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New York Primary Days Away; Reviewing Kasich and Family's CNN Town Hall. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 11, 2016 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Good evening. Breaking news tonight, you just saw our town hall with John Kasich and his family.

This is a special edition of CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

The New York primaries are just days away, and with 95 republican delegates up for grabs, the stakes are really high. So, did Governor Kasich change anyone's mind tonight as he answers questions from our voters. Did he? Or will he be a spoiler? Those are two important questions.

So, let's discuss now with my political dream team, here they are, first up, Mr. Michael Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia and a Hillary Clinton supporter. Also CNN political commentator, Kayleigh McEnany is with us, she's a Trump supporter as you know.

CNN's Mark Preston is here all around good guy. Also CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover and Bob Beckel and Kellyanne Conway, the president of Keep, the Keep One Promise, Keep Promise One, whew, that's a long name, super PAC supporting Ted Cruz, and then joining me also is Congressman Charlie Dent, a John Kasich supporter.

And you're going to have to really yell when you want to get in. Because I can guarantee you this is going to be a ruckus group. I am going to start with you, Margaret. How do you think John Kasich did tonight?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he did great. I mean, who didn't like this idea of seeing his family, and his daughters, and his very personable, and it was a really intimate look as who he is a man, as a father, as a husband, and that's what you want to see in all of these political candidates.

I think in other years that tends to be a little more important. You want to have a beer with the guy you're going to vote for. This year, not so much, this year, I mean, because of the anger, because of the economic situation, I think you have a little bit different sentiment in the electorate.

Nut it's an important element to be able to see in your -- and who is in the character of the candidate that you're voting for.

LEMON: Now I want to go to Charlie, how do you think your candidate did?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Oh, I think Governor Kasich came off very well tonight. I mean, he's a very regular guy. Wonderful family, and by the way, he speaks English with a Pittsburgh accent, I'll have you know.

He spent the first 18 years of his life in Pennsylvania. He's from McKees Rocks. I think his tone and his temperament has played well. I thought that it was just a wonderful representation of John Kasich, Ohio, and Ohio values. And he'll be a great president.

LEMON: I thought it was interesting to see him with his family. You get to see a different side, Mark Preston. It definitely softened him a bit, don't you think?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Yes. No doubt. I mean, we saw Governor Kasich in a light that we haven't necessarily seen him. You know, some of us here on panel do get to see these politicians when they let their guard down or certainly with their family and really unscripted moments, but tonight, when you have him sitting next to his wife sitting next to his daughters and they're talking about their boyfriends, the girls boyfriends and...


LEMON: That sort of to the driveway with a gun.

PRESTON: Right. And then the girls giving it back to him. Look, I think that's really important because we've gone through so many different levels of -- this is where he stands on this policy, this is where he stands on this policy, as we stand his policy. I think the voters want to see something else. They want to see the person inside.

LEMON: Kellyanne, what stood out to you tonight, any moment?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: look, voters ask themselves two questions about all of these candidates, do I like you? That's the classic living room test. I think the Kasich family passes that with flying colors.

The second question is, are you like me? They want to know that the candidates have that connected tissue within. So you understand my struggles, what do we have in common? So, that's a really difficult question for many of the candidates to answer.

And some that have stumble on that question really are already a part of the graveyard, the political graveyard from this year. What stood out to me is that this is a beautiful family and I think the measure of a man is who he is at home and you saw that in John Kasich.

It's probably too little too late in terms of converting many voters. Because he's just not doing well among republican primary voters. He's got 14 percent of the vote in Wisconsin. He's only won his home State of Ohio.

[22:05:08] So, converting goodwill into actual votes at this point when people want to win, they want to know who the nominee is and they want to win against Hillary Clinton in the fall. Probably he falls short on that, but it was a lovely opportunity to see the Kasich family.

LEMON: We're going to talk did he change any hearts and minds tonight. So, Kayleigh, I want you to listen to this exchange.


ANDERSON COOPER, AC60 SHOW HOST: One of Cruz's mission delegates is suggesting essentially your auditioning to be Trump's vice president. In fact, Trump in an interview in USA Today said that he likes you, he likes Marco Rubio and he kind of named you in a list of people. He might even consider for vice president.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R-OH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're asking me if I would be his vice president.

COOPER: Would you?


COOPER: Absolutely not?

KASICH: Zero. I'm not going to be anybody's vice president.


COOPER: Do you see...

KASICH: I would be the worst vice president in the country ever saw. You know why? Because I'm not like a vice president. I'm a president. You know that's...


COOPER: You don't want to be the second fiddle.

KASICH: Well, it's not -- it's not so much about that, Anderson. Look, I'm running for the top job. And if I don't get the top job, OK, I'm still Governor of Ohio. You know, Mayor Koch one time ran for governor of New York and he didn't win and they asked him what he thought.

He said, well, you know, I may not be Governor of New York, but you know, I'm governor -- or I'm Mayor of New York City, and that is not bad. So, I will be governor and then that's what will happen. But I'm not even thinking that way because I do believe at the end of the day, and our crowds are growing.

You know, we were in Greece, New York, 4,000 people on Saturday. For the first time, people are finally starting to hear the message that I have and we're growing. I'm optimistic going forward.


LEMON: So, it is that a real no? Do you think he's running to be Trump's vice president?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, how many times have we heard this from every politician who's denied that they ever want to be vice president? The fact is anyone running for president is never going to say yes, I want to be vice president.

But I will say this about John Kasich, any candidate that is running for president would be lucky and blessed to have a man like John Kasich as their running mate. Someone who can deliver Ohio, someone with tremendous character and strength. Someone well-liked.

I think Trump would be honored to have him as V.P. I think Cruz would be, whoever the nominee is would be honored to have someone like John Kasich to be the vice president.

LEMON: He's saying -- he's saying no, but most people think that he is the most sort of reliable and steady candidate in the race. So, do you agree with that, Michael?

MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You know, John Kasich is a governor. He did, of course, win his state. He's certainly not as outrageous at times as to the other candidates in the republican race. So, you know, I mean, you have to take him seriously.

LEMON: Yes. But he hasn't won a delegate since March 15th; he is in fourth place in the delegate count following Marco Rubio. The question is though, is he still relevant in this race?

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The real question is, is anybody in this panel not agreeing to him too.

DENT: Absolutely.

LEMON: Yes. Go ahead, Charlie.

DENT: Absolutely. The governor is very much in the game. I don't believe any one of these candidates is going to receive 1,237 delegates prior to going into Cleveland. We're going to have an open convention.

And what you saw tonight from Governor Kasich is everybody in the panel says boy, isn't he a nice guy? He seems like a solid individual to be proud to be associated with him.

Well, the American people feel that way about him. Look at all the candidates running for president, they're all under water. Just the AP poll, you know, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are very high in the negatives even higher than Hillary Clinton, John Kasich is the only one who is viewed more favorably than unfavorably by the American public of this -- of this serious candidate.

So, I will tell you that John Kasich can go into that convention and make a very strong case. Because Ted Cruz is not going to be able to get the majority of delegates going into Cleveland...


DENT: Trump has a chance. I don't think he'll get that.

LEMON: All right. I want everybody to stand by because I want to bring Anderson Cooper. He's the man who moderated this town hall. And, Anderson, you had tough questions tonight. You challenged him on a couple of these issues that we're discussing now. What did you make much John Kasich's answers?

COOPER: Look, you know, I don't think we necessarily heard anything new from John Kasich. He's been, you know, early on, talking about that this is going to go to a contested convention. He maintains that, you know, on a second vote or third vote or even later on that when delegates who try to figure out who can beat Hillary Clinton in the opinion of John Kasich, that he's the one that they will turn to.

You know, the question is will delegates pick somebody who's only actually won one state and that was his home state.

LEMON: Right.

COOPER: But I think this was more a chance for people to see the family together. I think wonderful to these town halls as well.


LEMON: Anderson, let's listen to your exchange with him about that particular issue. Here it is.


COOPER: Why would a delegate pick you if the only state you've actually won is Ohio?

KASICH: Well, let's see how many delegates we accumulate, but why would you pick somebody who can't win in the fall? Let me tell you what the stakes are. I believe if you pick these other guys, you're not only going to lose the White House, you'll lose the court, you will lose United States Senate, and you're going to lose a lot of seats...


COOPER: Why can't Ted Cruz win?

KASICH: Because they're too divisive, they're too negatives. Look at how their negatives are, their negative ratings. And it's very hard to turn negatives around, believe me.


[22:10:05] LEMON: Considering what he is saying, Anderson, and as you said he hasn't won a lot, he's counting; he sounds like he's counting on a brokered convention. COOPER: There's no doubt about it. And he's been very open about

that. I mean, now we're hearing Senator Cruz saying that really for the first time publicly that that's what it's going to end up being.

But John Kasich has been saying that now for quite some time. I've done number of interviews I'm sure you have as well in which he's talked about. There question is, is he right that they would actually turn to him given that he's so far he's only won Ohio? He says, wait until you see what the delegate count is going to the convention.

LEMON: Yes. You have done a few of those town halls. And as I was sitting here, you know, in my office watching you. There's a different feel when you have the candidate's families up on stage with you.

COOPER: Yes, and that was the goal tonight. You know, look, there's plenty of times that we have contentious interviews with all the candidates. And you know, we wanted to have 10 minutes at the top, say with each of the candidates and we're going to have that with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as well to put them the news of the day and questions of the day and challenge them on topics.

But with the families, you know, we want to just kind of see the dynamic of the family. And that's something that, you know, a lot of voters like to see and a lot of frankly, people get to see in town halls that aren't televised in various states, particularly like New Hampshire and Iowa, a lot of times voters don't get to the see that.

So, we thought, you know what, let's do this, we put our invitations to everybody. Donald Trump's agreed first and everybody else has agreed as well. So, we're looking to the rest of them.

LEMON: Speaking of Donald Trump, his wife Melania is going to be there tomorrow. Let's see, Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric are going to be there. You know, people get to see him sometimes with his family in the board room on the "The Apprentice" or whatever and maybe out and about with his wife. But you don't get to see a lot of them. Do you think that we'll get to see a different side of Donald Trump?

COOPER: You know, I don't know. I really have no idea what to expect. I try not to predict. And as we know all predictions have been sort of off this year anyway. So, but I do think when somebody is on, you know, Donald Trump has repeatedly said, and I've interviewed Melania Trump who says, you know, she has been critical of Donald Trump sometimes for some of the language he's used, telling him to be more presidential. We've heard that Ivanka Trump has said the same thing, Donald Trump have said that publicly.

So, it will be interesting once they're all on the stage together just to see the dynamic of how they interact, you know, to see how they interact as a family. And I think that's something a lot of viewers seem to like.

LEMON: Yes, he's different with his family, Anderson, I think you've noticed that a little bit, at least. But then I don't know if he follows their advice because he still goes in Twitter and re-tweets and he doesn't always act that presidential. All right. Thank you, Anderson. I appreciate it. Back with me now, my

political dream team, you'll agree with that, Kayleigh, he doesn't always act like presidential as Melania would like him to and he doesn't always take the advice of his family.

MCENANY: Yes. And he's had to apologize for, you know, at least one of those things, the re-tweet of Heidi Cruz. So, I encourage Donald Trump to listen to the women in his family. I think sometimes you need a woman's advice on this thing to stay away from the retweet as his wife said.

LEMON: So, as Anderson is talking about, you know, not getting the number of delegates and having some delegates come over to him. Almost everyone in the room is going wait a minute, I want to get on that. I want to get on that. First you did.

NUTTER: Well, hoping that something different is going to happen at a convention, just can't be a strategy. I mean, candidates should be as optimistic as possible, but there's no way in the world that when he announced, when he started that the vision was we're just going to hang in there and suddenly something magical is going to happen at a convention...


LEMON: A contested convention or something, right.

NUTTER: And they're going to pick me.



DENT: If I may.

CONWAY: I agree. And look, he has to be pro on. He's not doing well, but Congressmen Dent, John Kasich, Governor Kasich is not doing well getting delegates at the conventions we're having now. It's Ted Cruz who has the infrastructure, the apparatus the data analytics in North Dakota, in Colorado, he got all 30, swept all 35 delegates.


MCENANY: Let's see how he does in New York, though. I mean, these are states that predisposed to Cruz to beat...


CONWAY: We're talking about conventions, though. We're talking about how can you show that you can -- you can...


LEMON: Charlie, this is your candidate, so go ahead. What is...

CONWAY: ... perform at the convention in Cleveland if you can't perform at the convention in Colorado.

LEMON: Why stay in, what's your best -- what's your best answer?

DENT: Well, let me say this, if we're going to say that the person who had the most delegates going into the convention should be the republican nominee, then Dwight Eisenhower wouldn't be the republican nominee or the resident, neither would Abraham Lincoln.

So, that is my argument. Ted Cruz is a very divisive figure. Let's face it, and so is Donald Trump. We are seeing large numbers in the polls of republicans who will not vote for either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. I've seen as high as 30 to 40 percent. Read today's Wall Street journal...


CONWAY: We should stop lumping them together, though.

LEMON: But is that -- but is that what -- is that...

DENT: But I'm telling you.

CONWAY: They want to lump in together.

LEMON: Is that what happens at the convention? Because the convention they're deciding on delegates and not necessarily it's not the popular vote at that point.

DENT: The delegates, but the delegates are going to be serious people. They're going to get there, they're going to see that on the first ballot, no one has a majority.

CONWAY: So, the voters in every state except Ohio have not been serious people?

DENT: The role of the delegates is to nominate the most electable candidate of good character. And if they look at that issue, they will support John Kasich.

[22:15:01] LEMON: OK.

DENT: Well, how did Dwight Eisenhower defeat Bob Taft in 1952. How did Abraham Lincoln get the nominee...


LEMON: All right. I need you to hold -- I need you to hold that thought, sir because I need to get to a break. We're going to continue this conversation because Mark Preston is rearing to get in and everyone is rearing to get in on this particular issue. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.


LEMON: Governor John Kasich and his family taking part in CNN's town hall tonight. The New York primary just days away and polls show Kasich running a distant second to Donald Trump, but beating Ted Cruz.

Back with me now my political dream team. So, welcome back, everyone. This idea of electability and delegates or what have you, you wanted to get in on that, what did you want to say?

PRESTON: Right. So, we're going to hear tonight some spirited arguments between the Cruz supporters and the Trump supporters about whether John Kasich should stay in or get out. Or you know, like what you do, is you're going to run for vice president.

A couple of things here. John Kasich is hoping that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz destroy one another. And that he becomes the savior in Cleveland that calms everything down, that lowers the temperature and comes out in the establishment, which has field to get behind him and will get behind him.

Here's the thing about John Kasich, even though he says he doesn't want to be vice president, and I do agree he would be a very hard person to be vice president because he has to be the boss.

The fact is he's from Ohio, he's pretty well-liked, he did win his state, and he's a smart guy, and if he's going to be your vice president, much like Joe Biden was Barack Obama's Vice President on the issue of foreign policy, could you imagine having John Kasich as your vice president running OMB. Somebody who know the part of...


[22:20:02] BECKEL: You think he can get on these guys and his political future will be tied to Cruz or Trump?

PRESTON: I think that until you're asked, that is a very difficult question to answer.

MCENANY: Sure. And I think people there's a part B to Kasich's play book too, that I think we should highlight. Kasich could become the king maker in all of this. Kasich has 100 something delegates, many of them he has hand-picked, these are people that the Kasich campaign has that are loyal to them and likewise he's loyal to these guys.

So, in the event that Trump is shy of the delegate count or Cruz is trying to build up delegates, Kasich all of a sudden takes on a very important role because he has a lot of delegates that are very loyal to them. And if he encourages delegates to go a certain way maybe to Trump, maybe there's an agreement...


LEMON: We've been talking a lot -- we've been talking a lot about likability, right, with the two candidates? And you know, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Their likability factor is not high and likable. But what about Kasich, what about John Kasich? Republicans don't like him.

CONWAY: No? Republicans do like him, but when they look at these polls about the electorate that he's saying he is going to beat Hillary. First of all, that's not true. And I notice supporters like to lump Trump and Cruz together which is also not true.

Since Mr. Trump's negatives, particularly among women have been skyrocketing in the just last three weeks. Number two, you like somebody who you don't know because you've given the benefit...


LEMON: But the poll show that Kasich is the only one who beats them.

CONWAY: But he's undefined and unknown to much of the electorate. Don, in the night of the Iowa caucuses, John Kasich was in New Hampshire, the night of the South Carolina primary John Kasich was in Michigan, came in third by the way.

On the night of the Wisconsin primary he was in New York. He was not even in the state fully competing when they're having this...


BECKEL: But there are 16 candidates.

CONWAY: And so, there was three in Wisconsin. No, no, no. But if he can't, if he's not competing in most states, and he's only won one, most people don't know him, so you only hear from...


LEMON: Let's hear from a Kasich supporter. Go ahead. Go ahead, Margaret.

HOOVER: The whole point of -- the reason he should stay in, right, if you're a never Trumper. You, I mean, Ted Cruz is not going to do well in New York. If you're a never Trumper, and your point is to keep the lid on Donald Trump's delegate math. You don't him to get over 50 percent in New York, you don't want him to get 50 percent -- over 50 percent in all of these congressional districts, right?

Because the New York part of it is winner-take-all if by the state you get over 14 -- you get 14 delegates. How many delegates is if you win the state get over 50 percent. But that then goes by congressional districts very similar with Wisconsin.

LEMON: Right.

BECKEL: I bet he can get those to 500 delegates.

HOOVER: And if he gets -- and if the person per congressional district. So, Kasich can pick off and keep the delegates and keep the lid on Trump here. That is the argument for him to stay in and then he has the delegates to stay at the convention. As Kayleigh mentioned it, and by the way Marco Rubio at this point has more delegates than John Kasich.

LEMON: Yes, he does. Go ahead, Charlie. DENT: Look, some of us actually want to win the presidency. When you

look at how John Kasich performs in swing states, in Ohio, he's defeating Hillary Clinton by over 20 points, in Pennsylvania, just came out he was defeating her by 16 points.

In Wisconsin, it was about nine points. In New Hampshire, 10 points. He performed very well in the states where the republicans must play. I hate to say this, but let's face it, Donald Trump's negatives are sky high and Ted Cruz -- Ted Cruz's aren't that much better. I mean, he was I think Ted Cruz was in the AP poll, 59 percent unfavorable, 26 percent favorable.


HOOVER: Why is he beating Kasich everywhere?

DENT: How do you win a general -- how do you win -- not in the general election he's not going to defeat Hillary Clinton, come on.

HOOVER: But Congressman Dent, excuse me, Congressman Dent, in all this primary...


LEMON: But hang on. I want you -- I want you guys to listen. Let's listen to -- let's listen to the candidate tonight talking about the fall and talking about general election. And then we'll continue to discuss. Listen to this.


KASICH: Why would I be the only one to beat Hillary in the fall, and why do all the polls show that? Because basically I'm a person that tries to unite people. I remind people we're an American before we're republican and democrat. I can attract a blue collar voters and the independents and why?

Because I have a history of being able to solve the problems of economic insecurity, putting, putting things in place to make sure our children can have a better life than we had from our parents, and I've got the expertise in foreign affairs as well.

So, you put that altogether, and that's a pretty darn good resume for fixing the country and I think people get a sense of that.


LEMON: It sounds like he's saying I'm not as conservative as those other candidates. I'm more of a moderate and I'm going to win over -- no?

CONWAY: But he hasn't been winning them. He hasn't been winning them in open primaries and caucuses; he did not carry blue collar workers. He did not carry independents. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has been beating him in open primaries in so far in the republican...


BECKEL: You know, there is something to be said about getting the heart and soul of the party. And what he basically say, you know, you take all these pieces together and we're going to get a majority. A party has a heart and has theories and has policies. And the problem with Kasich he's like running best friend. The guy doesn't have agenda basic republicans like.

HOOVER: Here's the problem.

LEMON: No, let her pointed.

HOOVER: The problem is -- the problem is that the Republican Party has only won five of the last six national popular elections. If you actually take the popular vote, five of the last six national presidential elections. The problem is the Republican Party has a total inability to nominate a candidate that can win in the general election.

[22:25:04] CONWAY: Because we nominate moderates. Let's not do it again.

HOOVER: And you know what, Kellyanne, that's exactly the kind of thinking that will Ted Cruz nomination to a Ted Cruz victory. And you know what? And you know what?


HOOVER: And Mitt Romney, John McCain, how did that work out?

HOOVER: We'll lose. We'll lose (Inaudible). And then the conservatives...


DENT: ted Cruz can...

LEMON: Go ahead, Charlie.

HOOVER: Honestly admit that it has broken the Republican Party and it is not a viable political force within the context of the Republican Party anymore. The conservative movement...


BECKEL: What do you guys like can't she have over there.

LEMON: Charlie Dent, go ahead.

DENT: Look, look, let's face it, John Kasich has the ability to pick up votes from independents and many democrats. We should acknowledge that.

Ted Cruz has spent much of his time in Congress, blasting guys, like me, calling them surrenders, capitulators, because we understand the circumstances of the political dynamic. We live in the political reality.

Well, he has, he's called a surrender caucus, capitulators, you know, practically betrayal because we actually realize we have to govern and get some things done. John Kasich understands that. He'll work with us. I mean, with respect, you know, John Kasich is in many ways a center right conservative.

LEMON: This sounds personal, is it personal between you -- is it personal between you and Cruz?

DENT: Well, no. Well, Senator Cruz, I mean, he's got 98 out of 100 senators who seem to dislike him to varying degrees, I mean, that's quite an accomplishment. You know, shutting down the government, I thought that was a terrible thing to do.

It was bad for the country, it was bad for the party, it was wrong that he did that. And you know, John Kasich is more of an adult. He wants to govern, and he understands he has to work not only with republicans, but also democrats to help move an agenda.

LEMON: Representative, I've to get to a break. Hold your thought. Everybody, hold on. I know you want to get in; we'll get you in on the other side of the break. Don't go anywhere. We'll continue our conversation right after this.

BECKEL: I was just going to show you something else.


LEMON: In next week's republican primary in New York, 95 delegates are up for grabs, Donald Trump is leading in the polls, but John Kasich is campaigning hard to win some of those delegates here in New York.

Back with me now, my political dream team. OK. So, let me ask you this, you said it was unfair to say that people didn't like Ted Cruz and you said that's the reality, that people don't like Ted Cruz.

HOOVER: Yes. I mean, I honestly think it's heavily disputed, besides Kellyanne would dispute it, I think it's well known Ted Cruz is not a generally liked person, but I think the other side of the coin is that people aren't voting this election because of who they like. They are not voting on who they want to get a beer with.

There are real economic grievances if you have, real grievances with Washington, sort of this insider crowd, this notion that they want people from the outside to fix the system and then there's also sort of this strong man appeal that Donald Trump has, Washington doesn't work, you need a strong guy to come in and shake it up.

So, none of these things that I think are motivating this Trump phenomenon and then this never Trump phenomenon. Have anything to do with how the likable the candidate is.

LEMON: So, then how do you get people? Because you have to win people over. You have to win delegates over, and if you're not liked by the party and people in the party, how do you get that to happen?

HOOVER: Well, Ted Cruz is doing it very well.


HOOVER: Ted Cruz is out organizing everyone. He's out organized, he's gone to all of these state caucuses and state conventions and he's frankly done the work. And by the way, he has codified the never Trump movement also. I mean, a lot of people are voting for Ted Cruz.


BECKEL: You're saying as how many of these delegates are picked by candidates. Very small. They go to the convention every four years. I mean.

HOOVER: Exactly right.

CONWAY: But the best Cruz that you need...

HOOVER: These are the RNC with the exact same people every four years for the last 30 years.

CONWAY: The best Cruz that you can perform well at the convention at the open contested convention in Cleveland is how you're performing at these conventions now. And that is all Cruz. Margaret even admits it, she thinks I'm the only person in the world that likes Ted Cruz which is not true of course.

HOOVER: Personally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you don't like Ted Cruz?

CONWAY: Because I actually try to look at the real person, not their caricatures. But aside from that, the way that you can prove you can do well at an open contested in Cleveland is that you're doing well now. Ted Cruz went into Colorado for two weekends and took all 35 delegates. John Kasich said...


LEMON: Well, let's -- I want to hear -- I want to hear John Kasich talk about the rules. Let's listen to that then we'll discuss.


COOPER: You've been saying for a long time very honestly that in your belief, it's going to come down to a convention. And you think honestly well.

KASICH: Yes. I said that a long time.

COOPER: Senator Cruz is now kind of publicly admitting that as well. He was talking about that today on the campaign trail. One of the things, though, he has said to me in the past is he's talking about rule 40, rule 40, which was on the books at the convention back in 2012, requires a candidate to have won the majority of delegates in eight states in order to be nominated. Cruz says essentially you're not even going to be eligible to get the nomination.

KASICH: Look, I don't -- I can just tell you this, he spent a million dollars making stuff up about me in Wisconsin. Of course he's going to say that.

COOPER: Are you going to change the rules?

KASICH: Well, there are no rules. The rules will get set and you just mentioned on when we were in Michigan, the committees got set better. I think the rules will be open. And even if they're not, I'm still going in there with significant delegates, but I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think the people are going to want a closed convention. I think they're going to want to give the delegates freedom to make good choices.

COOPER: Your opponents though, are going to say, look, a vote for you is essentially if those rules aren't changed, then it's a wasted vote.

KASICH: No, it isn't, because you can -- you still can't accumulate delegates even at that conventions. But we're not going to go there, Anderson. I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Look, I was the first one to talk about the fact that we were going to go a convention.

COOPER: Right.

KASICH: The pundits didn't think so. And by the way, you know, that God created pundits to make astrologers look accurate. You know, so the pundits haven't been right on anything so far, anything.

COOPER: Right.

KASICH: So, you know, I'm not going to go down that road. We're going to be fine. We are just going to continue to develop momentum, get bigger crowds, get delegates and go to that convention and make the case.


LEMON: So, the rules are the rules. And listen, Reince Priebus.


MCENANY: But he just said you heard him say. Don, you heard him say there are no rules.

BECKEL: There aren't any rules.

LEMON: Here's what Reince...

HOOVER: Yes, they haven't made the rules (Inaudible).

LEMON: Listen to this. Reince Priebus tweeted this out during this town hall tonight. He said "The rules were set last year. Nothing was mysterious, nothing new. The rules have not changed; the rules are the same, nothing different. OK. Go ahead.

HOOVER: Let's just be clear about which rules he's talking about which I think he was referring to the rules I think in the Colorado convention.

[22:35:01] LEMON: Right.

HOOVER: Right. But then are also the rules for the convention.

LEMON: Right.

HOOVER: Which actually have not been set yet. The rules committee for the convention, the RNC convention meets a week before the RNC convention. The rules committee is 100 people from this state, one man, one woman, plus the mothers, and they are going to set the rules. The rules, the 40-B rules that you're talking about.

LEMON: Right.

HOOVER: That was set last time by Romney and Rand Paul voters. You know why? Because Rand Paul...


LEMON: Rand Paul or Ron Paul? Ron Paul.

HOOVER: Ron Paul. I'm sorry. He couldn't control his delegates on the floor.

LEMON: Right.

HOOVER: And he knew that couldn't keep them from going to the floor and having a vote on the convention floor. And so the made this rule. And so they made this, we have to have eight states so that Mitt Romney will be the guy on the ticket and not Ron Paul. This year, could be entirely different, or they could keep it.

CONWAY: Or not.

HOOVER: The problem is, Kasich doesn't have enough people on the rules committee to change that rule in the favor.

LEMON: In order for him -- yes, go ahead. What do you say to that, Charlie?

DENT: What do I say to that? I agree with everything Margaret just said. I really don't believe we have rules yet. The only rule that matters is getting 1,237 votes.

That rule 40-B was really established to keep Ron Paul from somehow, you know, warming his way in. That was the whole point, but we're going to -- I think these rules they can be changed, we have to establish the rules. Margaret is right about that, Kasich had a big victory in Michigan the other day in terms of shutting out Ted Cruz and getting people appoint a key committee spots out there, including the rules committee. So, we're working at this. We're working our delegates. And we feel very we'll imply and I feel very strongly.

BECKEL: If you have two rule fights on the floor of this convention, you're going to have another people's convention. They never have rules fights because it's so controlled. The last time there was one was Ronald Reagan against Gerald Ford and they lost in that rule. And then Gary Hart.


LEMON: Quickly, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: Let's be clear. The rules by the way are lifetime made in an effort to keep certain candidates out. So, in Colorado, for instance, there was supposed to be a vote of the people. There was last time around. They voted for Santorum. The Colorado executive committee got together and said we don't like what our people said. So, this time we are not going to allow our people to vote.

So, when Cruz won those delegates, he didn't win them because the people said they wanted Cruz, he won them because he lobbied and jockeyed possibly...


LEMON: Go ahead, Mark. Go ahead, Mark.

CONWAY: He won according to the rules. Learn the rules, and then...


PRESTON: Well, Kellyanne was correct about that in the sense that those rules were made back in August when...


CONWAY: When Trump was leading and Carson was leading and they didn't like that.

RESTON: Right. I mean...

CONWAY: They didn't bother learning the rules. He said, oh, this isn't fair. You're stealing, your staff tactics. This is called has tag sore loser.

PRESTON: You have Donald Trump who is going to have quote unquote, "the will of the people." And they're going to be very angry, and they're going to show up in Cleveland and it's going to be very, very messy. And then you're going to have the rules that are going to stay intact and whatever comes out of the rules is where the nominee is going to come from, but it's going to be very messy.

LEMON: All right. Stick around everyone, much more on the town hall tonight with John Kasich. We'll be right back.


LEMON: So, you heard John Kasich talking -- taking questions from voters in CNN's town hall tonight.

Back with me now, my political dream team. So, we've all come to the agreement that the rules are there are no rules. Is that...

CONWAY: That's not true.

HOOVER: No, no.

MCENANY: The rules can be crafted any way to bloc certain candidates.


MCENANY: They can be crated where Ron Paul is trying to take advantage of the rules. They can be crafted to stop Ron Paul.

LEMON: It sounds like there are no rules. It sounds like this side of the rules whenever when they are (Inaudible).

BECKEL: The rules or stakes it is a national set of rules.


BECKEL: Each state has their own rules.

CONWAY: Yes, that's right

BECKEL: That's what happened in Colorado.

PRESTON: Yes. Your point is pointing to this that there are two sets of rules, there are the rules that govern the primary process and that is what chairman Priebus was saying and then there are the rules of how you actually get nominated which will be addressed the week before the convention.

And I have to tell you it's usually pretty quiet to watch television in the summer and it is going to be very loud to watch television this summer.

BECKEL: You've been to smoke (Inaudible).




HOOVER: But your super delegate.

NUTTER: Yes. I am. Yes.


PRESTON: Those elusive super delegates. NUTTER: All ready to go. The one thing and I generally try to make my

business not to disagree with members of Congress, but you know, Congressman Dent has mentioned twice now that that Governor Kasich will beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania. I can assure you that the governor will not beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.

LEMON: Charlie.

DENT: Oh, my good friend, oh, my good friend the mayor...


LEMON: It's just coming right now.

DENT: I disagree. I respectfully disagree. And by the way, Philadelphia is a great city. My wife was there with Anderson Cooper on Saturday night, a great fill for her. That said, every poll likes John Kasich's tone, his style, his temperament played very well in the collar counties of Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, the capital region suburban, suburban Pittsburg and I guarantee you, he will win the team. He will win the northern area of the state as well as the central areas.


LEMON: Go ahead, Michael.

NUTTER: I think as we all know, Pennsylvania often purple for a while, closes blue, you look at the results from the last two presidential races, I think it's pretty clear as democrats we will do well.


HOOVER: Here's why it could be hard now.

LEMON: I want to talk about the issues. I want to talk about the issues; this is John Kasich tonight talking about same-sex marriage with Anderson. Listen.


KASICH: I'm a traditional marriage guy, OK, I believe a man and a woman. But, I went home one day, I said sweetie, we been invited to a gay wedding, this was after the court. I said, "what do you think?" She said, "well, I'm going, I don't know if you are or not." And we went and look, here's the thing, we may disagree with something about people's lifestyles and all those kinds of things, we may disagree, but you know what, let's try to understand each other a little bit.

What are we going to do, write a law? I read about this thing they did in Mississippi where apparently you can deny somebody service because they're gay. What the hell are we doing in this country?

I mean look, I may not appreciate a certain lifestyle or even approve of it, but I can -- it doesn't mean I got to go write a law and try to figure out how to have another wedge issue. Because one of the things that's happening on this issue itself is that there are politicians that are using it to get publicity, which ultimately divides us. We had a Supreme Court ruling, and you know what, let's move on. Let's move on from where we are.



LEMON: Does that jive with the average republican voter in the primary? Is it?

[22:45:02] HOOVER: Here's what it does, you know what, I'm so glad you asked. Because I've actually done some very specific polling on specifically that answer when the SCOTUS, when the Supreme Court same- sex marriage ruling came down.

And 53 percent of republican primary voters said, while we don't agree with the Supreme Court's ruling for same-sex marriage, we do believe it is time for the country to move forward. They don't believe in a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision, they don't believe in litigated and make it a way. So, even though...


LEMON: So, OK. So, then what's happening in North Carolina and Mississippi with all these crazy laws that people -- what is that?


HOOVER: I'm happy to tell you what's happening. I mean, I work on these issues. I mean, what happened is that you have a very conservative legislature who got in, passed a bill in the dark of night without anybody knowing what's going to happen. Then the bill it turns out has caused significant loss of funds for the date.

And by the way, and also there are very strong republican leaders who will be coming out in the coming weeks saying this bill has to be repealed and fixed.

MCENANY: It's not fair to lump together all the state bills into one category. They're all different. Some of them are viable, some of them are not. However, what...


HOOVER: Neither North Carolina or Mississippi are viable. They are both draconian laws.

MCENANY: What are those states -- what are those states -- you have to let me finish speaking. You got to let me finish speaking, Margaret. So, every state law is different. Some are viable, some are not.

But what is not viable is Senator Cruz's option of the state openly rebelling against the Supreme Court. Who in their right mind as a constitutional scholar who went to Harvard Law School thinks that it is a good idea for the states to rebel against the Supreme Court when they say this is the law of the land.

BECKEL: Why do you guys tick this...


LEMON: Go ahead, Charlie.

DENT: There is strong -- there is strong -- there is strong republican support for nondiscrimination laws based on sexual orientation. I worked with Margaret on this issue. The country is evolving, demographically and socially. John Kasich clearly stated that.

LEMON: But then so why don't we hear about it if they're strong support, why don't you hear about that?

DENT: Because...


HOOVER: This is a really big -- this is a really big chance.

LEMON: Charlie, go ahead. Charlie, why is it, why don't we hear about that?

HOOVER: he's one of the leaders on nondiscrimination the House of Representatives. He should have think of that.

DENT: Why don't we hear about...

LEMON: Why don't we hear about republican support for nondiscrimination laws?

DENT: I believe many do. Well, you had votes on nondiscrimination in the House and the measures have passed even with the republican control. Granted the democrats vote, you know, much more overwhelming than republicans do for it, but there is republican support for it will continue.

I've been working with Margaret and other leaders on this issue in the House because we believe it's the right thing to do and nobody should be discriminated against based on sexual orientation.

And I absolutely, and look, this is where I get concerned about, you know, Senator Cruz, frankly, I think he's taken more of an absolutist hard ideological view which is not in step where much of the country is, and many republican voters particularly younger republican voters.

HOOVER: You say there are no republicans who are in favor, but 66 republicans in the House of Representatives have taken affirmative votes affirming the rights and freedoms of LGBT people. So, I mean, part of reason is we don't talk about it, Don, but there are group of republican...


LEMON: Yes. How do you response to that?

CONWAY: Senator Cruz, let me just say something, this is a real change, Margaret, from your boss George W. Bush running for re- election in 2004, in Ohio, making sure traditional marriage is on the ballot in Ohio and the GINA Act 2011 turnout...


LEMON: But that was 2004. I mean, come on.

CONWAY: ... you've got 60 percent of it. That's fine, but I think we have to cut through a little bit in this different country here.

LEMON: The country change very quickly on this issue.

CONWAY: That's correct, however, let me just say this. The reason John Kasich can't beat Hillary Clinton in the fall back to original question on issues, is he's too much like Obamacare, he's too much like guns, you can't be -- we saw that with Mitt Romney and John McCain.

LEMON: but what about this wedge -- this wedge issues that we've been talking about?

CONWAY: We need somebody who's different. I mean, we just a little bit different.

LEMON: OK. I got to get to a break.

BECKEL: You can't be talking this giving you this wedge issue.

LEMON: I have to get to a break. You guys are yelling at me and the other people are, the voices in my head. I got to get to a break. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.

BECKEL: I wonder you sound (Inaudible).


LEMON: So you got to meet the Kasich daughters tonight, his wife and his daughters at the town hall. And he talked about family values. But also political dream team, his daughters talked about something how corky he is and basically saying that he can't dance. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most dads have a slightly weirder, or quirky side around them, especially around their kids. I want to ask you guys, does your dad have any quirk or does he have a more humorous side to him, and if you have any stories along those lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just tries to tell jokes that he thinks are funny, but, they're mostly just funny to us because they're dumb.

COOPER: Spoken like every 16-year-old child about a parent.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then he also thinks he's a really good dancer.


KASICH: North south, that's exactly right.

COOPER: North south, that's his move?


KASICH: Well, you've got to go north and south. You know, you can't do this over by, you have to go north south and...


KASICH: Yes, yes, it's very -- and I'm really, really good. I'm just kidding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just ask him, he'll tell you.

KASICH: And you think, Reese, I've gotten better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but you're not going to go on "Dancing with the stars."

COOPER: It's funny though, when you're a kid how everything your -- I remember my dad used to sing loudly at church, and it' so, it just mortified me.


LEMON: How dare they perpetuate that stereotype that white men can't dance? Go ahead, Mark.

PRESTON: Sure. Wow, you ticked me off. Listen, this is why this was so important tonight and I think it's going to be important over the next couple of nights, right?

I'm a father, I absolutely tried to embarrass my 10-year-old and my 11-year-old, and I am very successful at it, OK. I do a very good job. But more importantly, it showed that John Kasich is a goofy dad just like everyone else is in America and we will hear from his wife in a little bit, and she really was a superstar tonight.

So, when we looked beyond the candidate on their policy positions we talked about this at the top, you're actually seeing someone who's human and I've got to tell you what, the breakout stars are the girls. Because they spoke just like every 16-year-old.

LEMON: Yes. They are. It's like the family next door.


LEMON: They really are like the family next door. Go ahead, Michael.

NUTTER: Well, speaking of that and whether it's 16 or 21, in the break, my daughter called me from Cuba where she and her friends from Columbia are on semestral break to say, I saw you on TV, we were looking at Don Lemon, and she would say, many of the same things that Governor Kasich's daughters said about jokes, dancing, and other kinds of things, so.


DENT: That was my -- that was my daughter.

LEMON: Charlie, go ahead.

[22:55:01] DENT: I was saying that when I heard the girls say that about their dad, the jokes not being funny. That's exactly what my daughter says to me. She's 21, I have a 20-year-old son and a 16-year- old, those are my kids. That's exactly what they say about me. Dad, you embarrass me, dad, we love you, but, you know, sometimes you just need to stand in the corner.


BECKEL: Further away from the entrance to places where you took them. When they were little, they take you right to the front door. But the time they're teenagers, in fact, three miles. See, I can drive you there. No, no. Don't go, dad. You just stay right here.

DENT: You can't take them on the campaign trail.

BECKEL: Well, I told the boyfriends very simply. It's not that good.


LEMON: So, here's what happens now. Especially if you're a New York City kid, you have the driver or the Uber, so it doesn't matter. You know, mom and dad that...

CONWAY: You raise them in the suburbs. So, I just want to make the point.

LEMON: I got to run.

CONWAY: There are 24 straight years of just daughters in the White House, the three presidents, and it's been really cool to watch. Yes, President Clinton, George W. Bush, and now President Obama, all daughters for the last 24 years. And I think it's just something very special about that.

LEMON: Yes. When we come back, the final five candidates battling for every vote. We're going to show you what they're saying out on the stump tonight.


LEMON: New York's primaries are just days away and the stakes couldn't be higher.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Republicans and democrats out on the campaign trail tonight fighting for each and every vote.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a campaign which in the last CNN national poll was ahead of trump by 20 points.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of what you're hearing from Trump and Cruz...