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Big Victories For Trump and Clinton In New York; Bernie Sanders Flies Back To Vermont; Sanders Claims Voting Irregularities At New York Polls; Trump Team Shifts Focus To Florida And RNC Meeting; New York Exit Polling. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 20, 2016 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[00:00:38] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Big victories for the front- runners tonight in New York state. The home state favorites, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, back in the win column, breaking their rivals' momentum, moving closer to their party's nomination.

So, we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer at the CNN Election Center, with special coverage of the New York primary. For Trump, the win comes as he reboots his campaign for the final push toward the Republican Convention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As you know, we have won millions of more votes than Senator Cruz, millions and millions of more votes than Governor Kasich. We have won, and now especially after tonight, close to 300 delegates more than Senator Cruz. We're really, really rocking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: For Hillary Clinton, the win is a big boost as she tries to finally leave a hard charging Bernie Sanders behind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's humbling that you trust me with the awesome responsibilities that await our next president, --

[Cheering]

CLINTON: -- and to all the people who supported Senator Sanders, I believe there is much more that unites us than divides us.

[Cheering and Applause]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: While the two front-runners celebrate at home, their rivals spent the day on the road in Pennsylvania and Maryland, which hold primaries next Tuesday along with Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. Hundreds of delegates are at stake then. Let's go to out colleague Jake Tapper; Jake?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT, via satellite: Thanks, Wolf; let's check in with our campaign reporters, who are spread throughout the state of New York and, indeed, in some cases, around the country.

Let's start with Jim Acosta who is with Donald Trump, the big winner in the republican side this evening. Jim, Donald Trump giving a speech this evening that was much more restrained, much more temperate, --

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, via satellite: Right.

TAPPER: -- referring to Senator Ted Cruz, instead of calling him "Lyin' Ted" as he's been calling him for weeks, calling him Senator Cruz.

ACOSTA: That's right, Jake. I think even Donald Trump's toughest critics would say that he sounded downright presidential during these remarks that we heard here at Trump Tower this evening.

He did not call Ted Cruz Lyin' Ted, and that may be the first time we haven't heard that phrase used in many weeks. He did call him Senator Cruz; referred to John Kasich as Governor Kasich, although he did still dish out some red meat regarding that RNC delegate allocation process, saying it's crooked and it's rigged.

It's interesting to point out that Paul Manafort, the new convention manager for Donald Trump, came out and talked to reporters after Donald Trump gave that address to the country really, and Paul Manafort, you know, he pushed back on this notion that he and others in the campaign, the more seasoned operatives brought into the campaign, are tamping down on Trump's rhetoric, that they put a lid on what he is saying in the campaign. They say, and Paul Manafort told reporters that Donald Trump is setting the tone for this campaign. So this may be tone that we're going to hear over the next couple of months. We will wait and see on that.

He also dismissed the idea that there's friction and turmoil inside the campaign. He said that he and campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, are working together just fine.

Then finally, Jake, getting back to the delegate allocation process inside the RNC, the one that Donald Trump refers to as crooked and rigged and a sham, Paul Manafort told reporters that Donald Trump doesn't want to do away with that system this time around, obviously he can't do that; but would like to do that next time around. It was sort of a way to sort of extend an olive branch to the RNC. We'll have to wait and see how that develops.

But, Jake, in the next coming day, Donald Trump has events in Indiana and Maryland and, really, even though he had a big night tonight, Jakes, there is really very little room for error for Donald Trump. He still has to rack up big wins in these upcoming contents if he wants to clinch that magic number of 1237. I talked to Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., just after these remarks, earlier tonight. He feels like that his father believes that he will get to that magic number but he said that his dad is not taking anything for granted at this point. Jake?

TAPPER: All right; Jim Acosta with the Trump campaign at Trump Headquarters here in New York.

[00:05:01] The other big winner, on the democratic side, Hillary Clinton, who represented the state of New York for eight years in the U.S. Senate. Brianna Keilar is at Clinton headquarters. Brianna, a big, big victory for the former Secretary of State.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT, via satellite: A big victory here in her home state and she told this crowd here that this was personal. She thanked New Yorkers for having her back. She said, victory in sight, which is a refrain that we are hearing from top aides as well. I think we'll hear more of that in the coming days. Hillary Clinton saying the race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and then she made that overture to Bernie Sanders supporters that you just mentioned, there is more that unites us than divides us.

Even as Hillary Clinton said that, some very sharp words coming from her Communications Director, Jennifer Palmieri as she briefed reporters after Hillary Clinton's speech. She said there's no question that some of the rhetoric that Bernie Sanders and his campaign have been putting out is destructive, that is the word she used "destructive". She said it wasn't productive for the country or the party.

So even as Hillary Clinton is offering one of these olive branches, you are seeing some of her campaign aides with sharper words for Bernie Sanders, trying to case him as desperate and warning him, Jake, not to be a spoiler, not to hurt Hillary Clinton, as she does now appear certainly more poised to become the democratic nominee than Bernie Sanders.

TAPPER: All right, Brianna Keilar at Clinton Campaign Headquarters here in New York.

Let's go to Jeff Zeleny who is traveling with the Sanders campaign and is in Pennsylvania, which will hold its primary in a week. Jeff, any response from the Sanders campaign to the strong words from the Clinton campaign Communications Director about what she says is Bernie Sanders and his campaign's destructive behavior?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, via satellite: Well, Jake, the advisers to Senator Sanders simply are dismissing that. This is not the first time we've heard the word destructive. In fact, the Clinton Campaign Manager said that about 24 hours ago, saying Senator Sanders is on a path of destruction here.

We did hear from Senator Sanders himself for the first time tonight. He flew back to Vermont to recharge his batteries. He was speaking as he stepped off his plane. He said he congratulates Secretary Clinton on her victory tonight, but he did point out in the next breath, Jake, that there was all types of voting irregularities at the polls in New York. But someone asked him then about his path forward; let's listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We lost tonight. There are five primaries next week. We think we're going to do well, and we have a path toward victory which we are going to fight to maintain. So thank you all very much for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you planning to change anything with your campaign after tonight?

SANDERS: No; we think we have the message that is resonating throughout this country. We have come a long, long way. We have taken on the entire Democratic political establishment. We have won many, many state primaries and caucuses and we think that the message that we're bringing forth, which is that we have got to change a corrupt campaign finance system in which billionaires are able to buy elections, we have to deal with a rigged economy, in which almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1-percent, and we have to deal with the broken criminal justice system.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Can you elaborate on your plan for the next states?

SANDERS: Well, what our plan is that I just came back from Pennsylvania. We had two great rallies. We have had previous rallies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and we think we have a very, very strong grass-roots movement that's going to be knocking on a lot of doors and making a lot of telephone calls. At the end of the day, I always believe that it's grass-roots activism that wins elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: Now there's no question that Senator Sanders still has a lot of grass-roots support and activism out there. He had 6,000 people tonight at a rally here in State College, Pennsylvania, but it's clear this message has hit its ceiling.

In New York, he was hoping to close the gap with Senator Clinton. No one expected a 15-point loss to her, Jake. So the reality here is, the math is not in Senator Sanders' favor. He realizes that. He is off the campaign trail tomorrow. He says, I need time to recharge but he is back in Pennsylvania on Thursday. He believes that's a good state for him.

And, Jake, just a bit of perspective here. We see this back and forth between both campaigns. It was eight years ago today, here in Pennsylvania, before that Pennsylvania primary, when Hillary Clinton said that Barack Obama [00:10:01] is not tough enough to be president. Of course, they got over that. She went on to win the Pennsylvania primary. He, of course, won the nomination. So we think in the moment, this heat can't dissipate. It probably will in this case, Jake. The one unifying factor for all of these Democrats could be Donald Trump. Jake? TAPPER: That's right. She said that in Radnor, Pennsylvania, if memory serves. Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. Dana Bash, let me bring you in here.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (Inaudible) true Pennsylvanian.

TAPPER: Well, a Philly boy anyway. One of the things that we see going on right now is kind of questions about where the Sanders campaign goes from here. Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Sanders, on another network, being very aggressive, talking about how they will take this all the way to the convention. Bernie Sanders being very aggressive. Ted Divine, who is a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders, giving an interview saying, we're going to see what the next five or six primaries go and then we will reassess. Perhaps some disagreement internally.

BASH: It wouldn't be first time we've seen that in a presidential campaign, but it also sounds like maybe Ted Divine is being a little bit more realistic and Jeff Weaver is being a little bit more idealistic and optimistic about the campaign.

Look, it's entirely possible, I would say maybe even probable that Bernie Sanders does technically take it all the way to the convention, to try to get some things out of the democratic party and its platform and its positions, things that he cares deeply about. Wouldn't surprise me at all. The question is though whether he is going to actually continue to compete hard, you know, through California if, in fact, as Sanders Aide Ted Divine said, or suggested, he doesn't do as well in the next several contests. There's no reason to think that he will do that well in the next several contests -

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: -- given where the map is, given the fact that we are talking about the northeast and states that tend to have voters who, even when she was running against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton did quite well.

TAPPER: Wolf Blitzer, back in Washington, as I recall, Walter Mondale hadn't even secured the magic number of delegates after the last contest in 1984. He was still 50 delegates short. So he still went on to get the nomination in any case.

BLITZER: I remember that as well. All right, stand by, guys. I want to go to John King at the Magic Wall. John, this is a contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders right now. She has 14 -- 1,413 delegates to his 1,145. These are strictly pledge delegates.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pledged delegates, and those numbers will change. Those include the ones in New York we have been able to assign so far. Our teams are working on assigning the delegates, her lead likely to grow a bit by the time you wake up in the morning as we assign more of those delegates. What does that mean? It means a big win in New York for Hillary Clinton. She's at 57-percent of the vote now with 94-percent in. 42=percent for Senator Sanders. Then the question is, as our correspondents and Jake and Dana were

just talking about, where do we go next? We stay in this area, and this is why the Clinton campaign is confident. Let me stretch this out for you a little bit. We have contests in Rhode Island and Connecticut next week. Rhode Island is open primary. Sanders best state, if you think about be the states, where Independents can come in and vote, but it's a relatively small basket of delegates. Connecticut is a state the Sanders campaign says it will compete in. The Clinton campaign thinks it will win. The biggest prizes though, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

If you go back and we think about that contest in 2008, we come back to the Democratic primary. The interesting thing is this is Barack Obama winning African-American vote and winning out the Philadelphia suburbs and winning in Harrisburg and Lancaster. The darker blue is Hillary Clinton, who won the state. It will be interesting to see if we get a bit of a flip this side, that is Bernie Sanders tries to sell his economic, especially trade message in the more blue-collar areas. Hillary Clinton needs the African-American vote here. This is the key test for Senator Sanders. If he loses in Pennsylvania, with the blue- collar message, this is a decent fit for his message. If he can't win in Pennsylvania, you expect Hillary Clinton.

Obama carried Maryland in 2008, you see it doesn't want to pop up for me there. Okay, there we go.

Obama carried Maryland in 2008, quite handily. You would expect Secretary Clinton, based on what we've seen, African-American voters, Latino

voters, to do well here. So, Pennsylvania the big test for Senator Sanders next week on the democratic side. Hillary Clinton believing, Wolf, that if she continues this trek up here in this part of the country, she believes the math is insurmountable now, and thinks it will be even more so next week.

Then, just quickly, on the republican side, much like Secretary Clinton does, Donald Trump essentially has done very well in this area of the country. So Donald Trump thinks a big win tonight projects to him running the board and winning all five next week. The big challenge, Ted Cruz shut out tonight in New York. John Kasich getting only a few to a handful of delegates. Can they slow Trump down? Can Trump, like he did tonight, win 80-percent, 90-percent of the delegates in these states? If he does, he has a conceivable chance to get there, or get really close, by the convention.

BLITZER: He certainly does. We'll have, obviously, extensive coverage coming up a week from today. So can Donald Trump win enough delegates to avoid a contested convention in Cleveland? Can his rivals make the math work [00:15:03] in their favor? Delegate experts are standing by to show us what could happen. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (HEADLINES)

BLITZER: Let's get a key race alert right now. As you know, Donald Trump, he has won the New York State Republican Presidential Primary. 93-percent of the vote is now in: he is at 60-percent, very impressive; John Kasich, only 25.2-percent; Ted Cruz, a very distant third place, 14.8-percent. Donald Trump ahead by 278,000 votes. 94- percent of the votes are in.

Donald Trump had a very, very impressive night, but in a speech after his win, he also is still complaining. Listen to this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Even though we are leading by a lot and we can't be caught, it's impossible to catch us, nobody should take delegates and claim victory unless they get those delegates with voters and voting. That's what's going to happen. You watch, because the people aren't going to stand for it. It's a crooked system. It's a system that is rigged, and we're going to go back to the old way. It's called you vote and you win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: It's a crooked system you heard him say. The system is rigged. Let's go to CNN's Phil Mattingly in Hollywood, Florida at a Republican National Committee meeting. What was going on over there in Hollywood, Phil, because these are important moments right now for the Republican Party.

[00:20:03] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESONDENT: That's right, Wolf. The very process that Donald Trump decries is the process his team is now very clearly aware could make or break his nomination and that's why their focus is shifted from New York down here to Florida. 168 RNC committee members are meeting here over the course of the next three days, and it's important to note Wolf, what they can and can't do.

They will be meeting to discuss potential rules changes at the Republican National Convention. Now, all they can do here is make recommendations. They can't actually force those changes during this process, but why this matters is because these 168 individuals, not only are all delegates but many serve on the Rules Committee that will eventually make those changes. That's why Trump's team is coming down here. That's why Ted Cruz's team is coming down here. That's why John Kasich, in person, is coming down here. All to lobby, all to talk about what the rules package may actually look like.

Why does that matter? If there's an open convention, Wolf, that Rules package could dictate how those floor proceedings play out. Again, no major changes expected this week, but there has still been fights amongst those committee members that have blown out into the public sphere over the last five or six days, underscoring the intensities of the battles that are happening right now as we all look forward to the possibility of an open convention in Cleveland; Wolf.

BLITZER: Okay, Phil Mattingly in Hollywood, Florida at the Republican National Committee Convention. Let's go over to CNN Delegate Analyst John King is still with us. Michael Toner, Mike Shields. Mike Shields, the notion of the contested convention, Donald Trump looks like he has obviously the best chance. He is way away in the delegates, way ahead in the popular votes, but there still could be a contested convention; and on the second or third ballot, it's anyone's guess what happens.

MIKE SHIELDS, DELEGATE ANALYST: Yes, that's why you see a dual campaign: a campaign to voters to try to win the primaries, there's another to the delegates, to both elect delegates and try and persuade delegates. That's one of the reasons why - you know, these RNC members are delegates. So they will go down there, the RNC meeting this week. They are all down there. They're going to start making their case about, hey, if we get in an open convention, I can bring the party together. I'm the person who can lead us and win in the Fall. I think that's really important.

One other thing to add to what he was saying, the rules package that's voted on by the Delegate Rules Committee, still has to go to the full floor of the delegates and be voted on. So no matter what happens, there has to be a majority of the delegates that vote on that rules package and that's why that delegate selection matters so much because regardless of who they are bound to on their first ballot, they still are going to vote on the rules package ahead of time. If they're all Cruz delegates, they're going to vote for rules that favor Cruz on the floor.

BLITZER: When you hear, Michael Toner, Donald Trump saying it's a crooked system, it's a system that is rigged, you are a former Council for the Republican National Committee, former Chair of the Federal Election Committee, what goes through your mind when you hear language by the Republican Presidential Front-Runner against the Party right now?

MICHAEL TONER, DELEGATE ANALYST: These rules issues often get very intense, as we were talking about earlier. It's grass-roots politics, in terms of who gets elected to these delegate slots. But a couple of things Wolf that are important to keep in mind: 95-percent of the delegates on the first ballot are bound. So the outcome of these primaries and caucuses we are talking about tonight are critical on first ballot. Now, on the second ballot, 40-percent are bound. So it's true, if you get into a multi-ballot environment, then the particular delegates really do matter because more of them are unbound. But the bottom line is, for Donald Trump, 95-percent of the delegates on that first ballot will be bound and so he does have a pathway, as John King has been noting, to get to 1237.

BLITZER: A lot of people say that his only path because if it goes to Round 2 or 3 it's over for him.

KING: And the new team coming in, including Paul Manafort, who is down at the Republican National Committee meeting, a little good cop/bad cop. Donald Trump has been saying it's a rigged process. Donald Trump has been saying these guys are dirty tricksters. Paul Manafort is going down there to try and keep an eye on them, to keep a watchful eye on them because he doesn't trust what the establishment is doing, but at the same time he is trying to make some friends. Even he concedes to people, in private conversation, that Donald Trump has one chance, that is to win on first ballot for the points that Mike and Michael have been making, that a lot of those people who will vote for Trump on the first ballot, not a significant number, dozens now, maybe over 100 on the second ballot, have pretty much made clear they're not for Trump and mostly for Cruz.

BLITZER: Four years ago, remember when Mitt Romney was ahead, didn't have the magic number. Rick Santorum was still in the contest. They sort of consolidated behind Mitt Romney, even before they got to that magic number. That's not happening this time.

SHIELDS: No, and you know, Dick Gephardt once said, presidential campaigns don't end, they run out of money. So I think when you've seen consolidation in the past, it's because one of the candidates quit getting money. Both the democratic side and our side, you have candidates that are still raising money. They going to stay in the race as long as they have donors that are giving them money. There's some anti-Trump people that will fund Cruz. Bernie Sanders is raising millions and millions of dollars online because people still want to support him.

As long as they have money and can keep going, they're not just going to wake up and day and go, I don't want do this anymore. They've been doing this for a long time for a reason.

BLITZER: Michael, Cruz has money. what about Kasich?

TONER: Kasich only had about a million dollars cash on hand on his last FEC Report. Tomorrow, of course, the next FEC filing. So the question for Governor Kasich is can he raise more money in the next two months to stay afloat here?

BLITZER: All right, guys; stand by because we have more coming up. Is Ted [00:25:01] Cruz changing his tone after his very big loss in New York? We're going to hear some of his remarks; take a closer look at his path forward. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the Republican side of the New York Primary, a huge win for Donald Trump with some 60-percent of the vote. Record turnout on the republican side. Ted Cruz, a very bad night; a third-place finish for him, far behind the front-runner. Let's look at some of what Ted Cruz had to say earlier this evening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: This is the year of the outsider. I'm an outsider. Bernie Sanders is an outsider. Both with the same diagnosis, but both with very different paths to healing. Millions of Americans have chosen one of these outsiders. Our campaigns don't find our fuel in bundlers and special interests, but rather directly from the people; the wide- eyed youth of any age that haven't given up on the hope that tomorrow can and will be better.

Ronald Reagan and Jack Kennedy were outsiders. They both represented a whole new vision and vibrancy, a new generation of ideas. Jack Kennedy looked forward instead of back to the first half century of world war. He knew that America could dream and build if we were set free; not tanks for war but rockets for exploration. [00:30:08] Reagan looked out to us, the most powerful force for

innovation that the world has ever known. There we found new tech pioneers like Bill Gates and a young Steve Jobs. They had vision and the freedom to build a new world that at the time only they saw, because they were free. They challenged the way, and changed the way, that all of us live, work and interact.

Now it's our turn. This generation must first look inward to see who we really are after years of being beaten down, years of being told we couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't. This generation needs to answer a new set of questions.: can we; should we; will we?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Apparently not a lot of wide-eyed youth staring at Ted Cruz in the state of New York this evening. He got 14 or so percent of the vote, a third-place finish, a very bad note for him indeed.

Amanda Carpenter, in terms of a path forward, do you still hold on to the notion that there is a way that he can win in any other way than a contested convention?

AMANDA CARPERTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TED CRUZ: I think it's a delegate play at a contested convention. If you look at the speech, I think he is trying to try on a new look. He is speaking in Pennsylvania. Reading between the lines of that speech, he is name checking democrats. He is trying to appeal to blue-collar workers, maybe the Reagan democrat coalition who may be concerned with Ted Cruz being too ideological. He is trying to say, hey, I can be reasonable about things. We have the same concerns. I have the same concerns as Bernie Sanders, but I have a better solution.

COOPER: Which is - which is counter though to what he has been running. I mean, he is the guy who was sticking to principals above anything else.

CARPENTER: Yes; I don't think the principal has changed but he is realizing he has to show for versatility going into the Mid-Atlantic states. I mean, listen, he's tried the whole way, look at me I'm the most conservative; didn't work for him in the South. So he has to clearly try something new.

He shifted to a different kind of message, job security, freedom, trying to broaden that out. Here he is talking about, hey, going into the blue-collar states, we may not be able to bring car manufacturing back to places like Michigan, but can we bring more high-tech industry stuff that is the future of America, can we have that kind of vision, contrasted with Donald Trump who just wants to bring GM back from Mexico.

COOPER: Kayleigh it's hard though for Ted Cruz to be running as an outsider given Donald Trump's presence in the race. I mean, in terms for the battle of who's the outsider, Donald Trump certainly gets, tends to get most of the votes. KAYLEIGH MCENENY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's definitely true

and that's one of the crazy things about this election is when we started the race, Ted Cruz was the outsider.

COOPER: Right.

MCENENY: He is the guy who called Mitch McConnell a liar, but then Donald Trump came in and kind of blew up Ted Cruz's image of an outsider because Donald Trump was more of an outsider. So you see Ted Cruz now trying to make the case for I'm still an outsider and it's very difficult to give that any veracity or truth when you look at the fact that Ted Cruz is completely enmeshing himself in the Party establishment right now, in these local party apparatuses. He looks like the ultimate insider. So he's hurting his own argument by some of the things he's doing in these states.

COOPER: Bill?

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND SANDERS SUPPORTER: You know what I found remarkable about that is politicians always try to identify with somebody else to kind of get some of their aura. I mean, he wrapped himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy and Bernie Sanders.

COOPER: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He mentioned everybody but Mickey Mantle.

PRESS: And then he also said, I'm the -- John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy was not an outsider. Ronald Reagan was not an outsider. He became president, -- yes he was once an actor. He became president after serving two terms as governor of California. So he's just making it up -

CARPENTER: Oh, come on.

[Cross Talk]

COOPER: One at a time. One at a time. Bakari, go ahead.

BAKARI SELLERS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I think that speech was the equivalent of a young boy getting dressed in his dad's closet. It just totally didn't fit. What you saw was you saw him really pressing and trying to be something he is not. Ted Cruz is the constitutionalist that shut the government down.

PRESS: Right.

SELLERS: That's who Ted Cruz is. Ted Cruz is not a consensus builder. Ted Cruz is not an aspirational leader. Ted Cruz is not Kennedy and Reagan.

COOPER: Well is it late for him to -

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well Ted Cruz is really trying to play to two audiences here: one, those delegates that he needs to convince on the second ballot to come to him, and who are those delegates? A lot of times some of those party insiders; some are members of Congress who, of course, have been skeptical about Ted Cruz. The other audience is these Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern states where maybe he can pull off some victories and cut into Donald Trump's lead and win some delegates where people have more moderate views. I think that's one reason why you see the shift in his tone.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEG POLITICAL ANALYST: I feel like I've seen a lot of different Ted Cruz's though over these last months. If you were in Iowa, we [00:35:03] saw the evangelical Ted Cruz. The we saw the most conservative Ted Cruz, i.e. Donald Trump's not a conservative. I'm really conservative. Now we see the Ted Cruz playing outsider card.

COOPER: There was also the Ted Cruz who loved Donald Trump and said he was terrific.

BORGER: Right. Right. You are right.

AXELROD: We've had a lot -

BORGER: Too many.

AXELROD: We've had a lot of Ted talk.

[Laughter]

AXELROD: But if you look at these exit polls, not just here but throughout, Donald Trump dominates this outsider category.

COOPER: Yes.

BORGER: Yes.

AXELROD: The fact that he should say I'm an outsider and Bernie Sanders is an outsider and omit the guy who is the outsider of all outsiders and has dominated his primary was kind of peculiar.

COOPER: Nia?

NIA=MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And nothing looks, you know, kind of more like what a politician would do than stand there with a nice suit on, in front of two flags, and give sort of a big speech.

I think in the beginning he framed it in the way that Reagan framed his speech back in the '60s, it's a time of choosing. Again, I think Ted Cruz needs something of an editor. He hasn't figured out what that economic populace message is based on at some point. It would be about flat taxes and that would really rally folks. It's certainly not what Donald Trump is doing -

COOPER: Yes.

HENDERSON -- in terms of trade. So he hasn't figured it out yet.

COOPER: Even though Hillary Clinton won big in New York, voters think she has room to improve. More from our exit polls on that coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (HEADLINES)

[00:40:24] WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back; let's get another key race alert. Hillary Clinton is the winner of the Democratic Presidential Primary. Right now with 94-percent of the vote counted, she's at 57.9-percent; Bernie Sanders at 42.1-percent. She has a 1,037,000 votes; Bernie Sanders has 752,000 votes. She wins by -- as of right now, with 94-percent of the vote in, more than 284,000 votes. A big win for Hillary Clinton tonight, bigger win than many of the polls had earlier suggested. Let's go back to Jake and Dana for more; Jake?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a big number for Hillary Clinton, more than one million is actually more than voted in the Republican primary in New York, all combined, Trump, Kasich and, of course, Ted Cruz.

Hillary Clinton earlier this evening spoke about the need to unify the party. She sent out a message to supporters of Bernie Sanders that there is much more that unites them than divides them.

Let's talk with the executive editor of CNN politics, Mark Preston. Mark, specifically, if Hillary Clinton is on this task, on this mission to unite the Democratic Party, where are areas where she needs to work? Where are some voters that are really not, as of now, buying what she's selling?

MARK PRESTON, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, CNN POLITICS: Well, Jake, certainly we have seen throughout this campaign that Bernie Sanders really has been (no audio) vote, as well as the more liberal wing of the party, but let's look at the New York Democrats from these exit polls today. Look at where Hillary Clinton needs help right now.

If you look at that, 18 to 29-year-olds overwhelmingly went for Bernie Sanders, 65-percent. Hillary Clinton, only got 35-percent of the support. Now let's talk about the more liberal wing of the party. If you look at that number right there, again, Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly wins that as well, 56-percent of that vote, of that wing of the party. Hillary Clinton, 44-percent of the vote.

Now Wall Street has been a big issue for Bernie Sanders. When you look at Wall Street, people who think that Wall Street hurts the economy, Bernie Sanders wins that 54 to 46-percent, eight percentage points, and literally, that last number though, Jake, solidifies the problem that Hillary Clinton is having with liberal voters. Liberal voters and younger voters are two key constituencies that she is going to have to build back support in as we head into the general election, assuming she wins the democratic nomination. Jake?

TAPPER: All right; areas for improvement. Mark Preston; thank you so much. Dana, there's going to be a lot that Hillary Clinton is going to have to do to try to unite the democratic party, assuming she does get the nomination; just as Donald Trump will have a lot of work to do on his side. These have been brutal and very, very contentious primaries. DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely; for Hillary Clinton, again,

if she is the nominee, she will have less work to do for lots of reasons, one is just because the party is less divided than the Republican has been, but also, I think it's not just kind of a democratic talking point. I think as of now, Donald Trump will do a lot to energize the democratic base. But, having said that, I think that the numbers that Mark just showed on Wall Street, how much Hillary Clinton still has trouble with people who don't trust Wall Street, if she is up against Donald Trump, that could pose a big problem for her, in lots of places where there is a big swing voter and that swing - again, we've talked about this a lot over the past, what, ten months. The kind of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump voter -

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: -- who they are sick of everything, especially big institutions like Wall Street. Donald Trump could appeal to that kind of voter and that should concern the Clinton campaign, if it is that kind of matchup.

TAPPER: There will be, definitely, a contest to see who can be more populist, Anderson.

COOPER: Young people, something we have seen a lot throughout these primaries and caucuses. David Axelrod, how big a deal is that, in terms of her deficit among young people compared to Sanders?

AXELROD: Well I agree with Dana, that I think that whether it's Trump or Cruz, she's going to rely on the Republican candidate to organize that vote for her and I think that will help. I think one thing that wasn't as apparent today because it was a closed primary is -- as she continues to have problems with independent voters, even voters who describe themselves as independent in this exit poll, overwhelmingly chose Sanders. So the big concern, if I'm Hillary Clinton, going into again a general election is I've [00:45:02] got very poor numbers among independent voters and they are important voters in determining the outcome of these elections.

COOPER: And we certainly, Nia, have heard that time and time again from Senator Sanders saying I can reach out to those independent voters, I'm getting those voters.

HENDERSON: You know, that's right. I mean it looks like they will try to make this case to the delegates that if you are looking at these hypothetical matchups between Trump and Sanders, he does much better than Hillary Clinton does.

One of the -- in terms of bringing the parties together if you look back in July of 2008, about a third of Clinton voters, at that point said they weren't going to back your guy, President Obama. It's about the same now for the Sanders and in this poll, I guess it's about a quarter of -- a quarter of Sanders supporters say they wouldn't vote for Clinton. In the end, in that race it worked out well for Obama, and nine in ten ended up voting for Hillary Clinton. Listen, they have work to do. It's getting - COOPER: How does she start reaching out to independents to get the

younger voters? Dana was saying if it's Trump that may take care of the younger voters, but how do you reach out to the independent group?

BORGER: I think you hear her starting to do that this evening. I think she is depending on the base of the Democratic Party being motivated by the opposition, whether it's Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. I think she has to make an appeal to younger voters, and this gets back to our conversation about Bernie Sanders and what he ought to be doing. At some point, Bernie Sanders ought to be helping her make the case to younger voters.

RAJU: And one of the thing I'll be interested in seeing is that you've seen how Hillary has almost said she would be a third term of President Obama, and this helped her in the Democratic primary but how does that affect her with some of those independent voters, where the President is not nearly as popular?

BORGER: Well Obama -- AXELROD: Well that is working in her favor right now because the numbers are improving --

RAJU: In the Democratic primary.

AXELROD: -- but I'll tell you something, the questions that you are asking are the reason why, if I were Hillary Clinton, despite Donald Trump's astronomic negatives, I mean, they would be historically high, I think I might prefer to run against Ted Cruz, who is much more definable

within a box. I mean, he is very much on the right wing of the Republican Party.

Donald Trump is sort of -- he is an asymmetric boxer. You never know where the punch is coming from. He can beat you on certain issues with Democratic constituencies. He knows no boundaries on the attack. So if I were her I would rather run against Cruz and I think it would be easier to get Independent voters if you run against a guy who is way out on the right wing.

COOPER: Bill?

PRESS: I was going to say, you know, you asked me early if Bernie has done enough to expand his base; clearly he has not. Look at the numbers in New York. But I think the same question can be asked about whether Hillary Clinton has done enough to expand in the areas where she has been falling behind as identified here; among progressives, among young people particularly, overwhelmingly, among independents, many of whom could not, unless they registered last October, couldn't vote in New York. So she's got a lot of work do there as well, as this campaign moves forward. That's another reason I think it will be moving forward.

COOPER: Bakari?

SELLERS: But Barack Obama is a secret weapon that no one's actually mentioned in a positive way. He is not going to be an albatross around the Democrat's neck. In fact, his approval rating is 51- percent in a recent Gallop poll, but even more importantly, talking about the disenchanted democrats, many young Bernie supporters who this is not their first time voting, supported Barack Obama in 2008. So Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, they are ready to campaign. Barack Obama is still the most popular democrat. It's not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The most popular is democrat in the country is Barack Obama, number one, and Michelle Obama, number two.

MCENANY: At the end of the day though, Hillary Clinton is the candidate. I think it's worth mentioning tonight that in exit polls only six in ten democrats in New York found her honest and trustworthy. That's 40-percent that found the opposite. This is going to be hung around her neck by Donald Trump. She's going to have to answer about her e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi. She has never been asked about that on a debate stage by a competitor. It's going to happen.

SELLERS: And she has three times more votes, today, than Donald Trump. So you can still --

MCENENY: He's in a three-way race. The argument, she has gotten more vote -

COOPER: Okay; we've got to take a break. Still ahead, Donald Trump's path forward, can he clinch the nomination outright and will Indiana be key in deciding that for him? More ahead.

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[00:53:16] BLITZER: Welcome back; let's get another key race alert right now. Reset what's going on. Take a look at this: in New York, on the Republican side, Donald Trump the big winner of the Republican Presidential Primary. 94-percent of the vote is now in. He has over 60-percent, 60.5-percent to be precise. John Kasich, the very distant second place finisher, 25.1-percent. Ted Cruz down in third place, only 14.5-percent. 95 delegates at stake, almost all of them are going to be going to Donald Trump. By the way, that's a record turnout for republicans in New York state. You can see the numbers right there, Trump ahead by more than 300,000.

On the Democratic side, it's almost a record turnout; only in 2008 did they have more democrats show up. Hillary Clinton the big winner, 57.9-percent so far, with 94-percent of the vote in. Bernie Sanders, 42.1-percent. She's ahead by almost 300,000 votes in New York state. A big turnout. Many more Democrats are registered to vote in New York than Republicans, that's why there are more democrats who showed up today. These were both contests only registered democrats and republicans can vote.

Let's go over to John King over at the Magic Wall. Let's talk about this race to the nomination. On the Republican side, first, big night for Donald Trump, but he still has a ways to go.

KING: He still has a ways to go, Wolf, but this is a statement victory for Donald Trump on his home turf. He ended the night needing 62-percent of the remaining delegates to get to 1237, he ends the night because he's going to get 90, maybe 91 out of New York needing 58-percent of the remaining delegates. So he has improved his delegate math going forward. The question is, can he get there, 58- percent? Still a steep hill.

We have five contests next week, all up here in the Northeast-Mid- Atlantic [00:55:02] region where you say Donald Trump is favored. If he sweeps them, gets 75-percent, 80-percent, then he is out here, past 950, past the 75-percent mark, the 1237; and he would end May adding to his delegate total quite convincingly.

So then we get into what many people think could be the gut check defining contest, that would be May 3rd in Indiana. 57 delegates at stake. It's a place that Ted Cruz especially, if he gets swept to close out April, would have to win. If Ted Cruz could win in Indiana, with the help of a republican establishment, say Trump gets some delegates and comes in second, that would be Cruz's hope of at least narrowing the gap a little bit, and keeping Trump, the main point, Cruz moves up some, but the main point of Cruz needing to win Indiana is to keep Trump from getting closer to 1237.

Imagine a scenario, Wolf, where Trump comes into Indiana, and I saw some polling this week, that shows it a dead heat, Trump could sweep the rest of April, come in to Indiana and get a win. Now watch this when you play it out. You have winner take all New Jersey at the end of June. You have winner talk all West Virginia coming up here.

Watch if Trump has a very strong performance wins in the East, keeps Indiana in his column here and then Ted Cruz goes winning out here in the West. There's a scenario where with a strong showing in California, even if it doesn't get Donald Trump all the way to 1237, that gets him to 1217. There's a little bit better next week, little bit better in Indiana, and a strong California, conceivably he could get to 1237, but an Indiana win would be critical to at least getting him close or above 1200, which becomes at that point Cruz not winning any states. It's very hard to stop him.

BLITZER: Very fascinating numbers; John, stand by. We are getting new estimates also how many delegates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are likely to get from their wins in New York today. We will update you right with those numbers right after this.

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