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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Trump Cancels Rally After Protests, Clashes; Soon: Trump to Rally in Ohio After Clashes; Trump Supporters, Protesters Clash in Chicago; Soon: Trump to Rally in Ohio After Clashes. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired March 12, 2016 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:36] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Fistfights here, all-out brawls and melee here between Donald Trump supporters and protesters, shutting down the Republican front-runner's rally in Chicago last night.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, it looks like the doors are just opening and we are three hours away from a planned Donald Trump rally in Ohio this morning, even on the backside of these tensions that we were seeing last night.
Good morning, everyone. So glad to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to start a Saturday with you. And let's go to Illinois, as it gets ready to vote on Tuesday.
Donald Trumps up this morning. He's already got the Twitter thumbs going, in responses to the clashes between the demonstrators and his supporters in Chicago last night. Now, this is video of outside of that rally that was inside the arena there at the university.
Here's the tweet from Donald Trump this morning just about 17 minutes ago, "The organized group of people, many of them thugs who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America."
We're coverings this from all angle. CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston is with us, to break it all down. Phil Mattingly is live outside of Dayton, Ohio, where the Trump event will be starting at 10:00, three hours away, Eastern Time this morning.
But we're going to start with CNN politics reporter Jeremy Diamond in Chicago.
And, Jeremy, we're starting with you, because you were there last night. Give us an idea of what you saw at that event.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, last night was a pretty chaotic scene here. You know, even an hour before Donald Trump's even was supposed to start, you already had protesters being escorted out of the venue. You know, pretty much the five back sections of the arena were filled with hundreds of protesters, preparing to stop Trump. One of them telling me before the event that they planned on, you know, making sure that Trump could not spread his message here in Chicago.
You know, what ensued were clashes after the event was cancelled by a Trump campaign staffer who came to the podium. You had clashes between supporters and protesters, and eventually that spilled over outside as well where you had protesters shouting down Trump supporters who were trying to leave a parking garage here.
So, a pretty chaotic scene altogether, but something completely unusual. You know, we've seen increasingly, protests at Trump's events. We've seen some violent reaction from Trump supporters as well, including just this week when a Trump supporter actually punched a protester in the face. This protester was simply being escorted out of the venue.
So, pretty chaotic scene last night. Hundreds of protesters, but not something altogether unusual or unexpected as a reaction to a Donald Trump event.
BLACKWELL: Jeremy, thank you so much.
Let's got to Mark now.
Mark, there, of course, is this ongoing conversation about the degree of culpability, of responsibility that Donald Trump has for this. But I wonder looking ahead to the contests on Tuesday, how will this impact these crucial states? Do we see that this will hurt Trump or maybe even help him in gaining the nomination?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, Victor, I think that if you are a Donald Trump supporter, there's no question that are you going to stay with him. In fact, I was talking to some folks that were here, that here for many, many hours waiting in line to see Donald Trump at 10:00. They were here overnight. They think Donald Trump has the right to say what he is and if you don't like what he has to say, then don't listen to him.
And as far as the violence that is going on in what we saw in Chicago last night, these folks say it's being incited by the other side and that basically, "If you're going get in our face, we're going to get in your face" is the message that I'm hearing very much echoing from Donald Trump tweeting this morning.
But the question is, as we're heading now into these crucial primaries here in Illinois, in Missouri, also in North Carolina, in Ohio, of course, and down in Florida, you've got to question, are some folks who might have been on the fence, whether or not they would support Donald Trump, will they back off a little bit?
But I think what we saw last night in Chicago was certainly going to harden his hard core supporters who will show up on Tuesday.
BLACKWELL: All right. Phil Mattingly, if we can get Phil's shot up there. Phil, my question to you is the people who are coming out, should they
expect security changes at the events today starting with this one in Ohio?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, the Dayton Police, the Vandalia Police, the Secret Service, even the Dayton airport police are all involved in this event this morning.
[07:05:03] Not a big expectation of a change. Donald Trump events are also heavy in security, obviously, when a Secret Service is involved, that means you're going to be swept, you're going to be going through metal detectors before you get into the event.
Now, as Mark noted people were like up, hundreds already in line at midnight. A couple of Secret Service agents, a couple of police officers, have been roaming around, talking to the crowd, kind of gauging what's going on so far. I think one of the different aspects with this today and Vandalia, just a couple of miles outside of Dayton, and what we saw last night is where it actually is. It's in an airport hangar just off the Dayton International Airport. It's in a private road, it's fenced in.
The police departments that are working here and the security services on a whole have a much better grasp of the scene and ability to kind of keep control of things, Victor. So, a different scenario than what we saw last night. There's a lost security, no question about it.
But so far, as Mark said, the tone, fairly calm. Everybody in line is more just excited to see Trump. A lot of people I spoken to actually said last night what they saw on TV motivated them to come out today, but as of now, everything very calm, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Hey, Phil, stay with us. Christi has got a question she wants to toss it here.
PAUL: I want to ask you about what you just said, because you said it last hour, that it motivates -- some people are telling you what happened last night motivated them to come out. Did they say why? What was it about the chaos and the violence that they saw last night that made them want to be there today?
MATTINGLY: The perspective I've heard from a number of different Trump supporters, again, some of whom who have been lined up already for several hours is what they saw last night was a couple of things. One, it was professional demonstrators who were there solely to take away Donald Trump's rights and First Amendment rights and by extension their First Amendment rights.
Now, there are plenty of people who would criticize that perspective. But that's their perspective. That's what's motivating them to come out.
I talked to one person who drove up from Kentucky, Covington, Kentucky, it was about an hour drive, was here at 1:00 a.m. to get in line. So, they were somewhat nervous and scared about what they saw happened in Chicago. Obviously, they were aware protesters are going to be at every single Donald Trump event that they go to.
But what they saw motivated them to come, this is now their second event. They went to one in Louisville already this year. Motivated them to come out here because they want to show those protesters that they won't back down.
It's a lot, Christi, of what Mark said as well. They want to stand up to people. They feel like what happened last night was a challenge to Donald Trump, a challenge to his supporters and now, they're here to show they can get back at them, or at least stand up to them in some form, Christi.
PAUL: Standing up, they say, I guess, with the First Amendment right to speak.
Phil Mattingly, thank you so much. We appreciate to all of you. We appreciate your voices and certainly bringing us the very latest.
Listen, coming up, people who were inside that rally last night are talking about what they saw, how chaotic it was, how violent it was. In fact, we're talking to the man who took this video of the fight, what he says about how it made him feel and how it started.
[07:11:32] PAUL: There's pushing, there's shoving, and notice there are cameras taking it all in as signs for Donald Trump go up. This is at the Trump rally yesterday -- last night in Chicago. The rally that we need to point out was canceled because of the violence that broke out. Five people were arrested. Two police officers were injured.
And now, other presidential candidates have something to say about this video and what we saw play out yesterday.
Hillary Clinton and John Kasich, in fact, released these statements. First of all, Hillary Clinton, "The divisive rhetoric that we are seeing should be of grave concern no matter what party we belong to or what views we hold, should not only say loudly and clearly that violence has no place in our politics. We should use our words and deeds to bring Americans together."
Then we have this from Kasich, "Tonight, the seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign finally bore fruit and it was ugly."
I want to point out that Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz also slammed Trump for his angry rhetoric. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think you have a right to disrupt an event the way they tried to do so, just because you don't like what the person is saying, OK? Number one.
On the other hand, I do think that Mr. Trump needs to own up to the fact that the rhetoric he has used to some of his events have also contributed to the climate that you've seen in other rallies that he's had. There are consequences for the things people say in politics. You know, a president, for example, can't just speak their mind. There are real consequences. They can't just say whatever comes to mine. There are real consequences to the word someone speaks.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, Donald Trump spoke with CNN's Don Lemon after the Chicago rally was canceled and he was asked if he had any regrets about anything he said so far in this campaign. Watch and listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): We have had great success. We have fantastic support and fantastic supporters. We have said wrong things when people were wrong. When people were wrong, we have said some very, very strong things.
Now, getting back to before tonight when I talked about illegal immigration, I have no regret whatsoever. If I didn't bring up illegal immigration, it wouldn't even be a subject of the campaign, Don. It's become a very, very important subject and if I didn't bring it up, people wouldn't be talking about it.
And frankly, it's really hurting our country badly in a lot of ways from a crime standpoint and from an economic standpoint and from a drug standpoint. Drugs are pouring into our country through the southern border. It's hurting our country very, very badly.
So, if you think I should say, "Oh, gee, it's too bad I brought up the problem of illegal immigration at our southern border in particular," I am not at all. I'm very proud to have brought --
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What about in particular the things you have said in rallies about taking them out on stretchers and that sort of thing. Do you have any regrets about what you said?
TRUMP: These were bad -- no, I don't have any regrets because these were very, very bad protesters. These were bad dudes. They were very, very rough, tough guys. They did a lot of damage before they were taken out.
[07:15:03] And they weren't taken out on stretchers, frankly. They weren't. They ended up doing damage.
Nobody talks about that. Nobody mentions when the protester's a violent protester, and it happens. It happens not often, but it happens. And when it does, I will talk about that protester much differently than I talk about most where we just have fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: All right. Again, that was Donald Trump reacting to what was happening last night.
The big question I think, though, is, will that rally be rescheduled? Will he go back to Chicago? We know that today he is in Dayton and he'll be in Cleveland and later tonight will also be in Kansas City, Missouri.
We'll be following it for you throughout the day. But we do have some other pictures for you, these, again, live pictures from Dayton, Ohio, and that airport hanger where Donald Trump will be in just a little less than three hours now.
And you heard Phil Mattingly say, people have been lined up for seven hours to get in to see him.
But there's other news we need to talk to you about today, too, because we have new details on some major flooding across parts of the southeast. Several people have died now and thousands more are being evacuated.
BLACKWELL: Also, the military has been watching secretly watching North Korea's apparent search for a submarine, like the one you see on your screen. Up next, why this vessel may be lost at sea?
PAUL: Nineteen minutes past the hour.
There's so much to talk about today and we're going to get right back to it. But there are other news stories that we do want to get to you that are important.
[07:20:01] Dozens of people are evacuated by boat this morning as flooding submerges Louisiana neighborhoods. Take a look at these pictures from Bashir Parish. Many called that area that ground zero for flooding, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood in the state until eight o'clock this morning. So, about another 40 minutes to go, Central Standard Time. I guess an hour and 40.
So far at least three people we know have already died in the Louisiana flooding.
BLACKWELL: Some senators are hoping to pass a bill next week unto the House that would give federal aid to Flint, Michigan, to help the city deal with its water crisis as we've been following for some time now. They have a few snags to get past first, including renegotiating how to pay for that assistance. It would then go to the House for a vote.
Last year, researchers discovered high levels of lead in the city's drinking water. Flint's water crisis occurred after the city switched its water source about two years ago to cut costs.
PAUL: And listen to this, U.S. officials say North Korea has lost contact with one of its submarines. They believe it may have happened off North Korea's east coast during a military exercise that happened earlier this week and they say the U.S. military was observing the sub when it stopped. They think it may be adrift at sea or has already sunk.
BLACKWELL: So, there was this dramatic five-car crash in the L.A. area. Look at this.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh.
BLACKWELL: This was surveillance video. In the video, you see cars waiting an intersection. Then this white car run as red light, slams head first into an white SUV waiting at the light, sent six people to the hospital. Police, as you'd expect, are investigating this crash.
PAUL: Well, it is a rally, we've really seen nothing like it at any of the candidate rallies, but particularly Donald Trump here -- anger, protests, clashes at his Chicago event last night, so much so they canceled it. You're going hear from the man who shot this video. He says the scene was just out of control. There's a lot of questions for him.
BLACKWELL: And for your the Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders getting ready for a big with town hall in Ohio tomorrow.
Up next, why Secretary Clinton is now apologizing for some comments she made about Nancy Reagan and the Reagan administration, specifically about AIDS and the 1980s.
PAUL: But first, mortgage rates inched up this week. Here's your look.
[07:26:02] BLACKWELL: It was violent. There's no other word for it. This is the Chicago event last night. This was just after the announcement came that the rally planned for Donald Trump's campaign had been canceled.
You see here one of the many scuffles there in the crowd. Some people were detained. A couple of police officers were hurt in all of this. And this morning, there is a rally planned just outside of Dayton for 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
PAUL: Now, Hector Duran was at the rally you were looking at there last night and he's with us by phone. While we're talking to him, I want to play some of the video as well that Hector took while he was there.
Hector, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. We appreciate it.
HECTOR DURAN, EYEWITNESS AT TRUMP RALLY: You're welcome.
PAUL: When you saw this starting to -- this violence starting to break out, what did you think? What did you feel?
DURAN: I think it was more kind of -- I don't want to say I expected it to be canceled but I knew tensions are going to be high and there would be some -- I don't think it was going to be peaceful at all.
So, I'm not a Trump supporter or a non-Trump supporter. I was just kind of there on the fence. I was more for the experience actually, among me and my friends, they decided to go.
I'm sorry? Go ahead.
PAUL: You just decided. What was it -- you said you didn't expect it to be peaceful. Why did you expect it not to be peaceful?
DURAN: Just from previous rallies that Donald Trump has had, a lot of the rallies are not peaceful in Chicago. I wasn't shocked.
PAUL: Certainly, we haven't seen anything like this at the Donald Trump rallies. Did you get the sense while you were there that some of this violence or some of these clashes were organized or did it happen kind of organically on the spot, spontaneously?
DURAN: There might -- there might have some organization it. I don't think their intention was to get violent, but, you know, I think they -- I don't want to say they do what they have to do, but that's essentially what they did.
PAUL: So, what conversations did you over hear amongst people after this happened, as you were still maybe in the arena or exiting it?
DURAN: There were people that as it was starting to clear out, there were people throwing chants like "build that wall" was a chant for the Trump supporters that they did have, and then there was still like -- I think they were UIC students who were on the ground. They were chanting Bernie and chant -- they were protesting Trump and being on the side of Bernie Sanders. And then just -- they were talking about how, you know, they've never seen anything like this at any presidential debate and how the atmosphere was pretty crazy going on.
PAUL: What did -- how long did it take, will it me ask you that? How long were you in the arena before this broke out?
DURAN: Actually we were -- we were probably the second to last batch to get in to the arena before they were sold out of seating. And then probably as soon as we got to our seats, it was announced it would be canceled, the rally was. We were still hanging in there for about -- we were in the upper balcony for 30 minutes, 35 minutes. We were watching until Chicago police kicked us out and that's just --
PAUL: What happened once the police -- and we see this video here once the police came into the arena? What happened at that point?
DURAN: Oh, I'm not really frightened. I was probably more worried because I'm on my crutches right now so I really can't get in the leg. I'm recovering right now, but I just was worried about getting hit by anyone.
PAUL: There was no violence next to you.
DURAN: No. [07:30:03] PAUL: The closest is what we saw you videotaping?
PAUL: With your phone?
PAUL: OK. And, Hector, last question. What kind of -- were there any conversations about politics while you were there about people who did support Trump, who didn't support Trump? What conversations were you and your friends having?
DURAN: Well, conversations of other people, it was very -- civil between Trump supporters and the protesters. They were very civil outside from what I was seeing and what I was hearing. And between me and my friends, we talked about whether we had never seen anything like this before, whether in person or even on TV.
PAUL: Last question here, have you made up your mind about who you're going to vote for? And did this influence you in any way?
DURAN: You know, I don't want to say it influenced me, but I don't think -- maybe Bernie Sanders or Clinton. I'm still kind of on the fence between one of them too.
PAUL: OK. Well, Hector Duran, we appreciate the video. We appreciate hearing your voice and perspective since you were indeed there. Thank you so much and glad that you're OK.
DURAN: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
PAUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: So, in about 2 1/2 hours from now, Donald Trump is scheduled to have a rally just outside of Dayton in Ohio. Will it be a repeat of the tensions, protests, clashes from last night in Chicago?
Let's bring in CNN politics editor Mark Preston.
Of course, no one is hoping that will happen and there would be security there, of course. We know that Donald Trump is having Secret Service protection and there will be security there from local law enforcement.
But I wonder with the people who are gather behind you, what are the conversations they're having about what they saw in Chicago last night?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, Victor, I think people are very much hardened. Look, these folks who have been here, they're clearly Donald Trump supporters. They are frustrated by what they saw last night. Some of them have said they've been at previous rallies in adjoining states here and they've been seeing protesters come in and interrupt. Now, they say that protesters have a First Amendment right to do so, but they don't have the right to stop Donald Trump from talking to them and spreading his message and talking about how he would be as the next president of the United States.
The violence, though, certainly is going to be interesting to see if it takes a turn on how people view this campaign going forward. I think what you're going to see, though, Victor, is on both sides. You will see the diehard Donald Trump supporters being even hardened toward the message.
The question is, those people who are on the fence who are looking at him, who might like his message at this time, are they a little concerned about the violence and what they saw, for instance, last night in Chicago?
BLACKWELL: So, Mark, we know the people who attend these events are not always Donald Trump supporters and as we heard from Hector in his previous conversation with Christi, sometimes they're not anti-Trump. They're just there for the show, to see it. Trump said this in St. Louis yesterday.
This is a quote, "From my standpoint it makes it a little more exciting," speaking about the protesters, "and it gives me time to think about where I would go next. It's beautiful. It's like intermission. And the guys that are near the event, they see some pretty good stuff."
How many of the people from -- you've been to these rallies and events before -- are there just for the show, for the potential of what we saw in Chicago?
PRESTON: Well, there's no question element of folks coming out to see Donald Trump because it is quite a spectacle and in many ways historic. But I've got to tell you, having followed Donald Trump around a bit this campaign cycle, it is different. We're at this stage in the campaign where we're seeing voters actually engaged at a higher level.
Folks that are walking in, you see them behind me, they're being handed signs, you know, they're being handed paraphernalia. They're taking it readily. They really seem to be very much supportive of Donald Trump at this time.
Go back to Iowa in January when Donald Trump was holding rallies there. You had a lot of folks who would come just to go and see what it was like. Many of them were Democrats. I think at this point in the campaign just a few days before Ohio will vote as well as several other states, I do think you're starting to see folks sort of coming out who believe in Donald Trump and are going to vote for Donald Trump.
BLACKWELL: All right. CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston, there for us outside of Dayton, Ohio, at this hangar where the Trump plane will pull up close to 10:00 Eastern. That will be the next event -- first three for Donald Trump today. Mark, thank you so much. Well, let's take you back a few days to when dozens of students were
kicked out of a Trump rally in Georgia. It was the Valdosta area -- actually this was a couple of weeks ago.
PAUL: The Trump campaign says the GOP front runner did not remove them, didn't order them to be removed.
[07:35:02] Those involved don't agree with that. We're going to talk with two of those students who were there in just a bit.
BLACKWELL: Plus, we're one day away from the CNN Democratic town hall. It's in Columbus, Ohio. Hillary Clinton, though, is today apologizing for praising Nancy Reagan for one specific reason. Why the comment she made about the former first lady is causing backlash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're shocked that somebody could be loose with the facts or distort someone's record. Shocked!
How can you be shocked? This is the guy, remember, who was sure that I was born in Kenya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. That was President Obama yesterday mocking Republican establishments who are now trying to prevent Donald Trump from securing the party's presidential nomination.
During that speech to Democratic donors, President Obama argued that Trump's past should have served as prologue.
Joining me now, CNN political commentator, Maria Cardona, a Hillary Clinton supporter and Nomiki Konst, Democratic strategist and Bernie Sanders supporter.
Good to have you both of you with us this morning.
Maria, you've been with us. Nomiki, this is your first time on the show this morning. I just generally want to get your reaction to what we saw out of Chicago last night, at that now canceled Donald Trump event.
NOMIKI KONST, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Victor, we have a long history of peaceful protests in this country.
[07:40:04] There's no -- we would be nowhere if we weren't a country that had no protests. I mean, we had achieved major legislation as a result of peaceful protests. I think that the problem with Donald Trump events is that he doesn't realize he's a power figure now. He's running for a position as leader of the free world, excuse me. And so, he should expect this type of peaceful protest in response to the rhetoric. I mean, he has created it. I mean, you're right -- President Obama is right. The establishment,
the Republican establishment has fueled this by playing into the instincts of a lot of these voters in allowing this type of racist behavior. So, when you have the left and you have younger people and Bernie Sanders supporters coming out there, they're feeling not just unheard, but disrespected and afraid of what the consequences of a potential Trump presidency are.
BLACKWELL: Let's get for you -- I want to jump in here and put up on the screen what the Bernie Sanders, the campaign at least tweeted out yesterday. He tweeted, "We do things a little different in this campaign. We bring people together, #BernieIllinois."
But we do have video and some of the protesters at that event holding up Bernie Sanders signs chanting "Bernie, Bernie."
What is Senator Sanders' responsibility now? He tweeted out obviously what his campaign does, but does he need to speak specifically about this to his supporters today?
KONST: Well, I think it's up to Bernie Sanders so set the tone, and he has. I mean, none of those supporters were inciting violence. They were there to send a message to Donald Trump and they have every right to and I encourage people to use their voice effectively.
But I also encourage Donald Trump to tone it down, tone down the rhetoric. He's literally been calling for violence against reporters. His own staff has assaulted reporters and there are police reports out against his own staff members.
I mean, this is a major problem in the Donald Trump campaign. It's not Bernie Sanders', Hillary Clinton's, the Democrats, anybody else's obligation to contain peaceful protests when you have somebody on the right who's taking things to such an extreme. These are people who feel like they're being disrespected. You have Muslims in the audience who are saying they were afraid for their lives. You have people praying.
BLACKWELL: Nomiki, let me jump in here, because it seems a bit consistent to say that Bernie Sanders or any other candidates, they don't have a specific responsibility to speak to those voters in one way and expect Donald Trump to tone down the rhetoric or speak directly to his supporters.
So, just as the onus is on Donald Trump to speak to his supporters to tone down the rhetoric, is the onus not on Sanders to speak to those supporters who were at that event as well?
KONST: Well, I think that the supporters were very different. The Donald Trump supporters are punching people that come in to peacefully protest. Bernie Sanders supporters are literally praying in the audience to send a message. There were Muslim men in the audience, on the floor, praying to send a peaceful they were.
There was quite a difference in strategy for protesting between the two audiences. Now, Bernie Sanders has called for people to unite and to peacefully use their rhetoric in response to Donald Trump.
But, you know, is it his obligation to tone down the violence on the right? No. But I think it's Donald Trump's obligation to tone it down quite a bit. And they -- I'm glad they shut down the event.
BLACKWELL: Got it.
Maria, let me come to you and I want to come to you about some comments for which Hillary has apologized in characterizing the Reagan administration, specifically Nancy Reagan's work and advocacy as it relates to the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s. Watch and listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about AIDS back in 1980s and because of both president and Mrs. Reagan, in particular Mrs. Reagan, we started a national conversation when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it, you know, that too is something that I really appreciate with her very effective, low key advocacy. But it penetrated the public conscience and people began to say, hey, we have to do something about this too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: There was major backlash after those comments, Maria, from the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD. I mean, the record that the Reagans did not act quickly enough, many will say, did not advocate for people who are suffering with this then new disease. Ronald Reagan didn't even utter word or acronym AIDS until September of '85.
She did, Secretary Clinton released this statement on Twitter. She said, "While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS. For that I am sorry."
First, just generally, how does something like this happen? But it wasn't like a quick equip that was inaccurate. She went on for sometime about describing something that just did not happen.
[07:45:03] MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you know, I think that this is a situation and a circumstance where we have to look at the context. Hillary Clinton was at Nancy Reagan's funeral, and I think she was trying to find ways to honor her life's work. And, yes, she misspoke and she talked about something that was not true and it was hurtful to a lot of people, but also to her credit, she acknowledged it, she took responsibility for it, she apologized for it, and I think that that is going to be enough and she reacted to the backlash because a lot of her supporters are those LGBT activists, so I think you have to give her credit for that.
And then you have to look at her record. Her record is one for fighting for AIDS prevention from the time that her husband was nominated at the DNC convention in 1992. It was the very first time they were talking about this. BLACKWELL: I don't think anybody is questioning her record, Maria,
and all of it is recorded. It harkens back to 2008 when she said that, you know, she under fire on a tarmac and had to rush over from a plane to a car and there's video of her accepting flowers at a welcome ceremony. I mean, this cannot help with the continued struggle of growing that honest and trustworthy number in the internals of the polls.
CARDONA: Well, but, again, I think that people have to take this in terms of where she was and the context that she was making these remarks. She wasn't talking about herself. She wasn't doing anything to try to self-aggrandize her campaign or her own standing. She was trying to give tribute to a first lady of the United States, who has been very beloved by many, many people.
And I think that people are going to cut her some slack for that. And again I think that, record on this is important because in her own record it hadn't been one for fighting for AIDS prevention and making sure this was a conversation that was had globally from the moment that it was necessary when she has positions of power, then I think the backlash would have been warranted and I think this would be much more of an issue than it should be.
So, I think she apologized for it and I think we're going to move on to other issues.
BLACKWELL: You got it. She indeed released that apology and she straight out said, "I'm sorry," which is not something you hear very often.
Maria Cardona and Nomiki Konst, good to have both of you this morning.
KONST: Thanks for having us.
CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: All righty. Coming up here, what's it like to be kicked out of a Donald Trump rally. Well, we're talking to two students who say that's exactly what happened to them.
[07:51:07] PAUL: Problems with protesters, nothing new necessarily for the Donald Trump campaign. About 30 students, though, tried to attempt a Trump rally in Georgia last month. They were kicked out before it even started. I want to share this video with you. This group of 30 to 40 being escorted out of this event.
Two of those students are with us. We want to talk to Tatum Schindler in just a moment here. She's here in Atlanta. But also want to get to Mia Rawls, who is joining us from Valdosta.
Mia, thank you so much for being with us. I want to ask you first and foremost, because as I understand it, you said you would sit there in silent protest. Help us understand what happened when you were there. MIA RAWLS, VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: First of all, thank you
for having me this morning and second, I need to quickly clarify the fact that we were not -- we were not protesters. Our goal was not to protest. Our goal was not to disrupt anything.
Our goal was to sit there and be there at the rally because we had permission, we had tickets and we wanted to stand in solidarity with classmates in regards to our lack of communication and poor communication with our university and the fact that we did not agree with Donald Trump coming to our campus and our university.
PAUL: But if not agreeing with Donald Trump being there, is that not protesting in someway? I guess I'm trying to clarify why you were there.
RAWLS: It wasn't a protest because we weren't out -- we weren't outwardly doing anything to show the fact that we didn't agree him being there because that's his right to be there and we respected that. So, our goal was to listen to what he had to say point blank period.
But there has been some communication issues with administration in regards to booking the P.E. complex or any other issues or matters at hand so our presence was to be as a unified front.
PAUL: OK. So it had to do just as much with the university, am I understanding that Tatum? Tatum is here with us now.
It had to do as much with some upset you have about the university as much as it did with Donald Trump?
TATUM SCHINDLER, VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: Yes, ma'am, I would definitely agree with that.
PAUL: OK, there is also a discrepancy here about why you were escorted out. I know that the Trump campaign has said they didn't even know the incident happened, that they weren't the ones that said they need to order you out, but then we do also hear from the Valdosta police chief Brian Childress who said I personally asked the Trump campaign why these folks were told to leave. The reason was, they were being disrupted. The Trump said they were profanity. The F bomb is one word that was used.
Help us understand. Did you witness anybody being disruptive at this event before it has started?
SCHINDLER: Myself personally, absolutely not. The friends and people I was surrounded by, we participated in the rally. We sang the Pledge of Allegiance. We sang the national anthem, we said the Pledge of Allegiance.
We were participating in the rally just as the other 15,000 were there. We weren't using profanity, as far as I know. I didn't hear anything and to be honest, had I heard something I probably would have been like, you know, not now, this is not the place because I knew that would be grounds for removal from a rally because that is technically being disruptive.
But as far as I know, as far as I witnessed, there was no profanity being used.
PAUL: So, Mia, let me ask you, what reason were you given your group was escorted out of this rally?
RAWLS: We initially weren't given a reason. What happened is we were standing there, and the second wave of students came to join us and we were roughly pushed out saying get out now by the Georgia Bureau of Investigators, Secret Service and police department.
[07:55:08] And every time we tried to ask why are we being made to leave? We were just forcefully removed.
And so, when -- the first reason given is this is a private event and I asked the classmates to say show the police department, your tickets. Because we got them from event, right? They were free, they print it up and go.
So, we showed tickets. So, a police officer left and came back to give us some other reasons and the ultimate reason is it's a private event. It was said we were being disruptive, even though we were not and we were asked to leave. The cursing was brought up to us, although, I didn't hear type of passion or excitement is normal at rallies and events of excitement in American culture, so I'm not even sure why that was brought up but definitely was not coming from us.
PAUL: I only have a second left but, Tatum, as you've gone through this, if you could talk to Donald Trump, I mean, if you were there and wanted to hear something from him or tell him something, what do you want him to know?
SCHINDLER: That's a wonderful question. If I had 15, you know, 20 seconds to speak to Donald Trump, I would really kind of like to get into his head, wonder where the xenophobia, where the hate that his campaign has been founded on, where does that spawn from and what can we do as Americans, what can we do to combat that and change that, so that everyone -- you know, we could have a president we're not afraid of that minorities and, you know, LGBT are not afraid to live in the country because of the president that we have in place.
You know, I just want -- if he wants to be president, if he wants to represent me, then I think he needs to think like I do, love people like I do, treat people like I would, and that's really what I would have to say to him.
PAUL: All right. Tatum Schindler and Mia Rawls, we so appreciate you both for being here. Thank you for helping us clarify.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Christi.
Let's take a live look at the people outside of Dayton, Ohio. I believe the name of that area is Vandalia, Ohio where Donald Trump will host the first rally after the cancelled rally of Chicago scheduled for 10:00 Eastern. So, a little more than two hours from now, getting a lot of attention from candidates ahead of Tuesday's crucial vote. Governor John Kasich will be there with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders in nearby Illinois.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz giving Missouri some attention today, trying to block Trump's path to the nomination. Marco Rubio campaigns in his home state of Florida. We will take a quick break and be back at the top of the hour.