Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SUNDAY
Trump Defends Tone Of Campaign, Supporters; Sanders: Don't Blame My Supporters For Unrest; Trump, Sanders Trade Blame For Rally Violence; Kasich: Trump Has Created A Toxic Environment; Republicans Criticize Trump's Rhetoric. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired March 13, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:00:13] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's another Bernie sign. Get her out of here. Out.
I hope these guys get thrown into a jail. They'll never do it again.
And you know what, I'm going to start pressing charges against all these people.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You see bigotry (inaudible). You see violence (inaudible) and if you see a bully, stand up to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Sunday morning. I'm so grateful to have your company. Good morning, everybody. I'm Christi Paul. Victor Blackwell is with us from Ohio. Good morning Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, Christi. Good morning to you at home. I'm Victor Blackwell live from the Mershon Auditorium on the campus of the Ohio State University. Have to put that "the" in there. The site of tonight's Democratic primary, a town hall.
We are just two days away, though, from the big day. The big event. Maybe one of the biggest days of voting in a primary season. Super Tuesday part three I guess we'll call it.
Tonight here as we said the Democrats will answer questions from voters in the CNN town hall ahead of that crucial contest coming up.
And for the Republicans, 367 delegates are at stake on March 15th, the big delegate prices, Florida, Ohio, winner-take-all states, of course.
GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump escalating his tone against the protesters at his rallies who on Saturday interrupted events in Ohio and Missouri several times.
And now he's calling for people who demonstrated at his rallies to potentially be arrested. CNN senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta has more for us.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Another Donald Trump rally interrupted by protesters, this time in Kansas City. There were roughly 30 to 40 demonstrators who were let out of this theater during the course of these remarks from Donald Trump.
But unlike the situation in Chicago, which exploded into a violent melee this was a largely peaceful outbreak of demonstrations. Donald Trump was showing frustration with these protesters throughout the night.
At one point, he said he's going to start pressing charges against these protesters to make them stop. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I hope these guys get thrown into a jail. They will never do it again. It will destroy their record. They'll have to explain to mom and why they have a police record and why they can't get a job. And do you know what? I'm going start pressing charges against all these people. OK?
And then we won't have a problem and I don't want to do that. I don't want to ruin somebody's life. They are probably good kids. They were probably good kids. I don't want to ruin people's, but the only way we're going to stop this craziness is if we press charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Outside this rally, Kansas City Police arrested a number of the demonstrators. Even using pepper spray on some them. Meanwhile, during his remarks, Trump defended his decision to cancel his rally in Chicago saying it was the right decision to make.
He also praised Secret Service agents for protecting him from a protester earlier in the day who had jumped a barricade. Jim Acosta, CNN, Kansas City.
BLACKWELL: All right, Jim, thank you so much. Trump doubling down now in his response to Friday's events in Chicago. You know, that was the rally that was canceled at that city after saying he wasn't responsible for the violence.
Instead now he's placing the blame on Democrats. Yesterday, Trump accused Senator Bernie Sanders of instigating the problems.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The people that were there, that came there, that were invited there, thousands and thousands of people. They caused no problem. They were taunted. They are harassed by these other people.
These other people, by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend. So with Bernie he should really get up and say to his people, stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: CNN senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns, is here with me in Ohio. And Joe, quickly we heard a response from the Sanders campaign.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: This was an extraordinary day in American politics quite frankly. You have Donald Trump calling Bernie Sanders a communist. Bernie Sanders puts out a written statement in which he refers to Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the Republican side, as a pathological liar.
The other things I think that are important to say about this is that Bernie Sanders did deny repeatedly that his campaign had anything do with organizing the violence or the protests in Chicago.
But he did say that essentially his supporters were responding to the rhetoric of Donald Trump. So let's listen to that sound bite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has in fact in many ways encouraged violence.
[06:05:14]Donald Trump has got to be loud and clear and tell his supporters that violence at rallies is not what America is about and to end it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Wow. Remarkable statement there. And then we also heard from Secretary Clinton.
JOHNS: Right. She started out the day with a statement that sounded fairly conciliatory. Why can't we just get along? But as the day went on she got into the fight as well with much more sharper rhetoric. Let's listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: You know we will always have our differences, won't we? That's what happens in a democracy like ours. But the ugly divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong and it is dangerous. If you play with matches, you are going to start a fire you can't control. That's not leadership. That is political arson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Political arson is what she's calling that. Do we know what the next steps are at least for the Democrats in responding to what they are seeing, hearing on the Republican side?
JOHNS: Well, on balance, you know, I know that the Democrats have been talking a lot about Donald Trump all the way through the campaign and they have used some pretty incendiary rhetoric. But I think we've gone to kind of a whole new level with what happened in Chicago and the question will be what happens next. As far as investigations go that is where you get to the bottom line of who did what and when.
I have reached out to authorities in Chicago just to get someone to say OK. Then who did organize this? So far we haven't gotten any response.
BLACKWELL: All right, Joe Johns, with us this morning. We'll talk to you throughout the morning and see if we get an update there.
And tense moments, of course, at the Donald Trump rally in Ohio. As Secret Service agents rush the surround Trump when a protester jumps the barricade and tries to get on the stage.
He didn't anywhere close, but it raises the questions are the Trump rallies becoming more dangerous not just with protesters, but for Trump himself? Is the Trump campaign enjoying this tension?
We heard from Trump himself in St. Louis on Friday that it's a beautiful thing. It gives him time to think where he's going to go next and that the people who are close to the event get to see some pretty good stuff. Those are Trump's words from St. Louis on Friday, paraphrasing there.
CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston, joins us now. You were there. What did you see? What was it like?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Let's just take a step back and say what Joe said right here. It was an amazing day in politics yesterday. Not only for the rhetoric but also for the continued heightened tension in some ways violence.
When that gentlemen rushed the stage caught everybody off guard. To the Secret Service credit, they got him very quickly, but he had moved so quickly across that barrier to try to get to Donald Trump.
In addition to that, while we didn't see anything like what we saw in Chicago, there were people being thrown out and there were some heated tensions as they were being removed from it.
We've come to a point right now I think in our political life right now that we are living right at this morning when the political discourse is just in the gutter at this point. And I can't imagine that it is going to get any better.
BLACKWELL: Who has the broad shoulders right now to bring down or calm down the rhetoric? We saw from RNC Chair Reince Priebus released a statement saying in part that everyone has the right to free speech, but it should stay there at speech.
Does he has even in this insider or outsider climate the gravitas needed to bring everything down? It worked for the debate on Thursday. PRESTON: You got to give Reince credit for trying to do so, but it is really not on his shoulders. It lies squarely on the shoulders of the candidates. Donald Trump needs to come out and tell his supporters to calm it down a little bit.
Bernie Sanders needs to come out and tell his folks it is all about free speech, but you got to tone it down a little bit. Because what you're going to have is you are going to have these explosive moments like we saw in Chicago, like we saw last night in Kansas City where someone is eventually going to get really, really hurt.
BLACKWELL: Any indication that either candidate or either campaign is going to do just that?
PRESTON: No and absolutely not. Bernie Sanders is correct saying it is not his fault necessarily. Because you are supporting Bernie Sanders and you go out and do something, it doesn't mean he's condoning it. But at this point, we heard Donald Trump again last night at his rally just basically heightening, right?
[06:10:04]Just saying what you said, aren't Trump rallies fun? Isn't this fun? This is unpredictable, people like to come to Trump rallies so something needs to happen before something bad happens.
BLACKWELL: Is there any indication, and this is pretty unorthodox, if Trump wins in Florida, if he wins in Ohio, and effectively he's on the march of the nomination that we'll see a reduction in the rallies, a reduction in the campaign events for Donald Trump? He's already said there had been enough debates.
PRESTON: Right. You know, and there's something to be said for that because at that point what he's removing for this equation right now is fighting a true front battle. He's fighting the Democratic on one side and he is continuing to fight Republicans on the other side for the primary.
I think if you remove that, you can probably can calm it down a little bit. And as you said at the debate the other night, what was so amazing this past week is that we had a very civil debate down in Florida.
There is no real sniping at one another. We thought the temperature had been lowered a bit and then what happens the next day? It all breaks loose again.
BLACKWELL: Yes, a fascinating day. We'll talk more throughout the morning. Mark Preston with us this morning, thank you so much.
A programming note, of course, join us for the CNN TV One Democratic presidential town hall happening in this room in advance of Tuesday's critical primaries in Ohio. Voters will put questions to both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. That is tonight, 8 p.m. Eastern, here on CNN.
Now you might expect Democrats to criticize what we're seeing at some of the Trump rallies, but now the criticism is coming from fellow Republicans. What they are saying that's coming up next.
Plus Hillary Clinton goes after Bernie Sanders over healthcare. But did that attack backfire? We'll talk to her campaign strategist later in the show.
Also a closer look at the momentum of protesters at the Trump rallies. Where do they come from and how will this stop?
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell live at the Mershon Auditorium on the campus of the Ohio State University, the site of tonight's Democratic town hall.
Let's take a moment and talk about the Republicans and what's going on with some of these violent incidents at rallies for Donald Trump. Republicans now joining in with Democrats in condemning rhetoric from Donald Trump like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them would you? Seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Governor John Kasich said he could no longer hold back after the violence in Chicago. Here's what he said about Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump has created a toxic environment and the toxic environment has allowed his supporters and those who sometimes seek confrontation to come together in violence.
There is no place for this. There is no place for a national leader to prey on the fears of people who live in our great country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I'm joined now by Kayleigh McEnany, Republican strategist and Trump supporter, and Ben Ferguson, CNN political commentator and also host of "The Ben Ferguson Show." Good to have both of you with us this morning.
I know, Kayleigh, you're on the phone. Ben, I want to start with you. We've heard also in that news conference from Governor Kasich when asked if he would stick to the pledge to support Donald Trump if he's the nominee, he said that it makes it extremely difficult.
Marco Rubio asked the same question. That he doesn't know and it's getting harder every day. I mean, at some point, does the party pull away from Donald Trump in a significant substantial way? Do they withdraw from these pledges of support?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think what you are hearing from these candidates is they are saying at some point we really have to look at Donald Trump and say is this the rhetoric, is this the type of debate, the type of conversation that we want for the presidency of the United States of America.
And what they are saying to supporters is think about how low we've gotten, how low and dirty in the mud Donald Trump has allowed this campaign to go.
This is an individual that doesn't just attack the left, he attacks the right as well. He mocks Marco Rubio. He mocks Ted Cruz. He mocks every candidate that he's been on stage with.
When you have this type of rhetoric that we've seen from Donald Trump, this is what you should have expected to happen. There is going to be chaos and I think there are two different parts that need to be clarified here.
I am not saying that these protesters are not disgusting individual who are wanting to get into a fight, who are wanting to disrupt freedom of speech? Who are wanting to disrupt a campaign and force these events to shut down? They are responsible for that.
But at the same time Donald Trump has to acknowledge and take responsibility for the fact that when you go out there and you trash talk on this level and when you talk about wanting to hit people and saying you will give legal defense for someone to hit somebody and saying, I wish we were in the days when a guy could leave on a stretcher.
You should have expected that this is exactly what is going to happen at your rallies. Donald Trump is not a victim here. Donald Trump created an atmosphere of hey, let's go, let's fight, and let's get it on.
That's what he's done his whole career in reality TV. He brought it now to the White House and this is exactly what he should have expected.
BLACKWELL: Let me bring Kayleigh in here because a former Romney strategist, Stewart Stevens told "The Washington Post" this and I think this is pretty fascinating. He says that Trump sounds like George Wallace, the segregationist, who ran back in '68.
Here is what he said to "The Post," I don't know what's in Trump's heart, but I don't care. What he's saying is hateful. What did the Democratic Party do with Wallace? They rejected him.
Republicans are hearing echoes of Wallace in Trump's rhetoric here, Kayleigh. I guess, why isn't he being rejected and should he have a moment of punctuation? Not just (inaudible) references to I don't condone this, but something that is deliberate and punctuated where he rejects this type of violence. KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST (via telephone): He said four times on Don Lemon that he rejects this kind of violence, that was Friday, and then he went on "Hannity" show and rejected violence once again four to five times.
So I think he's been very clear that he rejects violence. And you know, Stewart said on Friday on one of the CNN programs that he thinks Donald Trump want this despite the fact that Donald Trump has said nearly ten times that he does not want violence.
I am befuddled to hear Ben Ferguson speak this way because when you look at what's happening just yesterday you did not see a Donald Trump supporter throwing punches. What you saw was a protester lunging at Donald Trump where Secret Service had to dive and protect him.
[06:20:07]There's an article in "The Washington Post" talking about how protesters were fighting and had to be broken up with pepper spray. Then on Friday night, you saw thousands of protesters show up and stifled the person in the right of Donald Trump and his supporters to congregate peacefully.
You are seeing protesters organized by the left, moveon.org, go on their Twitter feed, you will see calls saying -- warning Trump supporters more is coming.
This is being organized by left. It's irresponsible and the fact that now because Donald Trump couldn't be toppled as a candidate personally by the establishment.
Now they are trying to blame him for the violence of left wing supporters. It is absolutely stream logic and anyone with a few brain cells will sit back and look at what's happening.
And understand that pinning Donald Trump with the responsibility of Sanders supporters showing up and engaging in this sort of violence is just really strained logic and it's just the last attempt to take him down before we get to Ohio and Florida.
FERGUSON: Kayleigh, I've got some brain cells, OK, and I'm smart enough to connect dots. Donald Trump cannot control the protesters. I agree with that. But when you claim that Donald Trump is trying to be a peaceful non-violent guy, when for months, you're talking about the last 48 hours.
For months Donald Trump has been talking about wanting to beat up protesters. He has not gone after his supporters who threw the punch. He didn't go out there on teenage early enough and get control of this.
There was a point, the water is boiling and now he's saying like an arsonist who calls 911, I should get credit for calling 911. He created an atmosphere where this is acceptable.
Trump supporters have been doing this online on social media for months. I've receive more death threats in my career from Trump supporters than I have from Democrats and I've been doing this now for about 16 years on TV.
The Trump supporters have been angry and they will go after any person that disagrees with them with vile and vulgar language.
BLACKWELL: Let me get Kayleigh a moment to respond here. Go ahead last 30 seconds.
MCENANY: Why Ben Ferguson are we not seeing endless videos of Trump supporters throwing punches. There is the same video of the 78-year- old man being run over and over again. There are about two other videos that are continually run, but instead I don't understand why you are not placing the blame on Bernie Sanders --
BLACKWELL: Kayleigh, let me ask you this. There is a difference. There is an important difference between what you see and hear from a candidate's supporters and they are not blameless here, from Bernie Sanders or other candidate supporters and what you hear from the candidate.
Donald Trump himself is asking his supporters to punch other people in the face and he will pay for their legal fees. You are not hearing that from any other candidate.
Why is Donald Trump himself claiming those things but also saying he doesn't want violence, though, seemed to be inconsistent at least?
MCENANY: I would refer to Barack Obama's comment where he says if they bring a knife to the fight, we'll bring a gun because from what I understand --
BLACKWELL: We're talking about the 2016 and the people who are on the stage right now. I've heard the Barack Obama reference. We're talking about who's playing right now.
MCENANY: Let's turn to 2016. Bernie Sanders supporters have actually engaged in violence diving at a candidate and his response was merely to say, they are just responding to Donald Trump's rhetoric.
So where are the calls for Bernie Sanders to come out and denounce actual physical violence we are seeing a mass level that we are not seeing from Trump supporters? I don't understand why he's not enduring similar calls from both Republicans and Democrats.
BLACKWELL: Jeff Weaver, his campaign manager, will be on the show today. We'll have that conversation. But there is a difference between what we're hearing from supporters of a candidate and the candidate himself.
The conversation will continue. We are just getting started this morning on NEW DAY. Kayleigh and Ben, thank you so much. Christi, I'm going send it back to you in Atlanta.
PAUL: All right, thank you so much. We do have some of the news to tell you about. A riot breaks out in an Alabama prison. Corrections officers are hurt. Now a broad sweep for contraband. What they are looking for specifically. Also Apple is facing new accusation that is making it difficult to access evidence on terror suspects' iPhones, what country now is pressuring the tech company to help.
PAUL: It's 28 minutes past the hour. Alabama inmates stabbed a warden and a correctional officer and then set a hallway on fire. This happened on Friday night. We know one inmate shared this cell phone video from inside the maximum security facility.
Wait a minute, they have a cell phone? Yes, it is illegal for inmates to have cell phones or use social media. Officers broke up the riot and now they are searching that prison for phones and other contraband. A prison spokesman says the injuries were not life threatening.
The coast guard is suspending its search for two victims of a New York tug boat accident. Three people were on board that tug boat when it hit a construction barge and sank in the Hudson River. This happened yesterday morning. Only one body has been recovered thus far. No one on board the barge was injured.
And French authorities have not been able to break into the iPhone of the Paris attackers. Their efforts come of course as the FBI is trying to force Apple to unlock the iPhones of the San Bernardino shooters as well.
Donald Trump fed up with protesters interrupting his campaign rallies and one event yesterday police even unleashed some pepper spray. That's coming up.