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The Final Five: Interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders; Panel Analyzes Five Presidential Interviews. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 21, 2016 - 22:00   ET


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. In fact, we just did a press conference and gave a speech right here in Salt Lake City on the Middle East and on Israel, pretty much the speech that I would have given to AIPAC if I had been able to attend their conference.

[22:00:03] So, I wanted to be there. It was simply a question of scheduling.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You said that the U.S. should be even- handed when it comes to dealing with the Israelis and the Palestinians. Does that mean that the U.S. should remain neutral to achieve Middle East peace?

SANDERS: No. What it means is that if we want lasting peace in the Middle East, we have got to obviously make sure that the security and the independence of Israel remains intact. That is not a debate.

Israel must continue to exist as an independent free state. But if we are going to have lasting peace, we have also got to work with the Palestinians. And what that means, we have got to recognize that for in Gaza, for example, in Gaza, you got an unemployment rate of 44 percent, you have people living in horrific poverty. You have a community that was destroyed.

So, if we are going to go forward, it cannot be that the United States just takes the side of Israel. We've got to work with both communities to try to do what is very, very difficult. And that is to create a lasting peace in the region.

COOPER: But do you think the U.S. has not been even-handed up till now?

SANDERS: Right. I do not think so. I think that overwhelmingly the United States time and time again has looked aside when Israel has done some bad things. I think, for example, that the growth of settlements in Palestinian territory is not acceptable to me, and not conducive to the peace process.

I think that the kind of destruction that was racked on -- racked on Gaza during that war was way above what needed to be done for military purposes. A lot of civilians were killed. A lot of hospitals and schools and apartments, what destroyed above and beyond what had to be done.

So look, I think there is no question that there's enough blame to go around on both sides. Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks, against Hezbollah, against Hamas. But I think the United States is stronger when we work with both sides.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton said that she's provided -- presided over face-to-face meetings between Prime Minister Netanyahu, for instance, and President Abbas, three separate sessions. She says she's had a lot of experience obviously in this region. Why do you think you would do a better job than a president Clinton?

SANDERS: Well, I'll tell you why. Because I think I have shown a lot better judgment than she has on foreign policy. Look, she was Secretary of State for four years. And in that capacity, you gain a lot of experience. But, in fact, when she was in the Senate, she heard the same evidence that I did from George Bush and Dick Cheney about going into Iraq.

I not only voted against that war, I helped lead the opposition to that war and if you go to my web site,, read what I said back then back in 2002. Just me and I joined to tell you tell you that much of what I predicted would happen in that political vacuum with Saddam Hussein gone in fact has happened.

Secretary Clinton then senator heard the same evidence. She voted for the war. As Secretary of State, she worked very hard as The New York Times documented to overthrow Gadhafi in Libya. The results have not been cured.

Once again, regime change. Without thinking about it a whole lot created a political vacuum. ISIS came in. Secretary Clinton in a debate I had with her a month or so ago, she talked about Henry Kissinger praising her achievements.

In my view, Henry Kissinger was one of the worst Secretary of State and the man in the history of the United States of America. Very destructive policies. So, I think Secretary Clinton and I look at foreign policy in very different ways.

I am confident that I have the judgment to bring together people, to create a foreign policy that works for Israel, that works for the Palestinians, that works for the people throughout this world.

COOPER: Well, one of the things that Secretary Clinton talked about in her AIPAC speech today is continuing military aid to Israel with the most advanced weapon systems available.

You, in the past have said, your long-term hope that U.S. policy shifts from more military aid to Israel to more economic aid. The U.S. Gave about $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel. Would you continue that much military aid that much military aid?

SANDERS: Well, I think we've got to do both. I think Israel needs military aid. I can't give you the exact number. But this is what I will also tell you. I want to see the United States providing economic assistance to the region. I want to see the United States working on water issues in the region which are major, major problem in many of the Arab countries. I want to see the international community with the help of Israel, with the help of the United States rebuilding the devastation in Gaza.

[22:05:03] At the end of the day, long term, not going to happen tomorrow, I would much prefer to see money going into that region for economic development, schools, health care, infrastructure rather than just weapons of destruction.

COOPER: But for now, would you continue the same amount of aid that Israel has been getting in terms of military assistance?

SANDERS: I can't give you that. I just don't know the answer. It's a lot of money and maybe but I've got to take a hard look at it and talk to a number of people.

COOPER: Would you...

SANDERS: But Israel -- let me be clear -- let me be clear. Israel has the right to defend itself, period.

COOPER: Would you recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem?

SANDERS: I don't know the answer to that one as well. I think the status quo, in general, I am sympathetic to what President Obama has done in that area. And I am not happy, for example, of some of the behavior of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Especially when he went to a joint session of Congress without even notifying President Obama that he was coming.

So, in general, I think that, you know, President Obama -- I know he has been criticized a lot, but I am supportive of many of his efforts in the Middle East.

COOPER: Hillary Clinton hailed her role in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal. You have said you support the deal. Today you said it doesn't achieve everything you would like. What do you think she and the Obama administration left out, did not get in the deal?

SANDERS: Well, this is what I think. I very strongly supported the agreement to make sure that Iran did not get a nuclear weapon. And we have to do everything we can. And if Iran breaks that treaty, we've got to go back to sanctions and every other option remains on the table.

But in a general sense, when we look at the entire region, I think we have got to understand that it's not just Iran that has been a bad player and they have been a bad player. They have supported terrorist activity but, you know what, we've got to look at the other major country in that region, Saudi Arabia.

And if anyone thinks that Saudi Arabia is a model of Jeffersonian democracy, you have another thing coming. They have also in that country put money into terrorist organizations. They are the fourth largest military in the world -- defense department in the word.

And I would rather them play a constructive role I the fight against ISIS along, by the way, with Qatar, which is now spending $200 billion for the World Cup in 2022. I want to see those countries becoming engaged in the war against ISIS rather than Saudi Arabia being in Yemen and Qatar preparing for the World Cup.

COOPER: Right. You've talked in the past about Saudi Arabia and Iran teaming up against ISIS. Hillary Clinton has said, look, that's a nonstarter. I mean, that a lot of these countries don't even view ISIS as their primary enemy. Certainly, Saudi Arabia views Iran as a major foe.

SANDERS: Well, that's a -- but, Anderson, that is exactly my point. You know, we are allies with Saudi Arabia. And it is time that they work with us. In fact, in my view, ISIS is a real threat to Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia in some ways has paid off and bought off some of these terrorist organizations to protect themselves.


COOPER: So, how do you force them to fight -- how do you force them to get involved against ISIS?

SANDERS: Well, you know, it cannot just be attacks on Iran. Look, it's not that Iran is wonderful. They are involved in terrorist activities. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, does not respect women's rights, does not have free elections. There are people in Saudi Arabia who are funded terrorist organizations.

That's what our job is, to try to bring these organizations, these countries together and to say, you know what, the United States of America can't do it all for you. We are not the policemen of the world. Our men and women are not going to be involved in perpetual warfare.

You have the fourth largest military in the world in Saudi Arabia. Start using that military in a constructive way. Work with other countries. Listen to King Abdullah of Jordan about the need for the Muslim countries to be on the ground to defeat ISIS.

COOPER: Let me ask you about Cuba. President Obama is obviously in Cuba right now, historic visit. As president, would you also make history? Would you invite Raul Castro, if he's still the leader of Cuba, to the White House?

SANDERS: I have long believed that we should normalize relations with Cuba in every respect, including doing away with the economic embargo. I think normalized relations would be good for Americans.

You know, right now, you can go to Saudi Arabia, it's a monarchy, you can go to China, it's a dictatorship. But for some reason you can't go to Cuba. Which, of course, is an authoritarian country.

[22:10:01] So, I think Americans should have the right to go where they want. Second of all, I think for American businesses and jobs in this country, there are investment opportunities in Cuba which are now being taken advantage of by Canada and Europe.

We should take advantage as well. So, to answer your question, yes, I want to see us move as forward as quickly as possible to normalize relations with Cuba. I applaud President Obama for his initiative.

COOPER: So, normalize relations for you that would mean inviting a leader like Raul Castro to the White House as other leaders are...


SANDERS: Well, last I heard, we've invited -- we've invited the leaders of Saudi Arabia, we've invited the leaders of China. We've invited the leaders of a whole lot of authoritarian countries to come to the United States. I think Cuba should be treated similarly.

COOPER: I want to follow up to a question you were asked at a debate in Miami recently. The moderators played a video of you back from -- way back in 1985, in which you praise Fidel Castro. You said he educated their kids, give them health care and totally transform their society. Do you think the Cuban revolution was good for the people of Cuba?

SANDERS: Look, you know, the Cuban Revolution took place -- when was it, 1959? It was a long time ago. What I said, the main point that I made, Anderson, is that I don't think that the United States of America should go around overthrowing governments. I think the Bay of Pigs was a disaster. I think the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile was a disaster.

I think the overthrow of the democratically elected president in Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz was a disaster. I think the overthrow of the democratic reelected prime minister in Iran was a disaster. So, I don't think the United States has the legal or moral right to go around overthrowing governments.

And I think very often those efforts have backfired bringing about a whole lot of instability in regions throughout this country.

COOPER: But as you know, even at that debate, Hillary Clinton went after you for, in her words, essentially praising the regime of Fidel Castro, this is something that in a general election would no doubt be used against you on just remembering. DO you think the revolution had been...


SANDERS: Look, Anderson, let's not get into -- let's not get into red baiting here. Here is the truth. Everybody knows it. Cuba is a very poor country. Its economy is in very bad shape. It is an authoritarian society. Do I support their economic policies or their political policies? Of course I don't.

But you know what else? Cuba produces a lot of physicians in this country. And you know where they go? They go to poor countries around the world doing a lot of good. I wish we had physicians in this country, the number of physicians that we need to go to poor countries around the world.

By and large, Cuba's educational system for a poor country is pretty good. When Castro came to power, they did a lot to eliminate illiteracy in that country. So, yes, you don't have to praise everything about Fidel Castro. It's a dictatorship. It's a poor economy. We want changes. But have some good things been done in Cuba? Yes. Should the United States go around overthrowing governments we don't like? I don't think so.

COOPER: Let me ask you about the Supreme Court. You're supporting President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland. You've also said you wanted to nominate someone more progressive if you're president. In your view, in what way does Garland fail that test?

SANDERS: Well, I think Garland seems to be has enormous experiences, widely respected and clearly a very intelligent man. But what I have said, Anderson, and you've heard me say it on numerous occasions, I believe that the Supreme Court decision six years ago, on citizens united was one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country and, in fact, it is paving the way to undermining American democracy and creating a very corrupt campaign finance system.

I do have a litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee. And that way I want -- that is that I want that nominee to be loud and clear in telling the American people that he or she will vote to overturn citizens united.

COOPER: President Obama said recently at a fund-raiser the democrat success in November requires the party to come together behind a nominee. You pledge to stay in the race through June to the convention. If Hillary Clinton clinches the nomination before June, are you hurting democrat chances of staying in the race -- by staying in the race?

SANDERS: No. Quite the contrary. Number one, as you know, many of the early states were in the Deep South. Secretary Clinton picked up a lot of delegates. She did well there. Now we're moving to another part of the country. Just tomorrow -- I'm here in Utah. There is going to be a caucus here. We think we're going to do well. We think we're going to do well in Idaho. We think we have a chance. It's going to be tough in Arizona. We got Washington state.

[22:15:01] I spoke yesterday to 35,000 people in Washington State in three separate locations. We think we have an excellent chance to win there. We think we're going to do well in Alaska. We think we're going to do well in Hawaii. We think that once we're on the West Coast, we think we're going to do well in Oregon. We think we're going to do well in California.

So, to answer your question, number one, I think we have a road -- a narrow road but a road to victory. Number two, it is absurd. It is completely anti-democratic to tell some of the largest states in this country, California, New York State, you should not have a voice in helping to select the democratic nominee. Number three, democrats win when the voter turnout is high.

Republicans win when it's low. By contesting and having serious debates about the important issues facing this country, getting people involved in the process, we're going to drive up the voter turnout in November no matter who the nominee is.

Number four, virtually every poll that has come out has Bernie Sanders defeating Donald Trump by very large numbers. The last NBC poll had me 19 points ahead of him. Far more than Secretary Clinton. Here in Utah, of all places, I was 11 points ahead of Trump.

She was two points ahead of Trump. A CBS poll came out today having her all of five points ahead of me nationally. When we started off, we were 70 points behind. I am not a quitter. We're going to fight this to the last vote. We're going to give every American the chance to decide which candidate they want to be the democratic nominee in November.

COOPER: You saved me the problem of bringing up Donald Trump. Since you've brought him up, you recently referred to him as a pathological liar. That's pretty tough words.


COOPER: Pathological is actually a word he had used against Ben Carson who is now endorsing him. Do you think he has some sort of compulsion towards lying?

SANDERS: Look, this is not Bernie Sanders, as I'm sure you are aware, there have been a number of publications, Politico did an article checking what he says. PolitiFact which is a group that, you know, checks on what politicians say, and what they say is overwhelmingly, almost everything that he says is not true.

He just says thing off the top of his head. He saw Muslims in New Jersey, thousands celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11. It never happened. Time after time, he says things that are just not true. And I think more and more people understand that.

That is above and beyond the fact that almost every day he is insulting Latinos and Mexicans, Muslims, women, African-Americans. I mean, there is a reason why this guy will not be elected president of the United States. That type of temperament, that kind of divisiveness which he is engendering, the kind of violence which he is almost encouraging is not what the American people want.

In Utah, when I am beating Donald Trump by 11 points in what is one of the most conservative states in this country, it is clear to me that Donald Trump is not going to be elected president of the United States.

COOPER: Your fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren on twitter said some tough words against Donald Trump. Among other things, she called him a wannabe tyrant. Do you agree with that?

SANDERS: Oh, there's no question that he has authoritarian tendencies. You know, what really, really boggled my mind -- and by the way, Anderson, as you know it's not just me. You've got a lot of republicans out there, conservative republicans who are looking at this guy and saying, what is going on?

It's what Mitt Romney and people like that are saying. When he suggests after one of his supporters punches out a protester, knocks him down, sucker punches him, Trump says, Well, you know, I've given thought to paying for the legal defense of that guy.

When do you that, what you are giving a signal to your supporters that says, violence is OK. You go around beating up people, we'll be there to support you with legal costs. So, I think that does he have a tendency towards authoritarianism and the tendency to encourage violence, I think the evidence is clear that he does.

COOPER: Just a couple more questions, you're urging super delegates and other voters across the country to back you, saying that you'll fair better against Donald Trump. You've talked about that tonight rather than Hillary Clinton.

The Clinton camp says in private that you poll better essentially because you haven't been targeted yet by republicans as a socialist who raise taxes on the middle class. Is that why you're polling better?

SANDERS: Well, no. That's nonsense. First of all, I wasn't born yesterday. And this is not my first campaign. Certainly it's my first campaign for president. I've run a number of times in Vermont against very wealthy people who have opposition research and they throw a lot of garbage at me.

[22:20:03] My last election in Vermont I won by 71 percent. And in this primary process I got 86 percent from Vermonters who have seen all of the, you know, crap that people can throw at you.

But I think when you look at a race against Trump, there is no question that we are a much stronger campaign than is Hillary Clinton. We will get all or virtually all of the democratic support. Not many democrats will be voting for Donald Trump.

But we will do much better than Hillary Clinton with the millions of people who are independents. The millions of people who feel, for whatever reason, uncomfortable with Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: Right.

SANDERS: So, I think what the polls already show and I think what the evidence is pretty clear, we are the candidate to beat Donald Trump and I think more and more democrats are seeing that.

COOPER: One of the impacts you've had on this race is Hillary Clinton has moved toward a number of your positions from the Keystone pipeline to Asian trade that you've been called on the governor of Michigan to resign. She seemed to do that right before the debate in Flint. If you could move her on one more policy, what would it be? SANDERS: Look, Anderson, you know, I think the American people know

it is not what a candidate says during a campaign. What the American people or what kind of ideas they steal from other people, what is important is what your record is and what your history is.

Right now, Hillary Clinton has super PACS that are raising huge amounts of money from Wall Street to fossil fuel industry and drug companies. I think most Americans understand that somebody cannot be a serious agent for change. When they are so close to some of the most powerful special interests in this country.

We have raised money through five million individual contributions averaging 27 bucks a piece. I have spent my entire political life taking on Wall Street, taking on the drug companies, taking on the fossil fuel industry. That is the kind of record that I think the American people and democrats will look at and that's why I am confident we are going to do better and better as this campaign proceeds.

COOPER: I saw you on the campaign trail the other day. You said you never went to one of Donald Trump's wedding, clearly referenced to Secretary Clinton who did attend Donald Trump's wedding. Should voters take that into consideration that she was once friendly with Donald Trump, that she received funds from Donald Trump?

SANDERS: I think, you know, people have got to take everything into consideration. Look, this is no secret. Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the establishment. She is the candidate -- the democratic candidate of the big money interests. She has the support of public officials all over America.

What it is also clear is we are running an insurgent campaign. We are the anti-establishment campaign. We are the campaign that is calling for a political revolution that has taken on the billionaire class and Wall Street.

And I think as people look at our records, how we raise money, what our views are on income and wealth inequality, who was there first, who was helping to lead that fight, the war in Iraq, fracking, on all public colleges and universities being tuition-free, demanding that the wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes, who is calling for the United States to join the rest of the industrialized world for a Medicare for all health care system guaranteeing health care to all people? That is Bernie Sanders. And that is why we are creating so much excitement at the grassroots level.

COOPER: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. Good to talk to you tonight.

SANDERS: Thank you very much.

There you heard from Senator Sanders how and what we heard tonight impact tomorrow's contest? Much more of our live coverage from the CNN election center ahead.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're back with our CNN election special. We've just heard from all five of the remaining presidential candidates.

Right now, we have brand-new numbers from our just released CNN poll. Donald Trump holding a commanding 16-point lead over his closest competitor, Ted Cruz. Trump is a whopping 30 points ahead of his other republican opponent John Kasich. But will Trump get the nomination?

Sixty percent of republicans want the party to choose the candidate with the most support in the primary season if no one has the 1,237 delegates needed to win. Whoever gets the nomination will face a daunting task to bring the GOP together.

Forty six percent of republicans, nearly half, believe the party still will be seriously divided in November.

In the democratic race, Hillary Clinton has a seven-point advantage over Bernie Sanders in our new national poll. But Sanders does better than Clinton in matchups against the republican candidates. Take a look. Clinton has a 12-point edge over Trump when they go head to head in our new poll. But look at this, Sanders beats Trump by a 20-point margin. Let's go back to Anderson.

COOPER: Fascinating to see those numbers. I'm here with our panel. Let's talk about some of the things that we've heard tonight. Wolf asked Donald Trump about his remarks about the possibility of his supporters rioting if he doesn't get the nomination at the convention. Let's watch to what he said.


BLITZER: You don't want any violence to emerge, right?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course not. I say that all the time.

BLITZER: Because you used the word riots twice.

TRUMP: I didn't use. I said very simply if that happened I'd have no part in it but there could very well could be riots. And you know that's true. I mean, are we supposed to be so politically correct...


BLITZER: Well, I just want you to...

TRUMP: Wolf, are we supposed to be so politically correct that we're not allowed -- I have people, millions and millions of people that have come out -- the biggest history in world's politics today are the number of people that came out. I mean, these people are by the millions. And you see what's happening with the republicans and they are not coming out for other people.

[22:30:02] BLITZER: So, I just want to be precise. Will you unequivocally say to your supporters that you don't any violence; you don't want any riots at the convention?

TRUMP: Of course, I would a 100 percent. Look, I have no control over the people.


COOPER: Donald Trump talking. Gloria, what do you make of nothing really new from Trump on that front, although kind of walking back, I guess, the comments he made certainly off the cup about riots.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I think, you know, he turned into an issue of political correctness which is the way he answers a lot of questions and sort of gets around directly answering it because he did use the word "riots."

I mean, the thing that was most stunning to me in Wolf's interview with Trump was the question of NATO and how he feels we put too much money into NATO and maybe we ought to reconsider that. I think all of our NATO allies, and perhaps Putin were a little surprised at that and you heard Ted Cruz earlier this evening say that he felt it was just stunning.

COOPER: Well, John Kasich also saying he -- leader not direct against Trump on that and certainly Hillary Clinton saying that as well.

BORGER: Exactly.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Trump did say, I believe it was a New Day interview, he did say that there would be riots.


KING: And he angered again or rattled the republican leadership which wants them to realize when he speaks, followers take cues from the leader. Followers take cues from the leader and they want to say my people will be mad. My people will feel this is an injustice. My people will think I deserve the nomination. That's all fine.

There will be riots. Mr. Trump needs to dial that back. And he seems to get that and he's trying to do in degrees there. He also talk at length in that interview about his argument, that if I get close, if I get 11 something and the other guys get five something, then you can't take it away for me. Not after all these people have voted for me.

And you can see that he's preparing to make that case. Not just to the rules committee, not just to the republican establishment leadership but to the American people and to his voters because he understands the moment we're at in the election.

If he wins in Arizona, if he gets some delegates out of Utah, then Wisconsin on the 5th, that becomes a huge contest. If Trump wins again there, not only will it be he'll have a chance to get the magic number but even if he doesn't, if he does well in Wisconsin and Arizona, it will be clear that he's going to be the leader in delegates when you get to the convention. NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. And you saw

him today doing something very much like most politicians do, which is use a teleprompter during his AIPAC speech.

COOPER: Right. A speech -- a speech that somebody wrote.


COOPER: That's the first time we've heard in that speech.

HENDERSON: Yes. And they actually spend out prepared remarks for the speech, something I've never gotten in my inbox before.

BORGER: What is that?

HENDERSON: So, you do see him doing that. You saw him meeting with some other republicans. None of the leaders really. But even in today, when Gloria mentioned NATO. I mean, that gets at what he's trying to do here. He is really turning a lot of the conservative, you know, sort of orthodoxy in the Republican Party orthodox terms of foreign policy on its head.

When he talks about NATO, he really is kind of borrowing in some ways from Ron and Rand Paul who had a very much more libertarian idea about American sort of adventurism...


HENDERSON: ... anti-interventionist. Right, right, so, yes. Exactly. So, I mean, you know, you saw some two or three or four faces of Donald Trump today in many ways.

BASH: Yes. I mean, there's no question in my mind that the NATO issue, what he said to Wolf is going to be rippling through, not just Washington but as Gloria said through the entire globe. Because it's one thing to be anti-interventionist or isolationist and to make it clear as he has it all of our debates and everywhere else that he thinks that the United States is the policemen around the world spending too much of its resources which should be used for roads and bridges and things here.

But it's another thing to suggest that we're not going to pay our dues on an incredibly important alliance around the globe.

COOPER: Particularly at a time of resurgence in Russia.

BASH: Exactly.

COOPER: Let's actually play what he said about what he said about NATO just for those who didn't hear it.


BLITZER: Do you think the United States needs to rethink U.S. involvement in NATO? TRUMP: Yes. Because it's costing us too much money and, frankly, they

have to put up more money. They are going to have to put some up, also. We're not -- we're paying disproportionately. It's too much. And, frankly, it's a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea and everybody got together. I think we have to reconsider -- keep NATO but maybe we have to pay a lot less towards the NATO itself.


BORGER: You know, it also -- Anderson, it plays into this whole question of, you know, Rand Paul question of foreign aid.

BASH: Yes.

KING: Right.

BORGER: You know, people who believe we spend too much money or foreign aid which I think is what, 4 percent of the budget and up to 4 percent.

COOPER: It's not a huge surprise for Trump have said. He said this before about U.S. forces in you know, in the DMZ, in South Korea.

BORGER: Sure. But he's also talked about putting ground troops 20 to 30,000 ground troops if he needs to combat ISIS, so which is it.

KING: One of the issues here and sometimes this is our translation issue. I'm not defending everything Mr. Trump says as some of what he says is quite controversial. But some of it is have him speak. He does not speak in the language of somebody like a United States senator, or somebody who has been a member of a past administration when it comes to foreign policy.

The role of NATO has been a huge debate since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a big debate when I covered the White House in the Bill Clinton administration; it was a big debate when I cover the White House in the George W. Bush administration.

[22:35:07] What is NATO's job now that there is no Soviet Union. So, Mr. Trump is dead right in saying there's a global conversation about what is NATO's role. But when the person who would be the president of the United States, the head -- essentially the head of the big super power, the big country not in charge of NATO but the leading power in NATO says, well, we're going to pay less, just, you know, we're going to pay less, you're just going to have to do more. It's just the language. But that's Trump.

BASH: But the other thing I think we should keep in mind is that this is why people out there really like him.

KING: Right.

BASH: Because it is the populist message. You know, they are listening to all of us talking about global alliances and what it means on a geopolitical basis. But they want to know why our taxpayer dollars are going abroad and instead of -- instead of being here. That's the bottom line for them.

COOPER: We heard from a lot more candidates tonight. We'll have much more of our election special ahead.


BLITZER: Senator John King is at the magic wall right now. Tomorrow night, there are some pretty important contests. We're looking closely at these states.

[22:39:59] KING: We're going to learn, can Bernie Sanders come back? We're going to learn can the stop Trump movement actually beat him at the ballot box. Take a quick look primary. First stop is tomorrow night, March 22, we call it Western Tuesday, three states on the democratic side.

That's part of the next few weeks that will award 360. Just shy of 360 democratic delegates. But we get to the delegates of tomorrow night in a second.

On the republican side, over the next month, if you're going to stop Donald Trump, this is the period to do it and it would start in Arizona and Utah, if you can and then it's Wisconsin and we move on with New York a month from now. So, that's the state at play coming up.

Let's take a look at the delegate race and take a look. Let's start first on the democratic side, here's the issue for Bernie Sanders. Secretary Clinton starts with a pretty healthy lead. These are just pledged delegates. She also has a lot of super delegates.

But let's just focus on the pledge delegates from now. She starts with a pretty healthy lead. Tomorrow, Bernie Sanders could run the board. He could win all three contests. Even if he did, this is 55-45, Wolf. He would just cut ever so slightly.


BLITOZER: So, basically that's the proportional.

KING: Proportional rules on the democratic side. And Secretary Clinton actually thinks she's going to win in Arizona. Let's just hypothetical do at this way. If Clinton wins one and Sanders wins two, essentially a draw is what happens. She picks the delegates a little bit more of the delegates here, she picks up a little bit more there and extends up.

That's the big challenge for Bernie Sanders. After tomorrow night, there's some states favorable to him throughout in the west but he has to win by huge margins. He has to win by 70-30, 75-25 to start to change the delegate math. But let's watch. The calendar is moving his way.

Now let's look at the republican side and here's where we start. Again, Mr. Trump is past the halfway mark. Ted Cruz says I'm the only alternative but he's way back and Ted Cruz, remember, went 0-5 last week, right?

John Kasich won in Ohio and Donald Trump won the other four. So, if Ted Cruz is going to prove himself to the stop Trump movement as their horse, if you will, tomorrow is the chance to do it. If you're still in the map here, I just filled in the map all the way through a bun of contests here because I just want to show this to you.

Let's assume Donald Trump wins Arizona tomorrow and Cruz wins Utah. Then if you say Cruz is successful in the west but Trump is more successful in the northeast, you give John Kasich Delaware, look how Trump -- this sets you up for the California primary.

Look how far out Trump can get if he keeps winning. So, it is imperative, if Ted Cruz wants to get back in this game, it's really imperative that he change the psychology of the race out here in the west by something like Arizona.

Then maybe this will not end up like this. But at some point, Wolf, if you're going to stop Donald Trump you have to stop this map. Again, if you come back to where we are right now, and you just look at what could happen tomorrow, if Trump takes Arizona, it's winner-takes-all.

So, if he just get those 58 right there and let's -- if you go into Utah, if it's a split, let's say Cruz wins but Donald Trump comes in second and John Kasich comes in third or even if Donald Trump comes in third, you give him a few out of that, if he picks up 10, he keeps the march going.

BLITZER: But in Utah if Cruz gets 50 he gets it all?

KING: He gets 50 percent he get it all, which is why Cruz has been complaining about Governor Kasich being out there saying why are you campaigning here. Why don't you let me seed this state, let me beat Donald Trump and take all the delegates. But Kasich's point is I know that's not enough. I have to prove to people I'm still not messing delegates.

So, Kasich hopes to pull some delegates out of Utah and then Wisconsin would become a huge battleground on the 5th. And again, if Donald Trump wins here, again, at some point, you have to stop him. You can't just stop him five meetings, you can't stop by running millions of dollars of ads.

If he wins again when you get to the territory in the Midwest with the exception of Ohio, Kasich's home state, look how favorable this has been to Donald Trump. So, we're out west for a couple days. Now we come back here.

If Donald Trump, if you're going to stop it, you better stop his momentum there. Because if he picks up Arizona and then wins the next contest in Wisconsin, are we going to get to an open convention? Maybe. Can he clinch by the time he gets there? Maybe. But to his point in his interview with you, what are you going to do if Donald Trump is somewhere out here and you get to the convention and you're going to say, this guy? The rules of his -- the republicans rights and the rules are the rules

but if he gets way out there, or depending on how big, let's say Donald Trump pulled this far ahead, you could have a California primary, put him right there. If he run the board in California pretty impossible to tell that guy he's not going to be the nominee.

BLITZER: Yes. Especially if he's got three or four million votes as opposed to the delegates. It's going to be tough. All right. Stand by. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Wolf, when I talked to John Kasich earlier, he's clearly putting his hopes in an open convention and he makes the argument that he's the strongest republican in a general election matchup. Let's a take a look at what he said.


COOPER: There's a new CNN poll out tonight. The good news and bad news for you. The good news -- would you like good news first or bad news first?


COOPER: All right.

KASICH: You choose.

COOPER: I'm a bad news first guy. But I'll give you the good news first. You're the only republican to beat Hillary Clinton in a head- to-head matchup, 51-45. Seventy percent of republicans though, think you should drop out because it's impossible for you to win enough delegates to be the party's nominee.

KASICH: Well, I don't think anybody is going to have enough delegates to win the nomination before the convention.

COOPER: There are 70 percent of republicans who say you should drop out. You say...

KASICH: Well, I don't know who they are. And look, all of these, I mean, people have been telling me all along what the polls are and the pundits telling me what's going to happen and they've never been right yet.

I think God created pundits to make astrologers look accurate, to tell you the truth.

COOPER: It's the cable news.

KASICH: But look, let me just tell you that I'm moving forward because I have the skill, the experience, the vision and the record to fix the country. That like really matters and then we're going to get to a convention and delegates are going to think about two things. Who can win? I'm the only one that can win a general election.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [22:44:59] COOPER: Does that argument, Gloria Borger, does that hold

up and get to an open convention and delegates will start to look around to see who can win in a general election?

BORGER: Well, not if you look to our poll tonight which actually says that republicans don't think that's the way it should work. Six out of ten republicans say that the candidate with the most support going into the convention should get the nomination.

And if the delegates are going to listen to the voters, that's not the way it's going to work. We just don't know and this is what the campaigns are doing right now. They're all talking to people who could be delegates who want to know where their loyalty is after the first ballot, where they're bound.

And then whether they would say if you're Trump's people, they're talking to delegates trying to find out, would you be with us on the second ballot? Kasich's hope is that everybody would be freed up and somehow miraculously they would all decide that John Kasich is just so much better in a general election matchup against Hillary Clinton that they would all run to him. I don't think it's going to work that way.

BASH: I interviewed Reince Priebus on Sunday, is that yesterday? The head of the RNC and asked him just that concept. Just conceptually whether he thinks that it is the voters going through the primary and caucus process who should decide or it is the delegates on the floor. Because, you know, in recent history, in the past 20 years, it has been the voters.

Before that, as John Kasich likes to remind everybody, he was there in 1976 when it was the delegates. He's suggested it's the party and it's the delegates but good luck with that if there genuinely is a feeling that there's some backroom deal and that the front-runner gets robbed. It's not going to be pretty.

HENDERSON: Yes. I mean, you wonder where all of those Trump voters go. Even if he doesn't -- you know, if the nomination is sort of wrestled from him, he doesn't quite form a third party because he can't get on the ballots, he sort of is a third party anyway in some ways because what do his voters do?

KING: They are this voters are not necessarily the same as the delegates, which is the fascinating issue.

HENDERSON: Right. Point not at all.

KING: There are these wonderful as spy normal. There are spy games going on right now because a lot of these delegates, if you go to conventions over the year, it's the same people. It's the party activists and they know how to become activists. Now they are bound.

There will be delegates at the convention who are bound to vote for Trump on the first ballot because their state voted for Trump in the primary. But they are not Trump supporters. They're just republican activists who know how to become delegates. And so, the campaign is now working them saying, OK, Anderson, I know you need to vote for Donald Trump in the first ballot. But if there's a second ballot, you don't want Trump.

COOPER: And that's already going on.

BASH: The Cruz campaign is working it. I'm not sure if Trump is.

KING: Trump is starting to work it because he understands and the Kasich people are trying to put it together but they don't have the big operation.

BASH: Yes.

KING: To the Kasich's point, sure. If there's compelling polling at the convention and we're on the second or third ballot that he beats Hillary Clinton, he'll have a case to make but you need momentum coming in to its events.

COOPER: Because Donald Trump is not running a conventional campaign. He doesn't have the kind of campaign staff that I think even Ted Cruz probably has.


KING: One of the -- yes. Look at the meeting he went to today, one of the guys who showed up who's a lot of conversation was Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker. A lot of people who see Newt Gingrich trying to make friends with Mr. Trump and one of the things he tried to do say, I know the rules, you don't. You need my help. There's a lot of -- what's what going on is the people who think it's going to beat Trump, not just Speaker Gingrich. A lot of people think it could be Trump are cozying up.

HENDERSON: Yes. But a person's people have moved over there, too. He kind of know...


BORGER: And if you look at our polling in our poll, the voters would be very enthusiastic if Ted Cruz became the nominee. Even some of those Trump voters. So he's clearly there.

KING: Right.

BORGER: Sort of top second.

COOPER: Our CNN election special, the five -- the final five candidates continues. Much more after this quick break.


COOPER: And welcome back to the final five our election special. You've heard from all five final presidential candidates, republicans and democrats tonight.

I want to play two kinds of bites back, one from Secretary Clinton, one from Ted Cruz, both talking about Donald Trump and maybe perhaps telegraphing some of the ways if they reach a general election they'll push back against him. Let's listen.


COOPER: You say he's a bully, though?

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think his behavior certainly qualifies for that. I think his incitement of violence, his constant urging on of his supporters in large numbers to go after protesters, his saying I want to punch people in the face and telling somebody who did punch somebody I will pay your legal bills, I think that raises very serious questions.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald's campaign, his entire campaign is built on a lie. I understand the people who are supporting...

BLITZER: What's the lie?

CRUZ: Well, let me explain. I understand the people who supporting Donald. They're frustrated with Washington, with politicians in both parties that have been lying that make promises and they go to Washington and they go to Washington and do the exact opposite of what they said.

But if you're fed up with Washington with the corruption of Washington, then it doesn't make any sense to support Donald Trump who has been enmesh in the corruption Washington. The lie behind Donald's campaign is that he will stand up to Washington. He is the system. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are flip sides of the same coin.


COOPER: That was talking about in response to Donald Trump, calling him lying Ted repeatedly over and over again. But clearly, I mean, Hillary Clinton's team, it seems -- I mean, they must already be doing opposition research. They must already be looking for how they are going to go after Donald Trump, assuming he is the nominee and assuming she is the nominee.

BORGER: And you know, bully is a buzz word, obviously, that she will continue to use, and she will use because clearly it is aimed at women. I mean, also men but largely women. Hillary Clinton needs to increase her wins with women. And if she's going to have a gap with white men. And I think that they are going to attack him on that front every way they can.

[22:55:00] You've already seen the ads from the stop Trump movement on the things he has said about women. Hillary Clinton started this campaign by running as a woman and she kind of stopped. Now I think if she finds herself in a race against Donald Trump, you're going to see her talking a lot to win.

COOPER: He asked her about why she's not doing well among white men.


COOPER: She didn't really have an answer. She claims she hasn't looked deeply into the data which I find that hard to believe.

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: But she didn't really seem to acknowledge it in any way or admit it.

BASH: No. No. And, you know, frankly, that's I think part of the rap on her, that instead of saying, you know what, I'm not really sure and I've got to work harder with that group of people and got to see what's going on, it was, well, I'm not really sure, we're doing well, and we have an overall bigger number than Donald Trump, and so on and so forth.

COOPER: And I want to -- I want to appeal to everybody.

BASH: Yes. And it was one of those -- you gave her an opening to have a human moment and it didn't happen. But I did think that the way that you asked that question about how she would campaign against Donald Trump was fascinating because, look, she, like everybody else running, is a conventional politician and he -- it's unconventional warfare for him and it's going to be very, very, difficult for her if that happens.


COOPER: So, she has had the benefit, though, as Sanders has had as well, of seeing what did not work for GOP candidates.

BASH: That's true.

HENDERSON: That's right. And they want to do what they feel like the GOP didn't do, which was to really dump out the opposition book on him, to essentially say you don't want this guy with the nuclear football because of his temperament and also, by the way, he doesn't know what the nuclear triad is as well.

So, I think that's what you saw tonight. I do think it's interesting. She has got to be careful with calling Donald Trump a sexist. We remember what happened when she did that before. I thought she was very careful not to do that tonight. I think the bullying thing is a way there...


BORGER: Let's not go there.

HENDERSON: Yes, I think the bullying thing is a way to kind of get at that but not say the word sexist.

KING: The pro-Hillary super PAC party America starting an anti-Trump ad, it's kind of funny. It's a twist on something Trump said on Instagram on Hillary about Hillary Clinton but they are doing it on purpose to Nia's point.

But they think the republicans underestimated him for too long so they are testing things. They are going to run a bunch of different ads and you are going to see some of them saying why are they doing this. They're not doing it to move votes right now. They're doing it to see what people -- how people react to it to test things that might work in the general election.

But to your point and the point that Dana made, I think all of these other candidates could learn from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders if you completely disagree with their positions, they talk to voters. They don't talk to reporters. They talk to the Washington class. When you ask them a question they talk to people. They tell a human story or they tap a human anxiety. They don't go, oh, I don't know. Maybe I'll get their votes.

COOPER: And they are doing it in a way that seems authentic...

KING: Right.

COOPER: ... to certainly to this reporter.

KING: Visceral.

COOPER: Be sure to join us Tuesday night in the CNN election center for Western Tuesday. We are going to bring you results from Idaho, Arizona and Utah. Our coverage continues right after this.