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Sander Holds Big Early Lead in Washington; Ted Cruz Battles "Tabloid Smear"; American Justin Schults Confirmed Dead in Belgian Terror Attacks. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired March 26, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:02] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I have another key race alert for you as we bring you the latest totals from Washington state and the other three caucuses going on today. Right now, with seven percent of the vote in Bernie Sanders is ahead with 75.3 percent of the delegates, to Hillary Clinton's 24.7 percent. These are from the rural counties in Washington state that have checked in. We are still expecting the population centers, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Spokane.
Let's go now to right outside Tacoma where we find our own Jason Carroll at a caucus site. That's Sara Sidner in Seattle. Who am I going to? Jason Carroll. Sara Sidner. Jason Carroll.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Come to me.
TAPPER: What's going on where you are?
CARROL: Well, things have just wrapped up here, Jake. I can tell you it was a long process, the process is finally over. Let me give you some of the final numbers here that we've got here after the counting has been done, the caucusing complete.
Sanders at 61 percent, Clinton at 39 percent. That's with all of the 37 precincts reporting here. It all came down to this one table, what you see here inside all of that box there, are all of the ballots and the two women that you're seeing there, Beverly Isenson (ph), there in the purple and right next to her, Yoshi Wong, there in the light blue. These two did it all. Counted up every single one along with my producer there, to get to these final numbers. It was eye balls to paper here. I mean, as you know, with some of these caucuses it's done the old-fashioned way, just counting up each particular ballot. Overwhelmingly here you can tell from the results of those final numbers, Sanders at 61, Clinton at 39. Big day for Sanders here in Pierce County. Jake.
TAPPER: Jason Carroll, stil to come, Washington, right outside Tacoma. Let's go to Seattle, Washington, where we find Sara Sidner. Sara, I'm looking at the board behind you, is that the final result there?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is the final result only for one of the precincts here. And that is it. You can see here they have done the math. There's a lot of scribbling because some people changed. It was 28, then some people decided, you know what, 30 came here and two more went away from Bernie. Two more came back to Bernie, so you can see kind of the math there. Then down here, is the delegates. So Bernie is getting four delegates in this particular one precinct and Hillary will get two.
I'm going to move around this way. The final count is happening, so what you're seeing is they are looking to see how many delegates right here each of the candidates is going to get. And these are the coordinators here who have been looking at it. OK. Now, we have gotten a final number from here, not the official number but a final number from, just the slice of life here at district 26.
28 Hillary Clinton, 72 for Bernie Sanders. What you are looking at here is just another slice from another precinct. And you can see the numbers there. I mean really huge numbers for Bernie Sanders here. 66, 8 for Hillary. And that goes on and on. It's pretty much the same when it comes to all of these different boards. So you're getting a slice of life, but really it's about 72 to 28 for Bernie Sanders. Jake.
TAPPER: That's quite a margin of victory for Bernie Sanders. If he keeps that up across the state of Washington he will be able to catch up or try to come closer to her 304 delegate lead. Right now, let's go to Alaska. North of Washington state where we find Paul Vercammen in Anchorage. Paul, you're getting some initial results as well.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I sure am. Right behind me you can see they are counting, this is east Anchorage but south Anchorage weighed in just a short time ago. The south Anchorage numbers, not to exactly parrot Sara Sidner, but they were 72 percent for Bernie Sanders, 28 percent for Hillary Clinton.
And you're looking right now at the community of east Anchorage, these voters holding up their ballots. I can tell you that about 200 of them sitting right here are all Sanders supporters so this is going to be in east Anchorage also a very lopsided Bernie Sanders victory because off in the distance if you show that, those are the Hillary supporters, they are going to count these up and they are counting them up now, Jake, as we speak.
So, again, we are seeing a decidedly Bernie Sanders vote in this part of the high school gymnasium. Back to you now, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Paul Vercammen in Anchorage, Alaska and David Chalian and Brianna Keilar, we should note that even if Bernie Sanders wins overwhelmingly in Alaska that is only 16 delegates, the big prize is Washington state with 101.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Where he may also win overwhelmingly.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, although it appears she may be doing not as well as even she did in 2008. Remember -
TAPPER: How did she do then?
KEILAR: I think just looking at sort of the map how we're seeing what she did do, not just Washington, Hawaii and Alaska, she lost every county to Barack Obama.
So how can you do worse than that? Well, you can obviously perform worse in some of these counties, in some of these districts. But it shows you that there is tremendous enthusiasm for her in these areas and especially in Washington state. That's something you really feel on the ground.
CHALIAN: I mean I think one of the things about what makes today different sort of than the earthquake that the democratic race experience, on March 8 with the Michigan race and the very surprise loss that Hillary Clinton had in Michigan is that that was a state that looked like it should have been a stronger state for her on the demographics, on the facts, on the ground.
TAPPER: More African-American voters.
CHALIAN: Exactly. These states, we went in today being like the shock would be if Bernie Sanders did not win overwhelmingly in these three states, so again, part of this is sort of the expectations going in. Today's map is so strong for him but unlike that March 8 thing which I think caused a lot of concern inside Clinton world, I don't think they saw that coming, today's a day I think they have been planning for as a huge Sanders day since the beginning of this race.
KEILAR: I think you'll also want to look though as you get in Washington the big prize, as you mentioned, you get over towards the western side of the state, that's not an area where either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are going to do very well just overall. That's not where they are going to be getting their votes. It's going to be on the west side of the Cascade Mountains.
But you're actually, you have a very - this is an agriculture area, it has a very large block of Hispanic voters. And you know, I would be very curious to see how the breakdown is there in counties like Yakima County or Columbia County in that area.
TAPPER: David, we know that African-American and Latino democrats tend to vote for Hillary Clinton. We know that younger voters tend to go for Bernie Sanders. Tell us more about some of the other supporters that both candidates draw from. Who are the white working class voters going for in this election?
CHALIAN: Well, we've certainly seen Hillary Clinton struggle with white men in this election. One demographic, you mentioned younger voters go for Bernie Sanders. One demographic group that I think we sort of overlooked a little bit this election cycle are older folks, which tend to be very strong Clinton turf. In a way that has been helping to fuel some of her victories and as you know, Jake, covering all these elections for these past many cycles, when it comes to November and the general election, if you're presidential campaign building your coalition, coming older voters they tend to be more reliable. They turn out to vote in a way the younger voters don't necessarily do. Obviously Barack Obama in 2008 awakened especially in some key states the youth vote in a way that we had not seen in quite some time and he really upticked that turnout among that group. But older voters are reliable voters and they have been a strong part of Hillary Clinton's coalition.
TAPPER: One of the secrets to her victory in Florida.
TAPPER: Older voters, a state where she did very, very well. We're going to take a very quick break. When we come back more results from Washington state, more results from Alaska. Stay with us. This is CNN's coverage of western Saturday.
TAPPER: We have a key race alert. We're keeping tabs on the three democratic caucuses going on right now, one in Hawaii, one in Alaska, and another in Washington state. With seven percent of the vote in, in Washington state, we can report that Bernie Sanders is leading with 75.3 percent of the delegates compared to Hillary Clinton's 24.7 percent. 101 delegates at stake.
So far the only counties that have reported in are these rural counties. We're still waiting for the population centers of Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Spokane.
Kate Bolduan, if Bernie Sanders keeps up this margin of victory, he could actually get closer to Hillary Clinton when it comes to the earned delegates.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He needs to make up that ground absolutely, Jake. And as we talk about with caucuses it's always all about turnout. Fortunately, we have someone who is titled the vice chair of voter participation for the democratic national committee with us today.
Voter turnout if you look at it, Donna, over the primary so far for democrats, not looking like what it is for the Republicans. It seems it's down. But when you're looking at, there are no official numbers but you're looking at what's happening in Washington and in Alaska today, it looks like they have got big numbers. You must be giddy?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I was also giddy we had a good voter turnout in Louisiana, good voter turnout in Arizona, despite all of the flaws that we saw in the electoral process, part of which is a result of the Voting Rights Act not being enforced. This is the first presidential year since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 where we don't have what I call the added protections to insure that we're not diluting the vote.
That being said, the Republicans have a much more exciting race. I grant them that. It's like, as Kayleigh said, a reality show with a little bit of zingers. Some of those a little x-rated. But, you know, I want to go back to this point of overall voter turnout. The reason why I don't panic like some of my colleagues, in 2000 Republicans had a very editing year. They had more voter enthusiasm during their primary process when then Governor Bush won the nomination. Al Gore and Bill Bradley not so much voter enthusiasm. But who won the popular vote, we did.
So let's not get too carried away with voter enthusiasm. It's not a real good predictor in terms of what will happen this fall when we're looking at electoral college. We have 22 more states left. I do believe that the enthusiasm will continue to pick up over the next couple weeks as more democrats get involved, they know that we have a big primary in Wisconsin and New York. And I call it the Yankee primary. I hope I'm not offending anybody who is a southerner here, the Yankee primary on April 26. So we have a long way to go over the next couple of weeks.
BOLDUAN: Donna, you know me well, I'm all about getting carried away. So I don't know what you're talking about -
BRAZILE: (INAUDIBLE) battery life left.
BOLDUAN: Bill, when it comes to the turnout, do you think it has to do with how much of it is due to Bernie Sanders or how much, as we heard from the voter, that one voter we heard - I think it was in Anchorage, Alaska, it's about Donald Trump.
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's all of the above. Certainly Donald trump is already driving a lot of democrats to get involved in the process. I think it is also due to the fact that there is a continuing contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I keep making this point. If one of them drops out it's going to be boring as hell, radio silence, we won't hear anything.
So this is good and I have to say Bernie does say we need - young people to get involved, we need independents to get involved, and that's one of the things that I can do and he has proven that he can do it. Having said that, can I say one word? I am overwhelmed by watching those people come out in these caucuses.
You know, I'm a political junky, right. You think I would spend a Saturday afternoon four or five hours at a caucus, no way. These guys, this is democracy, it's exciting, they are out there. They are real believers and I know the Republicans or Democrats, (INAUDIBLE) out of these caucuses, my hat's off to them.
BOLDUAN: Very interesting that you say it that way, Bill. Because I have been hearing the grumblings over here (INAUDIBLE) because caucuses, let's just look at what it looks like today. Caucuses in the democratic side, caucuses are good for Bernie Sanders but as you keep pointing out to me, moment by moment by moment, they have come under withering criticism. RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know if caucuses can survive this level of radical transparency that we're now in. You kind of look at the way they are run and counting ballots by hand. People scratching things out. The other day when people left early and had to be brought back to count. The stakes are so high and the level of scrutiny is now so much higher, that the caucuses feel like a little bit like a vestage of an earlier era where the parties really controlled these nominations.
It just feels like looking at this that they can't bear the weight that is now being applied to them. You do wonder how long they can last especially since we're now in an age where people are taking nominations all the way to the convention and each one of these caucus ballots -
PRESS: I would vote to end them but I admire the people who (INAUDIBLE).
NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITIAL REPORTER: I think one of the things that the caucuses do do is that they allow sort of insurgent candidates to do well. In 2008, Obama won tons of caucuses, I think most of them, even in 1988 Jesse Jackson wins the Michigan caucus and that kind of breathes new life into his campaign. So I do think and even in terms of a ground game in these caucus states, the Iowa caucus organization that these democrats and Republicans would mean something for a general election as well.
BROWNSTEIN: Gary Hartland said to me that the Iowa Chamber of Commerce should build a statue to him. Because as George McGovern's campaign manager in 1972, he was the one who put the focus on the Iowa caucus and ultimately created it as the institution. A lot of money spent in Des Moines ever since.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There has to be a way to keep the excitement around the turnout that the caucuses create. The other thing in addition to the messiness, the other thing I find kind of problematic about caucusing, is that voting is a deeply private and personal experience.
When you are submitting yourself to the pressures of your neighbors, trying to sort of like convince you or persuade you, I don't think that's the best way to go in and make an independent vote in a way that you feel protected. You feel secure about it. So I would like to go back to sort of the privacy and personal experience that voting should be.
BOLDUAN: Kayleigh, what do you say - I just keep getting back to that one voter who made a very clear statement in Alaska, when he said I'm out here today because I want to make sure that Donald Trump does not win. Does that concern you?
KAYLEIGHT MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It doesn't. Because here's the thing, Donald Trump brings out a lot of passions, some of those passions are very strongly against him but some of those passions are strongly for him. And it's not just among Republicans, we are seeing Democrats switch parties, there is that official in (INAUDIBLE) county in Ohio who said "I have never seen this before. I had thousands of Democrats call me and switch their party to vote for Donald Trump." So that same passion that is against him I think we see an excitement for him. But at the end of the day if he leaves these antics, leaves the twitter alone and moves to policy I think that excitement can really be funneled into a very -
HENDERSON: You think he has the ability to do that?
MCENANY: I do.
BROWNSTEIN: Worth noting that overall the shares of vote casts in Republican primaries where people are not Republicans, is not appreciably different than it was in 2012.
BOLDUAN: The excitement is building now. We're awaiting results, we're looking at results in Washington and Alaska. Got it all here on western Saturday. Big results coming in right after a break.
TAPPER: We have a key race alert for you, as we bring you the results of western Saturday, three democratic caucuses, Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state, in which votes are just beginning to come in for two of them. As you can see, in the Washington state result, seven percent in and holding, Bernie Sanders leads with 75.3 percent, Hillary Clinton with 24.7 percent of the delegates. So far only about five percent - sorry, five counties of Washington state have come in where Sanders is doing so well.
We have yet to hear from the population centers of Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Spokane. Let's go north to Alaska where we find our own Paul Vercammen in Anchorage. Also at a caucus site. Paul, what's going on where you are?
VERCAMMEN: Well, this gentleman, Steve, in front of us, the district chairman of district 20 which is downtown Anchorage, literally counting the votes as we speak. If you recall from the live shots earlier at the bottom of the auditorium. Now we're in the balcony where this down town district is counting. And this is the Hillary side. As we told you, Jake, it's not traditional caucus where people sit around a card table, for example, and discuss their views. They've had their minds either made up and they are now voting. So they are counting it up.
As you said proportionally, as you saw proportionally, let's go ahead and give you the numbers out of Alaska, districts 27 and 28, both Anchorage, it was 73 percent for Bernie Sanders, 27 percent for Hillary Clinton. And as we look at the counting that's going on right now, I'm going to give you some perspective here, Jake, these are all Hillary supporters here.
Then if we go ahead and wheel right, we'll see very few uncommitted voters off there in the distance, and then this vast sea below me and extending all the way to the other wall of the auditorium, those are Bernie supporters. So this district 20 down town Alaska looks like, again, a very, very solid win for Bernie Sanders when they finally get done counting all of these numbers, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Paul Vercammen in Anchorage and he's taking in the results in the caucuses in that room. Let's bring back Brianna Keilar and David Chalian.
David, we have been talking and we heard caucus attendees talking about the enthusiasm gap and also how Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton do in general election matchups, there was a big CNN poll just a few days ago. What does the poll say about these subjects?
CHALIAN: Take a look at enthusiasm first. We asked democratic voters in our poll about if you are enthusiastic for either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. This is among Democrats. You see there, Sanders edges out Clinton by six points, 40 percent are enthusiastic about Sanders, 34 percent enthusiastic about Clinton. But take a look compared to January there. Hillary Clinton's trajectory is going in the wrong direction, she has ticked down from January in enthusiasm. Bernie Sanders has really gotten a nice bump since January in terms of how democrats feel about his potential nomination or potential candidacy as the nominee.
Then we go ahead and take a look at how they split with Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner. What does the general election look like. Take here, Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, this is in our CNN-ORC national poll this week, 53 percent for Clinton, 41 percent for Trump. That's a healthy 12-point margin there in a national election but take a look at Bernie Sanders margin. It's 20 points.
He defeats Donald Trump in our poll, 58 percent to 38 percent. So when Bernie Sanders is expressing and touting the enthusiasm he sees in his crowds, when Bernie Sanders says he does a better job defeating - not just Donald Trump but quite frankly, any of the Republican potential nominees, than Hillary Clinton does, our poll matches that. Those are his strong suits right now. A lot of that looking inside the numbers is coming from the help of independent voters. You were talking about what are the makeup of voters (INAUDIBLE). Bernie Sanders does really well with independent voters. Across all the states that have voted so far that we have exit polls for, he beats her among independents like 61 percent to 38 percent, something like that.
In this poll here, currently in the national poll, among Democrats looking at how independent voters sided, he beats her by four points among independents. That has been part of his success. Two of the contests today, Jake, are open contests, where independents can vote. Only one of them, Alaska, is a closed contest.
KEILAR: Hillary Clinton's camp used to say I think early on in the primary season, they would say look at these enthusiasm numbers, OK but dismiss them. They would say a lot of people don't know who Bernie Sanders is, they just know that he's the alternative to Hillary Clinton. They can't say that as much now in terms of the enthusiasm. And then you see what's really playing out here in this caucus format. We're watching it go down. It takes a lot of effort to go and caucus.
So you are more likely to do it if you are more enthusiastic and you see that playing out. There is also this argument I think that Hillary Clinton backers are ready with should he close some of the gap there on pledge delegates and in the almost nearly now impossible task if he were to achieve it of completely closing that gap.
[16:30:00] They would say OK, sure, but a lot of his wins come from caucus states where we have less people participating. If you look at the overall voter haul, she's doing a lot better than he is and they would make that case.
TAPPER: Right, and Hillary Clinton has made the argument that she actually has received more votes, popular votes, than any other candidate in the race.
But David, you brought up -- this up earlier. How much do you think this enthusiasm, this greater enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders, versus what it is for Hillary Clinton? Is because Hillary Clinton, whether or not you like her, just empirically as a fact, she has been subjected to attacks, maybe you think deservedly so, but she has been subjected to attacks for decades.
TAPPER: And Bernie Sanders right now still even though you have Hillary Clinton going after him for some -- supporting some pro-gun legislation and some other things here and there at the margins, he really hasn't suffered the kind of brutal attacks that Hillary Clinton has, or, that any of the Republicans who are still standing have.
CHALIAN: Without a doubt. I mean, if just you looked at the television advertising on the Republican side versus the Democratic side, I mean, it is a fierce battle where they are taking each other down on the Republican side ...
TAPPER: And each other wives?
CHALIAN: Well, yeah. On the Democratic side, they each have been advertising on their strengths, not so much trying to take down. And so, when you don't have those millions of dollars with that negative frame, clearly you are right, Jake, that has had some impact that her length of time on the public stage under attack at many points, certainly has contributed to her higher unfavorable to maybe a lack of enthusiasm.
But that being said, the other thing in this poll that is so interesting and why I think Democrats, whether you are a Sanders supporter or a Clinton supporter, are less concerned at this moment in time with Trump seeming to be heading towards the nomination on the Republican side. We asked Democrats, "Do you think the party is going to be divided in November?" Because of that little less than half to Democrat say, "We're divided right now."
CHALIAN: But only 15 percent of Democrats say, "We're going to be divided in November."
Republicans, 46 percent of Republicans now say they're still going to be divided in November. So, although yes, that Sanders and Clinton camps are going to go through this math all the way to June perhaps, the party doesn't anticipate being divided come the fall.
KEILAR: And it's one of the things that Hillary Clinton is relying on that maybe she didn't even realize she would have that in her corner as she looks forward the nomination, or in the off chance that it would be Bernie Sanders, we know the numbers are not in his favor, that is one of the strengths right now for Democrats.
TAPPER: All right. Brianna and David, stay right there. We're going take a very quick break. When we come back, more election results on this Western Saturday from Washington State, from Alaska and coming up, Hawaii. Stay with us.
[16:36:48] TAPPER: And we have a Key Race Alert for you as we wait for the results of the Washington State Democratic caucuses to come in, the information coming in to us is holding steady at 7 percent, with Senator Bernie Sanders holding right now 75.3 percent of the 101 delegates at stake, to Hillary Clinton's 24.7 percent. Again, we have only gotten the information from five of the counties in Washington State. We are still waiting for information to come in, delegate information to come in from the population centers of Seattle to come to Olympia and Spokane.
But, Kate Bolduan, if these margins hold, then this could be not only a good day for Bernie Sanders but a great day.
BOLDUAN: Yeah. Yeah, a very -- start of a very, very good day for Bernie Sanders, you can be sure they are watching it very closely.
Jake, my friend, your reaction. Does this surprise you, Ron?
BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. It's even lower than her performance in 2008 there. Look, I mean, I -- by the time you get to this point in the primary process, usually the grooves are cut pretty deep and we don't see a lot of breaks from the patterns. But we have is Bernie Sanders has shown that he can win in states that are mostly white. And that he has struggled in states that are more diverse.
And the only time that he really broke serve in this campaign in effect was winning Michigan. That's what he's going to have to do to ultimately really threaten Hillary Clinton. There are a number of states coming up, but he should be able to be -- he has won white voters in most states outside of the south. And as you kind of look at that going forward, whether it's Kentucky or West Virginia, or maybe even Connecticut, Rhode Island, he should do very well. But ultimately, as David pointed out before, the big delegate prizes
are all states that are diverse, and they're California, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, above all, and in the end, what Sanders is going to have to do, this is necessary but not sufficient. He has to show that he can recreate what he did in Michigan and so far has not recreated in any of the other big states.
BOLDUAN: Is necessary, Nia, enough to hold off the drum beat of bow out standards, so Hillary Clinton can really make the turn?
HENDERSON: Well, you know, I don't even know how loud that drum beat is at this point, because I think Democrats like what they're seeing. This is two candidates, who are winning states, basically trading victories back and forth in states that look different demographically, but still, they're winning these states, they're able to put some boots on the ground there and organized in those different states.
I think Hawaii is a very interesting state. It is fairly diverse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is, right, right.
HENDERSON: Asian Americans there about 40 percent of the population. I don't think we're going to have exit polls from this, it will be interesting to see how Bernie Sanders does with that population which is part of the Obama coalition. And, very much present in states like California and in states like New York.
But again, I don't think people are clamoring, Democrats aren't clamoring to push Bernie Sanders from the race. And certainly, Hillary Clinton isn't, she stayed in ...
BROWNSTEIN: The big hurdle is Bakari's mother as he said. That she is winning three quarters of African-American votes and that's a big hill to overcome.
SELLERS: And I've said this and I've been -- and I have to -- my Bernie Sanders supporters given me often on social media. But I've said from the beginning that Bernie Sanders has earned the right to stay in this race for as long as he wants. I mean, idea is that he's talking about the energy that he brings are necessary. So Bernie Sanders should be able to go to June and he will go to June.
BOLDUAN: But, a question on that, and I think this has been interesting, it's in the last 24 hours, of course, the conversation is Hillary Clinton doesn't only just need to win over Bernie Sanders supporters, she needs to win over Bernie Sanders as well.
[16:40:09] And on that, if Bernie Sanders just did an interview, almost sounded like he was putting conditions on an endorsement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well ... BOLDUAN: What do you make of that?
PRESS: Yeah. What I make with this is Bernie is in it to win it, right? I mean, June 3rd, let's note that day, June 3rd, that's when Barack Obama wrapped up enough delegates in 2008 and Hillary stayed in to that very point.
We are March 26. This is a long way to go. No hurry. And I think Bernie is playing this for everything it's worth and that's what he ought to be doing.
SELLERS: But I think -- I thought ...
PRESS: Can I ...
SELLERS: Go ahead, go ahead. Yes, sir, yes sir.
PRESS: ... which I don't want to lose track of the forest for the trees here, which I think is worth pointing out. Here's a guy who came out of nowhere a year ago. Nobody knew who the hell he was. He's won 12 states, or probably went three more tonight. He's got over 900 delegates. He's raised more money -- all of this money, over $100 million and he's been running against the Democratic Party. He's running against the Democratic Party establishment.
So, I just simply have to think, something is going on here that is hugely significant for the Democratic Party and for the country as a whole.
BOLDUAN: Possibly, a political revolution?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah ...
BOLDUAN: Is that what you're talking about, Bill?
Let me point out just before we continue the conversation as we're all watching, you can see it in the corner of your screen. Importantly, with 10 percent of the precincts reporting Washington State, 72.2 percent right now for Bernie Sanders, and for Hillary Clinton, 27.3, as Jake's well pointing out, that is a margin, a steep margin and a margin that Bernie Sanders needs to maintain to start gaining background against Hillary Clinton.
This is very important. We're watching this moment by moment, Angela Rye, as you are the sole member of the panel from the great state of Washington.
ANGELA RYE, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIR. CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: Happy to be here.
So, one of the things that you just brought up, Kate, that I think is interesting, you talked about Bernie Sanders placing conditions on his endorsement.
Bernie Sanders has gone from someone who was necessary to change the tone and the message of this particular cycle to now someone who's necessary to win in this particular cycle.
So, he is doing well with three particular cadres of voters that Hillary Clinton is not. It is white-working class men, it is young people, and it is independents.
And so, she really needs Bernie Sanders backing. She needs for Bernie voters to feel the burn for Hillary.
And I think, he may be in it to win it. But I think most of us know that math isn't really on his side at this point.
SELLERS: But the ...
BOLDUAN: Am I just reading it? Were there conditions? Am I just reading ...
SELLERS: Yes, there were conditions. And I had a huge problem with the statement and the sentiment behind it.
I mean, if Hillary Clinton would have put conditions on her support for Barack Obama in 2008, it would have been all-out war. It would have been scorched earth.
But even more importantly, I mean, Bernie Sanders has gone from a message candidate when he first got started and he hastily announced he was going to run for the presidency, to a formidable candidate ..
SELLERS: ... to now what we're trying to do is figure out where he goes from here.
And I want to make sure that Bernie Sanders doesn't turn into Ralph Nader. And that's what the Democratic Party's afraid of.
BOLDUAN: Hold on, guys, one second. Hold it. Bill, hold that one thought, Bill. Hold that one thought. We'll get right back to it. I want to go to Jake for Key Race Alert.
TAPPER: That's right, Kate. We have a Key Race Alert now. We have some of the vote coming in from Alaska where there are 16 delegates t stake, 15 percent of the delegates are right now with 15 percent, and 81.6 percent for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton at 18.4 percent.
Kate, back to you.
BOLDUAN: All right, Jake, we're watching that, that's a huge margin.
BOLDUAN: Let me just go out on a limb here. That's huge.
BRAZILE: I don't want to take away anything from Senator Sanders, who many of you have mentioned.
Just started his process about a year ago, I mean, there's no question that he has a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of support out there, he's raised in a significant amount of money. And there's no question, Democrats will need his support.
PRESS: Right, yeah.
BRAZILE: Not just at the presidential level, but also down ballot.
BRAZILE: Because ...
BRAZILE: ... we also suffer from down ballot losses in midterm elections.
That being said, Bernie Sanders is taking a page from Barack Obama book in 2008, when he competed in these caucuses. I mean, he's -- Bernie Sanders had four rallies in Washington State. I've been turning on TV seeing Bernie Sanders over the last 24 hours.
I thought I was looking at Mick Jagger one day ...
BRAZILE: ... and it was Bernie Sanders ...
BRAZILE: Seriously, you know, think about it, you know.
BRAZILE: I had to put my glasses on. I mean, he had ...
BRAZILE: I mean -- so, we cannot take away what he's been able to accomplish. But, I don't like it when we diminish what Hillary Clinton has also accomplished. Given the fact that she gets -- when she gets media coverage, I would say three-fourths of it is negative. And yet, she has a 2.5 million voter lead as well as what I call a significant pledge delegate lead.
So, we have a very enthusiastic campaign going on right now. June 7th is when California and a bunch of states, and then on June 14th, those of us in the District of Columbia, we will also -- we will book end all of this.
SELLERS: That's just not over to you all vote ...
BOLDUAN: Yeah ...
BRAZILE: Thank you very much.
BOLDUAN: ... it's interesting that you're talking about a change in the tone of the cycle and kind of how you've seen that on the Democratic side. I mean, I think it's kind of become like maybe an elephant in the room right here in the change in the tone of the cycle on the Republican side.
[16:45:08] And what has happened and what has overshadowed the conversation in the past -- for the past week, but especially in the last 24-48 hours, this feud between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz starting with, as Jake, very probably said, the contest of whose wife is hotter is kind of -- I guess what happened and everyone kind of knows my thoughts on all of this.
But, also then, what played out yesterday in this tabloid speculation, this tabloid report. Ted Cruz coming out to slap it down in a very forceful and shocking way in how it's all turned to this.
Listen here to Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me be clear, this National Enquirer story is garbage. It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear.
And it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen. It is attacking my family.
And what is striking is Donald's henchman, Roger Stone, had for months been foreshadowing that this attack was coming. It's not surprising that Donald Trump's tweet occurs the day before the attack comes out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Now, that was yesterday.
Now, today, just an hour ago, Donald Trump returned to twitter. And he put this out, "That the press is going out of their way to convince people that I do not like or respect women, when they know it is just the opposite."
Kayleigh, what do you say at this point?
MCENANY: Well, I think that Donald Trump does like and respect women, but I think that he needs to change what he does on twitter. That doesn't help him with his case of, "I empower women, I've empowered women in my company, I've empowered women in my campaign."
It doesn't help when he sends out tweets like what he did with Heidi Cruz. That was not acceptable.
But, you know, my problem is that we devolve to this point where it's just this back and forth baseless accusations, the tabloid story is disgusting, there's no place for that in this race.
Likewise, accusing Donald Trump of planting it, there's no place for that. We shouldn't be talking about this right now. We should be talking about the economy, about terrorism, it's unfair to the American people to look and look to the Republican Party for answers and all they see is this.
I want someone to be the adult in the room and stand up and say, "Enough is enough", either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. It's time for that, it has to happen.
BOLDUAN: But this is in the context though of -- especially in a Republican primary and in a general, I mean, the Republican ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
BOLDUAN: ... the Republican nominee needs women voters ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE. Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
BOLDUAN: ... to win. And, do you think this will change that though? Because everyone would say, probably, any political would, of course ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah ...
BOLDUAN: ... absolutely, Donald Trump is done with women that never going to support him, that's not what it shows in the exit polls.
CUPP: But more than that, I mean, this is a Republican frontrunner going after another Republican's wife just on her looks.
Imagine in a general how disgusting a Trump campaign would look against Hillary Clinton, the candidate, a woman, and a Democrat on the other side of the aisle.
If this is a forecast, a preview of what's to come, I think -- I mean, we're all going to get implicated. You know, Hillary is not going to be able to rise above, you know, the Donald Trump stuff, because he has this -- he's this magnetic force that brings everyone down to his level.
Kayleigh is absolutely right, there is no place for this kind of stuff in this campaign. And Donald Trump is the only one who is going to be able to put a lid on it if he's interested.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, we'll see if that's the case. We've got a lot more to discuss on this. We also have results coming in fast and furious now in Washington and Alaska. We'll take a quick break. Much more to come on this Western Saturday.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:52:54] TAPPER: Good afternoon. I'm Jake Tapper. We're going to have much more of our election coverage ahead, but first, we have this breaking news on the terror attacks in Belgium.
CNN has confirmed that American Justin Schults was one of the 28 people killed in Tuesday's attacks. There is no word on the fate of his wife, Stephanie. The Schults are from Tennessee but have lived in Belgium since 2014. They were reportedly dropping off Stephanie's mother at the airport in Belgium when the attacks took place.
Let's bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent, Clarissa Ward, who's in Brussels for more on the developments out of Belgium.
Clarissa, thanks for joining us. Let's start with the man arrested Thursday who is now being charged with terrorist murder. What is that charge and what do you know about this man?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Jake, what we know so far is he was arrested outside the prosecutor's office on Thursday. He's being identified only as Faisal C, as in the letter C. It's not clear yet what his exact role was, but listen to the charges he's facing, terrorist murder, participation in terrorist activities, attempted terrorist murder. These are some pretty serious charges that appear to indicate that he likely played a very active role in these attacks.
Now, police authorities said that they did search his home. They didn't find any evidence of explosives or weapons. But what we don't know yet is whether or not he is actually one of the two men who have been the focus of the manhunt, the third airport bomber wearing that light jacket and the hat and the glasses that we've seen, and the second metro bomber who police have yet to identify, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Clarissa. And CNN is learning about a Syrian man who may be at the center of the ISIS attacks in Europe. What led authorities to this Syrian man?
WARD: So French and Belgian authorities are essentially saying the Syrian man is Naim Hamed. He's believed to have entered Europe as a refugee through the Greek island of Leros. Again, it's not clear what his role is, but one French investigation source told CNN that they believe he was operationally involved with these Brussels attacks.
[16:55:02] France's newspaper, Le Monde, is reporting that his DNA was actually found in the house where the three airport bombers were picked up from last Tuesday. And the officials here have warned that he is likely armed and potentially very dangerous, Jake.
TAPPER: And Clarissa, Belgian officials canceled a peace march that was scheduled for tomorrow, what's the story behind that?
WARD: That's right. Essentially, officials coming out today and asking that people do not come out and march tomorrow. It was supposed to be a march of solidarity, a sort of we will not fear march. But what officials said, it's not that there's a specific threat to
the march, but they don't want police and authorities to be diverted from their primary focus, which at this stage, is this investigation.
There have been people, you can see some of them behind me, who have been coming all day to pay their respects. But there will not be a march tomorrow, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Clarissa Ward. Thank you so much. Our Western Saturday coverage continues after this very quick break. Stay with us.
TAPPER: And we have another Key Race Alert. Welcome back to CNN's ...