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CNN Dem Debate In Brooklyn; CNN Town Hall With Trump Family; Trump And Women Voters; The GOP Convention; Trump on Rigged Delegate Process. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired April 12, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:09] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: New York's primaries are just days away and the stakes couldn't be higher for both sides. This is CNN TONIGHT, I'm Don Lemon. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, out on the campaign trail today as we count down to our Democratic debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People will say, oh, there she goes, she's playing the gender card. And what I say to that is if talking about equal pay and paid leave and more opportunities for women and girls is playing the gender card, then deal me in.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCARTIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to start off by talking about some of the very real differences that exist between Secretary Clinton and myself. And there are a lot of differences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The Republicans taking aim at their front-runner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some who feed off of the fears and the anger that is felt by some of us and exploited feed their own insatiable desires for fame or attention. That could drive America down into a ditch and not make us great again.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald loves to call people a loser. Donald wakes up at night in cold sweats that people will call him losin' Donald.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You can't write this stuff. One Republican says, thanks but no thanks to the nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I do not want nor will I accept the nomination for our party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meanwhile in our town hall tonight, Donald Trump says this about the battle for delegates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think I'll get to 1,237. I think we're going to do very well in New York and as I said before, some of the states around that we're going to be in next. I think we should do really well in California. I think we'll get to the 1,237. Look, this has been an amazing process and again, I said at the beginning but I'll say it again, I'm spending my own money, and I understand politicians, I understand what motivates them. The thing that motivates them is special interests and their lobbyists and they won't do the right thing. The people that are really getting them are the people that give them money and by my not taking money from all of these special interests, I'm going to be able to do the right thing for the people. They do so many bad deals and people think, oh, why are they so stupid? They're not stupid. They're doing it because they're told to do it by the people that give them money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A lot to talk about, but I want to get straight to CNN's Sara Murray here in New York with some breaking news for us. Sara, Marco Rubio is making the news tonight. What do we know?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right, Don. Marco Rubio did an interview with the Mark Levin radio show and he did not quite endorse Ted Cruz but this is pretty much as close as he's come so far. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been pretty clear that I want the Republican nominee to be a conservative and in my view, at this moment, of the candidates that are still actively campaigning, the only one that fits that criteria is Ted Cruz, I've said that publicly. And as far as the delegates that we've earned, they're bound in the first ballot and I want to make sure that they're there on the first ballot. After that, as you know, these delegates, many of them will be free to vote for another candidate and I hope that they'll nominate a conservative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, Rubio has kind of all but disappeared since he dropped out of the race so it is telling to hear him say that Ted Cruz is the only real conservative left. And remember, Marco Rubio has asked a number of these states to keep these delegates bound to him even though he is out of the race, so he could play a role in this if you do get to point where Donald Trump is coming up just short.
LEMON: Yes, it's going to be interesting to see how Donald Trump responds to that and you know he will. So let's talk about the candidate that you've been following, Sara, Donald Trump. You've been on the campaign trail with him for months. You've seen him on that trail. You've seen him take on some angry protesters. Impressions of him with his family tonight?
MURRAY: Well it is striking when you see him up there with all of his children because they do sort of give a sense of Donald Trump that you don't see on the campaign trail. Yes, every once in a while we'll hear Ivanka speak or we'll hear Melania speak, but to see them all up there and to see how proud he is of them, but also to hear them talk about how they were raised, about how they learned their work ethic from him, about how, you'd hear Ivanka talk about how her father treated her the same as her brothers in terms of her role in the company and in terms of growing up and sort of fueling her ambition. I think that was all-telling. I think this is the kind of thing that could help Donald Trump soften his image and as we know, when you look at the broader electorate, he has some pretty tough numbers when it comes to women, who aren't Republican women, but beyond there, and I think his family being out there could be something that could really help repair him, potentially, in a general election, but of course, it all comes down to the candidate, so it will depend on whether Donald Trump is more disciplined on the stump as well, Don.
LEMON: We've been hearing him take on the party, take on the establishment, saying that the primary process is fixed, that it's rigged, that it's corrupt -- how are voters reacting to that?
[23:05:05] MURRAY: It does fire up his voters. It definitely speaks to his base and they feel like they have showed up, they have voted, and in New York, they're preparing to cast their ballots, and they feel like the Republican Party isn't listening to them. When I was talking to voters at his event in New York just yesterday, they said they completely agree with Donald Trump. They feel like the process is stacked against him, they feel like the Republican Party is essentially trying to rob Donald Trump of the nomination. Now of course, the Republican Party, the RNC, is pushing back hard on this. I think we saw that from Reince Priebus on Twitter tonight. They do not want to give voters the sense that their party is corrupt, that they are trying to steal the nomination from the Republican frontrunner. They're trying to be very sensitive to that, but obviously, at least for now, Donald Trump feels like a better approach is to continue to be at war with the party.
LEMON: Thank you, Sara. I appreciate that.
Reince Priebus tweeting out tonight, the nomination process has been known for a year plus beyond. It is the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break. So there it is.
We're going to discuss that much more with my political dream team, Kayleigh McEnany, CNN political commentator and Trump supporter, CNN political analyst, David Gregory, host of a new podcast, "The David Gregory Show", our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, Matt Lewis, senior contributor to "The Daily Caller", CNN political commentator, Donna Brazile, and Kellyanne Conway, president of Keep The Promise 1 PAC, a Super PAC supporting Ted Cruz. I got that one right tonight. Couldn't quite get it out last night. We're going to talk about Reince Priebus, but I want to talk about something that Sara mentioned. You heard Sara talk about the shockingly low approval numbers among women that Trump has, but women in his family have a different story. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP: I think the facts speak for themselves. I have witnessed these incredible female role models that he's employed in the highest executive positions at the Trump organization my entire life, in an industry that has been dominated by men, is still dominated by men but certainly was when he was starting out in his career and he was employing some of these women and raising them through the ranks. So for me, I think the way he raised me, the way he raised Tiffany, it's a testament to the fact that he believes in inspiring women, empowering women. He always taught me that there wasn't anything that I couldn't do if I set me mind to it, if I had deep passion, if I really unearthed what it is that I wanted to do with my life and then worked very hard to achieve it, and I don't think that's the message a father would relay to a daughter who he didn't believe had the potential to accomplish exactly what her brothers could. So for me it's his actions speak louder than the words of many politicians who talk about gender equality but it's not evidenced in their daily employment practices. So I think both at the Trump organization and also in a more personal capacity, the type of father he was to a daughter, to daughters, I think evidences how he feels about our gender in general.
MODERATOR: Tiffany --
TIFFANY TRUMP: I think my father, since I've been a little girl, has always just inspired me and had so much faith in me to just be the best person I can be, the best woman I can be. And every time I speak to him on the phone, whether it be at school or when I'm with him in his office, or at palm beach, he wants us to do the best and he has the utmost faith that we can accomplish whatever we set our minds to just as well as men, if not better, and we're such strong, hard workers, I mean Ivanka, of course, Melania, I just truly feel that my father is the best father, the best husband, that he could be, truly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Kellyanne Conway, what's the disconnect here? Why do the women closest to him see things differently than many women voters?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, PRESIDENT, KEEP THE PROMISE 1 PAC: Because they see him as a father, an employer of women, he's been a nurturer, he's warned them every day apparently not to go for the drugs and the alcohol. That's different than the man who's running for president, and I think, if you look at the polls, the trend line started to go down for Mr. Trump, among women, among Republican suburban women, married Republican women, college educated Republican women, to say nothing of independent and Democratic women, right about March 11 at the Chicago rally and then after he insulted Heidi Cruz, somebody else's wife. You can draw a line from all of that. Now, can he recover? Yes. Should he put his family right out there to help him? Should we see them as surrogates? This family is so cohesive and such a beautiful portrait of the best of Donald Trump -- seriously, he's got buildings all over the world with his name on it. This is his greatest imprimatur and I believe, if he is the nominee, which is certainly not certain -- if he is the nominee and he goes up against Hillary Clinton, he has a lot of repair work to do among women of all political stripes. He will have Ivanka and Tiffany and Melania out there.
LEMON: The response from his daughters, Kayleigh, did that help him?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One-hundred percent. Because this retweet, which he's admitted was a mistake, I think it was a mistake, many people do believe that was a mistake, from that, there was this effort to paint Donald Trump into this caricature of somehow being anti-woman. Well guess what? This evening, that argument was just poked and all the air came out of it when you heard --
[23:10:06] LEMON: Don't you think that he supplied -- when you say painted, don't you think that he supplied the canvas and the paint brush --
MCENANY: He did, yes, absolutely, Don, but from that one instance, they tried to paint this caricature. The media, pundits, everyone --
DAVID GREGORY, HOST, "THE DAVID GREGORY SHOW": Well it was the Megyn Kelley stuff too. This is a pattern of behavior.
LEMON: Let her finish. I'll let you get in.
MCENANY: What you heard from Ivanka this evening completely diminishes the argument that Donald Trump is somehow anti-woman. When you look at his wife, who is a strong woman, a smart woman, when you look at his daughters, you see someone who empowers women, not diminishes them.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But they're wealthy people in Manhattan. Let's be fair to the rest of America. They need to connect in a different way. And Ivanka can and Melania can and Tiffany can, but to think that all that got washed away tonight because --
MCENANY: I don't think their socioeconomic status diminishes that.
LEMON: Matt, go ahead.
MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY CALLER: I was just going to say real quick, Donald Trump, there is a pattern of behavior, and it's Rosie O'Donnell, it's Megyn Kelly, it's Heidi Cruz. So Donald Trump brought this on himself. But I do agree with you in the sense that I think that the family is really compelling, and I think Ivanka, especially, as I said earlier, not only does she seem really authentic and likable, but it speaks well of him as a father to have raised a daughter like that. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I say one thing about Ivanka? She had a
baby two weeks ago, OK? And for those of us who have had babies, A, I didn't look like Ivanka looks tonight, and I was speaking with her before, and this is a woman who's still getting up with the baby.
LEMON: It wasn't just the daughters, though. The sons also got to weigh in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The respect they have for their father really shows and families are character witnesses for candidates.
LEMON: Let's hear the sons and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Do you think that sometimes tone is important and you get more with honey than vinegar, so to speak?
Well, I think without question, and what's interesting, throughout this process, everyone talks about that tone, but there also comes a time when you actually have to put the hammer down, right? There comes a time when being nice and trying to do all this stuff -- when people are laughing at your face, you have to actually fight back, and that's what's so important about what he does. He's not going to go, every time there's a little change in the winds, he's going to flip -- that's not what he does. He's going to fight for the American people. So tone is important. I've seen him do that for the 38 years I've been working in the company, I've seen him do deals with people from all over the world, different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different everything, different personalities, and he's able to do that better than anyone. No one can be more endearing, more -- he wins everyone over with that -- when the time is right. But we're at a stage in our country where I think we all believe that we really need some change. We need politicians who actually have real world experience, people who are actually going to work for the people. The biggest joke I see is all the politicians talking about how they're great public service, they're serving themselves. He doesn't need this at this stage in his life. He's done everything he needed to do, but he wants to give back to the country that has been so great to him, to the people who have been so loyal to him. It's given him so many opportunities, whether it be family, whether it be business, and he wants to go through this brutal process to be able to give back. He's truly -- it's incredibly selfless and it's amazing to see and I think it's resonating with the people.
LEMON: Donna Brazile, what were you saying? How does this resonate?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well first of all, look, I've met his kids, I've met his wife. They're very kind people, very respectful people, but when you disrespect an entire group of Americans, whether it's punishing women, Mexicans as rapists, banning Muslims, I mean, people take that personally. So I don't know if one interview with his family will change the script but it will help some people who are comfortable with his temperament maybe find him a little bit more -- LEMON: OK, so here's the thing. Everyone is sitting here talking
about Megyn Kelly and Mrs. Cruz, Heidi Cruz, and about Muslims and Mexicans -- none of this has seemed to hurt Donald Trump at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He should have had this wrapped up a long time ago.
LEWIS: Women alone, if you look at the data, we're talking about data analytics earlier -- he's trailing among women. People don't realize, in a general election, the Republican usually wins women in terms of the total number of women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: White women.
LEWIS: Excuse me, I'm sorry, white women, excuse me, white women, I beg your pardon, I misspoke.
BRAZILE: And women who are married, not single.
LEWIS: But my point is, if he can't win then, what Barack Obama lost white women in 2012, he lost them by 6 points to Mitt Romney -- if Hillary Clinton got up to 52 and then wins 80 percent of minorities, it's very hard to win. So that kind of data does really matter, and I think there's something else, which is, character witness, this is a family, all of that is very important, but there is -- he was asked tonight, do you speak the way to your family the way you speak in the course of the political campaign? He said, oh no, I don't do that. I'm a lot nicer. So there is this kind, rankly, this outlandish way of speaking about women, Muslims, and others that he is now trying to tack back, and that's what I think -- I think he does have a long way to go --
LEMON: Aren't people often different at home with their families than they are at work?
[23:15:10] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, but it's as if he's winking.
LEMON: OK, stand by, guys. I have to take a break. As we count down to New York's primaries next Tuesday, make sure you stay with CNN for the town hall with all the GOP candidates and their families. Anderson Cooper hosts Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi Cruz tomorrow night starting at 9:00. Then, it's our Brooklyn Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Thursday night at 9:00 pm. When we come right back, more from Donald Trump at our CNN town hall tonight.
LEMON: And we're back now with my political dream team, Kayleigh McEnany, David Gregory, author of "How's Your Faith", also, Gloria Borger is here, Matt Lewis, the author of "Too Dumb to Fail", and Donna Brazile and Kellyanne Conway here. Let's continue on with this about tone, because I thought you said something very interesting about it. You said it's kind of a wink and a nod to --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think tonight, Trump was kind of winking, because he's saying, you know, this isn't really the way I talk to my family, and this isn't really, almost --
LEWIS: Like I'm doing what I've got to do to take these people out and then I'll be nicer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And by the way, maybe I will appoint somebody from, or ask somebody from the establishment to be my vice president, which raises a lot of question marks with conservatives who believe he's not a conservative, that he's way too malleable, which is why some people in the establishment early on were saying, oh, maybe I could live with this guy because I can --
[23:19:58] LEMON: But I'm wondering if part of that is, tweeting is part of his wink and a nod, because he says, he gets enjoyment out of it, it's kind of I guess sort of therapeutic for him --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, he knows how to stir the pot.
LEMON: Well let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, it's interesting -- I started off a number of years ago and I now see that over the weekend, I picked up like almost 100,000 people and I have 7.6 million people there, I have almost 7.5 million on Facebook, I have 1.5 million on Instagram -- I have millions, and it's really an asset. I really enjoy doing it but it's really an asset. You see what's going on, and there is some genius there. You will get -- you will read some of the stuff, there is genius there. You have to find the right genius, but it is a powerful thing.
QUESTION: As president, though --
TRUMP: No, I wouldn't be doing it. Or I would do it very little. It's different. But right now, if I'm fighting one of my opponents, I can tweet out things or my feelings and I had it in CNN. There was one instance where I was at a town hall and somebody got up and made a pretty negative statement about the president, you probably remember, very negative. They never found out who this guy was, I don't know, was he a setup or what? I think you know what I'm talking about. And he made a pretty negative statement about the president and they said I didn't defend him and it was a big deal that was going on, and I remember, I tweeted one line and then another line and I put it out and it broke into CNN, they broke into this major broadcast, "Donald Trump breaking news", like I'm sitting there, I just did this, and it totally solved the problem, it was good. So it doesn't all work badly, but it is a modern method of communication and when I have 16 million or 17 million people when you add it up, it gives me a big advantage.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Do you ever want to say to him, put the mobile device down, it's 2 am and you're still tweeting? MELANIA TRUMP: Anderson, if he would only listen. I did many times.
And I just say, OK, do whatever you want. He's an adult. He knows the consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So I said, none of those things, even Twitter, seems to have hurt him. You guys vehemently disagreed saying yes, it has hurt him. So why does he continue to do this? Don't you have to -- he said, I'm not going to do this as president. Wouldn't one thing you'd have to show by example?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's his frenemy, Twitter. Because I think he knows he's very smart about controlling the news cycle. So he can tweet something at 10:00 at night and you'll put it on your show because you're watching, we're watching, and then the morning -- the news cycle on the morning shows will be dominated by something that Donald Trump tweeted the night before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump couldn't have done what he's done without a 24/7 news cycle, cable news, and without Twitter. I don't know that he could have pulled it off.
LEMON: Well, that's a good question, too, for President Obama, as well, who used social media to his advantage. And cable news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right. And he's been able to phone into these shows. I think Twitter, phoning into the shows, rallies, and the polls -- this man loves the polls. He doesn't love his own polls to read, but he loves the polls, and now all the polls show him losing to Hillary Clinton, and that's a problem for him, because if your entire narrative is winning, winning, winning, we're losing, we need to win again, and you're losing in the fall -- there Republican primary voters, Don, who will look past some of the indignities, who will look past some of the rhetoric to win in the fall to beat Hillary Clinton. But if you can't prove that you can beat Hillary Clinton, you've shrunk your --
LEMON: All right, let me ask you this, then. You said something, you said, putting stock in polls. So the polls show he's losing to Hillary Clinton. How much stock should we put in that? Because in a general, it's not a real general right now. We don't know if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. We don't know who the exact nominee is. So how much stock should anyone put in that?
MCENANY: An NBC poll that came out today showed him coming closer to beating Hillary Clinton than Ted Cruz. So this just goes to show, the polls are not reliable right now. It is April right now. I tend to agree with Kellyanne --
LEMON: One at a time.
MCENANY: The polls against Hillary Clinton do not matter right now, particularly in a race when you have Bernie Sanders who has said, I don't want to talk about her e-mails. Well guess what? If Donald Trump is the nominee, we're going to talk about her e-mails, we're going to talk about Benghazi, we're going to talk about the Clinton Foundation until the cows come home. Those poll numbers which everyone cites as the holy grail of Donald Trump's electability are going to close and close --
LEMON: Donna, go ahead.
BRAZILE: I'm sit hearing, I want to laugh, but it's inappropriate at this time to talk about Hillary's e-mails and investigation -- that's all the Republicans are talking about because there's no substance. We've entered a substance-free zone with Donald Trump. When is the last time we've actually debated policy when we talk about these Republican candidates? You can talk about tearing down someone's character, but if you don't have a plan and a vision for the future, it's worthless.
MCENANY: She potentially broke federal law and that will be asked of her on the debate stage. She has been attacked by Republicans, but she has not been --
[23:24:51] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not true, Kayleigh. That's your analysis of what the FBI -- is looking into an inquiry into how her e-mail was handled and whether or not anyone hacked it and if any e-mails contained classified information. All of the various intelligence agencies are looking at those e-mails. I hope they conclude this. I hope she gets this behind her, otherwise she'll have to continue to talk about it.
LEWIS: -- you shouldn't feel cornered. Because the truth is, a lot of the things that are negatives for Trump have not hurt him up until now. He is winning. He is winning. Now all of these things could eventually hurt him, and I do think where he has gotten into issues in policy, it has started to reverberate against him, talking about nuclear weapons for Japan or South Korea. Some of that stuff has kind of boomeranged back on him, but still, not just at this stage, but even as we get into a general -- I do think presidential campaigns are much less about issues and much more about personal characteristics, character and personal characteristics, and he is portraying strength and some of his outrageousness, by the way, in opposition to these other candidates is at a decibel level that offends a lot of people but also gets him such attention that they have been effective, and he's still --
GREGORY: Kayleigh has a point, because remember, when he went after Bill Clinton, it seemed like a crazy idea, but the point is that polls -- we don't know what's going to happen in the general election. If Donald Trump is the nominee, he could go after Hillary. We don't know how she's going to respond. She could fall apart. I mean, Donald Trump could put on an offensive in a way --
LEMON: Stay with me, everyone. Much more to come tonight. Donald Trump's town hall, and these guys, who'd love to continue to debate even more. We'll be right back.
[23:30:44] LEMON: One week to go until the crucial New York primaries. On the GOP side, 95 delegate up for grabs. Donald Trump has a double lead in the polls. So if he wins big, well, he's going to get all these delegates.
Back with me now, my political dream team, that, you know, they still fight during the commercial break. Kellyanne Conway, this one's headed for you. Trump's children obviously intelligent and successful. We know Ivanka just had her baby, what, two weeks ago? Not even two weeks ago? Let's listen to what she said about being a mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What's being a mom meant to you? What has it -- how has it changed you?
I. TRUMP: I think it's changed me in almost every capacity. I think it's made me a better person, a better wife. I think I'm much more empathetic. Once you start thinking about a bigger picture outside of yourself, which -- it's easy to be very self-centered when you're young and you're single, and obviously it started when I got married and I became a "we." And then having kids brings it to a whole different level. Putting them first and they become very much the center of your universe.
COOPER: That seems exhausting. I don't know.
I. TRUMP: It is -- and it's exhausting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.
I. TRUMP: But it's really -- it's the most amazing type of challenge that you really can't prepare yourself for but is so unbelievably rewarding. So I feel so fortunate. I have three children now under the age of four-and-a-half.
I. TRUMP: And it's exhausting, but it's the perfect kind of chaos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wow. So just your normal mom here?
CONWAY: I love it. She certainly appears to be. It was one of my favorite parts of the entire interview, Don. I think Ivanka -- Ivanka, congratulations on your beautiful baby, and that body to go with it. And I have to -- I have four small children myself. It does change you. You know, people see us all on TV. Let me tell you, it's a heck of a lot easier to run your mouth than to run a house or run a business. And it does change you because it takes away that self- involvement and you really -- other people, these human beings, you're responsible for them.
She seems very genuine. I think she'll connect with lots of mothers ,young and old across the country, just by being so poignant about her experiences and how her children have humbled her and made her a better person.
LEMON: It's something you cannot plan for, which is why I don't have any.
LEMON: But David, Ivanka was also asked about converting to Judaism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: I was wondering how your father reacted to your decision to convert to Judaism? What led you to that decision? And how did he react?
I. TRUMP: Well, it's such a personal decision. I tend not to talk about it in a public forum. But my father was very supportive. He knows me. He knows and he trusts my judgment. When I make decisions, I make them in a well-reasoned way. I don't rush into things.
So I appreciate the support he gave me, because obviously these decisions are not taken lightly. And it would have been much more hard if I had had headwinds, but he believes in me. He loves my husband. They're incredibly close, which I think was obviously helpful. And he has been very supportive of me in that decision, as in many others that I've taken throughout the years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Trump as a supportive father, David.
GREGORY: Well, look, Ivanka is an extraordinary person. I mean, she came off just beautifully tonight on motherhood, on being a daughter, on making incredibly an important faith decision in her family and getting support.
So, I think, look, this goes a long way to sort of completing -- Donald Trump showing a different side of him as a father of a child, you know, a grown child like her and his sons and his other daughter, Tiffany. So all of that is very important. But we could spend too much time talking about Ivanka, who I think would be an outstanding surrogate, but still we're going be spending the most time talking about Donald Trump.
LEWIS: The unspoken point too I think is that a lot of really bad leaders have had families that loved them deeply. So, yes, it's great that he has a family, that they love him, but --
LEMON: Yes, I mean -- yes. People are sending me messages saying of course, it's his family, they're going to say glowing things about him, right?
BORGER: I just love seeing great accomplished young women.
LEMON: They are; you cannot (INAUDIBLE) he has a great family.
(CROSSTALK) CONWAY: The humility to them too. I want to say there's a certain humility to them that can be very disarming to people.
LEMON: Especially Ivanka.
CONWAY: You would think there is no reason to be humble necessarily. And there's a certain humility and I think just self-composure that may be very disarming to people.
[23:35:05] BORGER: Humble is not a word I would use to describe Donald Trump, though.
CONWAY: That's why he sat there silently, Gloria, and just watched.
MCENANY: What it does say about Donald Trump, though, is yes, exactly. He has great kids. To raise four kids like that who all turned out with no problems, no drug issues, no alcohol issues; rather, they were outstanding business people, well respected citizens in the community, that does say something about Donald Trump. It's not just having, you know, as a family member here, it's four kids who turned out great.
BRAZILE: You know what says a lot? The fact that you come out here, and so many others, and not just defend him but make his case in a very compelling way, even when we disagree with you. I think that says more about him than anything else.
LEMON: And let's not forget, we saw the Cruz daughters last night and they were pretty awesome --
BRAZILE: Very --
LEMON: Kasich. Oh, excuse me.
MCENANY: They were five and eight.
LEMON: We'll see the Cruz family tomorrow night. So that's going to be great.
And that's why it's interesting to see them in this (INAUDIBLE).
GREGORY: It's also not unimportant because this is, this kind of looking glass, especially in 2016, you're running for president. You know, it's -- to both shield your family from that and also be humanized by your family while running through a process that does not really encourage humility, it is important and is an important part of people taking the measure of candidates. So in that way I think it's edifying.
LEMON: And I humbly ask that nobody says anything else so I can get to this break, and then we'll be right back on the other side with more.
[23:40:26] LEMON: Donald Trump insists that the Republican Party's delegate selection process is rigged and corrupt. But his opponents say Ted Cruz has simply out-smarted Trump in some states, that Cruz has a better ground game in rounding up delegates. And depending on what happens once the GOP convention starts, the fight for delegates could change dramatically.
CNN's Tom Foreman breaks it down for us. Hey, Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Don. If the Republicans get to an open convention, a contested convention, and they get through a couple of votes with no one winning the nomination, virtually every delegate on this floor would become unbound, meaning he or she can vote as they please. And some believe that could create a fire sale for delegates.
Why? Well, let's consider one delegate to see what I mean here. This person would arrive at the convention knowing the rules from the national committee. They could not accept gifts from corporations, from foreign nationals, or from federal contractors. All of those are no-nos. But the rules do say they can take gifts from political PACs and from individuals.
So let's say there's a PAC out there supporting one of the candidates and that PAC says you know what we want to do? We want to give you first class travel to the convention and then a limo to pick you up and then a fancy hotel to stay in and we'll give you some lavish meals and we'll pay for everything. The rules say that's OK. What if you have a private individual who's supporting one of the candidates? He could say let me give you a gift bag, and in it is going to be some snacks and maybe a designer watch, and how about some new headphones and a new tablet computer and tickets to a ball game or maybe a show of some sort. Again, it's all perfectly fine.
Nobody can directly buy or sell the votes, but this is just all a wink and a nod sort of stuff here. So many people out there may just want contact with the candidates and they want to meet with them. But doesn't that meeting go better if you say, you know what, let's have it over a round of golf at some exclusive club. Or maybe at a getaway weekend in the Bahamas for the delegates. All this gets into a gray area.
The party says it doesn't really want to see this sort of thing happening. All of the campaigns suggest they want nothing to do with it. But the bottom line is if you get to a contested convention, everyone would have spent millions of dollars trying to win over every candidate. So it's not unheard of that maybe you'd have supporters out there who would still be pushing some Kasich steak knives and maybe a Cruz cruise or maybe a tour on a Donald Trump helicopter to win those last few votes. Don?
LEMON: Thank you, Tom. Appreciate that.
Back with my political dream team now. I mean, we thought Oscar, those gift bags were --
LEMON: By the way, I'm a delegate. No, I'm not.
MCENANY: Tom Foreman just made the case for why these rules are not fair. You know, this is not the Oprah show where you walk away with a bunch of new, free stuff. This is electing the next free leader of the world. And we should do that in the most democratic way possible. The goal should be to uplift the will of the people, to make it as representative as possible of the voters, allowing the voters in Colorado to have a preference poll. It should not be about what Tom Foreman just discussed.
LEWIS: OK, but that's a totally different issue.
LEMON: I was just going to say though, I mean, does that sound --
LEWIS: That's a different issue. Nobody here is going to defend buying off delegates. I mean, you know -- maybe if somebody is a lobbyist and they throw a party and you happen to be a delegate, maybe it would be too much to crack down on that. But if there's somebody overtly selling or trying to buy votes, that obviously is crossing the line.
MCENANY: Well, then you know what they tend to say? The rules, the rules, the rules. Everything you guys said here, we're playing by the rules, we're navigating the rules --
CONWAY: No, it's not just that.
CONWAY: Kayleigh, be fair --
LEWIS: Donald Trump could buy -- I think it's more likely Donald Trump would buy votes than Ted Cruz at the convention.
CONWAY: Exactly. And nobody would notice. Nobody would notice. If a PAC does it, they have to --
MCENANY: -- are going to make the same arguments everyone here has made tonight. These are the rules, I'm playing by the rules.
CONWAY: Kayleigh be fair. Kayleigh, be fair. If a political PAC did this, it has to -- you have to show transparency. You have to file things. If Mr. Trump does it, nobody would ever know. OK? So let's give him the benefit the doubt.
But talking about free stuff, how in the world does any other candidate, right, get $2 billion of free earned media that Donald Trump has got?
LEWIS: How many commentators have gone to Mar-A-Lago?
CONWAY: That's the kind of free stuff I'd look at. You can have your steak knives and your golf clubs.
LEWIS: I would love to see the books on who has been to Mar-A-Lago to play golf with the Donald. I mean --
MCENANY: Probably not many. I met him for the first time tonight, so this notion that commentators are being taken to Mar-A-Lago --
LEMON: Gloria --
LEWIS: How about should you be allowed to fly on his plane and interview him on the plane?
MCENANY: According to the rules, hey, the rules, the rules, the rules.
LEMON: Who's supposed to monitor this, Gloria? Give us the bottom line.
[23:45:02] BORGER: I think each delegation has to monitor it. And here's the thing. You have to know your customer. And this is what I was talking to Jim Baker about, who ran the '76 convention for Ford. He said you got to know your customer. You have to know who you're dealing with, what they like, what they don't like, talk to them about politics, know their state, understand their issues.
So it's not, you know, just out the kind of can I take him on a trip to Mar-A-Lago or go quail hunting with Ted Cruz, it's about understanding what their issues are and how you can help them in their state and what matters to them. It goes to another level.
GREGEN: You might deal with those issues on a quail hunt or --
LEMON: Or at Mar-A-Lago.
BRAZILE: Have people never done business on the golf course? (CROSSTALK)
BRAZILE: I think that's probably happened once or twice.
LEMON: Oh, do you, Donna?
CONWAY: -- in places like Colorado, this is my whole point. If you show you can play by the rules in a convention in Colorado and get all the delegates, see, e.g., Ted Cruz, then you've got a leg up going into -- it's not about gifting --
BRAZILE: But every day that Donald Trump is talking about the rules and the process, he's, you know, not talking about his message. He's not the strong man --
LEWIS: You know, Don, this goes to something Gloria was saying earlier about conservatives being worried about Donald Trump. He is basically saying the establishment is trying to stop me because I can't be bought. But that totally elides the fact that, number one, Ted Cruz ain't the establishment. Number two, there are legitimate reasons that conservatives might be concerned about Donald Trump, because he supported, you know, universal healthcare, because he wants taxpayer funding the Planned Parenthood --
CONWAY: Thank you.
LEWIS: Because Hillary Clinton came to his wedding.
CONWAY: Oh and number three --
BRAZILE: Oh, my god.
CONWAY: Well, yes, exactly.
BRAZILE: That is so pathetic.
CONWAY: That is -- the wedding thing I don't think people will care about.
LEWIS: But conservatives, if you were a hardcore conservative, if you were a delegate --
LEMON: Why is it so important that Donald Trump went to -- or Hillary Clinton went to Donald Trump's wedding?
CONWAY: I could care less.
LEMON: When last night the Kasichs said, you know what, we went to a same-sex wedding -- LEWIS: John Kasich's not considered Mr. Conservative either by the
conservative rank and file. I mean, this goes to something Gloria was talking about earlier, that there are legitimate reasons that people who are really hardcore movement conservatives have concerns about Donald Trump. And it's not because the establishment is trying to get him.
CONWAY: Every time he complains about the rules, he's insulting the delegates though. That's his problem. That was Senator Cory Gardner's point earlier, is that attacking the voters is never a good look --
LEWIS: But when he attacks the voters and talks about the rules, he is skirting the problems that he has on terms of ideology.
LEMON: Quick point, David, and then we go to break.
GREGORY: Just a point there, you know, we've come a long way from party bosses and other chieftans in the party kind of deciding who the nominee would be. The best way to avoid all this is win on the first ballot. If he doesn't, then he faces these loyalty tests, which have not been tested in the recent past, where people can say, oh well, he didn't get there. I'm not sure whether he can win. There's all these different considerations. And I do think that goes to Gloria's point, you got to know them, you got to work them, you go to persuade them, and maybe you take them on a quail hunt.
LEMON: Listen, you get to know them better if you're on a private plane instead of going through security and all of that. I mean, come on.
GREGORY: (INAUDIBLE) we're going on a quail hunt.
BORGER: And if people change on the second ballot, you can't assume it's because they were corrupted.
LEMON: We'll be right back, we'll be right back.
[23:52:16] LEMON: And we're back with the political --
CROWD: Dream team!
LEMON: So there's one guy that a lot of people want to run for president who claims that he's not going to do it but he also claimed that he didn't want to be Speaker of the House. Here's Paul Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: So let me speak directly to the delegates on this. If no candidate has a majority on the first ballot, I believe that you should only choose from a person who has actually participated in the primary. Count me out. I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our party, to be the president, you should actually run for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Believe him, Gloria?
BORGER: Yes. 100 percent believe him. It was completely Shermanesque; he didn't leave any wiggle room. And I think what he's trying to do is set up a policy agenda, and he's been very active on this, on issues like poverty, on the budget, set up a policy agenda so if the nominee is somebody that a lot of his members don't like, he can -- they can have somewhere to go. And they can say, you know, I'm for the Ryan agenda. And this is very much about trying to keep control of the House of Representatives --
BRAZILE: Down-ballot races.
BORGER: And he's a young man, he's a young man.
CONWAY: And he's made very clear --
GREGORY: He has told people early on this year, this was not his year, only to be validated by the kind of year it turned out to be. This would not be a good year as part of the establishment for him to win. He's got a very powerful job. He's got a lot of sway over domestic policy as Speaker of the House.
LEMON: But how much sway does this have over what happens at the convention? Right? Because he's saying --
CONWAY: A great deal, actually. A great deal.
MCENANY: How crazy -- isn't it quite remarkable that he heard him come out and say, guess what, there is a rule that I think is unfair and I think should be changed. It's playing into exactly what the --
CONWAY: That isn't what he said. That he wasn't he said. He said I don't want to --
LEMON: Wait, wait. Hold on, hold on.
MCENANY: So is the speaker. He said this rule should be changed, that some white knight can come in at the last moment and take the nomination. He said that's an unfair rule.
BORGER: There isn't a rule.
He said you should write a rule.
LEMON: You don't think that's what he said?
CONWAY: No. What he actually was saying more globally is I don't want to be the beneficiary of any such rule. And I give Speaker Ryan a ton of credit today. Number one, he has crafted this agenda where he is very insistent that the party be for things, not against thing. He also has been very bold and muscular in his public communications, which is a little bit different from past speakers. That I think is what has fed this frenzy that he actually was secretly running.
Look, there are a lot of donors who have been pressuring him to be that white knight, and it's sort of unfair to him, Don, because he is the Speaker of the House. He's got a really consequential day job --
LEWIS: He's also the chairman of the convention.
LEWIS: But listen to this --
LEMON: He's got to love the attention.
LEWIS: Of course he does. And, look, he's a great conservative communicator, he's optimistic and all that. But the problem is, it's one thing for Ted Cruz to steal, to, quote, "steal" the nomination from Donald Trump. If Paul Ryan does it, Cleveland explodes.
[23:55:09] CONWAY: I agree.
LEWIS: It's a totally different thing.
BRAZILE: But there's a precedent. There's a precedent with President Garfield, who was a lead in the Congress.
BRAZILE: It was 37 ballots.
LEMON: Donna taking us back, giving us history, dropping knowledge as usual.
BORGER: But, you know, he's the chairman of the convention. And what he always says is I want to be Switzerland.
LEMON: I got to go.
BORGER: I want to be neutral.
GREGORY: We want to talk to him.
BORGER: Now I can be.
LEMON: I got to be the guy who goes to the break. We'll be right back.
LEMON: As we count down to the New York primaries next Tuesday, make sure you stay with CNN for town halls with all the GOP candidates and their families. Anderson is going to host Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi Cruz tomorrow night starting at 9:00. Then it's our Brooklyn debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Thursday at 9:00.
Did you guys have a good time?
CONWAY: Great time.
LEMON: I have just a couple seconds left here. I want to ask, so does he get to 1,237?
BORGER: I have no idea. I really don't know.
GREGORY: Close, close.
CONWAY: No. Not before Cleveland or in Cleveland.
LEMON: And how does he get there? You say he gets all the northeast?
MCENANY: All of the northeast, I think he ups the delegate game with Manafort. He's going to do great and he will get to 1,237.
LEMON: That is it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night.
And if you missed any of our town hall with Donald Trump and his family, you can see the whole thing starting right now.
[23:00:05] Good night.