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Clinton and Sanders Reach Agreement On Another CNN Debate; Ted Cruz Leading In Wisconsin Polls; Sanders, Trump, Cruz Holding Dueling Rallies; Trump on Kasich: "He Ought To Get The Hell Out"; Kasich Looks Ahead To Wisconsin; Do Trump's Supporters Care About His Missteps?; Sarah Palin Stumps For Trump, Falls Flat With Audience. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 4, 2016 - 20:00   ET


20:00:01] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin with breaking news.

This network and the two Democratic candidates have reached agreement on another CNN debate. It's going to take place in New York City on the 14th, just five before the primary in New York. Wolf Blitzer will be moderating. It's a fitting capper to a very full day in the run-up to tomorrow's Wisconsin primary.

Donald Trump telling John Kasich, hit the road Jack. Get out of the race. Asking supporters to tell him, seal the nomination. Governor Kasich who is the program tonight calling Ted Cruz senator smear, telling him and Trump to get over it and put aside the personal attacks and prepare for contested convention in Cleveland.

Senator Cruz with a late-night rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin right now saying there will only be two candidates left by then, himself and Donald Trump. Trump also has a late event in Milwaukee which is happening practically right next door to a Bernie Sanders event. Senator Sanders for his part, he is hoping to nab another victory in Wisconsin tomorrow. While campaigning hard for an upset in New York where he and Hillary Clinton will meet on the debate stage a week from Thursday.

In the meantime, he is suggesting his success is making her nervous. A lot of maneuvering, a lot on the line. Plenty to talk about. Sara Murray starts us off. She is at the Trump event in Milwaukee.

Trump about to take the stand there. I understand that his wife Melania is actually going to join him there as well tonight as well?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right, Anderson. We are expecting Melania to join Donald Trump on the campaign trail which is significant one because she hasn't come out that frequently. But two, we know that Donald - part of Donald Trump's rocky week has been sort of his image among female voters, especially in that wake in his back and forth on abortion and suggesting that maybe women deserve to be punished if they get abortions if that's made illegal. And of course, he walked that back. So if Melania Trump does in fact joins him on stage, it will be interesting if she speaks on his behalf. If he tries to use his wife to sort of soften his image out of the Wisconsin primary, Anderson. COOPER: And Trump over the weekend admitted that last week may not

have been his best. I mean, how much damage control has the campaign been trying to do?

MURRAY: I think it's less damage control and a little more back to basics. I mean, we saw Donald Trump today. This is his third campaign event of the day. It is pretty rare for him to be campaigning this card. So I think he is ramping up his campaign schedule. And they also think he is sticking with the things he knows best. And if you are Donald Trump, one of the things you know best is how to hit your opponents. And he has been doing that all day long. He has been hammering Ted Cruz. He has been hammering John Kasich, calling for Kasich to step aside and get out of the race. And I think we'll hear more about that tonight, Anderson.

But one thing to note is there are a lot of empty seats in this room here in Milwaukee. This is not necessarily friendly territory for Donald Trump. And he is trailing in the polls just hours before the primary here. So if he does manages to eke out a victory here, it will certainly be a come-from-behind win.

COOPER: Yes. Sara Murray. Sara, thanks.

As we mentioned, there's a Sanders rally very close by. The senator when asked about his recent string of victories had this to say about his opponent.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the secretary is getting very nervous. That poll after poll shows us doing much better against Trump than she is.


COOPER: Again, he is speaking tonight barely a block away from the Trump rally. And out Brianna Keilar is there.

It's the final push for Wisconsin. They are in a dead heat in Wisconsin. Do they think they are going to be able to pull a victory off tomorrow?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think they do, Anderson. You hear Bernie Sanders there talking a very big game about what he is expecting out of his performance tomorrow night in Wisconsin. The campaign is looking a lot at Michigan where we saw that upset. They think that the demographics of Michigan are pretty much replicated in Wisconsin. And also that he is going to be doing really well with college students and also with labor voters. You have seen that in his final push. He is emphasizing free public university for students. And also he is really trying to critique Hillary Clinton on her past support, her trade agreements, NAFTA and the ASIA pacific partnership that she supported as secretary of state and is now against.

So I think this is certainly something that they are feeling very confident about, but the question is, what is the margin going to be, Anderson? Because these delegates are awarded proportionately. Right now polls show them neck and neck.

COOPER: And after Wisconsin, of course, there is New York. Clinton started downplaying expectations in New York over the last couple of days. Are they worried? And is Sanders confident he can actually pull off a win there?

KEILAR: I think you are seeing her concentrate so much on New York because obviously, this is key for her to win her adopted home state. She was a senator there. People know her there. And they took a chance on her in 2001 when she was first lady and running for the Senate.

I think they do think the race favors her, but they are also trying to prepare for anything. And that's why you see them trying to shore up some of that support for her. That's why she is there today. She is in upstate New York, which is an area that could favor Bernie Sanders a little more than, say, New York City, where the diversity is going to be a positive for her. But it's interesting. I think here in the Clinton campaign trying to manage expectations a little more in Wisconsin than they are in New York.

The thing that they are also emphasizing is that they think soon Hillary Clinton will have an insurmountable lead that despite the fact Bernie Sanders may be challenging her, may be beating her here in Wisconsin tomorrow night, challenging her in New York because of the way delegates are awarded, they still think overall they are in a much better position than Bernie Sanders.

[20:05:19] COOPER: All right, Brianna Keilar. Brianna, thanks.

There is no shortage of news heading into tomorrow and beyond. Joining us now, this being baseball's opening day, (INAUDIBLE) 100 percent all-stars. CNN political commentators Angela Rye, Amanda Carpenter, Margaret Hoover, Tara Setmayer and Ross Douthat. Angela is a Democratic strategist. Amanda is former communications director for Senator Cruz. Margaret is a Republican strategist. Tara is the former communications director for California Republican congressman Dana Rohrbacher. Ross is a conservative columnist for "The New York Times." With us as well tonight, conservative columnist and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany.

How much of a tipping point, Amanda, do you think could Wisconsin be tomorrow whether it's a Cruz win or surprise Trump win?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER CRUZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I think the momentum has already swung into Cruz's favor. For so long Ted Cruz has argued that if you give me a man to man race, (INAUDIBLE) of Donald Trump. Donald Trump will shrink under the pressure and Cruz will perform well.

Let's go back a couple of weeks into what happened in Utah where Cruz won overwhelmingly. Cruz picked up a lot of delegate support in Arizona and North Dakota. And now going into Wisconsin where Trump was leading at one point by nearly 20 points, Cruz is now ahead. That has to do not with Trump implosion but also Cruz getting support from people like Governor Walker who also lent him a great state infrastructure and just running a very smart campaign that's built to go the distance and win.

COOPER: Kayleigh, I mean, you are a Trump supporter. If Trump loses in Wisconsin, how does he spin that? Because it would certainly, you know, take some of the momentum he knot from the last big round in the primaries and maybe also be an indicator that some of his comments and campaign tactics have really hurt him.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. You know, you want to win every state, obviously. But you know, I think that it's important to acknowledge something that was written in "The New York Times," which I think is a great analysis by Nate Cohen. And he said that Trump's problem in Wisconsin is a demographic problem. It is not a momentum problem. He said in fact that "The New York Times" has been saying for a while, at least he has. And when you look at Wisconsin, electorally, it was supposed to be one of Trump's worst states based on early polling.

Wisconsin, believe it or not, they are not highly religious. There is an education demographic issue there. It goes into a whole analysis of why demographically this state was never supposed to be Trump's ideal state. So, of course, you want to win this. But the point is that once Wisconsin is over, we look forward to Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, Pennsylvania. I could go on and on. All states where Cruz is not poised to do well.

COOPER: Tara, do you - I mean, you are sort of in anybody but Trump category. Do you think there has been some sort of a turning point? I mean, obviously he had a bad week. But look, he has made plenty of comments in the past that a lot of pundits have said well, look. That's the end of him and he only rises in the polls.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think before they were kind of one and done. Here it's been a cascading of events for the last month, I would say, since the KKK comments, when he played coy, as Hillary Clinton said with white supremacists. And then you had the, you know, violence at his rallies and then you had the comments about women and then you had the comments about Ted Cruz's wife.

I think it's been one on top of though other. Then of course, you know, his foreign policy positions. He was trying to pivot into foreign policy. No one really understood that. So I think that there's definitely the last week was really just the highlight of what's been going on for the last month.

And you know, I would take issue with that Wisconsin wasn't a good place demographically for Donald Trump. I mean, their manufacturing is a big -- was a big deal in Wisconsin. And a lot of manufacturing jobs have left there. So the issue of trade you would think would resonate with people in Wisconsin. Yet Ted Cruz is still winning by 10 percentage points in some polls he is winning because perhaps the people of Wisconsin are looking at in totality maybe Donald Trump is not the guy. He is reckless and willfully ignorant on issues. And something that they just don't - they don't appreciate.

COOPER: Margaret?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would like to be as optimistic as you, Tara, but I am not. I mean, what I actually think has happened is the field as winnowed. We have been seeing for a long time, Donald Trump has a ceiling. He can't get over 30, 35 percent. You have all these other candidates and race. Now none of them are there. And guess what, Donald Trump's popularity has totally platooned (ph). You have Cruz who has spiked and Kasich has spiked. And I think Amanda is right. Ted Cruz is benefiting from an incredible conservative primary infrastructure.

Remember, Wisconsin has had many, many elections over the last six years. Three governors elections, right. Two elections, one recall. State Senate recalls. John Joe examination judicial elections. I mean, highly politicized electorate. Highly conservative and charged electorate and that's what Ted Cruz is benefiting from.

SETMAYER: And you got that just really quickly, Scott Walker endorsed him. And he is the one that has that infrastructure there and that makes the difference. And talk radio has been very critical of Donald Trump. Really examining his record. He is not getting a pass on --


ROSS DOUTHAT, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: I think I agree but this is why I think Kayleigh is right. Wisconsin is a distinctive state. And it is state with a much stronger Republican infrastructure, sort of distinctive talk radio culture that has been hostile to Trump in a way that national talk radio hasn't been.

So I think it is sort of an expectations game, right. I think we expected Cruz to do better in Wisconsin than he would in, say, New York. The question is how much better does he do. And, I mean really, we're in delegate math territory, right, where it is going to make a huge difference.

[20:10:27] COOPER: So you do margins matter, you think?

DOUTHAT: Well, they matter because Wisconsin is partially winner take all by congressional district. So the margins -- Cruz needs big margins in order to beat Trump in I think basically the northwestern district where Trump is expecting to do pretty well. And if he does, then you're in a scenario where Cruz could get to 35 or 40 delegates and Trump could almost be shut out. And that would be a big win for the never Trump forces because they were expecting Trump maybe but come away with 15 or 20 delegates.

COOPER: Angela, do you think there's a danger in a kind of reading too much into a potential Trump loss tomorrow?


COOPER: Because certainly, the Cruz people are going to spin it as, look, this is the beginning of the end. This is the momentum shift. This is exactly what we have been talking about all along.

RYE: Yes. I think the tough part is just like on the Democratic side, the math doesn't really tell the same story. I think the reality of this is, in Wisconsin, Ross just mentioned, it's a highly politically charged electorate. And it is on both sides. So I was looking at past numbers from 2008 and 2012 and 2014. This is the same state that elected Barack Obama with wide margins and turned around an elected governor Scott Walker with wide margins. This, the same thing with Senator Johnson and Senator Baldwin. I'm talking about people that couldn't be further apart. So I don't know that it's going to tell anything decisive - decisively all to the general which is something that I care about when we are talking about the Republican primary. And I think it's just going to be really interesting to see. I do think Cruz will pull it out based on all the polling results you have seen. I know CBS has Senator Cruz at six points ahead of Trump, but.

COOPER: Kayleigh, you are much more bullish on New York for Donald Trump on some of the upcoming states after Wisconsin.

MCENANY: Absolutely. And that's key, especially a state like New York where you see in polling Donald Trump breaching this 50 percent mark. If Donald Trump reaches 50 percent in New York, he wins 95 delegates. It becomes a winner-take-all state. And then you look forward to New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the map starts looking very, very good for Donald Trump.

You know, Wisconsin absolutely will be a damper on momentum slightly, but I think Ross hit the nail on the head with his analysis there. And I think that the key number we want to watch tomorrow is 35 percent. If Donald Trump falls below 35 percent, that is an indicator that maybe the past week has hurt him or he has faltered a bit. But that is the ceiling that we want to see him breach in order to show that this is a demographic problem and not momentum problem.

COOPER: Kayleigh, when Trump says like he did today he could act presidential but that would be quote "boring as hell," is that a good headline for someone trying to get past a rough week?

MCENANY: You know, I tend to take the Melania view and Ivanka view which is do want Donald Trump to look more presidential. I like the Donald Trump I saw at APAC. I do not like the Donald Trump retweets pictures of Heidi Cruz. So no, I don't like that approach. I think he would be wise to listen to his daughter and wife and pivot to a more presidential tone but keep it some of the funness that he has that people like at the rallies.


SETMAYER: Well, the natural question is well then, why doesn't he? He is the master of his own demean most of the time, right. He, Trump does what --

COOPER: I'm sure that's the best term to use.

SETMAYER: But he can choose to behave continues to choose to behave however he wants to and he continue to choose to behave like this. That's what's concerning to a lot of people like me and for the 73 percent of women who look at him unfavorably, for the majority of Americans who do not support Donald Trump. He has only averaged 37 percent of the vote up until now.

So that behavior, why he chooses to act like a reality show character instead of taking this seriously and acting like president of the United States is something that I think everyone -- should trouble everyone.

COOPER: It is interesting, though, Amanda, because he has been saying that he could do this. That he has many people and he can act however, you know, that he would surprise people once he gets in the office. I mean it does raise the question, is that actually true? Can he do that or just choosing not to?

CARPENTER: He has had many opportunities to try. The reason we are looking at a contested convention is because he hasn't risen to that level. There has been a few weeks where he has gone a little quiet, tried to act a little nice and then you both often throws a temper tantrum once again. So although his wife may be encouraging him to act presidential, his wife's words aren't enough.

COOPER: All right. Everyone, we're going to see pretty much everyone tomorrow night. We are going to have a long night tomorrow with Wisconsin. Speaking of acting presidential, Melania Trump, she just made some remarks in Milwaukee. We will hear from her next.

Also the numbers behind our conversation tonight, John King walks us through the battle that Ross Douthat was talking about, state by state and sometimes person by person for Republican delegates.

And later, the Democratic battle with the Clinton camp sniping at Sanders. Sanders predicting victory first tomorrow and then in New York.


[20:18:50] COOPER: Welcome back.

Dueling rallies tonight. Leading candidate Donald Trump and Ted Cruz each holding campaign event. We will be listening in throughout the night. But first, Donald Trump speaking right now. Let's listen.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And he said with Wisconsin, you are going to win. I said, well, what do you think? But I'm not seeing polls that are great. I'm a little bit down. I'm down in some. I'm a little down. And he said, no, no, you're going to win but you have to be there. You have to come in. You have to talk to the people like we did this afternoon at the hangar --

COOPER: Well, before he began tonight, his wife Melania had some rare words we don't often hear from her on the campaign trail. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: Hello. It is wonderful -- thank you. We love you, too. It is wonderful to be here today with you and with my husband. I'm very proud of him. He is hard worker. He is kind. He has a great heart. He is tough. He is smart. He is a great communicator. He's a great negotiator. He is telling the truth. He is a great leader. He is fair. As you may know by now, when you attack him, he will punch back ten times harder.

[20:20:13] CROWD: Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

M. TRUMP: No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal. He is a fighter. And if you elect him to be your president, he will fight for you and for our country. He will work for you and with you. And together, we will make America strong and great again. Thank you.


COOPER: Melania Trump stumping for her husband who could be facing a crucial test tomorrow.

As for Ted Cruz, this could be the moment where his ground game and the stop-Trump forces add up to victory in Wisconsin aided by local conservative talk radio and so-called Wisconsin news voters who might gristle at Trump's brashness. Either way it will end up or add up to votes I should say and delegates and possibly a turning point in the race.

Laying it out by the numbers, CNN chief national correspondent and "INSIDE POLITICS" anchor John King.

So John, Trump and his critics actually seem to be in agreement tonight. Tomorrow's Wisconsin primary is critical, maybe even a turning point.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Maybe the moment of truth for stop Trump movement or Mr. Trump himself.

Anderson, before we look forward, let's look back a bit and remember how we got here and the math though. If you go back to March 1st, you see at that point Donald Trump was starting to open up his lead. Needed 52 percent of the remaining delegates at the beginning of March to clinch the nomination. The magic number for Trump, 37. Now the middle of the month, March 15th. His numeric lead is actually getting larger over Ted Cruz but its math is not improving. At that point, he needs 55 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch.

So where are we today? On the eve of the Wisconsin primary, right now, Donald Trump needs 56 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination. To get to 1,237 before the convention which is why Wisconsin and New York two weeks makes so much stakes in this race. Have so much stakes in this race. The moment of truth.

Remember, candidate Trump promised to surprise today. The polls show him down in Wisconsin. What if he's right, Anderson? What if Donald Trump pulls off a win, splits the delegates. So let's say Ted Cruz comes in second, John Kasich third. Donald Trump gets the plurality of the delegates but he gets a win. And if he gets that win, the stop-Trump forces have stumbled.

Let's say Donald Trump takes that momentum into New York like Kayleigh was just talking about, wins with 50 percent plus. If Donald Trump can do that, win in Wisconsin and get some delegates, then win in New York and get all the delegates, he is pulling away from Ted Cruz and look at this, he improves his math. At that point, a win in Wisconsin with some. A big win in New York with all Donald Trump would only need 50 percent of the remaining delegates. He would be improving his math and taking a lot of air out of the stop-Trump movement.

But let's take another scenario. Let's say the polls are right and the Ted Cruz wins tomorrow in the state of Wisconsin, right. And let's say that John Kasich comes in second, maybe wins a couple of congressional districts. And Donald Trump either gets nothing or just a couple of delegates, a few delegates out of Wisconsin. If that happens and then it takes the air out of Trump's polls in New York, Anderson. Let's say he still wins. Let's give him 45 percent of the vote. He still wins but he is under 50. So he has to share the delegates.

Let's say Kasich is second and Cruz third. That's not as significant who comes in second, third. But at this point, even though Trump won in New York, if he's shut out of Wisconsin and has to share the delegates in New York, look what happens to his math. At that point, he would need 61 percent on the morning of April 20th, after the New York primary, 61 percent of the remaining delegates. If this scenario plays out, a loss in Wisconsin essentially a shutout for Trump and then he has to share the New York delegates. At this point the stop- Trump forces thing they have got him. They think if the math is like that on the night of April 19th, the morning of the 20th, Anderson, we are heading to an open convention.

COOPER: Well, there are some smaller state delegate decision is taking place that could also hurt Trump, right?

KING: Right. Remember the percentage he needs right now. I want to switch maps and just show you. This weekend out in Colorado, they had some -- they are beginning their process there. They are about halfway through it. Ted Cruz picked up delegates in Colorado. And Donald Trump having a hard time doing the nuts a bolts of state by state convention organizing.

In North Dakota, the bulk of the delegates decided this weekend. They are going to come to the convention in Cleveland uncommitted which means they are not pledged to Donald Trump on the first ballot which made it lowers his number a little bit. Also in both of these states, frees up people to vote for rules maybe in a way at the convention that Trump doesn't like.

And then we have in Tennessee, Anderson, over the weekend, Donald Trump won Tennessee. He will get all of his pledge delegates. All the vote he deserves that he won on primary day on the first ballot. But the state party is filling them with people who are not loyal to Trump. So even though they might vote for Trump on the first ballot and the second ballot as required by law, they are free agents after that, number one. And when it comes to voting on the rules at the convention, can we put other candidates' names into nomination? Other rules and procedure that would be critical in an open convention, those delegates, even though they have Trump badges, might not be loyal to their candidate.

COOPER: Amazing.

OK, John, stay with us. I want to bring in a new face to CNN, a bona fide expert and a wrangling delegate. CNN delegate analyst and former RNC chief of staff Mike Shields.

Mike, great to have you on. Even though Trump has recently hired staff to wrangle delegates, the Cruz campaign seems to be out ahead of him on that. And that head start, could that make a difference right now and in the future?

[20:25:17] MIKE SHIELDS, CNN DELEGATE ANALYST: Yes. I do think it could and I think it is so far. What you're seeing in places like North Dakota is the fact that there is organizations on the ground that Ted Cruz has had from the beginning. You know, he really built his campaign from the bottom up, and that included people that understand the delegate process that have relationships with people in these state parties when it comes to selecting the delegates.

In the end, these delegates are people and they have, you know, political leanings. And so, you have to go and talk to them. You have to campaign to them just like you campaign to other voters. And I think Ted Cruz' organization has really steps up. I think Trump is stepping up now. I think he is starting to put an organization together. But Ted Cruz had a lead, not only on Donald Trump. I think he had a lead on all the other candidates that were in the campaign as well.

COOPER: Explain how it works. Because I mean, I think it is confusing for a lot of people. Certainly even for me. How does it work to actually win over delegates? I mean, do you -- as you said, it's campaigning directly to them? It's not enough for Donald Trump to just have a big event somewhere and potential delegates, see him on TV? You actually have to have direct contact?

SHIELDS: Yes, it's a grassroots politicking. I think, you know, there was a scene in North Dakota in a hotel lobby where you literally have Ben Carson at one end as a surrogate for Donald Trump. Carly Fiorina in the same lobby on the other end for Ted Cruz. And they were going back and forth and talking to delegates trying to win them over. You have cookouts, you have parties that people are throwing. They are doing everything they can to win them over.

And keep in mind that a lot of these folks are party regulars. They are the people you see at the convention wear the funny hats and wearing the pins that have been involve in the party. Some of them are really pre-disposed to be sort of Ted Cruz-type Republicans when this starts. That's another thing that Donald Trump has to face is that he is going against Ted Cruz with people that are sort of tea party regulars and he is trying to win them over to his side when he hasn't been involved in party politics at the local level. So he has a little extra hurdle in some of these states.

COOPER: And we are watching Carly Fiorina speaking on behalf of Ted Cruz in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

John, in terms of what campaigns can or can't do to win over delegates, CNN is reporting several Republican state officials are unaware of any explicit prohibitions on delegates accepting gifts or travel help. So campaign could essentially, or could they - I mean, buy a delegate off and still be within the law?

KING: Well, they can try to curry favor with the delegate. We would watch those things, obviously. Local media back in their states would watch those things. If you are an elected official, if you are a member of Congress, if you are governor and the state legislator, and a lot of those guys are delegates, ladies as well, there are generally ethics rules about that.

But if you are the average and the state party chairman and you are an insurance sales and also the Republican state chairman of the Republican national committee woman or someone else that shows up who want to come as delegate, no. There some are state rules, Anderson, but not a lot of rules. So you can curry favor with the delegates. It might just note that you can have receptions for them. You can take them to parties. You could put on a show if you want for them. If Donald Trump wanted to or another candidate, you can put them on your plane and fly them say to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend and talk to them about that.

Now, we would see such things and we would find out about such things so I don't want to make too big of deal about these thing. But yes, you can lavish some gifts on the delegates or some flattery on the delegates, some big events on the delegates. But we will watch and see how is that plays out because this could come down to some of these uncommitted delegates and how do you sway them at the convention.

I think the idea that you are going to buy a delegate, I don't think that's going to happen. Or at least it ever happens, it will happen one or two cases. But it's interesting to watch because each and every delegate matters so much in this environment. The little things the campaigns do to curry favor will be interesting.

COOPER: Yes. John King. Mike Shields, great to have you. Thanks very much.

Coming up, does John Kasich think he has a chance in Wisconsin tomorrow? And if not, what about his chances moving forward? I asked him about that and about Trump's advice that he should quote "get the hell out." Hear his reply to that, next.


[20:32:39] COOPER: Welcome back. Three live events there in the run- up to tomorrow night's Wisconsin primary.

Sanders, Trump and Cruz taking it down to the wire, the two Republicans taking more shots at one another, and John Kasich who is running third. Earlier today, Donald Trump telling John Kasich to, "Get the hell out." And, yes that is a direct quote.

At a rally this morning, Wisconsin where a recent poll showed Trump down behind Ted Cruz, Trump turned his sights on Kasich pointing out that Kasich has only won one contest in his home state of Ohio.

I talked to Governor Kasich for his reaction just a moment. But, first, let's listen to some of what Trump had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He ought to get the hell out, honestly. And you know what, that doesn't mean he has to quit, because he can go to the convention and put his name and say, "I want to run for president." And he's just like a stubborn guy. He's stubborn. He doesn't want to leave.

They asked him the other day, "Are you going to leave? No, I'm not going to leave." And let me tell you, he hurts much more than he hurts Cruz. Cruz wants him out. Cruz is wrong. He hurts me. In fact, the recent poll came out where I get many more of his votes than Cruz gets.


COOPER: I spoke with Governor John Kasich a short time ago.


COOPER: Governor, how do you respond to what Donald Trump and for that matter, Ted Cruz are saying that you're essentially a spoiler and should get out of the race?

JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, both of them said that I'm taking their votes from their voters. I mean, one guy asked me today, he said, "Well, Trump says you're taking his voters and Cruz says you're taking his voters, how can you be taking both?"

And I said, "Well, I'm taking both because as people get to know me and understand my record and my positive vision and all these things and, of course I can get votes from both of them."

So, you know, I think I heard today that Senator Cruz has to get like 102 percent of the remaining delegates. That's kind of arithmetically impossible. This is what he'd been saying about me.

So, look, Anderson, everybody needs to chill out. I'm in New York, we're going to do well here. I'm going to Pennsylvania, we're excited about that. And we're going to an open convention where kids are going to learn a lot more about picking presidents than they do about, you know, spending time just on Snapchat.

COOPER: You called Senator Cruz a smear artist. He's running an ad about your ties to your corporation. You got tax breaks in Ohio. Though, to be fair to you, I saw a quote from the head of the Ohio ethics commission a few years ago saying, you had made what he called a clean break from that company.

Do you believe that attack is part of a broader strategy by the Cruz campaign to try to take you down?

KASICH: Oh yeah. Well, no, he's senator, you know, he is Senator Smear.

[20:35:00] And people say, well, you seem to be pointing things out. Yeah, I've said all along, you know, I'm not a pin cushion or a marshmallow.

He smeared Ben Carson, he smeared Marco Rubio, he smeared Donald Trump, and now he's smearing me. And "The Wall Street Journal" even pointed out that he smeared me in an editorial last week.

This guy plays that kind of politics. It's down, it's dirty, it's negative and it's not uplifting. But, you know, that's what we deal with. And we'll put one foot in front of the other and keep going with a positive vision.

But I've got to tell you, Anderson, don't push me around. You think you can push me around and get away with it, you're wrong. But, I'm going to keep this campaign on the high tone. I did an event at Hofstra today, very positive. We're going to go tonight. It's going to be fun. I'm here in Teddy Roosevelt's house, my hero, you know. He shook everybody up, and so will I.

COOPER: Well, I know, you and I spoke last week, you expressed displeasure with the fact that a super Pac, which was supporting you was running an ad in which they called, "Cruz a liar". You later called on them to take the ad down. Do you know, which you hadn't done that, did you think the Cruz campaign is smearing?

KASICH: No, no, no. I don't like, I don't like -- Look, I don't like to use the word, liar, but I am being smeared and that's not a word I made up, "The Wall Street Journal" used that word, and he's been doing it to everybody. That's the kind of dirty game they play.

And I understand it. I'm a big boy. I've had this kind of stuff done against me before. But, here's the problem. You should take the high roads to the highest office in the land, not the low road. And when I stood on that stage and watched those guys call each other names, I was appalled by what I saw.

And guess what, we got a lot of kids watching this thing. Set a good example, not a bad example. And I'm not going to use the word liar and it's not going to do it.

But, let me tell you, just run positive, because if you come after me, I'm not going to sit there and take it, Anderson. Well, I'm not some kind of a dummy. I know how to fight back, but I would prefer to be talking about creating jobs, future for our kids, you know.

I grew up in an environment where people had economic insecurity. I've addressed it when I was in Washington and largely improved it with the help of a big team. And in Ohio, we've gone from real bad times to pretty good times.

And so, I want to take that formula to Washington. And that's what may people need to hear.

COOPER: So, Senator Cruz told Fox news today, "I don't think it's a state secret that Donald's personal life hasn't been immaculate."

Do you think Donald Trump's personal life or any candidate's personal life should be on the table? Does it fall under the heading of character ...

KASICH: No, no. I think -- no, no. I think this whole personal life and personal attacks, get over it. Tell people what you're for. Tell them what your programs, your plans and your records are to get -- and your record is about restoring hope in this country.

Spending time talking about Donald Trump's personal life, no thank you. I don't want to talk about people's personal life. Forget it. You're going to drive all the best people out of this business. Who wants to put up with this nonsense? So, get over it, present a positive vision.

And I guess, the reason sometimes candidates don't is because they don't have a positive vision. I think that's what it really gets down to.

COOPER: Obviously, all eyes on Wisconsin's primary tomorrow. Do you think there's any way, I mean, you can actually win that contest. Have you ever thought you could win Wisconsin?

KASICH: No, I don't. I think we're going to do. Well, we have focused on the areas where we think we have a good chance. As I mentioned to you, a large part of the state doesn't know me.

But, what I will tell you is in the fall, I'm the one Republican that could win that state. I'm in New York today, because we think we have pretty good momentum and strength here in New York. We'll be in Pennsylvania and the race goes on, Anderson.


KASICH: The race goes on all the way to Cleveland.

COOPER: Governor Kasich, appreciate your time. Thank you.

KASICH: Thanks, Anderson.


COOPER: Well, just to know, in case you're curious, we also invited Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to be on the program tonight. They declined.

Just ahead, the battle for Wisconsin playing out beyond the states, I'll speak with a very popular radio host in Wisconsin who says Trump does not understand the way it works in her state. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: What do we get from South Korea? Samsung, LG ...


[20:42:53] COOPER: One distinguishing feature of Donald Trump's presidential campaign has been there. It seems no matter what he says or what mistakes he may make, his supporters don't seem to be bothered.

This past week, might have been the biggest test of that. The question is, do his fans even care?

Gary Tuchman takes a look tonight.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Five hours in the snow to see their man, these are the Trump true believers.

Whatever he does, it's OK with you?

JUDY ALCALAY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It's OK with me. I stand by him, because I believe in him and I know what he'll do is right.

TUCHMAN: You put out hot coals at this rally, would you walk over the hot coals for him?

ALCALAY: Absolutely. Put them out right now, I will.

TUCHMAN: And more and more of these true believers are adopting an, us against the Republican establishment viewpoint.

Do you think the Republican Party is trying to steal the nomination from Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Absolutely.

TUCHMAN: You all agree with that?


TUCHMAN: Do you think there's a conspiracy to take this away from Donald Trump?

RYAN NICHOLAS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely, absolutely. I've voted Republican my whole life. I'll follow Trump whether he goes independent, third party, I'm voting for him either way.


TUCHMAN: Across the state of La Crosse, a different Trump rally but the same sentiments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're trying to pull a fast one.

TUCHMAN: The Republican Party? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.

ERIC NIES, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think the Republican Party is not only going to, they're going to -- no, did not really tried, they're going to steal it from him.

TUCHMAN: If Trump doesn't get the nomination, would you support the Republican nominee?


TUCHMAN: What would you do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would stay home.

TUCHMAN: Presidential candidates often get the benefit of the doubt for the most loyal supporters. But in rally after rally, it's increasingly evident that nobody cultivates loyalty more successfully than Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just love Trump, and I don't want anybody else but the Trump. He's my man.

TUCHMAN: And like the candidate himself, many of them agree that if Donald Trump is mistreated by the Republican Party this election, they'll return the favor.

TANYA FRANKLIN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: If they steal it from him, I think he's going to get the 1,237. And if they try any shenanigans to take it, I will leave the Republican Party forever.

[20:45:01] TUCHMAN: A lot of these Trump true believers travel around the country to come to Trump rallies like Deadheads used to do in the 1970's to see Grateful Dead concerts. I talk to one guy a short time ago, it's his 30th Trump rally, Anderson.

COOPER: And how a couple of deadheads are still out there

TUCHMAN: At least Trump true believe travel around the country to come to Trump rallies like dead heads in the 1970s to see grateful dead concerts. I talked to one guy short time ago and he said this is his 30th at the Trump rally. Anderson.

COOPER: A couple of dead heads still out there on the trail. Gary, thanks very much.

Joining us now is Vicki McKenna host of a very popular Conservative Talk Radio program in Wisconsin, the Vicki McKenna Show. Vicki, good to have you on again.

You just heard in Gary's piece some of the Wisconsin Trump true believers feel, the Republican Party is trying to steal the nomination from him. I'm sure you hear that on your show, is that a viewpoint you -- what do you say to that?

VICKI MCKENNA, TALK RADIO HOST: Well, they are not -- no one is trying to steal anything from Donald Trump. It isn't the Republican Party's fault his delegate game leaves a lot to be desired. He didn't understand that there were different roles for different states and sort of came to him very recently. The delegate rules are the delegate rules.

And if Donald Trump doesn't know how to play the delegate rules and his supporters misunderstand that as shenanigans, there's nothing I can do about that. But there's no talking his supporters off his campaign. That is abundantly clear in Wisconsin and I'm sure in other states.

COPPER: Over the weekend, Sarah Palin, stumped for Trump in Wisconsin. Did her appearance help make his case there?

MCKENNA: Her appearance was scattered and bizarre. Her appearance didn't help him, certainly. The question is did her appearance hurt him? It was singularly the worst political speech I've heard and that's not the Sarah Palin that most Wisconsin people remember from the 2011 tea party rallies that she helped us sweep in our state. So I don't know if she hurt him. She certainly did him no favors in Milwaukee on Friday night.

COOPER: Trump's confident that he's going to win Wisconsin. But as you pointed out, he hasn't had the same strong presence in the state that Cruz has. I mean is he underestimating what it's going to take to win a vote there?

MCKENNA: Donald Trump doesn't know what it takes to win Wisconsin. He's spent no time trying to learn about Wisconsin.

Listen, its first of all, you have to be organized in Wisconsin. You actually have to know the lay of the land in Wisconsin. Donald Trump is unfamiliar with the six years of political warfare we've been engaged in. He's entirely unfamiliar with the reforms that were passed by a conservative legislature and Governor Scott Walker. He's entirely unfamiliar with the fact that way back in 2007 we started kicking those establishment, whatever that's means now.

But those sort of have been trenched big government Republicans to the curve. We are way ahead of the curve on trying to right the shift that is, you know, the Republican Party, at least in terms of conservative principles. When Donald Trump comes in here and -- go ahead.

COOPER: How important is the Walker support for Cruz?

MCKENNNA: Huge. It's huge. This is Walker country in Wisconsin. Governor Walker is an enormously popular governor. He enjoys substantial support from every wing of the Republican Party from the most conservative and libertarian leaning to some of the more moderate Republicans.

Governor Walker didn't win by doing it alone. He didn't win by walking down the center of the aisle. He won by creating coalitions based around conservative principles, and limited government, tax reform freedom. That's how he pulled together enough people to turn a blue state red back in 2010. It's how he managed to get his reforms through in 2011. It's how he survived a recall in 2012 and why he was re-elected governor in 2014.

COPPER: And he's talking right now there in support of Ted Cruz. Vicki McKenna, always good to have you on, thank you. Just to head -- we are looking heads for tomorrow and the then New York, the latest in the Democratic campaign trail.


[20:52:32] COOPER: Quick reminder, we're proud to announce the upcoming CNN Democratic Debate sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee a week from Thursday. This is a look at all the candidates out on the trail today, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump campaigning right now in Wisconsin. They'll hear it from Senator Bernie Sanders' in a moment but first more in his duel with Hillary Clinton, again, Brianna Keilar.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in the Badger State, Bernie Sanders is looking to narrow Hillary Clinton's delegate lead.

BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to get Hillary Clinton more nervous than she already is. She's already under a lot of pressure. So don't tell her this, but I think we win here, we win in New York State, we're on our way to the White House.

KEILAR: He's counting on college students and union workers to give his campaign a boost in Tuesday's primary.

SANDERS: I am not a candidate who goes to the unions and goes to work and then leaves and goes to a fund-raiser with Wall Street. You are my family.

KEILAR: As Clinton tries to defend herself.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When trade is done right, it helps put thousands of Wisconsin companies in a better position to export billions of dollars.

KEILAR: It's a sensitive topic for Clinton because of her support of NAFTA in the '90s and the trade PAC with Asian and Pacific countries that she supported as secretary of state, an accord she now opposes. The latest polls show the raise of dead heat, perhaps why Clinton added a last-minute swing through Wisconsin. But her campaign is downplaying expectations.

KAREN FINNEY, "HILLARY FOR AMERICA" SENIOR SPOKESPERSON: And we always knew it was going to be tight. I think Wisconsin to some degree favors Senator Sanders but, look, it's going to be close.

KEILAR: Clinton spent today campaigning in her adopted home state of New York, attending an event touting New York's move to raise desist minimum wage ahead of the April 19 primary with 247 delegates at stake.

CLINTON: This is what makes America great.

KEILAR: Taking a shot at GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

CLINTON: Donald Trump has said that wages are too high. He's fired, that's funny.

KEILAR: This as a debate over debates is raging in the Democratic primary, both campaigns agreeing to one, but not a date. The Clinton campaign offered today Sanders has a rally planned near New York University, five days before the primary.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: He's proposed Sunday evening, April 17th, are you in?

CLINTON: I'm not negotiating, Chuck, that's not, you know, we've proposed Thursday the 14th, which gives people more time to digest what happens in the debate. Is he in?

[20:55:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton said this morning she's up for debating on Thursday, April 14th, are you in?

SANDERS: I'm not quite sure how that works on our schedule. I think we can work out a date that works for her schedule, that's works for my schedule.


COOPERN: And then they have, Brianna Keilar reporting again three rallies going on at this moment. Let's listen to Senator Sanders Milwaukee.


SANDERS: This campaign is listening to the African-American community. What they are telling me is how does it happened that we have trillions of dollars to spend on a war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into but somehow we don't have the funds to rebuild inner cities in America, including Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


COOPER: Senator Sanders speaking in Milwaukee tonight, a fascinating night tomorrow night at Politics.

We'll be right back with more news ahead.


[21:00:04] COOPER: That does it for us. Thanks for watching we'll see you again at 11:00 P.M. Eastern for another edition of 360.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.