Return to Transcripts main page
Battle for New York is Over But War for Delegates Continues; Protests at Clinton's Rally in Philadelphia Tonight; Trump: Cruz Mathematically Eliminated; Cruz Fights Back; Sanders Battles for Superdelegates; 9/11 Families Versus Saudi Arabia. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired April 20, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The battle for New York is one but the war for delegates is far over.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Donald Trump not changing his tune despite his huge win in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a rigged, crooked system that's designed so that the bosses can pick whoever they want, and that people like me can't run, and can't defend you against foreign nonsense, and can't defend you against China and Japan and Mexico and Vietnam and India, and every single country you can name, because we lose with every -- we lose -- believe me, with every deal we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But as far as Ted Cruz is concerned, the plus size ladies shall we say is not singing yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald is on a path to losing the nomination. And all of his bluster, all of his bravado, is designed to hide that simple fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There's no love lost on the democrat side either. Bernie Sanders' campaign promising to fight for every last super delegate as Hillary Clinton says this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can't do this unless you help me. And next Tuesday is a great opportunity to start us on the path to the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A lot of ground to cover tonight. But we begin with breaking news. Protests at Hillary Clinton's rally tonight in Philadelphia. Here with that, CNN's Joe Johns. Joe, there were some protesters removed from the Clinton event in Philadelphia. Tell us what you saw.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, to put it in context, these protesters do pop up from time to time, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton and her husband, the former president, do go to events in African-American neighborhoods.
In fact, Hillary Clinton today was at a black church. Nonetheless, this evening, while she was appearing here at the film memorial in Philadelphia, about 10, perhaps even 20 protesters were removed from the room. They were holding up signs, they were chanting things like, "don't trust them."
"They're killing people." "Don't trust Hillary," and so forth. Removed from the room by police officers who were wearing suits, as well as arm bands that identified them as law enforcement. I didn't see any violence in the room.
I think it's also important to say that watching the event here in the room, Hillary Clinton was not affected by it at all. She didn't stop. She didn't address the protesters. She just kept talking.
The other thing I think is important to say is from my vantage point at least, from the back of the room, people who were cheering for Hillary Clinton tended to drown out these protesters. So, typical of some other events we've seen.
We know the Clintons have run into trouble, particularly because of things that Mr. Clinton signed while he was president, including the 1994 crime bill, the welfare reform bill, that doesn't work well with many of these protesters. They disagree with it, and you've seen protests from time to time. This is just one example of that.
LEMON: Joe Johns in Philadelphia, it didn't seem to hurt her last night here in New York. We'll continue on now. Thank you, Joe. I appreciate that. I want to bring in Dana Bash and Michael Smerconish. So, we're going to discuss all of this. So, let's talk about these results, all right. After last night's results, this is a different race, Dana, isn't it?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. I mean, let's just start on the democratic side, where Joe Johns was just talking. This is -- this is Hillary Clinton's race. Bernie Sanders went home for the first time, I can't even remember the last time he's actually gone home and taken some time off the campaign trail to try to get some rest, to try to regroup, to try to figure out what's going to be next.
We have a lot of big primaries. In six days, on Tuesday, including the state where Michael is in Pennsylvania. But I think the bottom line is, what he's got to figure out, and probably talking about right now, is whether or not he's going to keep going at it with Hillary Clinton, or is going to take a page from her speech last night and try to, you know, be united, and use the very, very significant leverage that he has to try to keep pushing his messages and his issues on the Democratic Party which is incredibly successfully so far.
LEMON: But the question is, at what point if its -- because Michael, you know, don't shoot the messenger here, but the math is not on Bernie Sanders' side at this point. Listen, anything is possible, but the math is not on his side.
And the question that everyone is asking, many people in the Democratic Party are asking, how long does this go on, and does this damage Hillary Clinton who appears to be the likely nominee right now?
[22:05:01] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR & POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, in a campaign that's had a lot of ups and downs, I think the math has been on a continuum. I don't know that the math has ever changed for Senator Sanders. And it hasn't dissuaded the money that he's been able to receive in those $27 donations, or the crowds that have come to hear him speak.
But finally, I think people are now, because we're in the home stretch, we're really entering the final chapter of the pre-convention phase; people are starting to say, what's the end game. And my hunch is he's pretty much back to where he started. It's all about being a message campaign...
SMERCONISH: ... not one that can win a nomination.
BASH: I totally agree.
LEMON: Yes. I want you both to listen to -- let's talk about Donald Trump from last night, the republican side. Listen to what he is -- he is looking ahead to the general election. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A lot of people think I'll put states into play that will never be in play. Like, I'll win Michigan. No other republican is going to even compete in Michigan. I'll win Pennsylvania. I'll win states that nobody else -- and guess what, I'm going to win New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Michael, what do you think here? Could he flip to the point about damaging the democratic nominee, could he flip some blue states in the fall? Could he win in New York?
SMERCONISH: Well, I think that he could win in Pennsylvania in the primary. I don't think he can win in a general. He's trailing. But, you know, I've given up trying to predict what's going to happen, Don, because I've been incorrect too many times. I feel like I better hang it up sooner or later. But I think that
there will be some strange alliances and some strange bed fellows. I happen to think he will poach some of those Sanders voters.
LEMON: Interesting. Dana, there -- let's see, next Tuesday, five contests here on the northeast quarter, the i-95 Corridor. We'll see there is Rhode Island, there is Connecticut, there is Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. A 172 delegates on the republican side, 384 delegates on the democratic side. So, what is the plan to alike, which candidates do these states favor?
BASH: Well, on the republican side, they favor Donald Trump big-time.
BASH: In a big way. And more importantly, they are not fertile ground for the Cruz campaign. Like at all. Maybe in central Pennsylvania, which as Michael knows, was famously called in 1992, or even before that, Alabama.
LEMON: Alabama. Right. It's Pennsylvania -- it's Philadelphia on one side, Pittsburgh on the other and Alabama in the middle.
BASH: Pittsburg in the middle. So, he might be able to do well in Alabama. And then, John Kasich is originally from the Pittsburgh area before he moved to Ohio. So, you do have that. But one thing I think that we really need to underscore with regard to Pennsylvania is whether or not anybody wins. Let's say Donald Trump wins or not. There are 54 unbound delegates.
BASH: And that is something that is so critical. Already, you know, you're hearing from team Trump, who are getting with the program on the delegate race, that if he ends up just short of the 1,237 at the end of voting process on June 7th, that those unbound delegates are going to be the most popular people on the planet.
BASH: And they're going to try to woo them to Trump, to get him over to the finish line. It's entirely possible.
LEMON: They can be just anything to do it. I mean, besides, you know, blatantly paying them off, but let's talk about -- I want to respond to that, too, as well, Michael. Because at 71, there are 71 unbound delegates, 54 of the 71, Pennsylvania republican delegates are unbound, I should say. So, how does that work? And what will that mean for this race?
SMERCONISH: Well, it's a wacky system. And we're the only of this kind in the country. And maybe that's a good thing. Three are elected from each congressional district. And let me illustrate by my congressional district, I live in Pennsylvania's second congressional district.
There are four candidates on the republican ballot for delegate. And you walk in, Don, not having any idea based on what's on the ballot who these individuals will vote for, when they get to Cleveland.
I just made contact with all four of them. Two will not commit. One said I'm voting for Ted Cruz no matter what. Only one of the four said I'm going to follow the will of the electorate. And that's why we call it a beauty contest.
And to Dana's point, what it means is that these 54 sit out there and if Trump comes in at 1,100, 1,150, 1,200, and he's looking for a group that he can sway, he is going to be focused on Pennsylvania.
LEMON: So, can the front-runners put this race to bed after April 26th? Either, Dana, after April 26, can they put this to bed?
BASH: Can they put it to bed?
BASH: No. I mean, that's just the bottom line. No. Nobody is going to be able to put it to bed until at or close to, on the republican side, June 7th. And on the democratic side, it's not going to be put to bed until Bernie Sanders decides that he wants to put it to bed. And that he's given no indication that that's going to happen before the convention.
And, you know, who knows, again, what he's going to try to get. Because you're right, and Michael's right, he has so much momentum, so much money. He's made such an impact on the democratic race and on the party. He's in the cat bird's seat right now.
[22:10:07] LEMON: Yes, he is. And the question is, will his voters, as the people who are supporting him, if Hillary Clinton happens to be the nominee, are they going to vote for her or are they going to stay home? No one knows.
BASH: No one knows.
LEMON: And we're going to discuss that a little bit later on in the show. But, Michael, I want to ask you this because you've been talking to Pennsylvania voters. Tell us who they are and what they have been talking about.
SMERCONISH: I think you'll get a kick out of this. So, there's been a lot written about a record number of individuals who have joined the Republican Party in Pennsylvania just since the first of the year.
SMERCONISH: So, we gathered a dozen of them, right? These were all D's who have just become R's. And I think you'll be interested in what you hear from some of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: How many of you switched from Democratic Party to the Republican Party? Raise your hand. Wow. Everybody. How many of you either favorably or unfavorably were motivated by Donald Trump? Raise your hand. Oh, my. OK.
Maybe this is -- maybe this is why I've never done a focus group before. OK. Is there anyone among you who joined to vote for Trump because you want to prop him up so that Hillary or Bernie can beat him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
SMERCONISH: A couple of those.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, I believe, is truly a dangerous man for American democracy. If he was to be elected president, it would say more about the electorate actually than Donald Trump.
SMERCONISH: You don't want him to be your president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't.
SMERCONISH: Even if you vote for him, it's to prop him up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be to set up the showdown in the general election. Yes, essentially, I don't want Donald Trump to be president. And I've listened to Cruz and he's even scared you in many ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I agree with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: The takeaway, Don, is it's a referendum on Donald Trump. They're all motivated to join the GOP, some for him and some against him. And I think that's true of what's going to happen Tuesday.
LEMON: That was -- you know, I love the panel. But I also love that gentleman's suit and hat, the stars and stripes. Now, that is what you wear to the polls on election night.
BASH: But, you know, it's definitely backwards in a lot of ways. If you're a republican in Pennsylvania, you don't want people coming back to the party. And I say back, because Michael knows this, that it used to be a lot more politically diverse state. And now it's much more democratic.
But the bottom line is, that you don't want them to come back to vote against one of your candidates, right, Michael? I mean, you remember the good old days when the color colleagues have filled up for you where you are right now, they were all about moderate republicans. And now, I mean, there's some, but not as many. LEMON: Wrap it up quickly for me, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Well, it's true. And it's a closed primary state like New York. So, it takes a little bit of doing. Look what happened to the Trump kids in Pennsylvania. Not as restrictive. But you can't just walk in on Tuesday and decide to vote.
LEMON: Thanks, Michael. Thanks, Dana. I appreciate it. See you soon. Make sure not to miss CNN's Smerconish Saturday at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
When we come right back, the man who says be careful what you wish for. Why Hillary Clinton shouldn't want Bernie Sanders to drop out just yet. Frank Rich is here.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Big victories by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the crucial New York primary, having a direct impact on the republican and democratic races.
So, let's discuss it now. Mr. Frank Rich is here, writer-at-large for New York Magazine and executive producer of HBO's show "Veep." Good to have you.
So, I'm going to ask you this question, knowing full well you wrote this for New York Magazine saying why Hillary Clinton shouldn't want Bernie Sanders to drop out. I mean, it was a pretty good run until last night. So, what the odds that, you know, that he'll win the nomination so small, should Bernie Sanders drop out?
FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE WRITER-AT-LARGE: I don't think so. His odds are infinitesimal. He's not going to win the nomination. She is going to win. But I feel...
LEMON: You're going to get the wrath of the Bernie Sanders supporters. But go ahead.
RICH: Oh, he's going to win in a landslide at the convention. No, I think that it's good for her to be challenged, and challenged on his issues, and she's run a fairly undistinguished campaign for the most part. And she needs to be sharper when she has to go against Trump.
LEMON: OK. So, let's play devil's advocate here. Because if you look at the -- you know, what has been thrown at her on the republican side is the e-mails, it's, you know, Benghazi and what have you. And most democrats think that those issues are not big issues. Republican certainly do, and there are some democrats who do but for the most part.
But democrats find, or at least progressives take issue with Black Lives Matter, with the 1994 crime bill and those sorts of things, so we see the protestors. Isn't that damaging her more than the republican side? RICH: Right now. But as Donald Trump keeps saying, I haven't even
started on her yet. So, and also, I feel if the race ends, she's sort of off stage, and Trump dominates the national media even more than he's already doing until the summer.
LEMON: But he's not in it to make her better, he's in it for himself. Which he should be.
RICH: Yes, he should be. But still, there may be a change in tone. That usually happens. And they -- and she needs also his supporters, she need Sanders' supporters.
LEMON: What does he want, he wants to win. But what do you think he wants?
RICH: I think the guy loves thinking about being presidential, now that he's sort of come out of some obscurity to this, you know, really strong race. He wants his issues obviously prominent and to be considered at the convention, and in her campaign.
LEMON: Yes. So, listen, let's say that Ted Cruz, I think for all intents and purposes mathematically, though, he is eliminated from this race. So, he would have to win every single delegate in order to at least have a chance.
RICH: Yes. Although according to an A.P. tabulation, it's inexact, even if he did, he would still be a few delegates behind.
LEMON: But he somehow, though, even with that can he still stop Donald Trump? Is that possible? From getting to 1,237?
RICH: Well, it's quite possible that Trump won't get to 1,237. But the real question is whether he can stop him from getting the nomination if Trump comes in with a majority that -- a plurality of the delegates and way ahead of everybody else.
[22:19:57] I know there's all this talk, you know, he'll win over delegates, he'll bribe delegates or whatever, he'll win over Rubio and Kasich delegates. But really, it's the Republican Party going to say no to the guy who got the most delegates going into the convention and who leads every poll among republican voters?
LEMON: I think something we're going to discuss later on as well is that there is this -- you know, one of the web sites I think it's Politico wrote that there internally -- internally they're saying that, hey, it's most people on the republican side of the party, the leaders say if he gets the closest it would be hard to take it away from him. And they are coming of sort of his...
RICH: They have to because otherwise they're saying -- telling their own voters to get lost. The majority of their own voters.
LEMON: I want to put up this exit poll result here. Because 66 percent of democratic voters say that the campaign energized the party, OK? While 59 percent of republicans feel the opposite. That, you know, their party is divided. It divided the party.
So, is there anyone in the Republican Party who can start pulling voters together for the general election?
RICH: Trump. I think in the Republican Party?
RICH: Yes, I think so because he is favored by most of them and people in that party want to win and they loath Hillary Clinton and the democrats. That's a pretty unifying factor.
LEMON: Yes. What he said, I want to be a uniter. So, even though...
RICH: And not a divider.
LEMON: Because Ted Cruz supporters are just as energized I think as the Bernie Sanders supporters, on the republican side.
RICH: Right. But I think the Sanders supporters are pretty sympathetic, a lot of them are sympathetic to a lot of what Sanders stands for. And I think also a lot of Cruz supporters are sympathetic to what Trump stands for.
LEMON: So, this enthusiasm that despite this enthusiasm on the democratic side, they are troubling signs for Hillary Clinton's, and here it is. Her image is a pretty near record low.
Most Americans don't like her. And it cuts across a lot of demographic groups, men, women, white people as well. They don't like her. I mean, is this the race -- is this race with Bernie Sanders do you think taking her down that we've been talking about? Because her negatives keep getting bigger. Among democrats.
RICH: I think he -- yes. But also among everybody. I mean, I think he's played a role to be sure. But nothing compared to the role the republicans are going to play in bringing her down. And also she's made her own mistakes and people don't -- a lot of people don't trust her.
LEMON: So, during the New York campaign this happened. And I thought of you. Hillary Clinton with the metro car was more veep than veep. So, when you saw that did you wonder how your show could possibly compete against this in real life? Because I thought about...
RICH: You know, we're sitting around making veep over this campaign near in (Inaudible). Could we come up with a plot idea that a candidate would get into a spat with the pope? And then we see stuff like this. We have to hope that we're wild enough to try to surpass that. The audience will decide. We've got some pretty crazy stuff coming. LEMON: So, last night, you know, everyone was saying, Donald Trump
was so presidential and he pulled back. And then, you know, calling Ted Cruz Senator, instead of saying lying Ted. And then today it was lying Ted. Do you think -- does it even matter anymore?
RICH: No. Because people who love him jusy love him. And it doesn't matter what he does. He'll have -- you know, there will be Trump 3.0 and 4.0 and 8.0, and 10.0 by the time we're through with it.
LEMON: Yes. I want to remember because I thought you said something in your article that I thought was very interesting. You said the problem for Hillary Clinton is that the people who are the Bernie Sanders supporters won't be energized enough, may not be energized enough to go to the polls. They may just stay at home because they like Bernie so much and they dislike her so much. That's a problem with them.
RICH: It's not that they don't dislike her, they're just not enthusiastic about her. They may like her, fine. She may be likable enough to them but not likable enough to get them to go to the polls on November particularly young voters.
LEMON: And that means if that happens, a lot of those people, that means president Trump for her.
RICH: I'll let you say that.
LEMON: Just saying. Thank you. I appreciate it. Frank Rich.
RICH: Thank you.
LEMON: Up next, Trump says Cruz is mathematically eliminated from getting the GOP nomination. And that now he is just a spoiler. But Cruz insists no one, including Trump, will have enough delegates to get the nomination before the convention. Who's right? We'll discuss.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Big New York win, Donald Trump now saying there's not much of a republican race anymore. And that he expects to go to the convention as a winner. The GOP nomination.
So, joining me now, republican strategist, John Brabender, and Andy Dean, CNN political commentator who is supporting Donald Trump. Hello, gentlemen, welcome back to the program.
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Hello.
LEMON: So, I want to take a look, you guys take a look at this tweet. It's from Donald Trump who shout out earlier today. He said "Ted Cruz is mathematically out of winning the race. Now all he can do is be a spoiler. Never a nice thing to do I will beat Hillary."
So, John, why is Senator Ted Cruz not a spoiler right now?
BRABENDER: Well, I'll tell you what, if he loses all the elections next week, all the primaries, I think that people will be asking that question a little bit. Because his message increasingly has been, vote for me, I'm the only one that can stop Donald Trump. Which I don't think is exactly a message of vision.
And so, I do think this thing has to go a little bit further. But I think there is going to be some fatigue where people are going to be tired of Cruz coming in second or third and not winning anything. And we'll be asking that question.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Alice Stewart who is Ted Cruz communications director and a republican strategist. So, Alice, I read the tweet from Donald Trump saying it's not to be a spoiler, that's what Ted Cruz is. How is he not a spoiler right now?
ALICE STEWART, TED CRUZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, it's not nice to say things that aren't factually accurate. And with all due respect to my friend John there, look, the fact of the matter is, the last five contests, Ted has won. He swept some of the states. And received more than 100 delegates over the last few weeks, in the last five contests.
And look, everyone expected Donald Trump to win New York. It's his home state. He has tremendous name I.D. His name is on virtually every building every time you turn the corner in New York. And it was expected for him to win his home state.
Just like Ted won his state and just like John Kasich won his. And the key to success moving forward is that Ted Cruz has developed a grassroots organization that is rising up, and has rallied behind him...
STEWART: ... in the last several contests. And that will help us moving forward.
LEMON: So, Andy, here's Senator Ted Cruz today talking about Trump and all this delegate math. Here he is.
[22:30:06] ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: What is clear today is that we are headed to a contested convention. Nobody is able to reach 1,237. I'm not going to reach 1,237, and Donald Trump is not going to reach 1,237. We're going to arrive in Cleveland with me having a ton of delegates, and with Donald having a ton of delegates.
And at that point it is going to be a battle to see who can earn the support of a majority of the delegates elected by the people. Donald is a niche candidate. He gets about a third of the votes in any given state, but he can't expand that to being a majority. To win, you've got to have a broad tent.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So, Andy, Donald Trump has been saying he's going to get beyond the 1,237 number. Ted Cruz is confident that this is going to be a contested convention. What say you?
DEAN: Well, I guess you can't blame Ted Cruz for saying what he's saying because he literally has no other option. I mean, he needs 101 percent of the remaining deletes to win this thing, which we get mathematically isn't possible.
And if you just look at the sheer numbers, after next Tuesday, Donald Trump will have won 27 states, Ted Cruz will have won just 11 states. So, the idea that Ted Cruz is calling Donald Trump a niche candidate, I guess you could say it was laughable if it weren't just factually untrue.
LEMON: But, Andy...
LEMON: ... doesn't Trump still have a long way to go before he gets to that finish line? Especially with Cruz and Kasich still doing everything they can to peel off those delegates.
DEAN: All right. Look, so, I think Trump, I mean, if you look at the numbers, he's going to get there probably to 1,250. But even if he does fall short, let's say in a worst case scenario, the projection is he gets to about 1,200. So, then, all you need is 37 delegates between June 7th, the last vote, and mid-July, which is the beginning of the convention.
And that's 37 people, 37 delegates. There are 132 uncommitted delegates. That means that Donald Trump has to pick up the phone and call 132 people, and convince less than a third of them to vote for him. I don't think that that's a tall order.
So, I think Trump is going to get this nomination. And whether he gets 1,237 or he comes very close to that and shy of it, he'll still get it on the first ballot.
LEMON: John Brabender, I know that you think that last night really hurt Ted Cruz's narrative, that he is the best alternative. So, I mean, what's your reaction to what Ted Cruz is saying there?
BRABENDER: Well, you know, first of all, I'm not affiliated with any of these candidates. I think what I'm saying is what I actually glee.
LEMON: Yes, I know, that's why I asked you.
BRABENDER: You know, for him to call Donald Trump a niche candidate, but he's getting his butt kicked by the niche candidate, what does that say about Cruz. You know, the second thing is, and I would ask my good friend Alice, you know, what are one of the states he's going to win next week? Or what's the state that he's going to come in second next week?
And I think that what you're going to see happen is there's going to be a fatigue when Donald Trump starts winning all these states where people are finally going to say, let's take on Hillary Clinton, because that's the real enemy here. And I just think that, you know, Cruz is going to have a tough argument.
LEMON: Hey, Alice, I want you to respond to that, but let me put this up before because I think this goes into your response. This is from Politico, OK? And it says that -- they say that "There are now whispers that the real number of delegates Trump must win by June 7th when the final contests take place may be lower."
And then they go on to say that "these conversations reveal a growing if reluctant consistent -- consensus among party officials and establishment republicans that if he gets close enough, they can't take the nomination away."
I mentioned that just a little bit earlier with Frank Rich. Are you prepared for the possibility that if Trump comes close, that he could still collar together the needed delegates as Andy was saying before the first vote?
STEWART: That's not going to happen. Look, the rules are that you have to have a majority plus one. It's not who has the most or who is the closest, it's not who gets in the red zone and we give them a touchdown. You have to have a majority plus one.
In all likelihood playing all the scenario and doing all the math, there's a likelihood that no one will get to 1,237 before the convention. And if and when and it's fought on the convention floor, Ted Cruz is in a much better position to win on the convention floor.
He has been working the delegates. Here's the one thing that the Trump campaign has failed to recognize. There's really a two-step process here. If you don't win outright as a presidential nominee, you have to win in terms of the delegate process. And acquiring delegates on the convention floor.
And just because he gave up after the first step of the process, does not make the delegates that we've acquired any less valid. And he made the mistake by dropping the ball after the first step. Acquiring the delegates and nurturing and working the grassroots which Ted Cruz has done phenomenally is the key to the success on the convention floor.
The delegates are rallying behind Ted because they understand he has fought for the issues that are important and they know that he will continue to do so.
LEMON: I got to -- I want to go to a break. But Andy I got to let you go quickly, because I know you're raring to go here.
[22:35:02] DEAN: Yes. I was just going to say, Don, look, if this were a close race, like if Trump and Ted Cruz were somewhat close and not millions of votes apart, because Trump is millions of votes ahead, if they were very close or tied, then Alice has a point, right?
There's something to this grass roots, party nerds in Cleveland, let the party nerds decide. If they were very, very close, that's fine. But that's not what we're dealing with here. We're dealing with almost a landslide. And I think Alice and her team needs to understand that. The American people have spoken.
LEMON: All right. We're just getting started with this. We'll continue on...
STEWART: One quick thing...
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, Alice. I've got to go. You can respond when we come back. So, stick around.
LEMON: When we come right back, what will it take for Donald Trump to win with women and non-white voters.
LEMON: Donald Trump took a huge step towards the nomination with last night's landslide victory here in New York, but is he doing more complaining than celebrating.
Back with me now, John Brabender, Alice Stewart, and Andy Dean. So, Alice, I want you to respond to what Andy was saying, I guess basically saying that your idea about a contested convention is somehow a fantasy?
STEWART: Well, no, I mean, in all likelihood, that's where we're going to end up fighting it out on the convention floor.
[22:40:01] And one thing that Andy said, on behalf of all the people across this country that go to the state conventions, I'm not sure the last time he went to one, but for him to refer to them as the party nerds and the way the Trump campaign has insulted the grassroots people who attend the state conventions and support their candidates, it's appalling.
These are moms and dads...
DEAN: Alice, there's characterization.
STEWART: ... grandmothers and grandfathers who walk the streets, knock on doors, make phone calls, and fight hard for the Republican Party. And for the Trump campaign to insult them like that and to say that these are crooked deals...
DEAN: I'm not with the Trump campaign. I'm not with the Trump campaign.
STEWART: ... it's appalling. LEMON: Go ahead, Andy. Quickly because I want to move on...
DEAN: I'm not the Trump campaign. And I was making a lighthearted joke. I guess that Ted Cruz campaign doesn't have a sense of humor. And if I were them I wouldn't either. Because there are 2.3 million votes less than Donald Trump.
And so, when I use a joke term that, you know, these delegate people might be a little on the bookish side, then Alice is freaking out trying to get a blog to write saying the Trump campaign called delegates nerds. When I'm not part of the Trump campaign. So, you know, let's chill.
LEMON: OK. Here's Donald Trump last night, what he said about the delegate process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Nobody should take delegates and claim victory unless they get those delegates with voters and voting. And that's what's going to happen.
And you watch, because the people aren't going to stand for it. It's a crooked system. It's a system that's rigged. And we're going to go back to the old way. It's called you vote and you win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, John, I promise I'll get you in here. But I want this to go to Andy because he is a Trump supporter. So, you know, you have Senator Ted Cruz saying that Trump needs to quit whining about the delegates. Speaker Paul Ryan saying that the rules are the rules. Is all this grumbling still effective?
DEAN: Look, I think when Trump said that the system is crooked, it is crooked. I mean, take a state like Pennsylvania, they vote is next Tuesday, they have 71 delegates. But the people are only deciding 17 of them on a statewide vote. The other 54 delegates are just going to be these people who go to the convention, who can do whatever the heck they want.
And when -- and if you look at the sample ballots in Pennsylvania, they're online that you can take a look, they have these delegates' names on the ballot. But they don't say who they're for or who they're against. So, you have absolutely no clue who these people are.
So, if I'm -- you know, if from Pennsylvania and I go to the poll, and I have to vote for delegates and I don't know who they stand for, yes, that seems crooked to me. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to say that, you know, that is crooked.
LEMON: OK. So, John, I want to ask you this. Because I think you say that Donald Trump needs to move on. I want to -- now I'll preface it by saying that "Donald Trump has won 47 percent of the delegates so far, 47 almost 50 percent. And about 38 percent of the votes across the contest." All contests.
So, the process actually seems to be working in his favor. Is that why you say he needs to move on?
BRABENDER: Well, yes. First of all, I think a lot of people think that Donald Trump has done what he's done by winning the lottery, or hypnosis or something. The truth of the matter is, whatever votes he's got, like every other candidate they've earned it.
However, I think all of our candidates have to stop talking only about delegates, or stopping this guy, or this guy is a liar, and instead offer a vision of how you can unite everybody to win in November. And nobody is doing that right now.
And I think that's a real problem for our candidates. And I'm imploring all of them to stop this, grow up and start running a campaign that's going to beat Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: OK. Speaking of more mature campaigns, Alice, last night we heard Donald Trump take a victory lap with a lot of folks saying that he sounded more presidential, pointing to the fact that he actually referred to Ted Cruz as Senator. But today, he was back to his old ways. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In the case of lying Ted Cruz, lying Ted -- lies, oh, he lies. You know, Ted, he brings the bible, holds it high, puts it down, lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, why did he go back to the, you know, lying Ted thing?
STEWART: Well, that's his comfort zone. We all knew that the tone of civility would last for about five minutes with Donald Trump. And that's where he's running into trouble. He would rather insult and distract from the real issues, than talk about the real issues.
And I agree with John 1,000 percent. Ted Cruz has been out there talking about the issues that people are concerned with. What he's going to do to break up the Washington cartel, creating jobs, national security. And he has done a lot to unify the party. That's why we're seeing a tremendous sweep in a lot of these states.
Five of the former challengers in the presidential campaign have rallied behind him and are endorsing him, including Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, several others that were competitors of his, now rallying behind him because they realize he's the one that can unify the party and bring them together, defeat Donald Trump and Hillary in November.
LEMON: Andy, I give you the last word.
DEAN: Well, my last word will be this idea that Ted Cruz is a great unifier is bizarre. Because I think of the 99 other senators, maybe one has endorsed Ted Cruz. Anybody who knows Ted Cruz think the guy is a little awkward and he's not a uniter.
[22:45:06] This is a guy who's always been in it for himself, whether that's in Washington or where he is now. So, this idea that Ted Cruz is going to unite people is bizarre. I think Donald Trump is the uniter, and you're going to start to see more language like last night's victory speech, where Donald brings the party together, because he's the only one who mathematically can win this nomination.
LEMON: All right. Andy and Alice, and John, thank you very much.
And coming up, will New York be known as the straw that broke the back of Bernie Sanders, the Bernie Sanders' campaign? We'll discuss.
LEMON: The battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton come down to super delegates. Sanders' campaign vowing to pressure super delegates to support the Senator from Vermont.
Here to discuss now is CNN political commentator, Bob Beckel, demoratic strategist, Nomiki Konst, a Bernie Sanders supporter, and CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen. Good evening to all of you.
NOMIKI KONST, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening.
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Don.
LEMON: Hilary Rosen, you first. A huge night for Hillary Clinton last night. Is she now at the point she can focus on the general?
ROSEN: Well, she's got to do both. Her team is already looking at the general election. They need to be -- Donald Trump is going to be a tough general election candidate. That's who everybody expects her to be running against.
[22:50:04] But, you know, it's possible other candidates like Ted Cruz could come up. But, you know, this democratic primary is not over. And Bernie Sanders is still going to be on the campaign trail, still going to be trashing her. And, you know, I expect questioning her judgment and her ethics, and doing a lot of things that will not be particularly helpful for democrats.
But I think he's going to do it anyway, because he really wants to win and thinks that will help him. So, she can't take her eye off the ball who got a few big primaries next week. And California...
ROSEN: ... later in the month. So, she's got to keep working in the democratic primary.
LEMON: So, I'm here with Nomiki, she told me to call her Nomi, by the way before we came on. And she is -- you have a good poker face. But you're taking issue with what Hilary just said.
KONST: Good poker face. I do not have a good poker face. ROSEN: No, it's poker face.
KONST: I am the worst poker face ever. Yes, I mean, the reality here is, the Clinton machine, there's quite a few groups out there that are doing messaging for the Clintons and spinning this. You know, she gained about 35 to 40 regular pledge delegates out of New York. She has a smaller margin of victory than in 2008.
She is not going to reach that magical number. Forget about Bernie Sanders. She will not reach that magical number of 2383 by June in order to go to the convention. And that's based on the margin of the latest victories. New York was her best bet. Right now he's polling very well in California.
New York was the most closed primary state. It worked totally against the favor of Bernie Sanders and we knew that from the beginning. The problem is that she was -- this is where she's expected to get 100, 150 delegates, pledged delegates. If she doesn't go beyond that cap of 250, which she's been around for the past two months, she's not going to reach the pledged delegate count for the convention, and then it's going to be down to super delegates.
LEMON: So, Bob, you don't have a dog in the hunt here. So, what do you think is she...
BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I got to see -- I got to see -- yes, that was a great spin, by the way.
KONST: It's math.
ROSEN: Math. Arithmetic.
BECKEL: You earned to play. This race is over. I mean, barring the FBI or the Justice Department indicting Hillary Clinton. Look, I count the delegates for six presidential campaigns and I can't find a way that she doesn't get there. Unless she gets the lead from a lot of super delegates, and they're not going to do that.
So, I think this same will effectively to California. And the question that have voted Bernie do, the question has been raised is, will Bernie Sanders supporters support Hillary Clinton. And my guess is that instinctively they don't want to. But one thing will make them do that, and that's Donald Trump. There will be a united anti-Trump -- what?
KONST: I happen to disagree with that. You know this if you're from history democrats don't turn out in opposition. That is something that republicans do. Also, he has this group of disenfranchise, disaffected independent voters, newly registered voters, and a lot of them are unifying against one issue, the root cause of the several movement, that from Black Lives Matter to occupy. And then its campaign finance. Hillary Clinton is emblematic of the problem. And so, while I'm a democrat and I will vote for a democrat and I'm part of that democratic world, a lot of these people are not. And I really caution the Democratic Party from pooh-poohing the Bernie Sanders supporters and ask him like...
LEMON: It sounds like you're saying, Hilary...
ROSEN: I think it's like pooh-poohing though.
LEMON: Hilary, hold on.
LEMON: It sound like what she's saying is these Bernie Sanders supporters are so anti-Hillary Clinton, that they won't show up, they'll just stay home rather than go out and support her, or even, you know, take a protest vote against Donald Trump. They're just going to stay at home. And that's not good for her.
ROSEN: Well, it wouldn't be good for her. But I also don't think it's going to happen. I don't think you're pooh-poohing Sanders voters by suggesting that an overwhelming majority of democrats and independents are going to see it as in their self-interest to elect a progressive candidate as opposed to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
Look, in 2008, people said, oh, women are never going to come around to Barack Obama. They're going to be so disappointed, you know, the millions of older women who were for Hillary Clinton, and, you know, the most stalwart supporters. And guess what? You know, they did.
KONST: And they were likely voters.
ROSEN: And ultimately...
KONST: They were likely democratic voters. These are unlikely democratic voters. She has a base. She has African-American; they're likely democratic voters...
ROSEN: There's naturally no real evidence that we have an entirely new voting bloc. We have -- we have a resurgence of then-Obama coalition, and that Obama coalition is ultimately going to vote for the democrats.
So, I think that this is kind of the new Sanders line, that, oh, my God, we're going to threaten not to support the democratic nominee. This is what the republicans have been doing.
KONST: It's not true. They're not threatening that.
ROSEN: Wait, wait, Nomiki, let me finish. I let you talk.
LEMON: Let her finish. Let her finish.
ROSEN: So, here's the other interesting thing that's coming out of the Sanders camp today. Which is all of a sudden they're saying, you know, the super delegates really are going to have to switch and vote for Sanders and put him over the top. Because we think he's going to be a better candidate against the republican in the fall.
[22:54:56] So, all of a sudden, the super delegates who they've been accusing of trying to hijack the election, now they're suggesting hijack the election for Bernie Sanders. So, I think you see the Sanders camp twisting themselves in knots today trying to figure out how they can get to this math that, you know, Bob and I are both playing pretty insurmountable.
LEMON: But, Bob, is it fair game though? Is that a fair game for them to do that?
BECKEL: Well, sure. I mean, this is a presidential election. I mean, you know, we all do games near the end of this process. But in the end, the best-selling Halloween mask this October will be Donald Trump's face.
You go on to a college -- you go on to a campus and mention Donald Trump and people fled to the woodwork. She will -- remind me I said this, you can run this tape -- she will crush him. I mean, she can crush him from jail.
ROSEN: Well, I'm not that confident but I'm confident she'll win.
ROSEN: But I think it's going to be close I'm going to say. And we do -- and we do need a united party. And we do need independence. And we do need the people Bernie Sanders is, you know, are bringing to the table. That's why I think it really behooves him as a leader to be really thoughtful over these next few weeks. Yes, clash on issues, but stop questioning her ethics and her judgment.
LEMON: OK. Never a dull moment.
KONST: Campaign finance.
LEMON: I've got to go.
KONST: Campaign finance.
LEMON: I've got to go. Never a dull moment especially with Bob Beckel. Bob, I can always count on you for a sound bite. Thank you, all of you. See you soon.
When we come right back, 9/11 families versus Saudi Arabia. Why they may soon be able to sue the kingdom and why the White House says that could be bad for America.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)