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Clinton Wins FL, NC & Ohio, Leads In IL, MO; Standing By For Trump, Kasich To Speak; Trump Wins Florida, Kasich Wins Ohio; Trump Wins FL & IL. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 15, 2016 - 21:00   ET


21:00:00] HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know because of all of you and our supporters across the country, our campaign has earned more votes than any other candidate, Democrat or Republican.

And -- and I want to congratulate Senator Sanders for the vigorous campaign he's waging.

Now, today all of you in the states where contests were held, voted to break down the barriers that hold us all back so every one of us can share in the promise of America. You voted, you voted. You voted for our tomorrow to be better than our yesterday. Tomorrow where all of us do our part and everyone has a chance to live up to his or her God- given potential, because that's how America can live up to its potential, too.

Now, we need you to keep working. Keep volunteering, keep contributing at Please, please, join the 950,000 supporters who already have contributed most less than $100, because our campaign depends on small donations for the majority of our support. We can't do this without you. So if you've been waiting for the right moment, now is the time to come join us.

You know, tonight it's clearer than ever that this may be one of the most consequential campaigns of our lifetimes. The next President will walk into the Oval Office next January, sit down at that desk and start making decisions that will affect the lives and the livelihoods of everyone in this country, indeed, everyone on this planet. Now, I know, I know that easy decisions don't make it to the President's desk. Only the hardest choices and the thorniest problems I saw President Obama wrestle with the decision to send Navy Seal the after Osama bin Laden. The decision to rescue the auto industry, to fight for the Affordable Care Act and so many more.

And so our next president has to be ready to face three big tests. First, can you make positive differences in people's lives? Second, can you keep us safe? Third, can you bring our country together again?

Now, making differences, making differences in people's lives comes first because Americans everywhere are hungry for solutions. They want to break down the barriers holding them back so we can all rise together. Ask any parent you'll hear nothing is more important than making sure their kids have a good school and a good teacher no matter what zip code they live in. They deserve a President who understands that when we invest in our children's education, we're investing in all of our futures.

And young people across America struggling under the weight of student debt find it difficult to imagine the futures they want and they deserve a president who will help relieve them of that burden and help future generations go to college without borrowing a dime for tuition.

And, you know, grandparents -- grandparents who worry about retirement deserves a President who will protect and then expand Social Security for those who need it most. Not cut or privatize it.

[21:05:01] Families deserve a president who will fight for the things that are priorities at home but too often aren't priorities in Washington affordable childcare, paid family leave. And something we have waited for long enough, equal pay for equal work for women.

And above all, above all, hardworking Americans across our country deserve a president with both the ideas and the know how to create good jobs with rising incomes right here in our country and I am absolutely convinced that we have the tools to do that. That's why I've laid out a program to do what can be done. More good jobs in infrastructure. More good jobs in manufacturer. More good jobs in small businesses. More good jobs in clean, renewable energy. Good- paying jobs are the tickets to the middle class and we're going to stand up for the American middle class again. We're going to stand up for American workers and make sure no one takes advantage of us. Not China, not Wall Street, and not overpaid corporate executives.

Now, look, look, of course every candidate, every candidate makes promises like this, but every candidate owes it to you to be clear and direct. About what our plans will cost and how we're going to make them work. That's the difference between running for president and being president. And I'll tell you. Let me tell you that the second big task for our next president is keeping us safe. We live in a complex and, yes, a dangerous world. Protecting America's national security can never be an afterthought. Our commander-in-chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it.

Engage our allies, not alienate them. Defeat our adversaries, not embolden them. When we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering United States -- when he embraces torture, that doesn't make him strong. It makes him wrong. And, yes, our next president has to bring our country together so we can all share in the promise of America.

We should be breaking down barriers, not building walls. We're not going to succeed by dividing this country between us and them. You know, to be great, we can't be small. We can't lose what made America great in the first place, and this isn't just about Donald Trump. All of us have to do our part. We can't just talk about economic inequality. We have to take on all forms of inequality and discrimination. Together, we have to defend all of our rights. Civil rights and voting rights, workers' rights and women's rights, LGBT rights and rights for people with disabilities. And that starts by standing with President Obama when he nominates a justice to the Supreme Court.

Our next president will face all these challenges and more. You know, running for president is hard, but being president is harder. It is the hardest, most important job in the world and no one person can succeed at a job without seeking and finding common ground to solve the problems we face. If we work together, we can make a real difference in peoples live.

[21:10:13] If we reached out to treat each other with respect, kindness, and even love, instead of bluster and bigotry, if we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down, there's nothing we can't accomplish together.

So please join me in this campaign. Every vote counts. Every volunteer our counts. Every contribution counts. Eight years ago, eight years ago on the night of the Ohio primary, I said I was running for everyone who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out.

For everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up. For everyone who works hard and never gives up. Well, that is still true. Our campaign is for the steelworker, I met in Ohio on Sunday night who's laid off but hoping to get back to work.

It's for the mother I met in Miami whose five children haven't seen their father since he was deported. She dreams of a day when deportations end and families are reunited on a path of citizenship in America.

And it is for the mothers I stood with in Chicago yesterday who have lost children to gun violence. They're turning their sorrow into a strategy and their mourning into a movement. Let's stand with people who have courage, who have resilience.

Let's stand with everyone who believes America's best days are ahead of us. For all of our challenges, I've never had more faith in our future, and if we work together, if we go forward in this campaign, if we win in November, I know our future will be brighter tomorrow than yesterday. Thank you, all, so very much.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton is celebrating her victories tonight. We're yet to hear from Donald Trump. We're expecting that very shortly and also from Bernie Sanders. Obviously, very good news for Hillary Clinton, Gloria and David?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, I think its when you finally add up all the math this evening, I think this is going to be an almost insurmountable lead that Hillary Clinton really has over Bernie Sanders.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think in Ohio, in particular, was really good news for after Michigan ... COOPER: After Michigan what?

AXELROD: ... was how will she do in Ohio?

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: And she's going to do -- she obviously win Ohio. I think she's going to do very well there.

COOPER: Majority of the voters there are white, there were concerns based on what happened in Michigan ...

AXELROD: Exactly.

COOPER: ... in auto industry.

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: And it should be pointed out that Bernie Sanders, you know, every is award is all this money do for him? He outspent Hillary Clinton by more than a little in this last of couple weeks including in Ohio where he outspent her like 60-40 on television. So he invested tremendous resources in these races and she comes out on top in the three that have been decided so far.

Big night for her.

BORGER: Even in North Carolina he outspent her 3 to 1 in the last couple weeks.



NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well I think it's the combination, right, I mean, Florida, general election state, did really well across the board with African-American voters, Latino voters at North Carolina, and then Ohio. A lot of Sanders voters were coming in this evening saying, oh listen, who in that Hillary Clinton can only win in the south, what good do those states do in a general election?


HENDERSON: Where she comes in and wins Ohio. Did very well with white women, 59 percent to 40 percent, did very well with African- American voters as well. So I think this is a real -- is a real win for her, a psychological win I think, and in a psychological blow in some ways as to go Sanders for.

COOPER: And the delegate is delegate win as well, Mike?


MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR SMERCONISH: Big picture I think as we said at the outset of the evening, it's that to defining night thus far and it would seem headed more toward a general election between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The one caveat though, and this is something that's getting attention in the blogsphere, a Princeton neuroscientist name Sam Wang who has a pretty good record at crunching numbers, puts forth the theory that John Kasich winning Ohio is actually good news for Donald Trump. And the thought process is that crowded field is one where Trump excels and the longer it's delayed, that there's the one-on-one contest between Cruz and Trump, the better it is for Donald Trump. So file that away.

AXELROD: I actually think that is Dr. Wong ...


AXELROD: ... happens to be an alias at Ted Cruz is using.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Known as this Smerconish principle that these two guys, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, are saying now, huh-uh, I'm the one who should be here fighting.

COOPER: In that battle and union.

LORD: Right, right and so that this battle is just going to go on.

COOPER: John Kasich is also going to be coming out to speak. We heard from him. Wolf talked to him a short time ago.

[21:15:03] VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Massive backbreaking blow to the rebellion in the Democratic Party. There's no way around it. It must, because where else is Bernie Sanders going to be able to find a basket of votes big enough now to catch Hillary Clinton? She blew him out in Florida. He expected that.

But Ohio people thought maybe that's the second domino, you get a second Michigan miracle and you begin to make a case and people begin to come his way.

Hillary Clinton very, very kind to him, very -- she blew a lot of kisses to his base tonight. I mean, she have -- the college affordabiliy the whole deal.

COOPER: Right.

JONES: She is now trying to consolidate this party. He now those -- the math says he goes from being a serious threat to being a serious message candidate, someone who's going to stand this race, is going to be very, very important. But it becomes very difficult now to figure out how he becomes the nominee.

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: In fact, I think that word, message, was probably central to it. Not that -- Bernie has a very powerful message. But I think a lot of the people vote for him want to send a message rather than pick a president.

It may be, this is a theory, I don't have data, it may be that the violence and the talk of violence at Trump rallies said something to Democrats is like, whoa, we need to pick a president here not just send a message.

And I think Democrats mostly think Hillary is a stronger general election candidate. They haven't been voting that way everywhere, especially younger people. And I wonder if that the level of seriousness in the campaign on Democratic side just ...

COOPER: It would be interesting to see if electability start to get higher than shares from my values.

John Kasich, I believe is coming out. Let's listen in.

Oh, just about to come out. I'm sorry, the wrong word on that. As we will wait for John Kasich, well, here he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and the next President of the United States, Governor John Kasich!

COOPER: As he continues to -- I guess now he's actually going to start talking, so let's listen.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You better believe it's about America, about pulling us together, not pulling us apart. It is about USA, exactly.

First of all, I want to -- hey, listen. Listen, everybody. Let me -- hey.

Now, you know, when you went to college in the 1970s, you appreciated good, peaceful protests every once in a while. Right, we do.

First of all, you know, when you're in the arena and you are struggling and you leave your family to go out on the campaign trail and deliver a message to America, because you believe that you, you believe that you are the best qualified person to be President of the United States and you put it all on the line and your family puts it all on the line.

And I want this crowd here tonight to give a great, a great response to a very, very great, talented and fine United States Senator, Marco Rubio, for the effort that he has done.

[21:20:19] Tonight, tonight we arrived in Cleveland and we went to a restaurant. We thought we could kind of sneak in and grab a quick meal and when we walked through the restaurant, people started to cheer.

My reaction, so please don't to that because you're going to make me cry. But to have people believe in you and to believe that you can bring people together and strengthen our country, I have to thank the people of the great state of Ohio. I love you is all I can tell you. I love you.

You know, when I became governor of Ohio, I went to New York and I met with some of the rating agencies, things were bad. We'd lost 350,000 jobs. We were $8 billion in the hole and our credit was hanging in the balance and they told me, we're about to cut up your credit card and give you a new one where you can't buy as much.

I said, you don't understand Ohio, you don't understand Ohioans. So I can't wait to go back again. We're now up 400,000 plus jobs. We're running a $2 billion surplus. Our pensions are secure. We've cut taxes by more than any governor in this country. And we are leaving no one behind. Not the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor.

And I don't know whether you can actually serve a meal of words, but I would like to go back to those credit rating agencies where they can learn to eat their words about doubting Ohio, huh?

And, you know, ladies and gentlemen, you know, look, my whole life has been about trying to create a climate of opportunity for people. You know, as my father carried that mail on his back and his father was a coal miner, and you know, I just was told by my cousin, I didn't realize this, that my mother, one of four, was the only one to graduate from high school, the other three barely made it out of the eighth grade because they were poor.

And, you know, as I've traveled the country and I look into your eyes, you want to believe, you want to believe again that we can have job security. You want to believe again that wages can rise. You want to believe that your children are going to have ultimately a better America than what we got from our mothers and fathers. That's the great American legacy that our kids will be better than we are.

And I want -- I want people in Ohio to know, as I think you do, I want people around the country to know that I understand these tough issues. I grew up in these situations in that little blue collar town in McKees Rocks and in my mind's eye is the need to forget the politics, forget the pollsters, forget all the focus groups because, you see, I represent you and it is my job to look at these situations and these problems and to listen to you and that it's my job to go and fix them and if that means at times I have to take some heat, well then that's just the price of leadership in America. OK?

Now, I want you to know the campaign goes on, and I also want you to know that it's been my intention to make you proud. It's been my intention to have young people all across this country watch somebody and enter into politics, even though I labored in obscurity for so long, people counting me out.

[21:25:08] People in Ohio saying, why don't they ever call on him? OK? We get all that. But we put -- we put one foot in front of the other and I want to remind you, again tonight, that I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land.

You know, the challenges that we have, we can go to Washington in the first 100 days fix these problems with a shock-and-awe agenda that can pass. I think we can rally the people in Washington, because I'm going to remind them that before we're Republicans and Democrats, we're Americans and we have an obligation to our children.

But I really, really, really believe this and want you to know this and many -- maybe in many respects, this is why I've been given a chance to stand here tonight and have earned a victory. You know, the Lord's made everybody here special. I've been telling people this all across the country. Nobody, sir, has ever been made like you before, and no one will ever be like you again.

And young lady, are here in a moment in time and your job is to find that purpose that you have. Your job is to live life a little bit bigger than yourself. Your job is to be a center of healing and justice and hope in whatever way we can. If we're a schoolteacher, we give up money to change lives. If we're a nurse, we work 15 extra minutes when we're dead on our feet because we want to assure a family that things are going to be OK.

And if we -- and if we are a neighbor, that means that widow who was married for 50 years who no one calls anymore, you want to change the world? You take her to dinner on Saturday night. She'll wear that dress she hadn't worn in six months. I trust you to do it.

You see, what I learned as a boy, what I learned from my mother and father, is that the spirit of America rest in us. It doesn't rest in a big-time politician, the big wigs. Look, you hire us to go do the job, plain and simple, to create an environment of economic growth and opportunity. But that's not where our spirit is. Our spirit is in us. Believing that through our efforts in whichever part of the world that we live, that we can change the world, that we can carve out a better future. That we can realize that those special gifts that were given to each and every one of us in here are something that we can use to heal the world. And you know, we're all part of a giant mosaic. A snapshot in time. All of us here.

And it is our job as Americans, our job as people who want to be decent and live good lives, is to dig down and understand that purpose and never underestimate our ability to change the world in which we live.

Well guess what, tomorrow I'm going to Philadelphia. And then I'm going, I don't know, all over the country, OK? And many of you have traveled around this country trying to help me. You know what, look, this is all I got, OK? This is all I got. And all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I want you to know something, we're going to go all the way to Cleveland and secure the Republican nomination.

[21:30:19] And, you know, I also want to thank -- you know, my father was a Democrat all his life. He was. We had a lot of Democrats that said they didn't like a socialist agenda or a left-wing agenda or big government. I want to thank them for coming over in this election and putting their confidence in me because, you know, I think we all know that conservative principles can work. The common sense can work. The shifting power and money and influence from that big place in Washington and moving it to where we live that empowers us. That's the direction for our country. That is the direction for our country.

And finally, and finally, I want you coming out on the road. I want you continuing to do what we've been doing all over this country. I'm getting ready to rent a covered wagon. We're going to have a big sail and have the wind blow us to the Rocky Mountains and over the mountains to California. But here's what I want you to know -- we've got one more trip around Ohio this coming fall where we will beat Hillary Clinton and I will become the President of the United States. Thank you, all, very much, and God bless you.

COOPER: Governor John Kasich of Ohio able to give the first victory speech so far in this race. Obviously a very big win for him. Paul Begala, is the path forward -- I mean, is there much of a path forward for him?

BEGALA: Well, certainly better than losing. It is 44 percent in his own state where just a year and a half ago he got 64. But still, it's a big win because somebody had to try to at least interrupt Trump's progress and the speech here was really telling. From the opening line, he was the anti-Trump. He knows what he wants to be.

He said, "I want to pull America together, not pull America apart." Gee, who could he be referring to? Then when, he was interrupted by a protester. This is like an asset test. Nobody was better than Ronald Reagan like thinking on his feet, on protesters when they interrupted him. This guy was great.

He answered and he said, "I went to college in the '70s, I like a good peaceful protest." He didn't say "Beat him up. Beat him up, beat him up."

COOPER: The other thing he did, S.E. Cupp is clearly reach out to Marco Rubio and Marco Rubio voters saying, you know, people should give a big hand to Marco Rubio.

SARAH ELIZABETH. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, will they were most closely aligned thus for the optimism candidate. So I think he felt a real kinship with Marco Rubio and probably wants Marco Rubio's voters. He knows they're not going to go for Trump and probably not going to go for Cruz.

I think what will be interesting for John Kasich now that he is, you know, made it to the show, is what's going to happen in the days and weeks ahead? He will face scrutiny like he's never had before. That will include Donald Trump mocking him as the absentee governor. Sometimes Trump intentionally mispronounces his last name Kasich to try to get under his skin.

I think you're going to have Ted Cruz coming after him for his accepting Medicaid expansion for ObamaCare in Ohio. And I think you're going to have a slew of, you know, former staffers of John Kasich who knew him on the hill talking about how he wasn't that nice of a guy while he was on the hill. You're already seeing those stories come out.

COOPER: And Jeffrey Lord, this was really the first time Donald Trump went after John Kasich. He basically ignored him up until now. He went after him on ...

LORD: Right.

COOPER: ... NAFTA in particular, being absentee governor in (inaudible).

LORD: Right, right. He's not going to be ignored anymore. I noticed that Ted Cruz has just sent out a press release and the headline is "Big news, it's now a two-man race."


LORD: Like Kasich here.

COOPER: He's got some problems, though, in Pennsylvania?

SMERCONISH: Yes, I want to say, the reason why he reached out for Marco Rubio, perhaps, is that to run for president and get on the Pennsylvania ballot, you need to file 2,000 signatures. He filed 2,184. The Rubio campaign has challenged those. There's an almost concession on the part of Kasich's campaign that they may not be on all force.

Now the question becomes, will Rubio withdraw that legal challenge so that Kasich can stay on the Pennsylvania ballot? Notice he said he's coming to Philadelphia, you know.

AXELROD: I think you got to give him his due. He's waited five weeks to give a victory speech and he made the most of it tonight. But when you listen to the speech, yes, he signaled that he was the anti-Trump. But Gloria said, I think she was right while we were watching the speech, it sounded like a governor's speech. Sounded like he had just won re-election as governor.

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: And he has to prove that he can win beyond his home state.

[21:35:01] COOPER: Let's go back to Wolf, for another Key Race Alert. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, thanks very much.

Let's check in, here's the Key Race Alert for our viewers. Right now, the outstanding races, let's start in the Republican contest in Missouri. Right now is 16 percent of the vote is in. Look how close it is. Donald Trump 42.2 percent. Ted Cruz 39.8 percent, Kasich with 8.4 percent 3,000 votes. That's what Donald Trump has an advantage, 16 percent of the vote is now in, in Missouri.

Let's continue with the Republican contest. In North Carolina, its close, Donald Trump has the lead almost half of the vote is in, 40.3 percent to Cruz, 36.3 percent. Kasich's at 12.4 percent. Donald Trump with half the vote in has a nice lead there but it's still close.

In Illinois right now, a quarter of the vote is in. Trump is ahead of Cruz, 39 percent to 25.4 percent, Kasich there right now at 22.7 percent. A quarter of the vote is in almost 50,000 vote advantage for Donald Trump in Illinois right now. 69 delegates at state in Illinois. Those are pretty close race. Let's take a look at the Democratic side. Look at how close it is right now between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, 9 percent of the vote is in, 49.9 percent for Bernie Sanders, 48.2 percent for Hillary Clinton. He's ahead by 1,000 votes or so. It's very close in Missouri, 9 percent of the vote is in, in Missouri. We're watching that race very closely.

All of these contests outstanding contests, we are not yet ready to make projections. Illinois, take a look at this. More than half of the vote is in. Hillary Clinton has a lead, 52.6 percent over Bernie Sanders, 46.5 percent she's up by 52,000 votes right now.

Let's take a look at the states won right now. We'll start with the Republicans first. In Florida, we have projected Donald Trump is the winner. In Florida, all 99 delegates winner take all. In Florida, Donald Trump is the winner.

Also on the republican side, John Kasich, all 66 delegates in Ohio go to John Kasich his first win, an important win for him. In Democratic side, Hillary Clinton so far of the five contests she has won, we projected Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. We're still waiting for Illinois and Missouri.

We're waiting, by the way to hear from Donald Trump. He's going to be speaking shortly. Let's take a quick break. Much more right after this.


[21:40:18] BLITZER: We're told Donald Trump is getting ready to speak now. It's sort of a speech/news conference at Mar-a-Lago his club in Palm Beach. Once he starts speaking, we'll have live coverage of that. So far he's won his home state now, second home state, I should say, of Florida right now. Lives in New York but he has a lot of homes in Florida as well. Let's go to Jake right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Wolf. Of course, we're talking about which states the candidates have won but also more to the point we're talking about how many delegates they've won. So let's go to CNN's executive editor, Mark Preston, who is in the CNN Election Center to give us the rundown on the numerical count. Mark.

MARK PRESTON, CNN EXECUTIVE EDITOR: No doubt, Jake, listen, we talked about states and big victories momentum but it does come down to the mathematics of it all. You need 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. Let's look at these tonight.

GOP delegates won tonight so far. Donald Trump has won 108. As you can see, John Kasich with that big win in Ohio has picked up 66. GOP delegates today, so far, up to the time we are right now, let's take a look at how many delegates we are in this race right now.

Donald Trump has won 571. Ted Cruz, 371. Marco Rubio, who has suspended his campaign tonight, 165, and John Kasich with that big win in Ohio tonight, 129. Let's take a look at the Democrats tonight. Hillary Clinton with some big win. She has gotten 120 delegates tonight to Bernie Sanders' 56 delegates. Let's look at the delegate race to date right now. Look at that number right now. Hillary Clinton, 1,364 delegates, Bernie Sanders with 630.

However, let me break this down a little bit. Look at those numbers right there. Hillary Clinton has 892 pledged delegates. Bernie Sanders has 607. If you look at the number below, 472 superdelegates have pledged to support Hillary Clinton while 23 have pledged to support Bernie Sanders.

Now, I have to tell you, Jake, as we all know, those 472 folks don't have to support Hillary Clinton. They could switch their mind and they could go to Bernie Sanders if for some reason he caught fire and they decided they wanted to support him.

The Sanders campaign, Jake, will tell us over and over again that we shouldn't be looking at that number so closely, we should only be looking at the ones that are bound pledged delegates. But the fact of the matter is right now Hillary Clinton is having a good night and she does have those superdelegates as of this evening.

TAPPER: That's right, thanks, Mark. And, Dana, in 2008, we saw a lot of the superdelegates that had lined up behind Secretary Clinton and Senator Clinton change after Obama got more momentum and more victories under his belt. So it is probably more accurate since superdelegates are fickle to go with the pledged delegates, which is roughly 900 for Clinton and 600 for Sanders.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Which is a significant lead, there's no question. And we should, you know, we've been focused lot on the tumult on the Republican side tonight, but Hillary Clinton has had a pretty good night, you know going into tonight, her, you know, maybe it was masterful spending, but her campaign was saying well, we're not so sure about Ohio. She won Ohio. They were more sure about Florida. She won Florida. So, of course, it's proportional and it is a delegate race but she's doing better tonight than even her campaign, I think, even the most candid moments expected.

TAPPER: You know, Ohio Democrats were legitimately, concerned is not the word since a lot of them are rooting for Clinton and others were more neutral, but, Ohio Democrats said it was definitely more of a dog fight than it ended up being in Ohio. That's a big victory for Clinton. Like you said, we anticipated she was going to win North Carolina and Florida but Ohio is strong for her.

Also, I guess we'll see what the final numbers are in the Republican races but right now, looks like some real fights going on in some of those states.

BASH: That's right. Missouri and Illinois, those are fascinating states for a number of reasons, but the most important, I think, is what's happened in the last, I would say, week or two. The anti-Trump Super PAC movement, especially, they moved some new money that they got in to those states hoping that they would be able to slow Donald Trump.

You know, it's always unclear whether or not we can really track a certain, you know, tactical move or certain ads. But, you know, if it is true that Cruz wins one of them or at least if Trump and Cruz are pretty close, perhaps those ads had a difference.

TAPPER: And of course, the biggest story of the night, of course, John Kasich in Ohio on the Republican side. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right. We're waiting for Donald Trump to speak. He's at his club at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. I want to walk over to John King over at the magic wall as we await Donald Trump, and as I say, John, he's going to do a little statement, make a speech. He's going to a lot of supporters there. He's also got the news media there. He'll answer reporters' questions, a new style he has on this election nights.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And he has friends in the room, right? I'll see if we have any Trump steaks or Trump wine tonight, we'll see how it goes.

[21:45:01] Wolf, let's just look at the national map right now as it stands. We haven't called Missouri, Illinois or North Carolina for the Republicans but this is how Donald Trump wants to end the night. He wants to end the night saying OK, Governor Kasich, you won at home but I'm massing a delegate lead and a state by state by state victory lead.

But we got some close ones in here. So here's how it looks right now. Let's see if it's going to hold that way.

Let's go into North Carolina. 53 percent, a four point lead, a shy of that for Donald Trump. Look at this at the close race, this is not winner take all. So, no matter how it ends up, we have to look at first the statewide winner gets a bunch. Then we look at it's a congressional districts to see how they spread out. But if it's like South Carolina, Trump has a decent margin, he'll get a lot of the delegates.

Can Ted Cruz come back, is your question at the moment? So, you look in Lake County and Raleigh, Ted Cruz is winning, but the vote is almost all counted. In top, over here to Durham, in Durham County, only half of the vote counted here, Ted Cruz with a pretty healthy lead there. If that stays, there's no guarantee it will. But, if that stays, there's some votes on the board still for Ted Cruz.

However, Donald Trump is winning by a healthy margin in the largest county in the state, Mecklenburg, which is the Charlotte area. Trump with a big lead there. If that trend continues, we still have 70 percent of the vote to come in.

So, if you look at the map right now, its sounds we have a close race, I would say advantage to Trump. Still some votes to count, but, the way it's filling in so far, slightly advantage for Trump. We'll see how that plays out. And again, the closeness matters, because, then, we may have to look through congressional districts. Let's move over to Illinois on the Republican side. Not so close here, only 30 percent of the voting, which is far in all of the cautious here. You want to count more of the vote. The map filling in though as Donald Trump would like it right now. In the Chicago area in the Suburbs, Donald Trump is winning. And down here, Springfield, we still have any votes yet from the center part of the state here. But in the smaller rural areas around it, it is filling in.

And Wolf, I'm going to get back to you. I understand we have a projection.

BLITZER: And another major projection we're about to make right now. Listen to this.

CNN projects Donald Trump is the winner of the Illinois Republican presidential primary. This is his second win of the night. Earlier, we projected he's the winner in Florida. All 99 delegates winner take all in Florida. Not necessarily the case in Illinois where it's proportional, but it is a big, big win for Donald Trump in Illinois.

They're cheering presumably over there. I want to go to Jim Acosta, he's over at Trump headquarters in Palm Beach at Mar-a-Lago. We're going to hear from them soon, Jim, but he really wanted to win Illinois. And we have projected he is now the winner.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Wolf. They're watching CNN here at the Trump headquarters at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach. They're very excited in here, obviously. And I think we're going to be hearing from Donald Trump shortly.

I think from talking to some folks here that what Donald Trump wanted to do was wait for some more of these election results to come in didn't want to just come in after Florida. And then Kasich winning Ohio, now that Illinois has come in, potentially, the other states coming in.

Quite possibly for Donald Trump that we may be hearing from him shortly. Interesting to see that Illinois is going Donald Trump's way after all of that trouble that we saw unfold in Chicago the other night. Obviously that was not a big enough issue for Republicans in that state, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. We're going to stand by. We're going to hear Donald Trump momentarily, we're told. He's going to walk over there to the Mar-a-Lago club where you are in Palm Beach.

We'll take a quick break. Our coverage continues right after this.


[21:51:09] BLITZER: Once again, we're waiting to hear from Donald Trump. You're looking at live pictures coming in from his club in Palm Beach. Once he starts speaking, we'll have live coverage, Donald Trump so far, we've projected he's the winner in most in Florida and Illinois. Let's get to Key Race Alert right now.

In Missouri right now, well one of two states still outstanding, Donald Trump is ahead with a quarter of the vote, in 43 percent, Ted Cruz in second place 40.1 percent. Trump is ahead but 5,500 votes or so a quarter of the vote is in.

In North Carolina 56 percent of the vote is in, more than half Donald Trump is ahead of Ted Cruz, 40.2 percent to 36.4 percent, he's up by about 28,000 votes so far in North Carolina.

Those are the two outstanding races on the Republican side. Let's take a look at the Democratic side, right now and give you a Key Race Alert. In Missouri right now, at 12 percent of the vote is in. Look how tight it is between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Missouri, 49.8 percent for Bernie Sanders. There you see just changed, 50.1 percent for Bernie Sanders, 48 percent for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is ahead by 1,856 votes, 14 percent of the vote is in.

In Illinois, a lot more of the voters already counted, take a look at this, 62 percent of the vote is in 52.5 percent for Hillary Clinton, 46.7 percent for Bernie Sanders. She's got a nice lead of about 58,000 votes right now, 62 percent of the vote in Illinois have been counted so far.

Let's take a look at the states won so far on this night. Donald Trump, we have projected is the winner in Florida and Illinois, John Kasich, we've projected he's the winner in Ohio. It's critically important win for him, he stays to the race. On the Democratic side, so far a three wins for Hillary Clinton, in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. We're still waiting for Illinois and Missouri. Important wins for Hillary Clinton right now, let's go over to John King, at the magic call.

So we still have, what, one, two, three, four contests outstanding. Some of them pretty close.

KING: I'll pick one, let's go through and let's start with Missouri Republicans. So just noted 29 percent of the vote in, pretty close race there it's a 4-point race. If you look at the map right now, it's filling in the way Donald Trump would like and let me show you, I will explain this, if you're Ted Cruz, you need to did better up here and down here.

Bible belt area down here, Springfield, birth place of the Right to Life Movement, you have the traditional suburbs in St. Louis and in Kansas City that's your mainstream Republican vote.

Go back to the 2008, Republican race, I tell you what I mean by that. The very close race here between three candidates, right. You have the two mainstream republicans, McCain and Romney won across the center of the state eventually and you had Mike Huckabee winning evangelical voters in the south and up in the northeast quarter of the state. Critical for Ted Cruz to improve his standing, come back to 2016, you see Donald Trump filling in some of these spaces up here that were key to Huckabee and also some down here. So you have to watch that right there.

Now lets move on, a quick look at Illinois as we go across the Republican race 40 to 26, we're going to -- we call that one, Democratic race, you see that there. So let's go over to North Carolina and see how we do on over the North Carolina, among the Republicans of this one a 4 point Trump lead, 56 percent of the vote in but it's telling the map is going at the way right now, the way Donald Trump will very much like to, Wolf?

BLITZER: In fact, we have a major projection to make involving North Carolina right now. Watch this.

CNN projects Donald Trump is the winner of the Republican primary in North Carolina. This is his third win of the night, a big win for Donald Trump in North Carolina. Earlier we projected he's the winner in Florida as well as Illinois. Now he wins North Carolina. This is a big win.

A big win for him but John Kasich has won in his home state of Ohio. Those are the three states that Trump has won. You see Ohio, that goes to John Kasich, the governor there. But this is a big, big win. Take a look at the maps right now. I want to show our views the map we'll see how that is unfolding. States won by Hillary, you saw that states won Kasich, you saw that.

[21:55:02] In the south look at this on the Republican side, dark red, dark red is Donald Trump. He has carried not only Florida but all of the Deep South, South Carolina, North Carolina won today. Take a look at this, we projected he's the winner in Illinois as well. A lot of states, the sort of lighter pink if you will, that's Ted Cruz. He won his home state of Texas and Oklahoma he won, you see some of those states. Marco Rubio, we know has dropped out, John Kasich that one purple blotch you see over there, that's Ohio of the state. He won there.

On the Democratic side, the dark blue is Hillary Clinton. She has a complete sweep of all of the south including Texas right there. Bernie Sanders, he's got the light blue, he's won several states. He has yet to win a state tonight, but there's still two contests outstanding in Illinois and Missouri. We're watching all of that very closely. Anderson, let's go back to you.

COOPER: And we should pointed out, we're waiting to hear from Donald Trump himself. We'll obviously bring those comments to you live.

But David and Gloria, I mean, obviously, a very big night for Donald Trump. There's no denying.

BORGER: Right. I should point out that as of now, Trump is the only one who would be nominated on in the first ballot at a contested Republican convention because he's the only one who's won the majority of eight states. AXELROD: About 40.

BORGER: Right. And ...

COOPER: Marco Rubio also said the person who wins Florida is going to win the nomination.

BORGER: Right. And I think what we're looking at right now is an establishment Republican Party that is trying to figure out the best way to beat this man right on our screen, whether it's rallying behind someone like a Ted Cruz or whether it's keeping Cruz and Kasich in the field to go, you know, to go the distance, to the convention and have more alternatives.

There's no, you know, there's no single opinion on that. I've been talking to fenders who have different opinions on this evening. But it seems to me that they're might be, some of them want to rally behind Ted Cruz, because they think he can beat Donald Trump in the states.

COOPER: Talking to mostly supporters tonight. I think there's about two rows of reporters at the back of the room. Let's listen in.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much everybody. This was an amazing evening, this was a great evening. They just announced North Carolina. I don't know if they've announced Illinois yet, but we're leading by a lot. So, I think they're going to announce it.

Florida was so amazing. And I want to thank our friends. Northern Marianas Islands had been so incredible and we picked up nine delegates this morning. I hear very early in the morning, nine delegates, that's a lot.

And I just wanted to thank the Governor Ralph Flores, great guy, Chairman Atta, who was a fantastic man. And that was a very nice start to the day that I can tell you.

Many things have been happening over the last short period of time. CNN who was very nice, they came up with a poll. The poll said, 49 percent to 14 and 15. We just had one from the economist who just came out, 53 percent. And it sort of interesting because I was watching the news a little while ago. And one of the commentators, who I'm not particularly fond of, but these are minor details said "But Donald Trump doesn't get over 50 percent, because I'm at 43, 45. Actually, now, according to the economist, I'm at 53.

And I have to explain to these people, they don't understand basic physics, basic mathematics, basic whatever you want to call it. When I don't get over 50, we have four people, right. We have four people. Do you understand that?

So, when I get 53 in this one, as an example, I had 53 and that's with four people. That's an amazing achievement just mathematically when you can get over 50 percent. So, someday they're going to understand, someday when we take it all, they'll understand it. But it is really ridiculous.

I want to thank my family, my boy Eric and Don, they've been working so hard. Ivanka and Jared have been amazing. Ivanka is home right now. In about two minutes, I'll call her and she's about ready to have a baby. So, I don't know. So, we've been thinking about that now for a little while. But Ivanka has been so helpful and Jared has been amazing and it's been just great.

I want to thank Barron for putting up with the fact that I never see him anymore. And I want to thank Barron, I never see my Barron and it's his birthday on Sunday, so we're very happy about that. So, it's a little tough, you know, where you're going away.

He goes, "When are you going to be come home, daddy? Why don't you coming home?" I said, well, in about two and a half weeks, it's pretty though. You're traveling all over the place, it's really amazing.

Yesterday, I went up to Ohio, I went up to Youngstown. We had an incredible crowd and just amazing people in this country. We have so, so many great people. We will, someday in the not do distant future, if I win, otherwise, it's not going to happen, I have to be honest with you.