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Trump Blasts Cruz In Wake Of Wisconsin Loss; GOP Moves Towards Contested Convention; Tensions Rise Ahead Of CNN Dem Debate; Trump Optimistic On New York; Sanders' Win Barely Dents Clinton's Delegate Lead; Tensions Rise Ahead Of CNN Dem Debate, NY Vote; Open Letter To Donald Trump; Sanders Slammed For NY Daily News Interview; Can Kasich Stay In Race Until Convention? Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 6, 2016 - 21:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: ... now just more than a week away.

[21:00:03] We'll be following it all as in unfold tonight and beyond. We're back at 11:00 Eastern. Right now, CNN Tonight, with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT ANCHOR: Donald Trump doubling down tonight in the wake of his Wisconsin loss to Ted Cruz. But can anything save the GOP convention payoffs?


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is lyin' Ted. You know, I came up with the idea, but you have to spell it right. Is L-Y-I-N apostrophe, lyin' Ted the bible held high, he puts it down and then he lies.

TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, Donald can always be counted on to take the high road and to demonstrate class.

If he wants to engage in insults, he's welcome to do so. He gets very angry when the voters reject him.


LEMON: You can't make this stuff up.

This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon.

The Republicans scrambling to avoid what looks to be inevitable, a contested convention.

Meanwhile, the Democrats not exactly singing Kumbaya tension between building between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ahead of our CNN debate next week and New York's primaries on April 19th.


BERNIER SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we stand together and fight for a progressive agenda, we can, in fact, change that. Change can happen when we stand together.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some of his ideas just won't work because the numbers don't add up.

Others won't even pass Congress or they rely on Republican governors, suddenly having a conversion experience and becoming progressives. Well, in a number of important areas, he doesn't have a plan at all.


LEMON: Have a lot of events to tell you about tonight. Donald Trump just finished speaking to a cheering crowd on Long Islands. Now, the candidate optimistic, despite his crucial loss in Wisconsin and looking ahead to what he predicts will be a victory in New York in just two weeks.


TRUMP: And, you know, a poll came out today that's through the roof, my standing in New York. You know what makes me happiest? When the people that know me best, and, boy, do you know me well?

But when the people that know me the best think so much that they have poll numbers that nobody can believe. So, we're going to do great. And I have to say, in two weeks, meaning two weeks from yesterday, go vote because we have momentum, we have a movement. And we're going to turn this country around so fast, so fast. So, you have to get out and vote.


LEMON: Several protesters were taken out of the hall during Trump's speech tonight. So, there's a lot going on as you can see. And who better to talk about the battle for delegates on both sides than Dan Pfeiffer, the Former Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama. Welcome sir. And Ari Fleisher, a Press Secretary to President George W. Bush. Welcome to you, it's good to have both of you. Hope you're having a good evening.

Ari, you first. The contest moves to New York and Donald Trump maintains a big lead here with Ted Cruz coming in third behind Trump and Kasich.

But do you have any doubt at this point that we're going to end up with a contested convention?

ARI FLEISCHER, PRESS SECRETARY TOP PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think it looks increasingly likely that it's contested convention just by the virtue of math.

But I would say that I try to resist the temptation to draw a conclusion after every primary, let it play out, let the voters in each state be the ones to decide what happens and what comes next.

Stop swinging from it's over to it's in the middle to it's just beginning. Trump's going to win, Cruz is going to win. Let the voters in each state decide. And that's exactly how a proper primary process should play out.

LEMON: Let's continue on our talk a little bit more. Given the reports today of some infighting in the Trump campaign already and a potential shakeup there with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, if neither candidate reaches this magic number of 1,237, who's in the best position here?

FLEISCHER: Well, neither candidate wins I think, Ted Trump will probably be - Ted Trump, Ted Cruz will probably be in the best position, because what's happened to Donald Trump is he's failed to coalesce the majority of Republicans, which is highly unusual.

At the stage in the primary, the front-runner, typically, is getting 50 to 60 to 70 percent of the votes and the delegates, because they've consolidated the party behind them. Trump has done just the opposite. He's only won 38.1 percent of the vote and 46.7 percent of the delegates.

So, he's below a majority threshold this deep into the primary season. That's his problem. There's a wall of resistance to Trump. He's got 35 to 40 percent highly energized, but he's having a very difficult time closing with that final 10 percent gap to get to a majority. And that's Donald Trump's problem.

LEMON: OK. Let's talk about the Democrats now, Dan. A big win for Bernie Sanders. He's now won seven of the last eight races.

But, he's still, you know, it's an uphill battle for him. No doubt that he has a momentum no -- he has a momentum now. Do you see any scenario where he catches up with Hillary Clinton? I mean, maybe a contested convention for the Democrats? And do you see that in any way?

[21:05:06] DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. Look, I think Bernie Sanders has had a good run here. I don't think it's a necessarily momentum. A series of states in which his voters make up the most prominent share have coming a row just like there's a period earlier in the race where these more diverse, larger southern states that Hillary Clinton does well and came in a row.

And so, the math is, there is, I thought not impossible, but it is very close to impossible for him to make up the nearly two-thirds of delegates that he's going to need to make in the given the Democrat as proportional system.

So, I think there's going to be a few more battles here. I think New York will be fairly decisive. When we look into remaining states, it seems virtually impossible for Bernie Sanders to make up this gap before the convention.

LEMON: Dan, I want to you to here something. I'm going to play something for you. This is Hillary Clinton, the Secretary speaking with my colleague, Chris Cuomo this morning.

And he asked her about a warning given by the Sanders campaign. Here it is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CO-HOST, NEW DAY: You may have heard that Senator Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver said something very interesting inflammatory on our air here saying that, "You know, the Clinton campaign, Secretary Clinton, they need to be careful not to destroy the Democratic Party, merely in pursuit of her own ambition to be president."

Very strong words, your response to that idea.

CLINTON: Well, I mean, it's just ludicrous on the face of it, you know. I have been campaigning for Democrats, fund-raising for Democrats, recruiting Democrats to run and win for a really long time.

I think about 40 years and Senator Sanders by his own admission has never even been a Democrat.


LEMON: Wow. So, they were very cordial, you know, not so long ago. Dan, have these two candidates lost patience with each other?

PFEIFFER: Well, yeah. Look, they've been running against each other for a very long time.

I think, for, again, the Sanders campaign they're frustrated that they have not, that they are not winning and they can sort of see the math where this goes. And I remember being the exact same position in 2008 versus Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton is now in against Bernie Sanders, as you have, you know you've basically won.

Your opponent refuses to get out of the race. It's continuing to put pressure on you. And, ultimately, Hillary Clinton is looking down the road and Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and wants to begin focusing or preparing for the general. She's still has to compete with Bernie Sanders.

So, it's clear that, you know, people are tired, they're stressed, they're getting irritated with each other. This happens in the campaigns.

The question will be, how are they able to put it back together at the end of the race, and can Bernie Sanders endorse Hillary Clinton? You can -- is she able to make a solid entreaty to his supporters to bring him on work because that will be necessary for winning in November.

LEMON: Yeah. And we'll talk about that a little bit later on at the broadcast.

But, Ari, I want to talk to you, I thought this was very interesting. This open letter that you penned to Donald Trump, you have five things you say that he should do.

You said, "Stop fighting with everyone and don't be so nasty. Get your facts right. Number three is learn more policy. Four, make policy announcements and five, stop citing polls." It sounds like you're telling him not to be Donald Trump.

FLEISCHER: Well, in part to not be Donald Trump, I do think that any candidate has to learn and adjust as they go along if they're going to win.

He's done the work of getting that 35 to 40 percent, but he's going to get over 50 percent, he has to stop pushing those voters away. His tweets and some of his approaches on issues, particularly threatening violence against people who protest. Things like that or pushing voters away from him. So, yes, my advice to him is to stop doing some of those things if he wants to win.

And at the end of the day, Don, I want whoever the Republican is to be in a position to win in November. And that would apply to Ted Cruz or Donald Trump or whoever it might be. I think it's going to be one of those two.

But, that's why I wrote the open letter to Donald Trump. I don't think he's going to be able to put together a coalition that's a majority. If he can't win a majority of Republicans, what makes him think he can win a majority of Americans?

LEMON: I was going to ask you if you think it's too late for him. So, specially, given some of the miss steps that you, you know, you said, you know, stop fighting with everyone and so on, you know. There's the re-twitting of things and those.


LEMON: Is it too late?

FLEISCHER: Well, we'll see. It's up to Donald Trump. It's not too late because this still is a contested race. Somebody's got to win it and no one's winning it yet.

LEMON: All right.

FLEISCHER: So, it's not too late for him. But, you know, some of the things like your policy speeches, he absolutely can do.

How much he needs to tone it down, that's up to him. He can still be provocative. I would never tell him to change his personality, but it's a hand on a dial. Does he need to be at 10 all the time working occasionally go down to seven and eight.

LEMON: All right. And, maybe he'll take your advice. So, Dan, Bernie Sanders is getting slammed over his interview with "The New York Daily News".

Not having concrete answers over key parts of his stump speech. He also told "The Daily News" that he doesn't think Sandy Hook victims should be allowed to sue gun manufacturers. Those victims now want an apology. Here's what he told CBS news tonight. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: What happened at Sandy Hook is a tragedy beyond comprehension. But maybe Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the families who lost their loved ones in Iraq or Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the millions of workers in this country who lost their jobs because of the disastrous trade agreements that she supported.


[21:10:13] LEMON: Dan, does this hurt him?

PFEIFFER: Yes, I don't think it's going to be decisive, but, you know, by all accounts, that interview with "The Daily News" was sort of a disaster.

He didn't have basic answers to -- not complex arcane policy questions, but the very fundamental things he talks about on the trail everyday, which is somewhat the difference between a message candidate, which is how Bernie Sanders started this race and somebody who's actually trying to be president.

I think, with Democratic voters, his position on liability protections for gun manufacturers is very problematic. And the Clinton campaign has taken advantage to that and exploited that opening throughout the race. And I was confused by this, because at one point, he had gone back and changed his position, but then he reversed it again in this interview.

So, I mean, there was very curious how that whole thing went down. And I think, well, ultimately, I've done interviews don't decide a whole heck of a lot, but it was absolutely a missed opportunity for the candidate. And he's been forced to answer questions about it for a few days now, so that you never want to do that heading into some important elections.

LEMON: Ari, as you can see, I mean, he's trying to deflect criticism here. But, do you think he made it worse? If I were a parent of the Sandy Hook child and the presidential candidate compared the loss of my child to the loss of a job, you know. It might be kind of upset by that Ari?

FLEISCHER: Well, I think you heard a Sandy Hook parent and this is your issue, you'll never going to vote for him.

But, I think there a lot of Democrats who do questions Secretary Clinton's sincerity and consistency because of her stands on Iraq and her blonde (ph), before the Iraq war, but then against the Iraq surge, they think she does things for political purposes.

So, on politics, you know, you exchange fire, so to speak. She says one thing about him. He changes the subject and say something else about her. I think that's Bernie Sanders' only defense of that inside of Democratic primary.

LEMON: Ari Fleisher, Dan Pfeiffer, thank you gentlemen, appreciate it. I'll see you soon. PFEIFFER: Thank you Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will go head-to-head in CNN's Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, that's next Thursday night beginning at 9:00 eastern.

And when we come right back on this broadcast, those rumors of a shakeup in the Trump campaign is the man who ran "The Apprentice" about to tell somebody, "You're fired".

And is it too little, too late?


[21:15:49] LEMON: Well, Ted Cruz's big victory over Donald Trump in Wisconsin. There is now a greater chance, a greater chance than ever that the GOP is headed towards a contested convention.

Joining me now, CNN Political Commentator, Kayleigh McEnany who is supporting Trump, Buck Sexton, CNN Political Commentator who is supporting Cruz and Katie Packer, Former Deputy Campaign Manager of Mitt Romney.

Good evening to all of you. So, Kayleigh, last night, a huge blow to Donald Trump, it was a big win for Ted Cruz. And as Ted Cruz said, you know, it's a turning point in this race. Do you believe that? Is it a turning point?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. Because if you go on RealClearPolitics, look at the polls, winning up to Wisconsin of the 12 polls that came out in Wisconsin since January, you see that Ted Cruz was leading in eight of them.

So, this was never going to be Trump's state. It was never demographically, I would argue, was his state. Nate Cohen of the "New York Times" made that argument.

It's a great night for Cruz. No doubt about it, but I don't think it is detrimental to Trump going forward.

LEMON: I want to talk about these statements he put out, Buck, because he was handed a big loss last night, but he did not, you know, do a concession speech, but he didn't do anything usually candidates do that.

Hillary Clinton didn't do it either. And we'll talk about that later, but here's a statement he put out.

He said that, "Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again, Lyin' Ted, insisting L-Y-I-N, you know, apostrophe. Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC's spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating with his own Super PAC's (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet. He is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump."

So, that was a very cordial mechanic.


LEMON: Statement he is, you know, he's being a big person. I mean, what do you think, should he have come out and spoken even though he lost and should he just congratulated his opponents?

SEXTON: I don't know if he needs to speak, but I know that he needs to not do this. I know that coming out and accusing the campaign of illegally coordinate with PAC's.

Look, that's just something I guess that he's going to say, continue to say. The whole motion of stolen delegates or stolen elections, this is very prominent a lot of the Trump campaigns, rhetoric.

And I think it's because they realize that this is going to a contested convention and that's not going to be favorable ground for a whole bunch of reasons for Donald Trump. It will be more so I think for Ted Cruz.

So, they want to get everyone all worked up over this stolen thing, but this is like a kid that loses in a board game, flips it over and runs and cries to mom, I mean this is insane.

And even like Trump supporters, my secret Trump supporter friends were like, "This was not good. They need to take away his ...

MCENANY: So, right.

SEXTON: They need to take away his Twitter right after he loses something like this and they need to make sure that there's no crazy statements.

LEMON: Kayleigh, hold it in, but I want to hear from Kayleigh on this one.

MCENANY: I will give you that. It's like, if you're pitching poorly in a game, you don't blame the umpire. It's always better just to say, hey, it wasn't a good night, let's move forward than rather than getting into, "Oh, there was cheating involved."

SEXTON: Is like Trump and Cruz people coming together.

LEMON: All right it does. So, Katie, listen, with all the recent stumbles and the, you know, the Trump campaign this, they have come, they have rumors now the campaign staff shakeups.

Today, Trump met with GOP Strategist, Paul Manafort, right? Does this say anything about the future role of his Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski? Are these shakeups, is that, you know, going to be standard right now? KATIE PACKER, FORMER ROMNEY DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, it ain't good. They don't bring somebody in when everything is going great. And, you know, Corey Lewandowski has had a really bad couple of weeks. He battered a woman, he's under criminal investigation for it.

LEMON: Allegedly.

PACKER: The Trump campaign, -- no, there's a video. So, I think that's Ted's a pretty good charge.


PACKER: And, you know, he's been having to defend Corey Lewandowski. As a campaign operative, you'd like to not be the story, generally speaking. But Cory has decided to play this role of cheap thug on the Trump campaign.

And I think that, you know, people that are serious over there are maybe saying, you know, enough is enough.

This guy clearly isn't up to the task, he hasn't even thought about the convention process. They're just now bringing somebody in that's supposed to be an expert on this stuff, although he hasn't done a convention in 40 years.

So, I'm not really sure, you know, what kind of magic they're planning to pull out of their hat. But there's clearly trouble in river city and the Trump campaign is in disarray.

LEMON: Do you know anything, Kayleigh? Have you spoken to anyone? Any inside information about shake-ups?

[21:20:01] MCENANY: I don't know anything about the internal shakeups, but I do know Paul Manafort as an outstanding record, he was with Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H., George W. That's a pretty good record, if you ask me.

PACKER: Not so sure about that.

MCENANY: So, I think he is going to shake this up and change things around and make this more delegates spoke, because I don't think that should be the focus, I think the will of the people should not a little bit more than, you know, 2,400 delegates but hey, who am I to say that.

LEMON: So a quote in "The Washington Post" Kayleigh, this is Trumps campaign spokesman Hope Hick, here's what she said, "In real estate he builds a building. It doesn't matter who the marble vendor is or who the carpet vendor is or who is providing the furniture or who is the designer. His name is on the building, and it's his product. He sort of approached the campaign very similarly. My name is on this and nobody else really matters".

So I mean, given the stumbles of the last couple of weeks, yeah do you think there needs to be more guidance? He needs some more guidance, and more importantly, would he even take more guidance? MCENANY: No I think that Hope is largely right that part of the reason he has succeeded so far is because he is the one saying this is my brand. I'm going to focus on these things, I'm going to be authentic. I'm not going to poll test every word coming out of my mouth. That is what people like about Donald Trump.

So I think the philosophy and let Trump be Trump is largely right. But, yes, you need to not re-tweet certain things, you know, you need to have some guidance there, focusing on the delegates, so these are minor tweets that I think it needs to happen.

LEMON: But anyone in any professional position, in any position, you have to grow ...

MCENANY: Absolutely.

LEMON: ... unless you want to be in the same that position that you are forever. You must grow. And I think the campaign, do is this growing pains or just simply Donald Trump cannot get to the next, level because that's what who he is?

SEXTON: Well, I think up to this point you could offer that he really hasn't had to grow a whole lot because he's been winning so consistently. Now after the week that he had last week which it was a bad week, even people who have been stalwart Trump defenders have agreed on that. Given the loss in Wisconsin and the mathematical reality which is looking like neither Trump nor Cruz can win, everyone said that we all have know what it's look like, this is going to a convention or something crazy happens, given all of that, now things like campaign discipline, messaging, and ground game, that all really matters. That's the stuff that Trump hasn't really had to have, had to show in the past. He has just been the media guy with the message. Now all that is going to make that to the big difference.

LEMON: Katie, what' your take? Is he even capable of, you think of the becoming something else or evolving, as they say?

PACKER: No, I think he's totally incapable of being something else. That he's sort of a one act guy. And we saw last week the first time in a long time he said to speak to an issue. He spoke about abortion and he took five positions in 48 hours.

This is a guy that is not thoughtful about public policy. He shoots from the hip. And this is going to go to Cleveland. And I think when we get to Cleveland, those delegates, they're not random people. They are people elected by Republicans across the country.

MCENANY: Not all of them.

PACKER: And I think that they're going to make a determination. Of course they are. They're going to make a determination that they want a candidate that behaves with dignity, stands for the conservative principled values that they care about and can beat Hillary in November.

(CROSSTALK) MCENANY: But Katie, you know.

SEXTON: If Donald Trump so, if they will be Trump or Cruz at that convention and you know ...

MCENANY: And Katie, you know as well as I know that each state is in control of how delegates are allocated and appointed. Not all of them are elected, several of them are elected by party leaders, several of them are appointed of party leaders.

PACKER: Kayleigh, I think I know a lot more about the convention process than you do.

MCENANY: The problem is the will of the people last night in Wisconsin, for instance, despite voting on Ted Cruz, 51 percent of people in Wisconsin said the person with the most delegates should get the nomination. Even in Wisconsin, a state that voted for Ted Cruz. So I urge everyone listen to the voters.

PACKER: I'm also fine the-- that's all fine it Kayleigh. There's virtually no mechanism to hand it to somebody that doesn't have 1,237 delegates.

MCENANY: There is a mechanism ...

PACKER: Follow the rule.

MCENANY: There is a mechanism, its call destiny for the voters, Katie.


PACKER: Those are the rules of the convention floor. I've been through before Kayleigh and there's no mechanism to hand it to somebody that has not achieved 1,237 delegates. If Donald Trump doesn't get there then he's not going to be the nominee.


PACKER: That's the case for any of the candidates.

LEMON: Stand by everyone, well your going to be right back after the break.

When we come right back, John Kasich resisting calls to drop out. But with only one win under his belt, can he stay in the race until the convention? The battle for the delegates.

We'll continue our conversation. That's next.


[21:27:55] LEMON: Donald Trump leads his opponents in the GOP delegate count. But Ted Cruz narrowed the gap a little bit with his victory in Wisconsin. I want to talk about the battle for delegates with Kayleigh McEnany, Buck Sexton, and Katie Packer. We we're talking a little about that before the break. So Kayleigh, I want to play this for you. It's a conversation between Trump ally Roger Stone and Right-Wing host Alex Jones.


ROGER STONE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: We will have demonstrations at specific hotels where there are delegates so we can let them visually see the will of the people. We will have a daily protest. We will man the ramparts everyday ...

ALEX JONES, "RIGHT WING" HOST: And hey, it's a free country. If we staying in the hotel, we can go knock on their hotel room door, like you said right?

STONE: Well, and I have friends in every delegations. So I will be able to tell you which state delegations are involved in the big steal, which party leaders are ringleaders in the big steal. We do not advocate violence, we're not talking about roughing anybody up.

JONES: We're just talking to people.

STONE: What we are talking about is being a presence to let people feel the pressure of the American people and those who have bothered to vote in these primaries and caucuses.

JONES: Yeah, we're the victims that they're openly robbing as we speak.


LEMON: That's sounds slightly ominous. I mean, is that the way you want the delegates counted?

MCENANY: Look, I mean, he said he doesn't want violence. No one wants violence. There's no place for that, he said that explicitly. I think he is just trying to say, I want this to be transparent. And I think that's fair. That's be -- and at least show that to the people when you have the most of the American people going to vote for Donald Trump. We at least owe them transparency.

LEMON: But what's about what Katie said, the rules are the rules. And like these rules have been in place for a while now. This is just how it's done.

MCENANY: Sure but can we step back and question the rules? Because you have a majority of Republican voters ...

LEMON: I think that's fair.

MCENANY: ... in the Monmouth poll saying they don't like the rules. They are the one's, we should be determining the rules. Is the American before ...

LEMON: But do you change it in the middle of a presidential race or do you change it when there's not a presidential race going on. MCENANY: You talk about it. You talk about it. You don't just say the rules are the rules.

SEXTON: Some of these rules actually can be changed very close to the actual convention. And I will just point out that with Alex Jones aside who is really a conspiracy theorist. I think putting him on the right is this is rough for those of us who are conservatives.

[21:30:07] But nonetheless that the rules that are in place where going to be that either Trump or Cruz, will be the nominee, I think because apart from the rules and if this whatever is getting towards now, that if you don't give one of the those candidate, the GOP nomination, there will be a nuclear meltdown within the entire

conservative movement, with the entire right wing. Everyone is going to completely freak out. So all this talk that you are hearing about how it could be Paul Ryan or people that are saying that that was white knight that they're going to bring in to save everyone. That's the worst possible idea. That's the worst imaginable. There's no way you pull together a party to unite behind a candidate if they just hand it to somebody, hail Cesar style.

LEMON: Katie, what do you think?

PACKER: Well, you know, it's growing tiresome to have Trump supporters come on the air and try to explain away the incendiary threatening things that Trump staff and the Trump team are out there saying.

Roger Stone is basically threatening people. There is a process in place. You have to have 1,237 delegates. And I've said before, there's no Republican illuminati that can take the nomination from somebody who hand it ...

LEMON: And Ales, don't worry.

PACKER: ... to somebody. You have to get the delegates. You have to earn the delegates.

Donald Trump so far hasn't even gotten 50 percent of the delegates. At this point in time, Mitt Romney with attracting 70 percent of Republican support in 2012. Donald Trump has completely flat lined. And so to suggest that, you know, the will of the people is for Donald Trump, the majority of Republicans aren't even backing this guy.

So I think with the process it needs to take place. It will occur at the convention. It will be a fair process. Nobody is stealing anything. But there will be a fair process, and I expect that Donald Trump will not get 1,237 delegates from the first ballot and that he'll do worse after that.

SEXTON: We're not talking about Cruz at all which I find kind of strange. Because of there's this focus in the conversation so far about only ...

LEMON: Well, because inside the party there's been this movement to, you know, the "Stop Trump" movement, I mean that's why. SEXTON: No, no, you know, I totally understand that but I just feel like.

LEMON: Still like, you know, "Stop Cruz" movement inside of the Republican.

SEXTON: There that has been -- well there are a lot of people who don't like Cruz ...

LEMON: Yeah that for sure

SEXTON: ... be cowardly (ph). And Trump supporters are saying they're not go in Hillary. And Cruz and Trump are viable candidates right now for the Republican nomination. So I just feel like that the focus on rules or all the talk, this is really what's I was trying to get to Don, all the talk about how this is going to turn into something where John Kasich or someone like that is all of a sudden going to be the nominee.

I just don't think with that's counterproductive because no one can make, no one can make an argument that after all the votes cast and all the rules and they're going to got an attribute here.


LEMON: Or Marco Rubio, because Marco Rubio has 173 delegates, and Kasich has 145. Technically Marco Rubio has a better chance of being president than John Kasich, at this point if you look at the delegates, so right.

MCENANY: That's a fair point and that's probably not going to change. You know, John Kasich, I love him, I really like his optimism but I don't see a path forward. You know, he was supposes to do exceedingly well in Wisconsin last night. He didn't, he came in third.

Pennsylvania I, mean maybe he has a shot there with New York, he's far, far behind but he's with in second place, I don't see a shot.

LEMON: All right, thank you, I appreciate, thank you Katie. Thank you Buck, thank you Kayleigh.

PACKER: Thanks.

MCENANY: Thank you.

LEMON: Coming up, Bernie Sanders takes a big shot in Hillary Clinton tonight in front of a big cheering crowd in Philadelphia.


[21:36:04] LEMON: Breaking news out of the Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia rally tonight. Sanders telling a cheering crowd that he doesn't believe Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president.

Joining me now CNN Senior Political Correspondent Brianna Keilar. Brianna, I want you to listen to the comments of Bernie Sanders just made about Hillary Clinton.


SANDERS: Secretary Clinton appears to be getting a little bit nervous.

We have won seven out of eight of the recent primaries and caucuses. And she has been saying lately that she thinks that I am "not qualified to be president". Well, let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don't believe that she is qualified if she is.


LEMON: Brianna Keilar, I know it's loud where you are. Why does he say that she's not qualified?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he had a whole laundry list of reasons on among them, he said, she's not qualified because her Super PAC. If she's taking money through her Super PAC, $10 million for special interests.

He also said, and you know, if she has voters for a number of these trade agreements. But you have to put this in context. This has been -- he had this ...


KEILAR: ... with interview with the "New York Daily News" editorial board where he stumbled over a series of topics, and Hillary Clinton really has made hay of that as her campaign did basically trying to charge that Bernie Sanders is not qualified to be president. So he came out to this crowd very supportive, 10,000 people were thousands more overflow. And he said, you know, there have been charges that I am not qualified. Well I don't believe you're qualified to be president if this and this and that.

So that's the list of things that I just spelled out for you.

LEMON: Brianna Keilar in Philadelphia in a loud Bernie Sanders rally. So Brianna, thank you very much.

I want to bring in now Ben Jealous, a Bernie Sanders surrogate and former president of the NAACP Oregon, also CNN senior political commentator, Bob Beckel, Bob Beckel and Maria Cardona, a superdelegate committed to Hillary Clinton.

I have to ask you, Ben, first of all, what do you make of Sanders' comments about Hillary Clinton not being qualified to be president?

BEN JEALOUS, BERNIE SANDERS SURROGATE: Look, I think what we're seeing is that we are getting into there, you know a place where the race has really tightened up. We've won seven out of eight races. In a couple of days will be eight out of nine races.

The Clinton campaign said last night that they were going to attack Sanders, so that they would go after, you know, my friend trying to discredit and disqualify and that's exactly what they are doing. They've chosen to go heavily negative. Bernie is from Brooklyn, and he will frankly defend himself.

[21:40:10] LEMON: What do you make of it? What do it make of that Bob? Do you think he had been saying, Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president?

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's a bit of a reach, but, you know, I talked to Tad Devine today for some time, Sanders Chief Strategist who used to work for me, which is why he's so good. But he in the course of this and sort of pieced together a strategy. The four states that really matter to them.

New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and California. If they can win two of those or maybe three, they go to the convention, and here's the issue. Superdelegates. They can't get there by pledge delegates. So they get there and say she's not electable. How not electable she is? She is not and I think ...

LEMON: Yeah. As you find your microphone, I'm going to turn to Maria Cardona. And, Maria, I mean at first they were very cordial. But I mean, you know, they're going back and forth with each other now. She had an interview with our Chris Cuomo this morning basically again saying that, you know, Bernie Sanders is, you know, she's saying basically he's not qualified and now she's well, you know, what let's listen to the Chris Cuomo interview and then we'll talk.


CLINTON: In the interview, it seemed unclear as to whether he understood how Dodd-Frank worked. How we would go about breaking up banks that were posing risks to our economy. So I was, I think, a little bit, you know surprised that there didn't seem to be a lot of substance to what he was saying.


LEMON: She was talking she was referencing the "New York Daily News" interview that many are calling disastrous and was asked, how do you plan to go about breaking up the banks and he didn't seem to have a consistent or concrete answer.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Look, I mean certainly, they are going into the New York Primary, which is going to be very rough and tumble. We all knew from the very beginning.

But I think he has gone beyond the pail tonight by saying he doesn't think she's qualified to be president. She has never said that she think he is not qualified to be president. What she has been saying and will continue to say all along is to contrast her experience, her knowledge, what she has done for the past 30 years and say that she believes she is more qualified to be president. And it is a very different contrast when you say that.

LEMON: I don't know about that. I mean maybe she's not saying it so directly, but it sounds like she's saying it in the next sound bite we have. Listen to this.


LEMON: Is that what -- OK where she talks about him and being in Congress and really not having consistent answers. We don't have that.

So, I'll ask you -- Bernie, so Bernie Sanders is not some newcomer to government like Donald Trump he's been in Congress for 25 years. How can he lack detail on issues that have been the centerpiece of his campaign for months?

CARDONA: I think that's exactly right that is

LEMON: That was for Ben, but go ahead.

CARDONA: Oh, yes, sorry.

JEALOUS: Oh. Yes sorry Don. Yes, actually I think you said Bernie instead of Ben, it's like a little confused. Right. You know look, you know, that was a confusing conversation with the daily news. They have zeroing in on the Fed when they should have been talking about Congress.

You know, if folks want to, you know, if folks are curious there's a great article in the "New York Times." I said Bernie does precisely what he's going to do. There is one on Huff Post that says the same thing you can go to his speech on Wall Street.

Now he's very clear about the actions that need to be taken in Congress frankly to go ahead and essentially restore Glass/Steagall and wants to update at some. But restore Glass/Steagall which ever since FDR put it in place had protected us from a second grade depression.

Then, President Clinton, of course, you know, got rid of it. Watered it down and here came the great recession. And, so, you know, the bottom line is that he's the only one with a plan to do it. Hillary Clinton has no plan to do it. And, of course, she won't release her speeches to Wall Street and the bankers who were there so that she would, that she promised them she'd be as good as a managing director at Goldman Sachs.

LEMON: But Bob, if -- he's said it in these other interviews as Ben said as Bernie Sanders, if he is clear in the "Huffington Post", he's clear in the "New York Times," then why isn't he clear in the "New York Daily News"?

BECKEL: Well, that's a good question. Again this is a time in a campaign when applause lines at gatherings like Philadelphia. The press starts to ask specifics and you better be prepared for. But then let me finish out what Devine was talking about.

If they can win two out of four of those big states and they go on to the convention unlike they know they'll not going to have a majority delegates, but superdelegates are clearly their target. And here is the reason why.

Superdelegates are not bound. They make pledge themselves to somebody but that doesn't mean anything. They switch all the time. I've had them switch in the numbers of 50 or 100 at a convention.

But they think that they are going to make the argument she can't win. She's a liability. The IRS I mean the FBI investigation could be a problem. And that they should switch. And, you know, they also don't have to vote on the first ballot. They can abstain. Put you but low the number you need to get a majority.

[21:45:10] LEMON: When you said IRS I thought you were going to break some other news on this. So Maria ...


LEMON: ... you're a superdelegate, despite all the criticism Sanders has that he has enthusiastic support and is on quite a roll now. So, why can't she put him away?

CARDONA: Well, because here's the issue. What I think is going on in the Democratic Party in terms of this back and forth between Hillary and Bernie, up until now has been very good for the party. It has helped mobilize Democrats out there. It has helped mobilize our supporters. It has made Hillary Clinton a much better candidate. It has made Bernie Sanders a much better candidate.

And from the beginning, Hillary Clinton knew this was not going to be a cakewalk. She knew this was not going to be a coronation. So the question about whether she hasn't or has or hasn't been able to put him away, let's look at the numbers. It is right now mathematically impossible, even if she loses every single state from here until the end of the calendar for Bernie Sanders to catch up to her on pledged delegates. And the problem with a theory about what they now want to do with superdelegates after they were talking about how undemocratic superdelegates were is that there has never been an instance where super delegates have overturned the will of the people.

Meaning superdelegates have never gone and flipped to give the candidate with the less number of pledge delegates at the convention.


CARDONA: Their support so that they could get over the threshold. And that's not going to happen this time around either.

LEMON: But to Maria's point, Ben because, you know, Bernie Sanders campaign has been talking about this. Its one thing to imply this race is undemocratic to Hillary Clinton were only winning because of these superdelegates. But she is beating Sanders in pledged delegates as well. So right now your campaign is simply behind. Is that not the case?

JEALOUS: Look, we are behind. We're also catching up. We've won eight of the last nine. And frankly most of those by landslides. It's not impossible. It's a steep climb. It is not impossible. And, you know, what's -- you know, quite real is that, you know, we are going up against a candidate who has the highest negatives of any front-runner we've ever seen in the Democratic Party. Who -- performs the worst in head-to-head against any of the likely Republicans?

And that's a real issue. So we need to be having a conversation about the voters in the states coming up. Really need to be thinking about not just who they think is going to win their state, you know, it tends to be us in the second half but quite frankly who is the best one to make sure that the Republicans do not get back in the White House and every poll says that that's Bernie Sanders.

LEMON: All right, stay with me, everyone. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders claim a home court advantage in New York. But will that help either of them on our CNN Debate next Thursday in Brooklyn?

We'll talk about that.


[21:51:51] LEMON: U.S. Democratic primary with 247 delegates at stake is less than two weeks away but first Hillary and Bernie Sanders have to get through our CNN debate that next Thursday.

So, back with me now to discuss Ben Jealous, Bob Beckel and Maria Cardona. Bob, first question to you in this segment. It looks, let's look ahead now to the Brooklyn debate next Thursday night right here on CNN.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders kind of they claim that is there turf who has the advantage though?

BECKEL: Well, and she's got the advantage obviously because she was senator there and represented New York beyond that she's got Cuomo and she's got some former organization. And the northern part of that sate is -- very conservative and that won Democrats and I don't think they can be voting for Sanders having said that its going to be a close race which means the delegates are not going to be there's numbers going to take all on the delegates. Just two points that will make to my colleagues here.

Hillary Clinton did take it as it take go out frankly. They just discourage, I mean I listen to him talk about Bernie Sanders when they started, then I think its going to be problem. And then on becoming delegates for six elections, and ain't no way you going to get to majority of delegates by pledge delegates. But if you play it -- it play the way the violence to play I think you right given the state take it below -- take her below the number and then you have a second ballot then you guys shot. That's about human race.

LEMON: You want to respond to that, Ben?

JEALOUS: You know, look. We continue to do much better. Yeah. We got to half-time I think it was the last Super Tuesday. Since then we have won ...

LEMON: But, what are you saying? I mean you have to ... JEALOUS: It's about to be you have not ...

LEMON: If you will address directly ...

JEALOUS: Yeah, what wait ...

LEMON: ... he's saying its ...

JEALOUS: ... hold on for a second.

LEMON: ... mathematically impossible though in the only way is to ...

JEALOUS: Yeah, yeah.

LEMON: ... again on a second ballot. So the sort of like what's happening with the Republican.

CARDONA: That's not going to happen.

JEALOUS: Yeah. But just -- hold on for a second. All right, you know, why would that Clinton campaign be so nervous? Why would they be talking about trying discredit and disqualify us? Why would they be going obvious to get, you know, so -- aggressively if it's a cake walk from her on out?

And -- and quite frankly what we've heard is that we would have to win by an average of about 65, 66 percent. And the reason they're not using that talking point anymore ...

LEMON: But an average of 77 percent.

JEALOUS: ... 75 more than that.

LEMON: It would be 77 percent to win.

JEALOUS: So what I know is that from the very beginning they said that we had no chance, we continued to defy the odds. Our activists continue to defy the odds and quite frankly, you know, we are going up against a candidate who is deeply flawed and, you know, about whom there are many serious questions about whether she can, you know, can even win if she comes up against any of the likely Republicans and as a party we will have to deal with that.

LEMON: Hey, Ben, I want to ask you this as well because ...


LEMON: ... Bernie Sanders has not done well with people of color. And New York is a very diverse place as you all know. Doesn't he need to make some inroads here in New York and with -- and with diversity?

JEALOUS: I mean look. Yes so first of all, we won Hawaii. I don't know if you recall those headlines and we go and win in white statesman they figured out that Hawaii with 27 percent white and they slowed up a second and flipped them around pretty quickly. [21:55:03] So its not, you know, let's be clear. Where there's been a challenge has been in the black community. We've done well in the Latino, you know, with Latinos in many places.

We won the most ever state in the country. With that said, what we've seen is that we've gone from, you know, in the teens as far as black support around Super Tuesday up to about 30 across the Midwest. That trend line is still a pretty good trend line. The question as we get to the east coast is whether we can bring it up over 50 percent and obviously, you know, that's what folks like myself are working on day in and day out.

LEMON: Ben, and Maria hang on, Bob. I got to run so I'm going to give Maria the last word here. Do you ...

CARDONA: Thanks.

LEMON: ... do you believe that, Maria? Does Bernie Sanders have a chance of coming back and getting more delegates than Hillary Clinton?

CARDONA: No. I don't think that's true. Even, again, even if she loses the remaining contest because if she does, she's not going to lose them by the margins that Bernie Sanders need to win them by. And, so -- Bernie Sanders is also facing electorates that are not favorable to him.

New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, even are much more diverse and we have seen that he has not been able to crack that code. There are also a lot of them are closed primaries. Let's remember that. Only Democrats can vote.

And Hillary Clinton has consistently across the ward won Democrats. If you want to be the nominee of the Democratic Party, you should be able to win Democrats in your party.

LEMON: Thanks to all of you. That will be the last word. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will go head to head in CNN's Democratic Presidential Debate in Brooklyn that's next Thursday night beginning at 9:00 Eastern.

We will be right back.