 10 to 12 doctors in mosul were executed because they refused to harvest organs. the ambassador said that there were middlemen and buyers especially in europe that the organs are then flown out from airports that isis now controls. however, this may not be as easy as it sounds since organs need to be transplanted pretty quickly should they indeed be taken out. the ambassador on yesterday's schedule did appear before the security council at a regularly scheduled iraq meeting and described crimes of isis and a few words about organ trafficking. >> these terrorist groups have desecrated all human values. they have committed the most heinous, criminal terrorist acts
against the iraqi people whether shia, sunni, christian, turkman, shabaab or yazidis. these are, in fact crimes of genocide committed against humanity that must be held accountable before international justice. without even mentioning the traffic of human organs. >> now, the u.n. spokesman said no, the u.n. has no proof yet. but should the reports turn out to be true, it could be quite worrisome. wolf? >> certainly could be. richard roth at the u.n. thank you. still ahead, we'll take a closer look at isis' focus on the apocalypse and explore the ties, the effects of the group's strategy the effort that isis is making to defeat its enemy. also later on jeb bush the former florida governor declaring this hour that while he loves his father and his
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the ground war against isis is intensifying. fighting raged for hours overnight after isis fighters launched a major offensive in northern iraq. but they were beaten back by kurdish forces. let's get more perspective now from our panel. retired u.s. colonel james reese is a cnn global affairs analyst. and peter bergen is our cnn international security analyst. colonel, what's your take on this assault by isis the fact that these peshmerga kurdish forces were able after several hours of intense fighting to repel them? >> wolf anything that isis does
does not surprise me at all. even if they're trying to push people in and get their people killed, it's just a way to disrupt, to kind of take away -- most conventional armies start looking for an order of battle, what's going to happen next? isis is trying to keep us on our toes rock us back on our heels when need be. and i think it's a chance for them to see what the defensive lines are. they know there's a possible push coming to mosul. i would not be surprised if we see this again in the next couple of days. >> and the concern at least from the u.s. perspective not only kurdistan falling potentially, i don't think it will but potentially it could fall peter, to isis there are a lot of americans in erbil right now, not only military personnel but diplomats, civilians, a lot of americans, hundreds of them if not thousands of them are in erbil right now. it's a major problem. here's the question peter, can these kurdish fighters with their old weapons do the battle against these isis forces that
have much or sophisticated, largely u.s.-supplied armor that were taken over from the iraqi military? >> judging by what we've seen of the weapons they have cnn has reported about the fact that some of the kurdish peshmerga are armed with weapons from 1945, and that kind of speaks for itself. those weapons are no match for a u.s.-made tank or any kind of heavily armored vehicle. and you will recall that the reason we're in this campaign in the first place was the threat to erbil that was really the combination of a threat to the yazidis in sinjar and then also the threat to american personnel that was the stated purpose for the beginning of the war. so that is a real concern. and isis obviously wants to draw any attention it can away from the real prize, which is mosul, which is where it declared the caliphate in the first place. so i think we'll continue to see these probing missions around
erbil because at the end of the day what isis cares most about is retaining mosul. >> in syria, colonel, is it a good idea for the u.s. to give what are described as these moderate syrian rebels who are opposed to the region of bashar al assad, opposed to isis the ability to call in u.s. air strikes? is that a good idea? in other words, do you trust these rebels to do that? >> wolf the biggest issue right now is like you said it's the vetting of these rebels. who are they? what are their intentions? i think it's going to be very difficult for us to figure this out. i will tell you that doing a call for fire is a difficult task. it's not very easy. there is technology that helps people. but we've even seen where a lot of times people call it in themselves and make collateral damage. the bottom line is i'm not sure it's a real good idea because we don't know who these people are. >> they're still vetting them. haven't sent any of them off to qatar or saudi arabia for training. this vetting process keeps on
going and going. colonel, thanks very much. peter, stay with us. we have much more to discuss. there are videos the executions, the tactics, more brutal by the day. but is it all part of a plot to fulfill an islamic prophecy to bring about the end of the war? stand by. we'll discuss. okay...listen up. i'm here to get the lady of the house back on her feet. ohhhh. okay veggies you're cool. mayo, corn dogs you are so out of here! ahh... 'cause i'm reworking the menu. keeping her healthy and you on your toes. the complete balanced nutrition of great tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals antioxidants and 9 grams of protein. i see you cupcake. uh oh the #1 doctor recommended brand. ensure. nutrition in charge!
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may find yourself asking why? what drives this group of islamic radicals? it all boils down to their brand of religious ideology. back with us, peter bergen. explain how isis is convinced, peter, it can bring about the end of the world and why that's their goal? >> well wolf they believe that we're in the end times and that there's going to be an apocalyptic battle between the forces of true islam, which they believe are them and the forces of the west essentially. they believe the final battle will happen in a town in syria due to the identifying of the prophet muhammad. it's not rational to bring the united states into a war against you and then jordan and then egypt -- none of that makes any sense from a strategic point of view.
but if you think the end of the world is coming and that you're part of that project, these actions might seem a little bit more explicable. >> tell us why isis is also always talking about the caliphate. >> in their view they've anointed abark al baghdadi as the caliph saying he's an heir of the prophet muhammad and there hasn't been a caliphate since the collapse of the ottoman empire. they're basically saying he's the guy, not only the leader of isis but the leader of all muslims around the world. it's a very large claim and 99.9% of the world's muslims wouldn't agree with it. but unfortunately a small minority do. >> do you believe the leaders of the -- of this coalition, the united states and all of the others including the friendly moderate arab states they really understand what is motivating isis right now? >> i think we're having this
white house conference as you know wolf, going on right now about countering violent extremism. and the administration is being careful not to talk about islamist extremism. but i think that's kind of a strange decision because at the end of the day, this group does subscribe to a corpus of beliefs that can be found with a highly selective reading of the koran and also of the sayings of the prophet muhammad and to stay otherwise is just to ignore the facts. >> how do you defeat this threat of isis? how do you destroy it? >> wolf, i think they're destroying themselves. i think the long-term prognosis -- if you've got basically the entire arab world against you and the entire western world, you're looking at a two-year three-year time lime for them to be severely degraded. in the meantime unfortunately, they're doing relatively well. in iraq some reverses. in syria, they continue to do pretty well. so it's going to be a long-term project. cutting off their finance, cutting off trying to get the
foreign fighter flow to reduce is all part of a larger plan that is under discussion at the white house today amongst many other things that goes beyond the simple military plan. >> peter bergen, thanks very much. >> thank you. still to come in a matter of hours, president obama will deliver the keynote remarks at the white house summit to counter violent extremism. topping the agenda the barbaric attacks carried buttout by isis. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ (dad) we lived...
welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. 60 nations, one objective, countering violent extremism. right now, the white house is holding a summit to formulate ways to fight terrorism. president obama said our campaign is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds. the president is expected to make a keynote address at the summit in about three hours or so. cnn will have live coverage for our viewers here in the united states and around the world. the summit comes on the heels of terror attacks in ottawa sydney paris, copenhagen and
just this past week horrifying pictures coming out of libya. isis releasing a video showing the beheading of 21 egyptian christians in libya. as a result cairo has withdrawn directly into conflict across its border in retaliation, egypt deployed jets to strike islamic state militant camps, training sites and weapons storage areas. i'm joined now by the secretary-general of the arab league, the former egyptian foreign minister. you're here for all of these summit meetings with the president of the united states. how much of a threat does isis represent to all of the arabs? you represent all of these arab countries. you're the secretary-general of the arab league. >> it is a dangerous threat that everyone is looking at. the arab league started last summer. and we have worked together with many -- practically all the arab countries to work out a strategy a comprehensive strategy not only confined to military and security which is
very important and has to be addressed but also to look at what you have said now, the hearts and minds of people in the area. >> people are looking to the arab countries to destroy isis right now. you've got, what 20 -- how many countries in the arab league? >> 22. >> 22 countries in the arab league. they're looking for you to take the lead and go after these isis positions in iraq in syria, now in libya and elsewhere as well. >> first of all, you have to take into consideration that we don't have the military arms. but we do have a treaty 1950 treaty mutual defense. i've been asking since last september that it should be activated and that a task force from all arab countries interested can take action -- >> including ground forces? i know egypt and jordan the united arab emirates bahrain, they're getting involved in air strikes. but will these arab countries, the arab armies go in there on the ground to destroy isis? >> the question you have asked
is put before the arab foreign ministers and it will be put before the summit. the next -- >> when is the summit? >> end of march. >> we have to wait till the end of march? >> no we have another meeting on the 8th of march. and we hope that action will be taken and that these countries will decide that along with the long-range comprehensive strategy to confront the terrorist attacks which really is global if you look at it -- >> because the threats. there may be threats but the real threats are in the arab world. >> the arab threats -- it has been individuals from all over the world joining. from australia and new zealand -- >> how do you fight that and convince these young men and some women not to go ahead and join isis? >> this is a very delicate and important question and has to be
addressed in all candor. you have to change the social economic, religious, ideological thinking. it will take time. the military security might take much less i don't know a few months or -- but to change the hearts and minds of people throughout the world, not only the arab world, to join isis or daesh in this area they come from all over -- >> you call isis daesh, that's a derogatory term. they don't like to be called daesh, isis. you heard the iraqi ambassador to the united nations say that isis is organ harvesting they're killing these individuals and then taking out their kidneys or whatever and selling them. >> i would not exclude anything. i saw myself people massacred like the jordanian pilot, mu'ath kaseasbeh and the egyptian citizens that were massacred in a way that we have not seen
since the iron age maybe. they want to revert the whole world to a mentality and concepts which have been long forgotten. >> i know you're going over to the white house to participate with the president and the summit. you'll be meeting with secretary of state kerry tomorrow. you're familiar with this debate that's going on. should the u.s. call it islamic terrorism keep the word islamic or muslim out of it? what's your analysis? >> well islam is being brought in in a very derogatory away. islam has nothing to do with that. and those attacking daesh's actions or isis are muslims. and the vicks are mainly muslims. but they just decided to use the mantle of islam and use these
concepts of islam which is -- >> do you think we should be calling it islamic radicalism or islam extremists or islamic -- is that fair -- >> it covers all the world, the ones that kill the american journalist spoke with a british accent. they were from britain most probably. the ones who committed suicide elsewhere, they were from other countries. the one -- "charlie hebdo" in france they were french citizens maybe from algerian origin but french citizens. i think it's an international phenomenon. it has to be attacked from an international point of view to ensure that will be eradicated once and for all. >> welcome to washington. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much for joining us. up next there's other stories we're following, including few fighting cracking the cease-fire in ukraine, putting the government troops there on the retreat.
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now to the fragile cease-fire in ukraine. at least it's holding in some areas. but in one key city rebel forces have routed government troops and forced the government military to retreat. our nick paton walsh joins us live from donetsk in eastern ukraine. nick why is this one city so important to these pro-russian rebel forces that they're endangering potentially the entire cease-fire over it? >> reporter: well, there's a gee graph geographical region. separatists claim it's technically theirs. they need it to round off the area. and it's a strategic railway hub that everybody wants for its infrastructure. but it's also vitally important now because it was the gaping
hole in the peace agreement signed in minsk. the separatists claim the boundaries established there effectively meant it was theirs. but kiev said it was theirs. and most people monitoring the cease-fire said the cease-fire was holding except for debaltseve. we are seeing one of the bloodiest periods in this ukrainian crisis unfold. ukrainian troops were leaving that town today, the separatists for their part say, well they simply were dealing with an internal matter by forcing the ukrainians out of their territory and they themselves say in pictures they supplied us you can see them here that they've been withdrawing their heavy weaponry from their part of the agreement under the minsk protocol signed just before the weekend. what we've seen today in debaltseve is shocking. huge caches of artillery shells were left behind by the
ukrainian military as they fled. of course a real sense that the separatists have the military upper hand here. does this victory in debaltseve herald the beginning of a truce for real or is it in fact the beginning of continued violence as they have ambitions to reclaim the whole of donetsk region not just that town of debaltseve, wolf. >> it's a very very tenuous, dangerous situation right now. nick we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you very much. when we come back his father was a president of the united states, his brother was a president of the united states. now we're going to see what jeb bush is trying to do to put a little distance between himself and his dad and his brother. he's delivering a major national security speech. stand by.
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this just coming in to cnn. crews are responding to an explosion at an exxonmobil refinery in torrance, california. these are the pictures of the aftermath of the explosion from our affiliate ktla. people living in the area reported hearing a loud explosion that shook the ground. nearby schools were initially told to shelter in place. that order has now been lifted. no official word on any injuries but some local reports say at least two people were hurt. we'll update you when we get more information. the white house dismissing a government panel's recommendation to name an outsider as the secret service director instead president obama has named the interim
director joseph clancy to lead the agency. clancy stepped in three months ago during a shake-up at the secret service. his return to the agency followed a string of embarrassing incidents, including a fence jumper who made it all the way inside the white house. former florida governor and potential 2016 republican presidential candidate jeb bush sharply criticized the obama administration's foreign policy today. his speech before the chicago council on global affairs just wrapped up. besides his criticism of president obama, governor bush also tried to distinguish his views from those of two former presidents one was his brother the other, his dad. >> i've also been fortunate to have a father and a brother who helped shape america's foreign policy from the oval office. i recognize it as a result my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs. in fact this is a great, fascinating thing in the political world for some reason. sometimes in contrast to theirs.
look, just for the forward the record one more time i love my brother, i love my dad, i love my mother as well, i hope that's okay. and i admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make. but i'm my own man. and my views are shaped by my own thinking and my own experiences. >> let's discuss. joining us david chalian and our cnn chief national correspondent john king. john how important is it for jeb bush to go ahead -- he clearly wants to be the next president of the united states to differentiate himself from his father and his brother? >> it's important two scales. first for the republican primary electorate and for the general electorate. for the general electorate remember george h.w. bush lost his reelection campaign to bill clinton. people thought he had fallen asleep at the switch. george w. bush lost the support of a broad swath of the american people because of the iraq war and katrina.
that's the general election challenge. but remember bush is literally a four-letter word to many consecutive primary voters. george w. bush had the stumbles in the iraq war. among conservative activists, the bush name can help you raise money and gives you an infrastructure but in the activist base of the party, there are a lot of minuses as well as the pluses. >> we went back to the archives and took a look at what jeb bush told our candy crowley back in 2010. listen to this. >> publically or privately what's your biggest political disagreement with your brother? >> i will tell you i'm the only republican that was in office when he was in office as president that never disagreed with him. i'm not going to start now. why do that now after two years? >> not one time did you call up and say don't do that? >> i'm not going to start now. until death do us part.
>> it's not that they are not political differences be uh you don't do that to each other publically. >> i wouldn't. >> of course i wouldn't do that. the news isn't the disagreement. the news is the brothers. there is a schism with the brothers. we love each other and are close and would never do that to each other. >> that's true. they love each other. they are close. they love their father as well. this is a sensitive, delicate matter for jeb bush as he goes into republican primaries. if he gets the nomination to go against the democratic nominee. >> no doubt about it. i can guarantee that clip will be in a dnc ad or web video before long as long as george w. bush is still seen by a large swath of the american public in negative territory. it is a difficult dance although i think jeb bush is forgiven a bunch because it is his brother. i think although he needs to declare himself his own man, i think people will forgive him
some notion of not trashing his own brother. >> he was very tough in his national security speech today. he went after the president of the united states basically saying he's been very very weak when it comes to foreign affairs. >> it was a muscular sweech from jeb bush. he doesn't want to talk about iraq and afghanistan a. those were his brother's wars if you will. he feels he's failing the isis test. he was much more muscular saying this president has a naive view that you can cut a nuclear view with iran. planting himself in the muscular camp of the republican party which is where his brother was without embraceing policies. >> it's important -- george w. bush more than other past presidents we have seen really left the stage. really has ceded the stage. hasn't raised money for the republican party. has not been active in debates about foreign policy or isis. i don't think he's created -- other than his own tenure which
jeb bush is trying to deal with -- i don't think he creates a complication for jeb bush. >> we have more to discuss including the cnn poll numbers when it comes to the race for the white house. the name at the top of the republican list as of right now, six months before the first republican presidential debate, may surprise you. ion that needs to be asked is "what is it that we can do that is impactful?" what the cloud enables is computing to empower cancer researchers. it used to take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome; with the microsoft cloud we can analyze 100 per day. whatever i can do to help compute a cure for cancer, that's what i'd like to do.
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john king. we were talking about jeb bush's speech on security in chicago today. he has been leading in the polls among republicans, especially in december. but take a look at the brand new numbers that are out today. a shift in the polls from december until now. look who wh's's in the lead. mike huckabee is now at 16% among republicans out there versus 6% in december. are you surprised, david? huckabee from 6% to 16%. bush was 23%. he's now down to 14%. >> this makes more sense than the december poll. i think there were a bunch of guys near the top. now we see fourish front runners in double digits. huckabee walker bush and rand paul. i do think when-- announced in december and jumped the gun nobody was in it. he was able to consume support in the decemberle poll. uh now that mike huckabee left
his fox show indicated interest in doing this walker had the boom after the iowa speech. we see folks engaging and you see the field spread out. >> you look at the numbers, john. your analysis? >> number one, david is right. there is no clear front runner. you have jeb bush as the establishment front runner. keep that lower case. he's raising money. when huckabee left the fox show he put out a book, cannotgot a lot of attention in the blogosphere and conservative groups. some of the outlets attacked him for legal status for citizenship and i immigration and common core immigration. under attack a little bit. mike huckabee at a time conservatives have been losing on issues like same-sex marriage promised to stand with him on the issues. this is a result of media coverage. >> we can study and study them. that's what uh you do. but look at the governor of wisconsin from 4 to 11%. a nice bump for him. the governor of new jersey went
from 13% in december down to 7% now. you see scott walker doing well. chris christie not so much. >> it's fluid. as john is saying so much is dictated by news media coverage now. scott walker got a lot of attention for a strong speech in january in front of a lot of iowa conservatives. that got him noticed. chris christie has not been in the hunt as much now that way. i think you are going to see things move. we saw in 2011 and we'll see it this time around too. different people have that numerical top one advantage are. >> what i keep hearing, john is politics -- money talks. jeb bush is raising tons of money. a lot more than any of the other republicans. that potentially could be significant. >> even though he doesn't like the comparison is he like george w. bush who raised the money early on in 2000 and was clearly because of the name identity the money, the network, clearly the front
runner and almost coasted to the nomination. a few bumps and bruises. john mccain challenged him in new hampshire. does jeb bush get a formidable like a mini hillary clinton or is he phil graham steve forbes somebody who comes to the table with money, has good poll numbers early on. as people vote flames out. that's the question. the thing i take away is there is no clear front runnerment walker carved an early space for him. if you are chris christie or marco rubio you have to worry about scott walker. if jeb bush is the establishment favorite there is a number two spot. >> walker has done well with republicans lately. >> he has. no doubt about it. the question for jeb bush is he mitt romney the establishment guy who gets bruised if he emerges with the nomination. >> speaking to the democrats, hillary clinton support arers worry about jeb bush. he's popular in florida, a state she needs as the democratic nominee given the electoral
college issues. don't go far. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." newsroom with brooke baldwin starts nowment here we go. this is cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you very much for being me. we have new information that syrian rebels could start calling the shots in the war against isis. the united states planning to give some moderate rebels the ability to call in u.s. air strikes using gps from down on the ground. this is not exactly expected to sit well with lawmakers who were against arm aing rebel s in the first place in the civil war. concern that not enough is known. just a lack of intel here with regard to the rebel fighters their backgrounds. now with isis extendi