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Efforts of Conservative Republicans to Stop Trump from Getting Nomination Become More Urgent by Day; Obama Strategizing to Make Case Against Trump; 50-Year-Old Political Ad Sparks Controversy; Are Republican Party Differences Worse Today? Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 17, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. We'll see you again at midnight Eastern for another edition of 360. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Trump's talk of riot if he doesn't get the nomination has the GOP up in arms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Nobody should say such things in my opinion. Because to even address or hint at violence is unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Conservatives plotting a convention fight to stop Donald Trump. Meanwhile, President Obama strategizing to make the case against Trump. Is it all too little too late? Plus, a political ad that everybody is talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they're not republicans or I'm not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But it's not from today's campaign. It's from 1964, and that's not the only weird parallel between the long-ago election and today's campaign. Lots going on tonight.
But let's begin with CNN's national political reporter, Maeve Reston. Maeve, hello to you. The anti-Trump political force is gathering steam but is it too late?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN'S NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, I think that's the big question here. As we look ahead at the next couple of months, they have had such a short amount of time in which to pour a ton of money into defining this candidate.
And, you know, everyone is trying to figure out whether the attacks that led up to Tuesday night actually worked at all or if they just didn't have enough time to sink in. So, there's a big conversation going on right now among donors, among people within the party about whether or not to keep those anti-Trump dollars rolling in and whether they are actually working and whether they can be most effective.
LEMON: Maeve, a lot of the establishment or republicans turn their noses up at Ted Cruz. Lindsey Graham even said that choosing between him and Donald Trump is like choosing between being shot and poisoned.
But then he endorsed Cruz and poise and said that he raise money for him. Is that a measure of the desperation to stop Trump right now?
RESTON: Yes, it is I think. There's a lot of desperation out there to stop Trump. I mean, you know, just talking to political strategists over the last couple of days, everyone right now is hitting the books, trying to understand the delegate rules in each of these states, whether or not if they can deprive Donald Trump of that 1,237 number, you know, whether they can organize their forces at the convention.
Everyone's studying the history of course of '76 and, you know, other times when they've gotten close to these kind of cataclysmic moments for the party. So, it's just a big moment for the Republican Party has to figure out whether the risk is greater by allowing Donald Trump to be the nominee or if they're going to risk completely fracturing the party by going up against him at the convention.
LEMON: Marco Rubio...
RESTON: Of course...
LEMON: I'm sorry -- I thought you are going -- go ahead. Finish your thought.
RESTON: Yes. Of course he and Ted Cruz would like to win outright, which would save a lot of trouble for the party, but it's looking tougher and tougher for that to happen.
LEMON: Yes. Again, pardon me for that. And Marco Rubio, you know, he suspended his campaign but he's still speaking out. He told reporters today that there's still time to stop Trump. He's also talking about his own political future. Let's listen, Maeve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: would you consider being Cruz's vice president?
MARCO Rubio, FLORIDA STATE SENATOR: No, I'm not going to be anybody's vice-president. I'm not -- I'm just not -- I don't want to -- I'm not interested in being vice president. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. I'm not going to be vice president. I'm not running for governor of Florida. I'm going to finish out my term in the Senate over the 10 months. We're going to work really here and we have some things we want to achieve and then I'll be a private citizen in January.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Maeve, you know how things go. Despite what he says do you think that we're going to see a Cruz-Rubio ticket or a Rubio endorsement?
RESTON: I mean, very potentially we could see a Rubio endorsement pretty soon. You know, the thing that he has to balance is his own political future going forward, whether what point it makes sense for him to really get in. But there is going to be tons of pressure on Rubio because, of course, you know, he has delegates that he's won for the course of these contests.
And right now, Kasich and Cruz would like to sweep up all of those people as well as other Rubio supporters in future states. So, we'll have to see what he does. I think, you know, there's not a lot of love for Ted Cruz. That's what we've all been talking but everyone thinks that it's just a very, very narrow path for John Kasich to the nomination. So, we'll have to see what happens.
LEMON: Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan continues to fill questions about the possibility of becoming the nominee in the event of a contested convention. Let's listen to that, Maeve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: It's not going to be me. It should be somebody running for president. People are out there campaigning, they're canvassing, there's caucuses and primaries. That's who we should select from among for our next president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Didn't he kind of say something similar about being Speaker of the House? I mean, do you think he could be persuaded?
RESTON: Right. But I mean, this is a whole different ball game, right? You have to think about you've been to these Trump rallies as well. You've felt the electricity in those crowds, how much passion and support there is for Donald Trump, among the people that are supporting him.
[22:05:10] And the fact that we're even talking about Paul Ryan being drafted, you know, as the republican nominee or any other number of people is just, you know, another crazy, mind blowing moment in this cycle.
But the question is how much of a backlash would there be as, you know, toward the party as all of these Republican Party elders continue talking about other alternatives.
LEMON: Riot as Trump says.
RESTON: What happens to his support, right?
LEMON: Could there be riots you believe, as Trump says?
RESTON: Well, I think -- I think that there definitely would be protests. I mean, I spent a lot of time in Florida over the last week at his rallies, actually talking to his people about what they would do if the Republican Party tried to block him at the convention.
And a lot of them said I will be all in, I will do whatever it takes to help this man get elected. We've seen violence at very sort of unsettling moments at a lot of Trump's rallies.
So, you know, at this point anything is possible and the party has a lot to think about, about how they keep everything under control at the convention if you do end up with a contested convention.
LEMON: Maeve Reston, appreciate that.
RESTON: Thank you.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Hugh Hewitt, the host of the radio's Hugh Hewitt show. Hello, Mr. Hewitt. You're doing OK?
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: Good evening, Mr. Lemon. How are you?
LEMON: It's good to see. I'm doing great. You know, the establishment is an all-out frenzy plotting to take down Donald Trump. Is it too little too late?
HEWITT: Well, Donald said he's the great unifier. And he has brought Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham together so I guess he's right. I think what you are going to see now is it's not going to be Speaker Ryan, it's going to be either Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or Governor Kasich.
And of those three, as I step back, I haven't endorsed anyone, I'm not in favor or against anyone, I think Ted Cruz is likely to be the nominee because all of the forces that are coming to bare right now on Donald Trump are institutional.
And strange things have happened. When you have Lindsey Graham step out in favor of Ted Cruz and Yale wins in NCAA basketball game. It's just a matter of time till the media, you know, the cling-on hit the earth. It's such a weird set of circumstances.
But the institutional best interests of the Republican Party seem to point towards a Ted Cruz nomination. I think he's going to win in Utah next week even though Donald Trump is probably going to win Arizona.
Ted Cruz is making a quick trip to Arizona to go down to the border next week. That means that his people might think he has a chance to pull it out. A Rubio endorsement would help. That might come as early as tomorrow, according to Mark Caputo, who is reporting for Politico.
So, there's a lot of moving parts out there. Watch Scott Walker, one of the most influential republicans, one of the early leaders in this scrambled for the presidency. He withdraw with dignity with his political capital in tact in the Wisconsin winner-take-all primary is going to be the sort of make or day -- break it day for Ted Cruz. I think he's going to win up in Wisconsin.
LEMON: I got a lot of things that I want to talk to you. But you know how it is in television as you're doing in radio you have a limited time, so if you can get through them quickly. But I'm interested in what you're saying. You said that it's pointing towards a Ted Cruz nomination. Did you just say that?
HEWITT: Yes. Because I think ahead. I project on factors. And it sort of like if you look at three stocks, don't tell me what they were valued yesterday, don't tell me what they were valued last year, tell me what they're going to be worth in 10 weeks when we get to California.
And I interviewed today Mike Schroeder, who is the past chairman of California Republican Party. He wrote the rules in 1998 as to how California's republican delegates will be allocated. And Mike kick them in 2006, so no one would have any question of self-interest.
And it works this way, Don. You win three delegates for every congressional district that you win. So, the Maxine Waters district were maybe 3,000 republicans in the gets three delegates.
Dana Rohrabacher's congressional district where a quarter million people gets three delegates. And so, you've got 54 elections out here, 172 delegates total. And if people want to read that interview send them over to hughhewitt.com who is going to be the presidential candidate...
LEMON: Shameless, a shameless plug.
HEWITT: But that interview is fascinating. A shameless plug for information. I don't see anyone except the stock that is rising right now is Ted Cruz's. I think Donald Trump has peaked and will stay the same.
HEWITT: But right now I see Cruz rising.
LEMON: OK. I got you. John Kasich has been reluctant to criticize Trump. I have a glasses because I want to read this. But he responded to that riot -- those riot remarks. He tweeted this, OK. "Donald Trump said there could be riots if he's denied the GOP nom in a contested convention. That's more unacceptable language. John."
And he says, "This implicit acceptance of violence is the kind of rhetoric that's pulling people apart. John. A true leader urges peaceful debate over violence. Leadership requires responsibility. I have faith the American people want civilize debate over violence. It's what kept our nation the strongest in the world." Do you think we're going to see a war of words now between Donald Trump and John Kasich, Hugh?
[22:10:06] HEWITT: John Kasich is a very experienced politician. I have, Don, in Ohio -- I'm an Ohioan, he's an Ohioan. We have memories of violence in Kent State. I have a very vivid memory of that. My cousin was on the campus.
The idea that violence would attempt political demonstration is enactment to buckeyes. And John Kasich is going to naturally react against anything that talks about violence. At the same time, I think he wants to keep lines of communication open and I think it's unfortunate Donald walked away from the next debate.
I think we need more debates. And I think everyone is going to be remembered that we don't talk about violence and political speech the United States. And so, I salute the governor for saying that. I'm sure Donald Trump will tell him that back. He doesn't want violence. I'm sure that's very obvious.
But the key thing is Kasich went to Utah, it's kind of interesting since Mike Lee, the senior senator has backed Cruz, very heavily. And Cruz is probably going to win the state. Kasich may be trying to keep them under 50 percent.
But if you do the math and he get way in the weeds, there's a question of whether or not rule 40 will even be broken because Cruz's people -- and rule 40 is how many states you have to win to get nominated.
Cruz people and Trump people may work together to keep Cruz from being nominated and by then all those unbound delegates after, you know, ballot one, what happens to them? Great piece Zeke Miller in Time magazine today, it's a rodeo. It's a rodeo without rules and we haven't seen it before.
LEMON: I want to ask you about this group of faith leaders and fiscal conservatives have met today to try to come up with a strategy to deny Trump the nomination. There's talk of unmasking Trump in ads, strategy to target delegates and even turn them even the possibility of a third party unity ticket.
Does any of that sound like it's going to be effective or is it even realistic, Hugh? I mean, he just won Florida despite $15 million in ads against him.
HEWITT: Oh, it's not realistic, although it is realistic for people to signal where conservatives are. Mike Ferris who is at that meeting, he's one of the most respected conservative educators out there. Eric Eriksson is my colleague on the radio waves. Very well-respected Tea Party originators.
So, these are people with influence and they're all signaling vote for Ted Cruz. I'm not doing that on my show. It's still Belgium before the wars, right. I don't know who's going to invade it but they're all welcome there.
And what happen there is the signaling that's going on. And I think tomorrow if Marco Rubio comes out for Ted Cruz and other people follow Lindsey Graham's lead, you're going to find the natural center right alliance coming behind Ted Cruz because he's more electable in their eyes than Donald Trump.
LEMON: Hugh Hewitt, always a pleasure. See you soon.
HEWITT: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Thank you.
HEWITT: Happy St. Patrick's Day.
HEWITT: You as well.
When we come back, the GOP at war with itself as an anti-Trump forces battle the front-runner. Is there a new republican candidate waiting in the wing?
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The move by conservative republicans to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination becomes more urgent by the day. Many are banking on a fight at the convention to knock him out.
Now I want to talk about all of this GOP race with CNN political commentator, Jeffrey Lord and Margaret Hoover. Jeffrey joins me via Skype. Nonetheless, we'll try to talk to him as well. So, Margaret, I want to ask...
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, Don.
LEMON: Happy St. Patrick's Day. I'm wearing green but you'll have to figure out where it is. So, anyway, Reince Priebus, RNC's Reince Priebus insists a nominee will be in place soon and that there will not be a brokered convention. Is he right, Margaret?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is -- nobody knows. I mean, the sort of hook that everybody is hanging their hat on who is not a Trump supporter is this outlier possibility and it is an outlier possibility still.
HOOVER: I mean, Donald Trump has to win slightly more than 50 percent of the remaining delegates. Ted Cruz would have to win over 80 percent of the remaining delegates.
LEMON: Fifty percent is not that hard, is it?
HOOVER: No, especially given the way Donald Trump, I mean, if you look at all the exit polls he's winning sort of every segment of the population, every sort of demographic group within the republican cohort. So, you know, from my perspective and I'm not a Trump the way, you
know, Jeffrey is, I just think, you know, we got to get grounded in reality here. Our time to stop the Trump train was months ago.
LEMON: OK. I'm glad you said that because why is everyone kind of sitting here saying, oh, this happened, this happened. It's pretty much we kind of know what's going to happen.
HOOVER: Because all the people like me who have worked in politics the whole time who thought the Republican Party was for certain things are horrified that we've let this person, who is not even by any stretch of the imagination a republican, let alone a conservative, right in the front door and is going to drive the train away from the station.
HOOVER: And so, they're still this in denial about it. I know now Jeffrey is come on.
LEMON: I was just going to say, it is kind of denial. I mean, we're sitting and pretending that it could be someone else. But chances are and I heard Hugh Hewitt saying the nominee is going to Cruz. It could very well be Cruz. But the things are going away they're going. It looks very well like it's probably going to be Trump. Jeffrey, no?
LORD: Don, just from a historical perspective, I went back and looked at, you know, all the races since John F. Kennedy in 1960, and in every single case the guy who is leading going into the convention became the party nominee.
There are no exception to this, and that's in both parties. I mean, whether it was JFK in 1960 or Barry Goldwater in 1964, or Nixon in '68, and Hubert Humphrey in '68...
HOOVER: And Gerald Ford in '77.
LORD: ... on and on and on. Right. Gerald Ford beat Ronald Reagan. I mean, so I just, you know, the law of averages here is pretty much on the side of Donald Trump.
LEMON: Yes. You just basically said what we were saying. So, I mean, Margaret, what is the likelihood that a new, you know, a new candidate being introduced at a brokered convention, is that...
HOOVER: I mean, I think that's even lower. I mean, look, a contested convention is not outside of the realm of possibility. You even had Paul Ryan today, the Speaker of the House who is also the ceremonial chair of it. But even he as he said it won't be me, he said he acknowledges that there is this possibility that Donald Trump doesn't get to the 1,237 beforehand, in which case you do have a contested convention and you do have to have sort of multiple rounds of voting. But even in that case, it's got to be Cruz or Kasich. It has somebody
who has run for president. That's not and he's of course says it's not going on him, but it seems incredibly unlikely.
LEMON: So, it's going to be one, somebody who is in.
HOOVER: One of the three.
LEMON: It won't be -- who else could it be? Couldn't be anybody else?
HOOVER: I mean, the only other person is just really Paul Ryan who could potentially do it. But you know, I wouldn't even as an ardent Paul Ryan supporter and fan wouldn't want him to do that.
[22:20:00] Because the Republican Party as fractured as it is right now, you know, we don't have time going back and look in history, Jeffrey Lord, I mean, we don't win as a party if we're not unified.
We just simply don't and we are not unified now. And so, I would hate for that to happen to Paul Ryan or to any of these candidates. Because it's not only is going to damage the party. It will damage the person who is running.
LEMON: Before you respond, Jeffrey, I want you to listen -- I want you to Donald Trump on CNN's New Day. Here's what he had to say about the possibility of a brokered convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you'd have riots. I think you'd have riots. You know, I'm representing a tremendous, many, many millions of people. In many cases, first time voters. These are people that haven't voted because they never believe in the system, they didn't like candidates, et cetera, et cetera.
If you disenfranchise those people and you say, well, I'm sorry, but you're 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short, I think you would have problems like you've never seen before. I think bad things would happen. I really do. I believe that. I wouldn't lead it but I think bad things would happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, a lot of people are upset about the riots where we've heard that for a numbers of days now. Do you think people are putting too much stock in those words?
LORD: Yes. Yes. Don, you know, I said and I'm just with Margaret last night and I said this, you know, I've been on panels on Anderson's show where more or less a number of people on, you know, analysts and commentators alike agreed that there would be an open revolt if he got close to Donald Trump got close and there was a scheme to, you know, basically steal the nomination. There would be a problem.
And my answer was if this were like 1976, with Reagan and Ford, where Reagan generally lost by 117 votes on the convention floor, that's one thing. If it becomes like, you know, 1912, where Teddy Roosevelt was accusing the other side of theft and stomped out, yes, big problem here. You just don't want to go down that road ever. And frankly, it doesn't matter whether it's Donald Trump or anybody else who's winning the nomination. That's just not a good place to be.
LEMON: Margaret, were you disagreeing that people are putting too much stock in it?
HOOVER: It's the choice of words, the riots and the continued pugilistic language in an environment that is like a tinderbox and it is incredibly irresponsible, I think, of Donald Trump to continue using language that it really suggest that he's provoking violent and it almost sound like a veiled threat.
LEMON: I want to get this real quickly, Jeffrey. This is a Lindsey Graham had a dramatic change of heart. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY GRAHAM, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA SENATOR: If you're a republican and your choice is Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in a general election, it's the difference between poisoned or shot. You're still dead.
If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate and the trial is in the Senate nobody can convict you.
I'm going to be doing a fund-raiser with and for Senator Cruz. I think he's the best alternative to Donald Trump. He's certainly not my preference Senator Cruz is not but he's a reliable republican conservative, of which I've had many differences with. I doubt Donald Trump's conservatism and I think he'd be a disaster for the party. So, I'll try to help money for Senator Cruz and the pro-Cruz community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Boy, and I thought the news business -- now he's hosting a fund-raiser for Ted Cruz on Monday. Go ahead.
LORD: There is more to the story. When we were in Las Vegas for the CNN debate, Senator Lindsay Graham approached me personally and said he could never under any circumstances vote for Ted Cruz and that he would be more than happy to support Donald Trump.
Now, here we are, you want to know why Lindsay Graham lost the South Carolina primary and why anything he says has no credibility? I mean, he told me that...
HOOVER: He didn't lose the South Carolina primary.
LORD: Well, hello, there you go. I mean, my point...
HOOVER: No, he didn't lose.
LEMON: Not competing as losing I guess. LORD: Look, he looked me right straight in the eye and said that he preferred Donald Trump over Ted Cruz.
LORD: And now he's saying exactly the opposite.
HOOVER: Look, Jeffrey, I mean, here is what really...
LEMON: But I got to run. Quickly, Margaret.
HOOVER: ... a really quickly, though. Look, Lindsey Graham doesn't think Ted Cruz is going to win the presidency. But he does want is for the Republican Party not to be sort of blown defeat. And so, what he's saying is I'd rather have my lot in with somebody at least we can -- we can lose 46, whatever it is we lose, we can rebuild the Republican Party rather than putting somebody who is not a republican in. And then losing disastrous.
LEMON: Thank you both. That's it. Last word. I appreciate it. Up next, the 50-year-old political ad with eerie similarities to today's GOP race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, when the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they're not republicans or I'm not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A political ad going viral on social media, it's from 1964, but there are eerie similarities to today's GOP race. The ad is called "Confessions of a republican supporting President Lyndon Johnson in the battle against republican Senator Barry Goldwater."
Joining me now is William Bogert, the actor featured in the ad. Welcome. Thank you so much for coming on.
WILLIAM BOGERT, ACTOR: It's very kind of you to have me.
LEMON: May I call you Bill?
BOGERT: I wish you would.
LEMON: But we're going to play the entire ad then we're going to talk about how foretelling it was with respect to today's election. Let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know just why I wanted to call this a confession. I certainly don't feel guilty about being a republican. I've always been a republican. My father is, his father was. The whole family is a republican family.
I voted for Dwight Eisenhower the first time I ever voted. I voted for Nixon the last time. But when it comes to Senator Goldwater, now it seems to me we're up against a very different kind of a man. This man scares me.
Now maybe I'm wrong. A friend of mine has said to me, listen, just because a man sounds a little irresponsible during a campaign doesn't mean he's going to act irresponsibly, you know theory that the White House makes the man.
[22:30:02] I don't buy that. You know what I think makes a president, I mean, aside from his judgment, his experience, the man behind him, his advisers, the cabinet. And so many men with strange ideas are working for Goldwater. You'll hear a lot about what these guys are against. Seem to be against just about everything.
But what are they for? The hardest thing for me about this whole campaign is to sort out one Goldwater statement from another. A reporter will go to Senator Goldwater and will say such and such a day you said and I quote, blah, what, blah, whatever it is, end quote.
And then Goldwater says, well, I wouldn't put it that way. I can't follow that. When he's serious when he didn't put it that way, is he serious when he says he wouldn't put it that way? I just don't get it.
A president ought to mean what he says. President Johnson, Johnson at least is talking about facts. He says, look, we got the tax cut bill and because of that you get to carry home x number of dollars more every pay day. We got the nuclear test ban, and because of that this x percent less radio activity in the food.
But Goldwater, often you can't -- often I can't figure out just what Goldwater means by the things he says. I read now where here says a way -- a craven fear of death is sweeping across America. What is that supposed to mean? If he means that people don't want to fight a nuclear war, he's right. I don't.
When I read some of these things that Goldwater says about total victory, I get a little worried, you know? I wish I was as sure that Goldwater was against war as he is against some of these other things. I wish I could believe that he has the imagination to be able to just shut his eyes and picture what this country would look like after a nuclear war.
Sometimes I wish I'd been at that convention in San Francisco. I mean, I wish I'd been a delegate, I really do. Because I would have fought, you know. And I wouldn't have worried so much about party unity. Because if you unite behind a man you don't believe in, it's a lie.
I tell you, those people who got control of that convention, who are they? I mean, when the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they're not republicans or I'm not. I thought about just not voting in this election, just staying home, but you can't do that because that's saying you don't care who wins and I do care.
I think my party made a bad mistake is San Francisco, and I'm going to have to vote against that mistake on the 3rd of November.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Interesting. What a performance, first of all.
BOGERT: Well, that guy was terrific.
LEMON: That guy is you. Does that take you back? Do you remember the day did you that?
BOGERT: Oh, yes. I remember. There are some things that I don't remember. One of the things that I was talking about before I think I mentioned it to Kristy and I just mentioned it to Rachel, as far as I know, and I may be wrong about this, as far as I know this was only shown once, but it made a tremendous impression.
LEMON: Yes. And you're talking about Kristy and Rachel, those are my producers that you spoke to about.
LEMON: Based on that ad, people might think that you're a democrats but you say that, you're a republican and you did that because you believed in and not because you're an actor but because you believed that.
BOGERT: Yes. But unfortunately, the last republican I've voted for was John Lindsey.
BOGERT: Yes. Because in those days, of course, the Republican Party was the party of Lindsey, to Jacob Javits, somewhat lesser degree, Nelson Rockefeller. Now I feel about almost all the current nominees the way I felt about Mr. Goldwater. No, worse than that.
Because Senator Goldwater was a very good senator. He did a lot of good things, he was a blessing to the people of Arizona, and I don't see that.
LEMON: Why do you say worse now? Because in that ad you said that Goldwater scares you. You talk about the political climate then. What about the political climate now? How does that scare you?
BOGERT: It's worse.
LEMON: Worse than Goldwater?
[22:35:00] BOGERT: Yes. In Goldwater's time essentially, the only major threat that we had was Russia. And Russia has had all the same reasons for not going to nuclear war than we did. Now we got ISIS, we've got -- I can't remember the names of all these...
LEMON: You have Al Qaeda, you have ISIS, you've got...
BOGERT: Yes, yes. And a lot of them are producing suicide bombers. Well, give a suicide bomber a hand grenade, that's one thing. Give them an atomic bomb, that's another thing altogether.
LEMON: A lot of people are saying that Trump scares them. Does he scare you?
BOGERT: Because I think that his ego is essentially uncontrollable, and that means that he could be badgered into something that would be truly outrageous and very unfortunate.
LEMON: The ads you refer to the 1964 convention, you talk about the KKK and other extreme groups, we just talked about that, about other groups. Did it bother you when Trump seemed to waffle? He said he denounced them. But when he seemed to waffle about the KKK, did that bother you?
BOGERT: Yes, a lot. I don't understand why -- I don't understand how he could be more dismissive of the guys that were running against him than he could be against the head of the Ku Klux Klan. It just doesn't make any sense.
LEMON: What are the parallels between Goldwater and Trump that you speak of?
BOGERT: Well, first the Ku Klux Klan. Second, the -- he says Trump said that he would bomb the Jews out of ISIS. Well, Goldwater never said that he would bomb the Jews out of Russia but the implication was always there.
LEMON: You say in the ad if you unite behind a man you don't believe in it's a lie.
BOGERT: What a great line. I wish I've written it.
LEMON: Do you think that's something that the republican delegates should consider now?
BOGERT: You bet my golly.
LEMON: Every one is saying, you know, I'm still going to vote for no matter who our nominee is.
LEMON: How is that wrong? BOGERT: Because the country is more important than either party and you have to, as long as you have the right to vote, I think you have the obligation to use it in a way that you think is going to be best for the country.
And I don't see any way, as successful as Mr. Trump has been, I don't see any way that he could a great force for the country.
LEMON: William Bogert, Bill, as you say, thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.
BOGERT: Thank you for having me. I'm very flattered.
LEMON: And when we come right back, the GOP was a house divided in 1964, but are things even worse today?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Who would have thought that a 50-year-old ad would be so relevant today?
Joining me now to discuss it is Carl Bernstein, CNN political commentator, and Bill Carter, the author of "The War for Late Night." This is so fascinating, gentlemen. Bill, to you first.
BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Yes.
LEMON: When these confessions of a republican ad first surfaced, many people thought it was a fake made to look real. But it's not. It is so relevant to today.
CARTER: It is so relevant that some of the lines you think were written today. The thing about not voting for a guy you can't believe in, the thing about the Ku Klux Klan. It's just remarkable. I'd never seen this ad. I didn't know it existed. I was amazed by it.
LEMON: He said "If you unite behind a man you don't believe in, it's a lie."
CARTER: Right. And it seems like every republican has to make that decision. Today, Lindsey Graham come out and supports Cruz. And I wanted someone to say, well, if he doesn't make it, will you support Trump when you've call him bigoted, racist, misogynist, how is he going to do that?
LEMON: Carl, you heard Bill Bogert. Bill Bogert says that Goldwater scared him, the country had just lead to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, America was grappling with the threat of nuclear war. What was America's frame of mind back then?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We had just gone into the Vietnam War and Goldwater was saying that we should possibly consider use be nuclear weapons in Vietnam. And Lyndon Johnson very effectively used that against Goldwater. And also Goldwater was a very principled man through his whole career,
and he was an ideologue unlike Donald Trump. He was an ideologue of the right, he had written "Conscience of the Conservative," the conservative bible, and he was the head of this new movement.
LEMON: Do you see the similarities now in the political climate between then and now?
BERNSTEIN: No. Because I think Donald Trump is an authoritarian, he's not an ideologue, he's not a principled man in the way that Goldwater was. I think the similarities are that there can be a very rancorous convention at which there forces that would like Trump not to be the nominee, just as there were forces that wanted Goldwater not to be the nominee and tried to impose after Governor Rockefeller had lost the primaries to Goldwater.
They tried to make Governor Scranton of Pennsylvania an alternative to Goldwater and they failed. But now I think that the times are different and I think the people are altogether different.
LEMON: But, Bill, in this ad, though, you heard Bogert say that, you know, that he scared him, right?
LEMON: That Goldwater scared him. And then he also said, I can't sort one Goldwater statement from another.
CARTER: But that's another thing.
LEMON: Yes. He says at one day, he says one thing, the other say, he says something else.
LEMON: Does that sound familiar?
CARTER: It does. It sounds like the same criticisms that you hear about Trump. Now I agree with Carl. I mean, it's a different kind of thing. Because Goldwater was a, you know, very functioning, political, you know, veteran, he was a senator and had all this background. Trump is a wild card, and he's very unpredictable.
[22:45:02] LEMON: Yes. So, I can just hear it now, the social media rally and the Trump campaign saying is it really fair to compare Donald Trump to Barry Goldwater?
CARTER: Well, I don't think...
BERNSTEIN: No. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Bill.
CARTER: And it is. And there are reasons why you would say that's unfair and it's favorable to him to compare him to Goldwater. Some people would say that's unfair to Goldwater. LEMON: Yes. Go ahead, Carl.
BERNSTEIN: Let me go back to Goldwater being a principled man. I mean, Goldwater led the opposition of his party to Richard Nixon and eased Richard Nixon out of office and told Nixon that his crimes were too many and that he would lead the Republican Party against Nixon in a Senate trial.
Altogether different. You know, Donald Trump is about Donald Trump. He's not about any political philosophy. He's not about anything but his own objectives. And that is one of the reasons why people are afraid of him, not because, yes, they're afraid of him with his finger on the nuclear trigger obviously, but not because of his ideology.
LEMON: Bill, before you respond I want to play this. Goldwater won the nomination easily. I want you want to listen to a key moment to his acceptance speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRY GOLDWATER, FORMER ARIZONA SENATOR: I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no bias.
And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you know, Bill, those words alienated moderate republicans and likely cost him the election. Trump has said many outrageous things, nothing seems to stick.
CARTER: Yes. Nothing seems to stick. What's interesting is that this ad basically played on that and said to people this guy is scary, we got to stay away from him. And what's amazing is everyone remembers the daisy ad. This ad was more sophisticated than that.
CARTER: This one basically brought home a child that was going to be blown to pieces.
CARTER: It was emotional, much more visceral and emotional. The ad we played today, which I was totally unaware of before, it was a sophisticated, very, you know, cogent argument, very well made.
LEMON: Yes. It's interesting to watch all of this now. Because I remember this, you know, I don't remember the time when it played but I remember people playing it, right, years ago during election.
But I have to say something that Carl Bernstein interviewed Barry Goldwater by Ham Radio back in the day until we got to know him. It was a Twitter of this time. You were ahead of your time, Carl Bernstein.
BERNSTEIN: That morning, the morning of that speech.
BERNSTEIN: Goldwater had taken his ham radio equipment to San Francisco as hobbyist to the convention and I was in Washington and I interviewed him over to Ham Radio.
LEMON: It's hard to believe you're so young to him.
BERNSTEIN: It's true.
LEMON: I think it was two years old when that happened. Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate it.
Coming up, the end of the world as we know it? Will the GOP establishment be singing that tune at their convention in July?
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Is this the end of the GOP as we know it or will Donald Trump surprise everybody and unify the party?
Joining me now is Matt Schlapp, political director for President George W. Bush. Good to see you, sir. How are you?
MATT SCHLAPP, GEORGE W. BUSH POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Great to be with you, Don.
LEMON: Is this the end? Everyone is saying, well, this could be the end of the GOP as we know it.
SCHLAPP: You know, I'm an optimistic guy. I like to believe that we'll come together. But I think look at the very legitimate open question. It's a very raw political moment. Will we pull together behind a nominee and beat Hillary Clinton, who I think is very beatable.
The one thing I think is a little bit destructive to that end, Don, is all these people who are saying I'll never vote for Cruz ever even if he's the nominee, and all these people who are saying I'll never vote for Donald Trump ever in he's the nominee. I think both sides need to realize one of these men is going to be our nominee.
LEMON: OK, but, Matt, it's a little odd, you had, one must admit you have this guy who has the momentum, who seems to have a clear path to the nomination, yet most people in the party are saying, no, not that guy, he's not the one! Why not, you know, coalesce around your guy, you know, some sort of unification and get behind him and say, all right, let's do this?
SCHLAPP: Well, first of all, most of the people who are voting or at least these pluralities in these states are voting for Donald Trump. So, I know there are lots of people inside the beltway and inside New York and Washington who are just having a visceral reaction against Donald Trump.
But let's face it. There's no substitute in politics for winning. And he's winning state after state and he's racked up all these delegates. And I think that's what the people in my party need to realize is that there is just a certain amount of math to all of this.
I don't know whether some of these people took math in common core enough but they seem to be failing the fact that he's leading in delegates and that's impactful. And there's a chance he could get to this minimum number of delegates before Cleveland.
We have some big states still before us. But if not, look, I would encourage all these candidates, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, John Kasich, leave it all on the field, go claw at each other, go fight as hard as you can but when we get done, it needs to be hash tag never Hillary and not never one of these guys. That's a mistake for the republicans.
LEMON: So, will there be riots as Trump says if he doesn't get the nomination?
SCHLAPP: You know, Don, sometimes that political convention you need tear gas outside the convention hall because I wonder if we'll need it inside the convention hall. But in all seriousness I think those words were unfortunate. I don't think he really meant that. I just think he means that it would be extraordinary -- let's just really think through this.
It would be extraordinary for the person that's leading in the delegate count to actually not end up getting the requisite number of delegates. We haven't seen that happen for a hundred years.
You know, Ford/Reagan is our big controversy back from 1976. Ronald Reagan came into that convention just behind Gerald Ford about 100 delegates short and he didn't end up getting the nomination. That's the typical way things roll. So, it would be unusual...
LEMON: But didn't everyone think that in the Republican Party that was a mistake then that Reagan didn't get the nomination?
SCHLAPP: Well, all of us conservatives certainly wanted Reagan to get it. But, you know, you got to follow the rules. Then he didn't get it because there was a bargain with the Mississippi delegation.
[22:55:04] LEMON: Yes.
SCHLAPP: Which a lot of people still talk about. But, you know, here's the thing. It's got to be open, it's got to be transparent and Donald Trump has to get to this minimum number. And those are just the facts.
LEMON: Since Romney's defeat in 2008, remember they were going to do this autopsy, the GOP has been trying to reach out to minorities to be more inclusive. Do you think Donald Trump has undone that effort or done at least a major damage to it? SCHLAPP: Well, I always thought autopsy was an unfortunate word by
the way, I don't think we're dead, I think we're very much alive. I think there is real alignment going on the republican side in this party. And I think I'm a conservative side.
On this coalition on the center right coalition there is a realignment going on. There's difference voices. You know, conservatives with Barry Goldwater were sending a very ideological message to Washington about the size and scope of government in our lives.
What's happening with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is they're sending the message that they want to up end the order of things. And so, it's a slightly different message. But it's still incredibly important and it's very threatening to people who are used to being the insiders in making all these decision.
So, your question on the autopsy, does this mean Donald Trump can't win in a general election? I think people who are saying that are thinking about it all wrong. Because when you have a realignment, certain givens will not take place in 2016 as expected.
And I think Donald Trump is going to reach out to different types of voters than the Republican Party has ever been able to reach out to if he's to get the nomination.
LEMON: Matt Schlapp, always a pleasure. Thank you.
SCHLAPP: Thank, Don.
LEMON: When we come right back, why some people fear Donald Trump may be one of the top risks to global security.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: What President Barack Obama is saying about...