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Kasich Blasts Trump; Trump and Women Voters; Cruz Leads Trump By 10 Points In New Wisconsin Poll; Glenn Beck Warns Against Trump Nomination. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 31, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:14] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

It's the quiet after the storm, before the storm if that makes any sense. The Republican front-runner for president was uncharacteristically silent today after tumultuous day yesterday that saw him changing his position on abortion three times and refusing to rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe.

Donald Trump didn't talk publicly today. But instead took a few meetings in Washington. All of this now just five days before the Wisconsin primary. Today Trump met for about two hours with his top aides, including his national security team. After that, he huddled with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus in a meeting the RNC called productive and Trump on twitter called nice.

This is all happening under somewhat for boding umbrella. The possibility of a contested convention and Trump's flip-flop on whether he would support the eventual nominee. And we just got new numbers on how the race is shaping up in Wisconsin. A new FOX Business Network poll has Ted Cruz leading Trump 42 to 32 in the state with Kasich trailing at 19 percent. And just to refresh your memory because Donald Trump has changed his position. Back in September he signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee no matter who it was.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up and for that reason, I have signed the pledge. So I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stand, and we will go out and we will fight hard, and we will win.


COOPER: But that's was September. The CNN town hall two days ago Donald Trump told me he's no longer abiding by that pledge.


COOPER: Do you continue to pledge whoever the Republican nominee is? TRUMP: No, I don't anymore.

COOPER: You don't?

TRUMP: No. We'll see who it is.


COOPER: Of course, it should be pointed out doesn't seem like any of the other two GOP candidates believe they are going to be standing by that pledge. The pledge likely came up during Trump's meeting with Reince Priebus today, although there was no sure of the topics cover.

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta joins me now.

What are you learning about the meeting with the RNC? Was this preplanned? What went on?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the meeting didn't seem to go too badly. After all, the RNC is fund- raising off of it with an email to supporters that reads on the subject line regarding meeting. You open it up and you click on where you want to donate some money.

As for that meeting, it covered a range of topics, including the hot topic of delegates and what happens at the convention if Donald Trump does not reach that magic number of 1,237. A spokesman did put out this statement about this meeting, Anderson. I can read it for your. It says the chairman and Mr. Trump talking about Reince Priebus, the chairman of the RNC, had a productive conversation about the state of the race. The chairman is in constant communication with all of the candidates and their campaigns about the primaries, general election and the convention. Meeting and phone conversations with candidates and their campaigns are common and will increase as we get closer to November.

But Anderson, no word on whether that GOP loyalty pledge will somehow make a comeback. When I ask about it, one RNC official would only say they are confident the party will rally around their nominee to beat Hillary Clinton. But if you consider what John Kasich said today about Trump not being prepared to be president, it sounds as though the Ohio governor may never support Trump as the nominee.

COOPER: Well, it has been interestingly quiet from Donald Trump today especially when you consider the Wisconsin primary with Ted Cruz is pulling ahead of him now is just days away.

ACOSTA: That's right. And if he wants to be the nominee, winning Wisconsin would surely help. But trump is trailing Ted Cruz here in the latest polls. You just mentioned one that came out this evening by double digits. And Cruz is looking to exploit - let's face it, Trump's big gender gap with women right now.

Today, Heidi Cruz and one of Cruz's top surrogates, Carly Fiorina, they were campaigning across the state of Wisconsin today with events geared toward women voters. And if Trump loses next week, goes on to Colorado, a caucus state that does not play to his strengths. If he loses there, he will look weakened heading into the next big prize which is his home state of New York. He has got a big lead there but that could essentially be his firewall for this campaign next month, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Jim Acosta. Jim, thanks very much.

A lot to talk about with our panel. Joining me now is CNN "INSIDE POLITICS" anchor John King, political commentator and former Obama administration official Van Jones, senior political reporter Nia- Malika Henderson, political commentator and conservative columnist Kayleigh McEnany who supports Donald Trump, political commentator and contributing editor Amanda Carpenter, she is a former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz and "Washington Post" opinion columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson.

I mean, John, these meetings, obviously in conjunction with the fact that he has been quiet today. It does gives the sense that Trump is - I mean, is it fair to say he is in some sort of damage control mode or just kind of taking the foot off the gas for day?

[20:05:05] JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think there is no question for the first time in this race he is on defense and he has been on defense for a few days. I think it is very uncharacteristic. We were talking about this just before the show. In the past when Donald Trump has had a bad debate or headlines have not been trend his way, he's done something to change the conversation. He has been a master of changing the conversation since the day he entered this race. And today he is uncharacteristically quiet.

We tried to ask people, why is that so? From the Trump campaign, what you get is we're not panicking. We understand the polls in Wisconsin. We still have a few more days. They will see how it goes. We are ahead in New York and we are just trying -- he's in Washington. We are getting our ducks in order. And if we lose one, everybody loses one. We'll be OK. That's what they say.

There's a sense among the other campaigns there could be this moment in the race. I would just caution, Anderson, how many times have we sat around these tables saying we are at the moment in the race when Trump collapses. They have a big delegate lead. They say they understand internally their candidate has to get better at some things. They do need -- all of the campaigns need to study the rules because there really are no rules. The rules will be written on the fly at the convention. So their sense is we are not panicking. We are fine. The other campaigns sense a moment.

COOPER: It is also interesting that they put out where he is meeting with the national security team, whether you know that's in response to some of the comments he has made or just sort of part of the education process which all candidate goes through.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. And I mean, this is part of Donald Trump and we've seen flashes of this, him trying to essentially look like a regular presidential candidate, right? We have seen him give long "the Washington Post." He gave a 100-minute interview, phone interview, with two reporters at "The New York Times." Some of those answers raised questions. Some of the answers in the town halls about nuclear capabilities and nuclear proliferation raised questions.

I do think, though, one of the core arguments of his campaign is that the smartest men and women in the room have gotten everything wrong up until now, right? And so when he sort of meets with advisers, in some ways it undermines that argument in some ways. But it also, I think, gives a nod to the kind of conventional trappings of a presidential campaign, which is to say you have to have these wise men.

COOPER: Well unless, you know, if I was Donald Trump, I would feel pretty confident in, you know, sticking with what got me here in the first place. What got him here in the first place is Donald Trump. I mean, he is everything about him as worked for him, certainly among his supporters. It's turned other people obviously against him. Do you start then at a certain point kind of trying to bring in other people, listen to other people?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think maybe optically, he does. I do think -- I'm not one of the people who has been sitting up here saying, you know, Donald Trump is inches away from self-destructing. I have been one of the people saying, be very afraid if you don't like this guy because I think he is getting bigger, not smaller. He is getting bigger again and not smaller again.

But I do think something is different. This is the first time I have seen dog files from both sides. I have never seen the right wing conservative movement, social conservatives come after him the way they did on this abortion gaffe. At the same time that Hillary Clinton is basically jumping up and down giggling about how badly he handled that. I haven't seen that before.

I haven't seen this guy do so many flip-flops he could be an Olympic gymnast on everything from NATO to nukes to abortion. I think something happened this week that we may look back on and say was very significant.

COOPER: Michael Gerson, do you agree?

MICHAEL GERSON, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: No, I do. I have talked to Republican, serious Republican officials that say two or three weeks ago, he seemed to be on the verge of uniting the party, of solidifying his support. And then he has had just a terrible couple of weeks. And terrible in a certain way.

Many of these issues have concerned women and women's issues. And he is well behind in the polling when it comes to this. I think a lot of Republicans are realizing this is a seriously flawed candidate with some of the highest, you know, negative ratings of any recent candidate. And they are having buyer's remorse.

COOPER: Kayleigh, as a Trump supporter, are you concern? KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not concerned at all

because we have seen this repeatedly. Every time the media piles on Donald Trump he somehow emerges unscathed. And in fact, it ends up helping him. Some RCP (ph) polls came out today, Real Clear Politics, say with this new poll, he is still over 50 percent in New York. That's huge. That would make that a winner take all state.

COOPER: It is just the media, though, or I mean, you know, to Michael's point, from conservatives and, I mean, even on his abortion comments, there has been concern.

MCENANY: Sure. That was a stumble yesterday. There is no doubt about it. There have been stumbles along the way. But that is because Donald Trump has given greater access to himself to the media than any other candidate and moderates in political history.

You know, you saw Hillary Clinton make that comment early, long before the race began, about being dead broke when she got out of the White House and what did she do? She retracted from the national scene. Ted Cruz has not given himself - made himself as available at Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has put himself out there. And I think we need to be very careful because I think it hurts the American people when you don't have candidates that are out there. Today, Donald Trump retracted. I think the American people benefit from having someone who does provides access and isn't afraid to go see Chris Matthews who is obviously ideologically opposite of Donald Trump.

[20:10:07] COOPER: I mean, Kayleigh makes a good point which is you have to give credit to Donald Trump to even going to an interview over at MSNBC when he knows what he is walking into. Weather he is maybe he was overconfident. I don't know, you know, what the calculation of it was. But he does make himself more available. I mean, to "The New York Times," I don't think any other candidate they said has given that lengthy of an interview focused on foreign policy.

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER CRUZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes, absolutely. He makes himself very available to the media.

But I think what we are seeing is the weakness of his overall campaign. He has gotten far -- this far ahead because of the strength of his personality. So right now the campaign sort of needs to take control and sort of guide him. I think that was a miscalculation for him to go on Chris Matthews. Someone at that campaign should have been able to tell him, a, this is a bad idea because there's not a lot of GOP primary voters watching Chris Matthews and MSNBC. But if you are going to do this, recognize that Chris Matthews is a catholic. He is very likely to raise this issue days ahead of the primary where catholic voters are very influential.

Someone should have been able at least warned Trump about that. But because Donald Trump, his whole candidacy is built on his personality and not a campaign operation, we are seeing these missteps on issue after issue. COOPER: We have to take a quick break. We are going to have much

more with the panel ahead including the firestorm over to Donald Trump's statements on national security and the surprising ways he says nuclear weapons fit in.

Meanwhile, John Kasich says Trump is clearly not prepared to be commander in-chief. He is talking tougher against Trump and his opponents. I will speak with governor Kasich this hour.

Also I will speak with Glenn Beck. I will talk to him about Trump's comments on abortion and the fact that Trump is standing by his campaign manager. More on that ahead.


[20:15:22] COOPER: Well, as we mentioned, Donald Trump today met with his national security advisers in Washington. That meeting lasted two hours. They didn't take questions after. There was certainly no shortage of issues to discuss, though.

Just in the past few days, (INAUDIBLE), Donald Trump said he wouldn't rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe. He told "the New York Times" that he might support Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear weapons, and that's just what he said recently. Trump has a long history of expressing unconventional opinions about security issues. Here's a compilation.


TRUMP: Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would.

I would take away the oil. Bomb the hell out of those oil fields. I wouldn't send many troops because you won't need them by the time I got finished. I would bomb the hell out of the oil fields. I would then get to Exxon. I then get these great oil companies to go in. They would rebuild them so fast your head will spin.

You go in and you say we have to have our hostages back. They will say no way. You say, bye-bye. Goodbye, everybody. Enjoy it. And then you go out and you double and triple up in the sanctions and you are going to get a call in 24 hours. You have got your hostages.

NATO is obsolete.

What's a sovereign nation? You think Iraq is a sovereign nation?


TRUMP: I don't think so. Iraq essentially doesn't exist.

COOPER: It's been a policy, though, for decades to prevent Japan from getting a nuclear policy.

TRUMP: Look. They might be policy, but they agree - can I be honest with you? Maybe it's going to have to be time to change. COOPER: But if you say to Japan, yes it's fine. You get nuclear

weapons. South Korea, you as well. And Saudi Arabia says we want them, too.

TRUMP: Can I be honest with you? It's going to happen anyway.


COOPER: The back up to tall that is a new FOX Business poll that has Mr. Trump trailing Ted Cruz by ten points in Wisconsin.

Back with our panel. You know, Michael, it is one thing you can look at that and add up, you know, all these sort of unconventional statements. At the same time, for a lot of his supporters, it is that unconventional thinking which is part of the appeal. It's the non- Washington speak. It is the kind of non-necessarily doctrine approach to foreign policy or any policy.

GERSON: That is little more elite opinion, but elite opinion is pretty concerned. I mean, in the content of these interviews, his main point is that our allies are freeloaders. And need to pay their fair share. You know, the Trump doctrine here is really that America should act like a mob boss demanding money from allies.

COOPER: For protection money.

GERSON: It's an absurd centerpiece for a foreign policy. And he -- so he - this is our allies and has praised Putin in the past which is really our rival. It's a, you know, foreign policy that doesn't understand who our friends are and who our enemies are.

MCENANY: I will argue that the opposite. That the Trump's doctrine is America first. And what I mean by that is for the last two decades, this is why his policies sound so outlandish and people laugh at them, by the way is because for the last two decades it hasn't been America first. For the last two decades it's been other countries first. We're going to go in and topple dictators. We are going to be the world's policemen. And for the first time you have someone saying, hey, what happens if Seoul, South Korea has hit? What happened if Tokyo is hit?

Everyone is looking to the United States to defend those countries. Perhaps it's time we look at the nuclear nonproliferation treaty in 1968 when it was late and say, hey, is this something to put on the table to think about, to talk about to consider? Maybe.

COOPER: Does it concern you, Kayleigh, as a supporter of Trump that he seems to look -- I think it was the Times that pointed it out. He seems to look through the lens of the world -- look at the world through the lens of a businessman and everything is kind of about deals. That, you know, the deal for NATO isn't right. It's not structured right. The deal for protecting Japan and South Korea isn't right and that he can make better deals. Do you believe it's necessarily true that making a business deal is essentially the same as a deal on international relation with multiple governments involved? MCENANY: I think that it's certainly a component. Because look, you

know, if you look at NATO and funding, the United States contribute 73 percent of the budget. Back in -- ten years ago, there was a rule put in place that every country in NATO needs to contribute two percent. Do you know how many countries of the 30 something countries in NATO who have reached that goal? Four. That's ridiculous that four countries are paying two percent. One of those is the United States. So we need a little business negotiations in our foreign policy.

COOPER: Amanda, do you buy that?

CARPENTER: Well, listen. There is some room for reasonableness in some of the points that Trump raises like saying, you know, NATO possibly could be re-evaluated. There could be some reallocation of resources. There's a reasonable discussion to be had. But to go ahead and say NATO is obsolete while NATO headquarters, city of Brussels has been bombed by terrorists shows no amount of care, context for what the situation needs. And that's what's worrisome about Trump is that he just goes into these bombastic statements. Has no room for the delicate nature of these events.

[20:20:05] JONES: And it's interesting, too, because you are now hearing -- you mentioned elite opinion. You have, you know, baron's which is very conservatives saying, they are concerned about a Trump presidency's effect on the market. If you have a president this erratic, how are the markets going to perform?

The economist magazine says that one of the top ten threats to world peace and stability would be a Trump presidency. So you are -- I am perfectly willing to have our allies do more than they have done. But to - here is a situation where the allies don't know where they stand creates instability all across the world. Just now as a candidate he is causing this kind of stuff.

So for me I think this idea, he is the CEO. When you are the CEO, your people work for you. When you are the president, you work for the people. It's a very different thing, OK? When you are the president of the United States, you have so many checks and balances that this idea of diplomacy is not politically correct to be able to not offend the people you have to work with here and around the world. That's called being a political leader. And he has not met that test yet.

COOPER: It does - I mean, it is a role where words matter, where tone matters, where markets hang on every word the president says, where governments around the world, you know, read with a magnifying glass everything that the president says.

MCENANY: Sure, and strength. And that's what we need right now. Words do matter. And there's a reluctance on the part of our president to say that ISIS is problem that is a radical Islam problem.

COOPER: But nothing gives you pause about Donald Trump and his use of words or speaking without sufficient presidential level of forethought? MCENANY: I think he does speak with forethought. I think I read that

"New York Times" interview and I saw novel proposals I haven't seen from anyone. I do think it's time to maybe look at the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and at least consider and talk about if the world has changed. It's time for that. I saw novel proposals. We can all laugh. It's easy to laugh and be simplistic and generalize. It is another thing to actually look at what he is saying and discuss it and say is this rational or is it not.

COOPER: All right. I want thank everybody.

My interview with governor Kasich just ahead. He spent the day ramping up his attacks against Donald Trump, throw him some punches left and right. Is he sorry he didn't get tougher sooner? We'll talk to him.


[20:26:17] COOPER: Welcome back.

Governor John Kasich has had some tougher words for Donald Trump over the last 24 hours or so. I talked to governor Kasich just before we went on air. In a statement released before dawn today, the campaign of the front-runner Donald Trump said the past 24 hours reveal that the clearest -- from the Kasich campaign, I should say, the clearest way yet that Donald Trump is not prepared to be president.

Governor Kasich kept up the drum beat all day long. Here's what he said in a press conference in New York.


COOPER: Governor, seems like you've been ratcheting up your criticism of Donald Trump, perhaps even more so today. A, do you regret not doing it sooner? I know you were reticent to throw elbows early on. Would it have been more effective had it been done months ago? And why now?

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Anderson, frankly in the third debate, I really went after Trump on the issue of immigration in deporting people, things like that. So I decided, you know, today, I got five things he talked about. You know, the abortion controversy, using nukes in the Middle East, in Europe, get rid of the Geneva convention, getting rid of NATO and having a Supreme Court justice who is going to investigate Hillary's emails. I don't even know what he was talking about there.

So you get to the point every once in a while where you want to say something and you want to speak out and you want to be clear. But this isn't where I'm going to live. I'm going to live just like we did at the town hall, that we did in Wisconsin, which I thought was very successful in letting people know who I am, what my thoughts are. The fact that I have been a reformer providing income security, better wages, taking care, making sure we can have the American dream so our children can do well. COOPER: I want to get your reaction to a comment generating

controversy, something you said to MSNBC last night about infant mortality rates. I want to play the clip for our viewers and then have you explain what you were saying.

KASICH: The issue of infant mortality is a tough one. We have taken that on, and one of the toughest areas to take on is in the minority community. And the community itself is going to have to have a better partnership to begin to solve that problem of infant mortality in the minority community because we are making gains in the majority community.

COOPER: I saw some criticism online. People -- some thought you were blaming the minority community for infant mortality rates. Planned Parenthood action fund said quote "just last month Kasich signed legislation with slash healthy moms, healthy babies, a Planned Parenthood program that specifically helped prevent infant mortality. How do you respond?

KASICH: First of all, Anderson, I expanded Medicaid and over 3,000 people now -- women now have health care who didn't before. Secondly, my point is we have attacked aggressively the issue of infant mortality. And we have tried to bring all the community partners together. And we have had success in the majority community, but we have not had the success that I would like to see in the minority community. And we all have to redouble our efforts.

We have to convince people who could be at risk that they need to go and seek treatment so that we can make sure they have healthy babies. Anybody who is distorting those comments, I mean, if I said something they didn't like, I apologize for that. But I don't think -- my whole purpose here is to make sure that we are able to win the battle against infant mortality.

And I'm not blaming anybody. I'm just saying we need to redouble our efforts so we get the leadership to make sure that we're putting women in a place where they can have these healthy babies.

COOPER: You basically staked your candidacy at this point on a contested convention. What do you make of the fact that Trump was in Washington today meeting with the RNC about delegate math and convention rules. And some South Carolina Republicans are raising a possibility that Trump might be putting his delegates there in jeopardy by rescinding his pledge to support whoever the nominee ends up being?

[20:30:00] KASICH: You know, Anderson, a couple of things. First of all, Ted Cruz needs about 90 percent of the delegates going forward to win. That is just not going to happen and Trump needs about 60 percent. And that's not going to happen either.

Look, when delegates go to a convention, and I have been in a conventions, they get to be very serious about two things. One, who can win in the fall, and I'm the only one that consistently beats Hillary Clinton. And secondly, delegates feel the weight of decision on their shoulders. And they begin to think about who actually could run the country, who has the experience, who has the vision, who has had success in the past?

COOPER: Obviously, by law, your campaign can't coordinate with any super PACs supporting you. I do want to get your reaction to now that a pro-Kasich super PAC in now running which his criticizing Ted Cruz.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lying Ted, lied about Ben Carson to steal a win in Iowa. Lies about being the best for the GOP even though polls show he can't even beat Hillary Clinton.


COOPER: Obviously, again not put out by your campaign. Put out by a super PAC, but do you believe Ted Cruz is dishonest?

KASICH: You know, Anderson, I actually -- I hate to say this. I actually had a hard time hearing that. But I need to look at it. I know that when there was some things put out by the super PAC where they attacked Marco Rubio, I demand that they take the ad off the air. So I don't understand what this ad is, but I will look at it.

But what I will tell you is that the Cruz campaign is spending $500,000 to $800,000 against me in Wisconsin, distorting my record. I am a little disturbed by when I heard the use of the word lie over and over. I'll have to look at that ad. I can't tell my super PAC what to do, but I can have some serious comments about it, and I will look at this.

COOPER: Governor Kasich, thank you for your time.

KASICH: Anderson, thank you.

COOPER: Just a quick note. We also invited Donald Trump and Ted Cruz come on the program tonight, the invitation of course still stands.

Just ahead, I'll talk to Conservative Talk Radio Host and Ted Cruz supported Glenn Beck. Plus, how serious is Donald Trump's trouble or problem with women voters. Is it big enough to actually harm his campaign? John King breaks it down by the numbers for us. And just about 30 minutes from now, the premiere of the CNN Original Series "The Eighties."


[20:36:04] COOPER: Well, as we said, another storm is brewing the Republican race. Wisconsin's primary now just five days away, the forecast for Donald Trump show rough weather ahead. A new poll by the Fox Business network has Ted Cruz leading with 42 percent, Donald Trump trailing by 10 points of 32 percent and John Kasich is at 19 percent.

As the poll was being conducted, we held our CNN town hall. And Mr. Trump also made his remarks about abortion the night after. Ted Cruz has been getting some help from conservative talk radio show host who are among Trump's biggest critics, including Glenn Beck who joins me now. Glenn, good to have you on the program again.


COOPER: These controversies that Donald Trump is running through over last couple of days alone, the comments he made on abortion, standing by his campaign manager amid a battery charge. I mean, I know you want to see Donald Trump's campaign implode, I guess, or go away. But as we've talked about before, nothing seems to have tripped him up in the past based, you know, with all the comments he's made that have offended many.

Why would this week be any different? Do you think this is some sort of a change?

BECK: I do. I think this is a sea change. And, you know, the only person that has ever actually won against Donald Trump and shut him up was Carly Fiorina when he made that comment about her face.

She struck back in the debate and he backed off and never mentioned it ever again, because she was perceived as somebody that -- it seemed wrong to do that. I think it's wrong to do what he's doing to Megyn Kelly, but Megyn Kelly at least has her own forum and she's not a wimp. She can stand up for herself.

But when he struck out at Heidi Cruz, it was reminiscent of what he did to Carly Fiorina, totally out of bounds. Then you have this battery charge that he is defending. You have him going after the reporter, the female reporter. Then you have the abortion and women should go to jail. He is, I mean, he's already at 73 percent unfavorable ratings for women. He might be the only candidate in history to go to zero on favorable ratings with women.

COOPER: The fact that Trump yesterday, I mean, the span is just a couple of hours when we look it, managed to alienate those who both support abortion rights and those who oppose abortion rights. Also one of Trump's spokespeople on CNN earlier, trying to blame the whole thing on Chris Matthews saying it was sort of "gotcha moment". I mean, obviously Chris was certainly pressuring him with tough questioning.

Do you agree it was a "gotcha thing"? Because -- the counter argument of that is a candidate for president should be ready to answer questions on abortion and on all issues.

BECK: That's a scary thing, Anderson, is I don't think he's prepared to be president of the United States by any stretch of the imagination. He didn't know what the nuclear triad was. You know, I could -- I have just said today, he is welcome on my show, and I know he won't come on my show, but he's welcome on my show because I've got about five questions that would shut his career down.

People aren't asking him the right questions, I think, the presidential questions. Questions that the president needs to know. And you can see the narrowness of his knowledge and the depth or lack of depth of his knowledge. When Chris Matthews was asking him that question on abortion, he -- watch that videotape. It's fascinating to watch.

He's talking to Chris. He tries to turn it around on Chris, tries to accuse Chris of being a zealot because he doesn't want to answer. And when Chris won't let up and said, "What is it? Yes or no, should women be punished? He looks off and he says, "Yes, they should be". He's deciding in that moment. He's not prepared to be the president of the United States.

COOPER: I would be remiss if I didn't ask you if you want to reveal at least one of your five questions.

BECK: I will after -- I am absolutely sure he won't come on the show, I will.


BECK: I will. But I'll e-mail them to you later because I know you'll get a chance to do it, but I don't want to say them out loud. I'll e-mail them to you.

[20:40:03] COOPER: All right. Well, I talked to Governor Kasich a couple few minutes ago. And he really pushes back on this idea that he is somehow a spoiler for Ted Cruz, that he somehow a spoiler for Ted Cruz, that he somehow preventing Cruz from outright defeating Trump before the convention. He said there's virtually (ph) no way Cruz could get the needed number of delegates, so why would Kasich stay in, it was going to go to a contested convention anyway. Your thoughts.

BECK: He's delusional. I'm sure he's a nice man. I don't have anything bad to say about John Kasich. I like the tone he's been conducting himself with and, you know, he's not the guy I would vote for, but he's delusional.

There is no math and no way that he's going to get to the convention. I mean, Anderson, think of this. They go to the convention and, let's say Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, let's say Ted Cruz is even just one delegate ahead of Donald Trump or Donald Trump is one delegate ahead of Ted Cruz.

If it's not one of those two, if they reach down, way down in the field to a guy that either wasn't voted on at all or somebody that was voted and wasn't one of those two, the GOP will implode. Who is going to go out and vote for some guy that nobody -- we had the choice to vote for John Kasich. We said no.

COOPER: So you don't even buy the idea that a Paul Ryan or somebody who didn't actually run would step in or could step in?

BECK: Oh, my gosh, no. I think you would, I think would set the country on fire. I can't think of the person that the American people would feel comfortable about if it's not one of the two front-runners. I really don't.

And, you know, if Donald Trump has 1,237, or ...

COOPER: Correct, 1,237.

BECK: Yeah, 1,237. If he has 1,237 he's got to be the guy. I'll never vote for him and I will never, ever, I mean, that's the end of the GOP. But if he has the 1,237, he has to win the nomination. If he's 100 away from that, it's got to be one of the top front-runners. You can't do that. You just can't do that.

COOPER: Glenn, always good to talk to you, Glenn beck, appreciate it.

BECK: Great to talk to you, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Up next, just going to talk about Donald Trump's unfavorable ratings with women even before his comments in abortion, the controversy with his campaign manager. There was trouble in polling on how the front runner is faring with that key voting block. John King joins us with a look by the numbers right after this.


[20:46:17] COOPER: Welcome back. Donald Trump may not agree but it's been a tough week for him and it could hurt his chances with women voters. In the last 48 hours, the front-runner has faced criticism, or Republican front-runner I should say, is facing criticism for refusing to fire his campaign manager after the incident with a female reporter in Florida. Mr. Trump is also backtracked after his controversial comments on abortion. And even before of that surface, the majority of female voters had a negative view about Donald Trump. John King is back with a look by the numbers.

So what are the numbers show?

KING: The very important point. Those other controversies, Corey Lewandowski being charged, Trump flip-flopped on abortion, came after these polls were taken. This is our CNN ORC poll. Among all women, 73 percent, more than 7 in 10 women have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump, that's astronomical.

And even among Republican women, Anderson, this is the problem in the short term, 39 percent of Republican women have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. So how does that matter? Remember that number, 39 percent. This next contest is up in the state of Wisconsin. And let's look how that number has changed. 39 percent of Republican women now have an unfavorable opinion. That's up 10 points since December.

So in the short term, Donald Trump has to worry about that number. He can deal with the bigger numbers, 73 percent, if he's the Republican nominee. Why does that matter? Well, let me just give you two examples.

Next week in Wisconsin, we assume about half, a little less than half of the electorate will be women. These are Republican primary voters, he's a 2012 exit polls. Then in when he lose on places like New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, we use Maryland here as an example, about 49 percent. So in the short term, this is a problem. This is not a silver lining by any means. And somebody in the short term maybe slightly less of a problem because the majority in Republican primaries, the majority tends to be men. I'm not saying it's a blessing for Donald Trump, those poll numbers are bad, but in the short term it's a problem. In the long run, it's becomes a nightmare.

COOPER: In a general election, how does it play out?

KING: That's why it becomes a nightmare. I'm going to switch maps here and go to 2012 and to the presidential election. Remember, President Obama wins an Electoral College landslide over Mitt Romney, just a quick flashback to 2008. President Obama wins an Electoral College landslide over John McCain.

Let's go back to the 2000 map. And, remember, let me bring this number back up so you can look at it. 73 percent of all registered voters women view Donald Trump unfavorably. Well, how does this guy become president when in these battleground states in 2012, 52 percent of the voters in Ohio in the general election were women, 56 percent in New Hampshire, 56 percent in North Carolina, 55 percent Florida, 53 percent in Virginia, say 51 and 51.

These are seven of the biggest battleground states in a presidential election. A clear majority of the electorate will be women and more than 7 in 10 view him negatively.

COOPER: Is there a way to compare this to Romney to McCain?

KING: That's where it gets so damning. Let's look at these numbers here.

Unfavorable view among registered women voters, this is from our poll closest to the 2012 election and closest to the 2008 election. 44 percent McCain viewed unfavorably. Mitt Romney, a slight majority, 51 percent. Look at that number. Look at how much -- astronomically when it comes to McCain, significantly up 22 points over Romney, right? That's just how women view them unfavorably.

And, remember Obama won both elections in Electoral College landslides, right? McCain viewed unfavorably by 44 percent, he got 43 percent of the female vote. Romney viewed unfavorably by 51 percent, he got 44 percent of the woman vote. There's a huge gender gap in both of those elections.

If Donald Trump is viewed unfavorably by 73 percent, I think it's a safe bet that that number would be worse than those numbers. And if it's worse than those numbers, it's just impossible. It's impossible. And now, Donald Trump has time to change that number. But if he doesn't, it's impossible seeing him winning a general election.

COOPER: Interesting to break down like. John King, thanks very much.

With less a week to go before the primary, conservative radio air waves in Wisconsin are crackling, the phones lighting up with strong opinions about Trump's abortion comments and more. Randi Kaye takes a look at that.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Morning, Jay. This is a frustrating part of this whole Trump candidacy because he's a loose canon.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's 7:00 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and conservative radio host, Jay Webber, is fielding crawls about Republican front-runner Donald Trump's latest gaffe.

WEBER: And once again, you have to be asked, what is Donald Trump talking about?

KAYE: Suggesting women who have abortion should be punished criminally. A position he later reversed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, good morning, Jay. I think Trump is the going -- turning in -- you're going from the crazy uncle to the drunk uncle.

KAYE: Jay, too, is no fan of Donald Trump.

WEBER: He's flailing more and more than he ever has. So, you've find -- you get more and more ridiculous statements coming out of his mouth.

KAYE: You have called Donald Trump an embarrassment, a crackpot, a cry baby, a giant fraud, a narcissist, a liar, a blowhard. I could go on, but I get the feeling that you really don't like this guy?

WEBER: Really, I don't care for the man, no.

KAYE: Nor do many of his listeners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a left wing New York liberal who has no bold ideas, will do nothing bold, and will maintains the status quo as Barack Obama has set it.

KAYE: Trump's latest comments have Jay once again questioning Trump's readiness to lead.

Is this a rookie mistake this close to the primary?

WEBER: It is a rookie mistake. I don't think there's any excuse for it, this deep into the campaign.

KAYE: And it could hurt his standing in the polls. One released Wednesday shows Trump trailing Cruz by 10 points.

But Trump does have support here. About 30 miles from Jay Weber's radio studio is the small village of Thiensville, Wisconsin, home to one of the few elected officials who has publicly endorsed Trump.

VAN MOBLEY, PRESIDENT, THIENSVILLE BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Well, I think in this case, he is the best candidate on the Republican side. So, I ...

KAYE: Thiensville's Board of Trustees President Van Mobley likes Trump's business background.

MOBLEY: I think he's shown an ability to get things done as an entrepreneur over time on a shoestring budget. And I think that's simply American people need.

KAYE: But that's not enough to sway Jay Weber or most of his callers.

You're still not even sure if you would vote for him, if he was the nominee.

WEBER: No, I'm waffling back and forth.

KAYE: Waffling and watching the delegate count ever so closely.


COOPER: Randi joins me from Milwaukee. You know, we just talked about the polling with women, how does the radio host there think Trump's comments will play with women?

KAYE: Not very well, Anderson. But he also doesn't think that he can do much worse with women than he's already doing. If you look at that latest CNN poll, among all women, he has a 74 percent unfavorability rating. And among Republican women voters, he has a 39 percent unfavorability ratings.

So, the numbers tell the real story. He's also very concern about Donald Trump being able to unify the country. As Jay Weber says for the last eight or nine months, he's been beating up on minority groups, women, people in Washington. And he doesn't think all of a sudden people are going to turn around and start supporting him.

And finally, Anderson, he really is concerned at this whole comment and this whole issue having to do with abortion and women has really divided the Republican Party more than ever and that is only going to help the Democrats, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks very much.

We're just moments away from the debut of CNN Original Series "The Eighties." They are great series always, the decade obviously transformed television its shows like "Dallas" and "Family Ties" and the launch of several cable channels, including CNN. The TV News milestone in the decade, we're going to look more at the effect of that in the 80's when we continue.


[20:57:12] COOPER: All right, let's go back in time for a moment. Just a few minutes, the new seven-part series "The Eighties" debuts right here on CNN. It's amazing to look back at that decade. Each Thursday night, you'll going to get chance to see the events and people that shaped the decade, a big changes and big hair. Tonight's premiere focuses on the defining moments in '80s television. You know, the big question, "Who shot J.R.?" the place where everybody knows your name and the start of CNN. Here's a sneak pick on that topic.


DAVID MUIR, "THE NETWORK NEWS" ANCHOR: On a Special Segment tonight, "The Network News," the first in a two-part series on the profound changes taking place in television news, changes being brought about by business and competition and technology.

JOHN HEILEMANN, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: There were a variety of reasons why people who worked at the broadcast networks were freaked out in 1980s. One of them was CNN, and the rise of cable. Another was being taken over by foreign entities in corporate America.


COOPER: Well, Joining me is CNN Media Analyst Bill Carter, author of "The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy."

Bill, there was a time when the big three networks were the only games in town in terms of national news. That changed in the '80s because of creation of CNN. At that time, did anyone expect CNN to last?

BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: No. There was a lot of disdain. You know, the network would say, well, who are these upstarts? You know, they're mainly local anchors that they stuck on the air. They don't have serious reporters. They don't have quality, you know, journalism. And they kind of thought it was going to be like a flash in the pan kind of thing where somebody got a lot of attention for it but it really didn't last. And I think, you can go through the history of America or any other country about institutions that get ingrained and think they can't lose their status. And it does happen.

COOPER: I remember talking to a cameraman who was one of the first cameramen at CNN. Still is at CNN today saying that, you know, other network cameramen used to make fun saying, chicken noodle news.

CARTER: Right, that was the name. Chicken noodle network. Chicken noodle news. And really -- look, it wasn't fantastic news for a while I mean -- but what it did have from the beginning was the possibility to cover things immediately as they were happening. You didn't have to wait until 6:00 to find out what was going on in the world. That was a sea change, big time.

COOPER: It's also always interesting to me how people kind of look back and say there was a golden age of news back when there were, you know, three broadcast networks.

CARTER: Right.

COOPER: News back then though was -- I think, in some cases like 15 minutes long, wasn't it? CARTER: It started out. The network newscast was in fact 15 minutes long. And, you know, it was a big moment when they went to 30 minutes. But, you know, it was still very packaged. They didn't really have much live coverage at all. It was very limited news. I mean, you did get informed, and they were quality journalists.

COOPER: Right.

CARTER: No question about it. But it was not, you know, comprehensive at all

[21:00:00] COOPER: Yeah. Bill Carter. Bill, thanks very much.

CARTER: Of course, any time, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, "The Eighties" starts right now. Enjoy.