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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Mark Ruffalo Talks Sanders Campaign; Clinton Campaign Talks Presidential Race; Christie Ask Trump One-on-One Questions. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 14, 2016 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:32:09] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You see Bernie Sanders right now. Looking at live pictures at rally in Youngstown, Ohio, such an old mill, steel manufacturing-based area in that state. This is just one day ahead of the huge Super Tuesday primary in Ohio. So many delegates at stake. It's Hillary Clinton he's running against right now. Hillary Clinton he needs to beat. He's in a little bit of a feud with Donald Trump that's taken over to the extent on the campaign trail.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump blamed Bernie Sanders' campaign for inciting violence at his rallies. Sanders called fired back, calling Trump a pathological liar.

Our next guest says Sanders would, quote, unquote, "mop the floor with Trump," in a general election match up.

Let's discuss it with award-winning actor and activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, Mark Ruffalo.

Mark, thank you for coming in.

MARK RUFFALO, ACTOR, ACTIVIST & BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: A lot has happened over the weekend. Violence breaking out at a Donald Trump rally. One protester jumping on stage at a Donald Trump rally. He points the finger at Bernie Sanders. What do you make of it?

RUFFALO: Well, the violence that's been happening at the Trump rallies has been happening before anyone showed up there, and from the Bernie Sanders camp. You know, I think when you're that negative and that divisive in the world, you're going to have a response, and I think the undertones of racism, of the anti-Islamic sentiments, the sort of flirting with the KKK, the asking people to leave just because of their color, like the high school kids and college kids that were asked to leave a couple weeks ago, you're going to have a reaction to it. And it's not necessarily just Bernie people. It's people who believe that divisiveness in our politics today is wrong. And how do we deal with that? We protest it. That's one of the things -- that's a powerful tool that Americans have at their disposal in order to say that something is wrong. You come out into the streets, you protest, and so it's the kind of protest you saw in Chicago and the open forum was the perfect place to do that. BERMAN: Would you advise people who are against Donald Trump to do

that again, to go to Trump events and try to keep them from talking? There are people who say that they contributed to the atmosphere Friday night. And it was a dangerous atmosphere. We saw punches thrown on the floor.

RUFFALO: Yeah. You're not going to go to any other politician's rally and see that kind of violence. It isn't happening. You might get ejected, but there's no other candidate in recent history where you've had so much violence happening after their protests. That's a rhetorical attitude coming from the candidate himself.

BERMAN: Do the protesters have any blame, any responsibility for what happened?

[11:35:04] RUFFALO: If they're involved in the violence, then they share the blame. The protesters should be able to protest anywhere they want. That's a First Amendment right. We have a right to congregate and protest anywhere. And so if you feel strongly enough about it, then that's what you do. You protest. There doesn't seem to be a lot of pushback in any other way. The mainstream media doesn't seem to be pushing back on him so much. And people think it's important enough. I mean, my kids can't watch a Republican debate because of the rhetoric on there is so violent. And it's so divisive. It's so -- and it's crass, by the way.

BERMAN: We've noticed.

RUFFALO: It's a really de-elevated version of what civics should be in our country today.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about an issue that you care deeply about, the Flint water crisis. It's something that you care very much about and something that's become a big issue, especially in the Democratic side of this race.

RUFFALO: Sadly.

BOLDUAN: Sadly. It's sad all around.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: You were a very big supporter of Bernie Sanders. The Hillary Clinton campaign are quick to point out that Hillary Clinton was the first to take the Flint crisis on. The mayor of Flint, Michigan has endorsed Hillary Clinton. She sent here people there. It's something that they have been out in front of on this issue. This issue draws you more to Bernie Sanders than what you're hearing from Clinton?

RUFFALO: Hillary was much more publicly out there, but Bernie was there. His office basically turned into a virtual water distribution center. He was meeting with people behind closed doors. Was that smart? Was that a good political move not to have the media there? I respect him for his approach. It was very sober. It was very personal. It didn't use the people there as a campaign stop. Bill Clinton --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Do you think that's what Hillary Clinton was doing?

RUFFALO: Well, Bill Clinton the other day said, once we get past Ohio, we're all going to forget about Michigan. We'll forget Michigan ever happened. That says a lot. We're not going to forget about what happened in Michigan. It's still happening. What's happening in Flint is still happening in Flint. I think that Bernie's approach towards politics, in general, if we adopt it, won't let a Flint happen. It doesn't put corporations above or even saving money above our people. He's talking about transferring importance to the people. Now, when you do that, then you have things like people coming up and -- people have a way of communicating their grievances more easily I think in the political world that Bernie Sanders is talking about. I'm not taking anything away from Hillary. She cares about these people. But the status quo is allowing these things to happen all over the United States. 30 schools in New Jersey, lead poisoning. In Toledo, 200,000 people lost their water lost summer. In the Elk River, massive contamination, 300,000 people lost their water. Flint just happens to be one of many. They're the canary in the coal mine. It's a political environment that doesn't respond to the people, and that's I think what Bernie is essentially talking about in this political revolution that he's talking about.

BERMAN: I think we all agree water just transcend politics and transcend politicians.

We thank you for helping draw focus to what's going on.

RUFFALO: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Thank you for coming in.

RUFFALO: Glad to be here.

BERMAN: Come back.

RUFFALO: I'd love to come back.

BOLDUAN: Any minute now, we're keeping an eye on live events happening. Chris Christie will be sitting in one of the two chairs in Hickory, North Carolina, interviewing Donald Trump on this Super Tuesday, part three eve. Yes, that's a technical term. I'm kidding.

We've been watching John Kasich. He's been speaking live in Ohio.

Watching it all for you. We'll be right back.

BERMAN: What's Chris Christie going to ask Donald Trump?

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: What is your favorite color?

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:43:36] BOLDUAN: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are battling it out for tomorrow's big Super Tuesday, part three primaries. Clinton's challenge may come in -- she's challenging in all the states, but Illinois, Missouri and Ohio look a lot like Michigan, that's for sure.

BERMAN: Joining us to discuss, Hillary Clinton's deputy communications director, Kristina Schake.

Kristina, thank you so much for being with us.

KRISTINA SCHAKE, DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: There's been a lot of focus over what's happened in the last 24 hours. There was the clashing at the Donald Trump event that was cancelled Friday night. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton talking about it last night. Hillary Clinton called him a political arsonist.

SCHAKE: That's right. That's right. And, you know, Hillary was the first candidate to speak out against Donald Trump month and months ago when he called Mexicans racist. She called on the other Republican candidates to take him on. I think a lot of them probably wish they had at that time. She's continued to focus on his bullying and bigotry. She thought it was really important to speak out about what happened.

BOLDUAN: We heard from Donald Trump supporters. We heard from -- Scottie Nell Hughes said it today -- let the man hold his events. Just as much as protesters have the right to protest, doesn't Donald Trump have the right to hold events?

SCHAKE: He has a right to hold his events. Hillary believes strongly we can disagree without hurling insults and throwing punches. He needs to take responsibility for the tone of what's happening in his events. He's been encouraging violence. He has been pitting Americans against each other as a way to get votes. She thinks that's wrong. He has been talking about deporting millions of hard-working immigrants in a country that was built my immigrants. He's been talking about banning Muslims in a country built on religious freedom. You can't make America great by going against what makes America great in the first place. She thinks he needs to take responsibility for what's happening. It's troubling what's happening on the Republican side of the contest.

[11:45:35] BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the CNN town hall last night. Hillary Clinton was talking about alternative energy and jobs training, and she made a statement which, I think, a lot of people found curious. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country, because we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Right, Tim? We're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. How's that going to play in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia?

SCHAKE: She wasn't very clear about how she said that. She actually has a plan to help coal miners and their communities transition to clean energy. That wasn't very clear or graceful the way she said it --

BERMAN: You're wishing she hadn't said it like that?

SCHAKE: The truth is I think for months she's been talking about coal miners, and the transition that they've gone through in the economy since the 1980s. They've been losing jobs. She thinks leaders in Washington, D.C., haven't paid enough attention. She has a plan to invest in job training and repurposing mining sites and factories to help them transition. She didn't say it gracefully, but when you look at her record, what she's laid out in her campaign, she's the one that's really with coal miners and trying to help them not only get the benefits that they've earned but the respect they deserve. I mean these are --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: She's in Chicago today. I want to turn to Chicago. She's having an event there today. She has a long relationship with Rahm Emanuel, from '92 onward. Does she still support Rahm Emanuel?

SCHAKE: I think this is just the latest in attacks from Bernie Sanders trying to tie her to the mayor. She's been very clear, the case that he's talking about, that the Justice Department -- she's the first candidate to say the Justice Department needed to do a review not only of the shooting but the Chicago Police Department. And the first speech she gave in this campaign was about criminal justice reform. Her record is clear. I think this is the latest attempt from Senator Sanders to distort and distract and try to make this more negative in the final days.

BOLDUAN: But you say it's Bernie Sanders' attempt to tie her to Rahm Emanuel. Does she not want to be tied to Rahm Emanuel?

SCHAKE: She's been clear in her criticism of what's happened in Chicago and will be looking for the Justice Department report.

BERMAN: Kristine Schake, great to have you with us. Thank you so much.

SCHAKE: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: We appreciate it. Busy day tomorrow.

BERMAN: Busy day.

All right, a big interview coming up. Chris Christie doing the interview. He will be asking Donald Trump questions on that stage.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: This is set to begin. We'll bring it to you, moments away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:52:20] BOLDUAN: You're looking live at Hickory, North Carolina. Quite an interview setting. Donald Trump and the man who was formerly his rival, Chris Christie, sitting down right now and kind of vamping with each other, doing an interview. Let's listen in.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So it's one of those things. One thing, Chris, that's interesting, two years ago, they went out to bid with the old post office in Washington, D.C., the single best location in Washington and everybody wanted it. One of the most sought-after projects in the history of the GSA. Everyone wanted it and I ended up getting it. And I got it because my financial statement was the best or right there along with all these other great, in many cases, big public companies, hotel companies, and also because we had the best job, the best concept. We'll build a tremendous super luxury hotel, one of the best anywhere in the country, and I think maybe the best in the country. But interesting, I got it in the Obama administration. If you think about it, the Obama administration, everyone wanted it, all the major hotel companies, Waldorf Astoria, so many different companies wanted it. And what we have now, we started construction. We're over a year in terms of schedule, we're a year ahead of schedule, we're right on budget, even under budget. And I'd be way under budget except I upped to marble. We're using marble instead of terrazzo. We're using all of the finest materials. In the end, it will be great. But the point is it's under schedule, under budget. It's open September. It wasn't supposed to open for many months after that. It would be great if when we do the infrastructure of our country, we could be under budget and ahead of schedule.

(CHEERING)

That's what we want to see.

(CHEERING)

CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R), NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: And I think that relates to one of the big issues you've brought up in the campaign, which is trade. And how would you bring the same kind of principles you've brought to building great property, managing a great company, to our relationship with trade with other countries around the world?

TRUMP: Right, because one of the biggest problems we have in our country is trade. We're bad traders. We have the worst people representing us. We have political hacks. We have political hacks. We have a trade deficit with China this year, $505 billion. Think of it. $505 Billion. We have a trade deficit with Japan that is shocking. We have -- by the way, with Mexico. I have great relationships with Mexico and with Hispanic people. I employ thousands of Hispanics. They're great. But with Mexico, we have a $50 billion trade deficit. And when I say we'll build a wall, which we will, by the way. But we will build a wall --

(CHEERING)

[11:55:15] TRUMP: They love the wall. Love the wall. We love the wall. We love the wall. We'll build a wall, folks. We're going to build a wall. Are you ready? Who is going to pay for the wall?

(SHOUTING)

TRUMP: 100 percent correct. OK.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: And when I get off stage with like Marco and I get off stage with Kasich and --

(SHOUTING)

(BOOING)

(SHOUTING)

(CHANTING)

TRUMP: USA. USA. USA.

(CHANTING)

(CHEERING)

CHRISTIE: All right.

(CHEERING)

(SHOUTING)

(CHANTING)

TRUMP: Thank you.

(CHANTING)

CHRISTIE: All right.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: You know, it is amazing that we have tremendous rallies, sometimes 25,000, 30,000. We had one, two weeks ago, in Alabama, 35,000 people. No disruption. No nothing. But the press is now calling this saying, oh, but there is such violence. You know how many people have been hurt at our rallies? I think like basically none, other than I guess maybe somebody got hit once or something. But there is no violence. And you know, in Chicago, we canceled because I didn't want to see them. There was a huge group of people formed, like 3,000. We're going to have 25,000 people in Chicago. And they have given me a lot of credit, Chris, because rather than having the rally and having people fighting, because we feel great -- the people that are supporters of Donald Trump want to see America be great again. That's what it is. That's what it is.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: It's simple. So rather than fighting in Chicago, I did something that was a good move, a good decision, because I don't want to see anybody be hurt. And what happened is -- and we've been given so much credit for that decision. Nobody hurt, no problem. It went away. But because of that, people say, well, is there violence. There is no violence. There's a love fest. These are love fests. And every once in a while --

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: I mean, sometimes, like you just had somebody will stand up and say something and the police, who are so great, by the way, in all cases, they're great.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: But somebody will stand up and they will say something and a lot of times they're kids and they don't know where they're coming from and they will have a Bernie sign. Bernie is going nowhere. You know that.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: But they will have a Bernie sign.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: Probably given to them by Bernie. They're the Bernie signs. They're made by machine. They're made the same signs that you see. And possibly or probably given to them by Bernie's people. But it's a little disruption. But there is no violence. There's none whatsoever. And I'll tell you what. We go and these things are so incredible. It's a movement and it's a love fest, and we love each other, and we're going to so well.

And before we forget, Chris, so important, tomorrow, North Carolina, you have to go out and vote. You have to vote.

(CHEERING)

CHRISTIE: Absolutely.