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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Special Post-Primary Coverage. Aired Midnight-1a ET
Aired April 27, 2016 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[00:00:03] HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us.
BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Think outside of the box. Think outside of the status quo.
DONALD TRUMP (R) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's a flawed candidate and I think she's going to be easy to beat.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can you imagine what the next several months hold -
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Incredible.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
SMERCONISH: Think of those debates.
CLINTON: Let's go forward. Let's win the nomination; and in July let's return as a unified party.
CLINTON: Thank you all so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP_
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world; I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center. You're watching our live "Special Coverage". If you have been listening to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it sounds like the primaries are done and the general election fight is now well under way.
All up and down the East Coast the voters weighed in. For Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, racking up a clean sweep tonight winning in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island. For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton had herself a night; she won four states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware. Bernie Sanders scored his lone win in Rhode Island.
And, tonight, did Bernie Sanders admit defeat? In a statement he put out just a little while ago, the Senator is not talking about winning the Democratic Presidential Nomination and beating Hillary Clinton. Sanders said, and I'm quoting him now, "this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform."
As Sanders said that, Hillary Clinton's campaign said tonight is a shift; she said it's a shift, that after Clinton took four of five states contested today, her campaign will now prepare for a general election. Clinton, she spent her speech gearing up her crowd for a mega fight versus Donald Trump, and extending an olive branch, at the same time, to Bernie Sanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics, and giving -
[Cheering and Applause]
CLINTON: -- greater emphasis of closing the gap of inequality. I know together we will get that done.
[Cheering and Applause]
CLINTON: Because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us.
(Cheering and Applause]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: On the Republican side, Donald Trump left no doubt he thinks the primary contest is over and that he is now the presumptive nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely. I think the Party is seeing me that way. I'm getting calls that, as I said, you wouldn't believe. I'm getting calls from people that I really can't even know how they can do it, because they have said such horrible things about me. now they want to join the team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Jake Tapper is with us here in the CNN Election Center. Jake, a very big night for Donald Trump.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Huge night for Donald Trump and I think one of the things that people were paying attention to in that speech was if he is going to be the kind of general election candidate that we expect he is going to be; what is his message going to be? There were many messages in that speech.
He talked about jobs. He talked about trade. The he also took some clear shots at Hillary Clinton. Let's go to Sara Murray who is at the Trump Headquarters in New York. Sara, in the presidential contest, if it comes down to Trump versus Clinton, it sure looks like it's going to be vicious; Trump already laying some big punches.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT, via satellite: I think you are absolutely right, Jake. I think tonight we saw the early outlines of a general election battle. There were some questions about whether Donald Trump would suddenly adopt a new persona or change his tone as he prepares for a general election fight. I think we saw it tonight that's just not the case. He came out with some of his hardest hits against Hillary Clinton yet, even saying the only reason she's winning so far is because she's a woman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card. She has nothing else going; and, frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5-percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the woman's card and, the beautiful thing is, women don't like her; okay?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now I'm sure that comment will cause some raised eyebrows, maybe not in the Republican Party; maybe with the general electorate. I think we'll see more that was tomorrow but I do think, like you said, it sets both sides [00:05:01] up for a very vicious general election battle if we do see a Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton race; Jake?
TAPPER: All right; Sara Murray thank you so much. If I may - if you'll allow me, but I want to roll this tape again because Van Jones, earlier, was talking about the facial expressions being made by Mary Pat Christie, the first lady of the state of New Jersey, as Donald Trump made this slam on Clinton. That's her on the right side of the screen. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: -- the beautiful thing is, women don't like her; okay? Look how well I did with women.
[Cheering and Applause]
TRUMP: The only card she has is the woman's card. She's got nothing else going and, frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5-percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the woman's card and the beautiful thing is, women don't like her; okay?
[Cheering and Applause]
TRUMP: And Look how well I did with women tonight. So ladies and gentlemen, thank you; thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So I'm not really sure what to read into the facial expression of Mary Pat Christie, but --
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think we call that side-eye and I think it broke the internet tonight.
TAPPER: Van Jones seemed to think it was indicative of somebody who - and let's be very clear, Mary Pat Christie is a Republican.
TAPPER: She wants Donald Trump to be the president; she does not want Hillary Clinton to be the president. But it looked, based on that facial expression, like she didn't maybe think that was the best attack for Trump to be launching.
BASH: I think that's probably a very fair thing to say. It will be interesting to see what she says about this because there's no question this has completely caught fire in social media and elsewhere; but I think just to kind of go back to the reason why this is a thing.
The fact that Donald Trump said that the only reason why Hillary Clinton got where she got is because she's a woman, playing the woman card. I mean, look, two things. One, he knows who his supporters are and for the most part, right now, at this point in the campaign, they are people who mostly working class men. I mean, today he obviously did well among everybody, but historically, it has been them. There's no love loss for Hillary Clinton --
BASH: -- and he's going to continue to that and in places where he says, if he is the nominee, and she's the nominee, he says he can be competitive, like Pennsylvania, where they both won tonight in their primaries, he thinks that these kinds of comments can help turn those states to his advantage
and to the Republicans.
TAPPER: Yes; there are some political observers out there that are noting that you listen to Trump's speech and you hear him talk about legitimate grievances that Americans have, in terms of wages stagnating, in terms of trade policies that have sold them out and observers think, this is a winning message. Then he takes a shot at Hillary Clinton on the
gender issue and they say, well, maybe not. Let's see where it goes. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, guys; stand by. I want to go over to John King over at the Magic Wall. When Donald Trump says I consider myself the presumptive nominee, maybe a little bit premature, but certainly he has a significant -- almost 400-point advantage right now over those pledged delegates.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He has a big lead tonight, Wolf; a lot of momentum. If you go county by county or town by town through these five states, the scope of the Trump win tonight is astounding: One delegate for Ted Cruz; five for Kasich; 113 for Donald Trump, stretching his lead out here.
Now, the big question, was it enough, that huge route tonight; is it enough to get him to 1237 before the Cleveland convention? That's the magic number. Let's do math for you.
The first thing I want do for you is to say, CNN reporting this delegate count, having him just shy of 960, does not include 54 unpledged delegates in Pennsylvania tonight. They're not bound to anybody, but CNN reporting over the last few days, there are 54 of them, at least half, so 27 of those delegates have told CNN they will vote either for Donald Trump because they are Trump supporters or because they said they would vote the way their district went, and Donald Trump won through the districts.
So, when you add this number to this number, it leaves Donald Trump needing 251. Forgive my scribble, it's a little hard on the wall here. 251 to get to 1237. it's an interesting number because it makes this math easy. After tonight, there are 502 Republican delegates at stake. So Donald Trump needs 50-percent when you add in those 27 after tonight. Can he get there? Well, let me do one other thing for you; I'll take the calendar a little bit out of order.
He needs 50-percent right now -- bless you -- he needs 50-percent right now. New Jersey votes on the last day, on June 7, but Donald Trump, look at the map, he is favored in New Jersey, which is winner take all. if you add those in, Donald Trump - again, I'm skipping the order of the calendar. Donald Trump heavily favored in West Virginia; winner take all. If he wins those, that's lowering his number.
Now, the next contest, Tuesday night in Indiana; Ted Cruz's fire wall. Ted Cruz says Indiana has to stop Donald Trump. As we speak tonight, Wolf, [00:10:01] Donald Trump leads in the polls in Indiana. Every reason to believe he gets a boost in momentum after going in five for five tonight. If Donald Trump then also wins Indiana, 60/40 there; now I'm giving him West Virginia and New Jersey, skipping ahead in the calendar, at this point, if that happens, it was 50-percent when I started this equation. That gets the math down to 37-percent.
If he keeps New Jersey and West Virginia in the bank, wins Indiana next week, then he would need only 37-percent of the remaining delegates. So you can play out the map. Let's play it up through a republican convention. We have Ted Cruz continuing to win in the West. For this scenario, we give Governor Kasich, who has only won Ohio, but remember the new
Cruz/Kasich alliance. If you give Governor Kasich New Mexico and Oregon, just for the sake of argument, if Donald Trump then has a big win in California, that has him at 1237 -- 1236. That does not include that 27 I've talked about, who have already committed to Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.
So, even if Kasich won New Mexico and Oregon, as long as Trump won Indiana, New Jersey and West Virginia, a big win in California would get him over the line. Now that's giving him 70-percent. There's no doubt if they get him below 70-percent, he moves back a little bit.
It's also perfectly conceivable he could do this and win in New Mexico. It's conceivable he could win Oregon as well. So I give you the scenarios just to show you that after tonight, 50-percent is what he will need going forward and he may get even more of those -- there's non-pledged delegates in Pennsylvania. Hard? Yes; but doable. You can map out a scenario to get Donald Trump to 1237 by the day of the California primary on June 7th without do doing a lot of work.
BLITZER: And the other two Republicans candidates, there's no way they can get to 1237, as they acknowledge. Their only hope is to prevent him from reaching that number and have a contested convention.
KING: Right. Right.
BLITZER: But that increasingly looks like it's not going to happen.
KING: Big night tonight. If Donald Trump wins Indi -- even if he loses Indiana next week he still has a path. If he wins Indiana, knowing what we know about New Jersey and West Virginia, gets pretty daunting.
BLITZER: Anderson, that explains why he is calling himself the presumptive nominee.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and it's seven hours ago, when we started on the air, we were asking, is there going to be clarity tonight? It certainly seems like there's clarity on both sides right now.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN ANALYST AND SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": I think Donald Trump began to consolidate the party tonight in a way he had not before. Up until New York, he had not reached 50-percent of the vote in any state. He hit 50-percent in New York and then every state tonight. He was at 38-percent of the total vote through New York. Tonight, we saw him post -- if you count New York and the three exit polls tonight, Maryland, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, he has now had his four best showings among Republicans; his four best showings among non-college whites; his four best showings among men; his four best showings among women; his four best showings among voters who are not evangelicals; and tied for his fourth, his top four showings among college educated Republicans, who have been the most resistant to him.
So, yes, it could begin to go away (inaudible) some of the states that are still down the road in Nebraska. Indiana is a critical state because it looks like -- very much like Missouri, with a lot of evangelicals, a lot of blue-collar voters, close kind of even, kind of contest. But tonight I thought you saw Donald Trump beginning to consolidate the republican party in a way that he had not. He had been a plurality front-runner. Tonight he became a majority front- runner, at least for the night.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And it is true momentum that begets momentum.
AXELROD: A certain psychology sets in, and you can sense that happening here. So, you know - but it was interesting to watch John's calculations there because it confirms what a lot of Republicans say. It's not a slam dunk and it's going to be close, and if it gets close then the party is going to have to make a decision as to whether you take the pain of trying to block Trump at the convention, deny him that nomination and, you know, where half the convention is up in arms, in a general sense, as you see in this polling on the part of republican voters, that the front-runner should get the nomination.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you're a party leader and looking at the numbers tonight, and you see that republicans overwhelmingly believe if you are close, you ought to get it, --
NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BORGER: Then it gets a little dicey for you. I think what happened tonight is that Cruz set this up so that if he doesn't win Indiana, he is gone. it's out. He is over. He has to get out. I just -
COOPER: You think he's actually got to get out?
BORGER: I think he has set -- yeah. I think he set it up in such a way tonight - and, Amanda, I don't know if you agree with me or disagree with me - but I think that he's just sort of made this one play for Indiana, has put it all on the table there and like, if it doesn't work for him, I don't know what he does.
HENDERSON: No; I think we saw on the Sanders campaign it seems like they have embraced the clarity of the night. I think the question will be whether or not we see the establishment -
HENDERSON: -- on the republican side start to embrace the clarity. You have a Donald Trump that is saying he has people calling him, people you wouldn't think would call him and say -- he said that about many things. Will those [00:15:02] people be public at some point? I think that will be telling.
COOPER: Amanda, what do you think about Cruz and Indiana.
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TED CRUZ: Well it is important; but I do think it's worth noting that this bundle of states that I think Trump won tonight, when the primary calendar was designed, it was designed to favor a moderate, liberal republican, like a Mitt Romney or a Jeb Bush. That liberal republican turned out to be Donald Trump. So he got a big pop out of the states.
That said, Cruz does have to come back hard in Indiana, but I think a lot of conservatives who have real policy disagreements about Trump are really trying to figure out what they should do. The conclusion I've drawn in talking to people is, you know what; we have no obligation do anything. This is a guy who hasn't tried to court conservatives. Didn't bother showing up at C-PAC. Really lumps groups like "The Club for Growth" and the RNC all together, at once. So, if Cruz doesn't do well in Indiana, I don't see anyone lifting a finger for Trump and saying, if you are going to do it you're doing it on your own; good luck.
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have a suggestion for what the Republican establishment should do, and that is -
[Laughter and Cross Talk]
PRESS: -- focus on U.S. Senate races and focus on House races and focus on governor races -
PRESS: -- because you ain't going to win the White House.
AXELROD: Well we've already seen some reports this week that some major Republican donors are talking about setting up separate entities to support -- to do exactly what you suggest, try and save the Senate and the House.
HENDERSON: And Paul Ryan trying to set up his own power center as well.
COOPER: You talked about -
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Can I please --
PRESS: You talked about clarity - I just want to -- when Ron Brownstein writes his book about this election, right, we're going to talk about tonight. I mean, tonight is a turning point, I think, for both parties and we really see, I think, who the two nominees are going to be; each party.
And with Trump, look, a year ago, we were all making fun of him. Two weeks ago, we were --
COOPER: Not everybody, just for the record.
PRESS: I'm sorry; I was. Ted Cruz -- we said he has taken away Donald Trump's momentum. Here we are sitting around here talking about the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. It's astounding; but, I think you are stuck with a real loser if I might say so, Kayleigh, because you need more than name calling in a general election. You're at a point right now where people want to be, seriously, where are you going to take the country and what --
COOPER: Let's hear from Kayleigh and then we've got to go to break.
MCENANY: He has done far more than name calling. In fact, he has done a ton of good for the Republican Party because forever they have to expand their platform beyond this narrow conservative platform. He has conservative values, but in addition to that he is calling out the party where it needs to be called out on issues like trade, on issues like interventionism; and, I think we had a big moment this week when we saw Reince Priebus come out and call out the neverTrump movement and say this is no good. The party has to come together.
Reince Priebus extended an overture this week and I think Donald Trump will extend one back and this party will come together.
COOPER: Trump said Cruz and Kasich are colluding to stop him from clinching the Republican nomination. We've got some new reporting that the two rivals could be working together in yet another state to try to deny Trump; not sure it worked out in the states they've already been talking about. We will have that and much more ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (HEADLINES)
[00:22:07] BLITZER: Welcome back; take a look at this: only ten states left on the Democratic and Republican side, but you can see, 40 states have now registered. Look how similar the two maps are. States won to date, the dark blue, those are the states won by Hillary Clinton. The dark red, on the right, states won by Donald Trump. You can see very similar, not exact, but very similar parts of the country won by Hillary Clinton, won by Donald Trump. They're both doing very well. They have impressive delegate leads; right now Hillary Clinton on the democratic side, Donald Trump on the republican side.
Donald Trump clearly very happy right now and he expressed his thoughts just a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, the best way to beat the system is to have evenings like this. where you get record setting votes, where you get record setting delegates.
TRUMP: I used the analogy of the boxer. When the boxer knocks out the other boxer, you don't have to wait around for a decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Donald Trump mincing no words. Jake, you know, he says he is the presumptive nominee.
TAPPER: He does, indeed, say he is the presumptive nominee. He also says if you're a boxer and knock somebody else, you don't have to wait for the referee to call the fight; although, I don't think that according to the rules that's actually accurate. Donald Trump, of course, towering over his competitors tonight, running the table, adding a whole lot of pad to his delegate lead. It wasn't really close, in any of those five states.
Look at the margins. if you are a Republican and you want to stop Donald Trump, you may really be out of time after tonight. Phil Mattingly is with us now. Phil, we saw this supposed alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich; talking about how only one would compete in Indiana and the other one would compete in New Mexico and Oregon. You have some new reporting now. They have a strategy possibly or they are working on one for California?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well they have been working on one, Jake, behind the scenes and, look, there's no question about it; tonight stings, according to people involved with both campaigns. Donald Trump over performed their internal projections and that makes the possibility of keeping this alliance together through June 7th, in that California primary, all the more important.
172 delegates, Jake, will be at stake in California. I spoke with one Trump adviser a week ago, before tonight's big night, where they said they thought they could lose as many as 60 or 70 delegates in the state and still get to 1237. That means Cruz and Kasich, what they would be try doing if this goes as far as one senior advisor Kasich wants it to do, would be to split the 53 congressional districts as evenly as possible, where each candidate could take the lead, could really kind of best Donald Trump and that's how they would spend their resources going forward.
Again, as of now, Indiana is the only thing that really matters to either of these campaigns. Going forward, should Ted Cruz win Indiana, negotiations [00:25:01] over how California would play out would be the next logical step.
I think an interesting element here, Jake, is, resources were one of the primary issues John Kasich's rational -- John Kasich's campaign was willing to enter this deal with Ted Cruz, California is an expensive state. If they are trying to split up the congressional delegates -- districts evenly, they are going to need a lot of help on the Kasich side, on the money side. Obviously, a lot of work for both campaigns to do after tonight, Jake.
TAPPER: All right; Phil Mattingly, thanks. As you heard, it does seem like a rather tall order, whether or not that can happen.
I want to bring in Mike Schultz, former Republican National Committee Chief of Staff. So there's this debate right now, Donald Trump said as far as he is concerned, he is the presumptive nominee. What would the position of the Republican National Committee be? He certainly seems like he will be the nominee; is he the presumptive nominee?
MIKE SCHULTZ, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: No, he isn't. By the rules of the Republican National Committee he is not yet the presumptive nominee. When you are the presumptive nominee, that's when you work with the Republican National Committee. You come in and start sort of building the general election campaign. They can't get there yet because he hasn't got the delegates yet. So until he crosses over 1237 officially, he's not going to be considered the presumptive nominee and he has to do it before the end of the primaries or else it's going to go to the convention in Cleveland.
TAPPER: So in that boxing analogy, it does actually matter what the referee has to say.
BASH: It absolutely does. I got a text from somebody who is currently at the RNC, who not surprisingly said exactly what you did, which is to be the presumptive nominee you do need 1237. But there are the rules and then there is the reality; right? That is, even if he gets close and closer and becomes somewhat short and goes to Cleveland, isn't it going to be incredibly hard, as a party, to keep the nomination from him?
SCHULTZ: Yeah; I think from the Reince Priebus and RNC perspective, they're just going to be putting on a convention that's fair and open to let the delegates decide. In terms of what the delegates think, they are watching CNN. I was at the RNC meeting with Phil Mattingly down there. He was talking to RNC members and we were talking that, you know, they are watching this. They are seeing this momentum.
As David Axelrod said, campaigns are about momentum. I think Ted Cruz has to seize it back. You've got four weeks now in May where you have 199 delegates that will be allocated in the month of May. He's to take the month of May to get that momentum back; or even if Trump is close, those delegates, going to the convention, they are watching this going on. They are going to -- he going to start being able to influence them as delegates individually.
BASH: Do you think he can get the momentum back, realistically, just as an old republican veteran, not that you are old but somebody who has been around?
SCHULTZ: Sure; winning changes things, right. If you win a state, all of a sudden the news is you have won. You halted things. It's a bad night for Trump. He was going to get there, now Cruz has won Indiana. Of course, that can certainly change the momentum. We've just been through two weeks of Trump winning a lot and that's what built the momentum; he's built it on winning states.
TAPPER: But what you are saying basically is that it's the argument is being made to the delegates that is having the effect, not so much what Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the RNC. or any of the officials there think, it's what arguments are seeping through to the delegates? We do these exit polls and one of the arguments that we have started -- one of the questions we've started to ask since this became a possibility, is what do you think delegates should do: should they go with the person who has won the most contests, has the highest number of delegates, even if it's not the majority, even if it's not the magic 1237 number or should the
delegates then just decide to pick the best candidate at the convention? Overwhelmingly, they go with the former. Overwhelmingly they say the person who has the most delegates. What you are saying is those delegates are hearing that? The will of the people?
SCHULTZ: Yes; I think they're watching the momentum. What's in the best interest of the Republican Party? I think you have 136 I think that are unbound. Those are the ones that Trump really has to get to if the margin isn't close enough. I think, by the way, if it goes to the second ballot though, that's a different question because Cruz has been doing such a good job of getting delegates to the convention that are his supporters.
So I'm talking about first ballot, if Trump is close enough, he's going to be working on those individual delegates after June 7 -- between June 8 and the convention, he's going to be working on all those unbound delegates trying to get him over the top. TAPPER: But if you talk about Cruz, Cruz has to put more "W's" up on
the board. He can't continue to win in these contests and caucuses when nobody is paying attention. He needs to win Indiana. He needs to win -- or Kasich possibly, in New Mexico or Oregon.
SCHULTZ: Yes, that's why I think -- we said it before, Indiana looms large. It's the next contest, and then there's another one every single week in May that the map does look a little bit better for Cruz before all this momentum. He has to seize the momentum back in order to start making his case.
TAPPER: All right; fascinating stuff. Thank you so much; and as you just heard, it won't be easy but it certainly did get a heck of a lot easier for Donald Trump to clinch the nomination on the first ballot after this evening. Trump, he is already counting his chickens. He says that he's the presumptive nominee, which could explain why he spent the majority of his time tonight trying to take down Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[00:30:09] TRUMP: I will do far more for women than Hillary Clinton will ever do, including -- remember this; including protecting our country because she will not be good with the military; she will not be good with protecting our country. She's had her shot and she also raises her hand when it came to Iraq and she shouldn't have voted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center. Tonight, Donald Trump again defying critics and candidates who said he had a ceiling. Five big wins for the Republican Presidential Front-runner, all by big margins, 60-percent or so. Trump looked forward tonight to a potential general election, but he also looked back. He talked tonight about how [00:35:03] everyone doubted him, how he proved them wrong. According to Trump, those same doubters think Hillary Clinton would wipe the floor with him in November. Trump, as you might imagine, disagrees and says Hillary Clinton would be easy to beat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hillary -- I call her "Crooked Hillary." She's crooked. She will be a horrible president. She will be terrible on jobs; she knows nothing about jobs, except for jobs for herself. When it came to answering the phone -
[Cheers and Applause]
TRUMP: -- when it came to answering the phone at 3:00 in the morning, she was sleeping; okay? She wasn't with Benghazi and all of the other problems. You look what she did with Syria; you look what she's done in so many different ways.
She will not be a good president. She doesn't have the strength. She doesn't have the stamina.
I know about dealing with China. I made billions of dollars dealing with China. China can be dealt with and you can get along with them, but Hillary does not have the strength or the stamina to deal with China, or other things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's go to Jake and Dana. It's interesting, Jake; he spent a lot of time talking about Hillary Clinton tonight and she spent a lot of time talking about Donald Trump tonight.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right; they are both, I think, eager to pivot; eager to go and talk about each other and to get the primary and caucus process behind them.
DANA BASH: Oh, I think that seems abundantly clear and even more so, I think, most for Donald Trump who has the further furthest to go, when it comes to actually getting the nominee and being the presumptive nominee, as he says tonight that he is.
TAPPER: Let's bring in David Chalian. David, our political director, one of the things that's very interesting is Bernie Sanders, earlier tonight, making the argument that he wins Independent voters and that's why he doesn't do as well in these closed primaries states when only registered Democrats can vote. He does better when Independents or unaffiliated voters are allowed to pick. He is making that argument to the, or he was earlier tonight - he makes that argument to the delegates, to the super delegates, hoping they understand that he would be a general election candidate that would be stronger than Hillary Clinton. He also cites head-to-head matchup polls. You have some exit poll information about how strong a general election candidate he might be.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, he is not wrong, Jake, to cite those polls. He is right that he does better against the Republican candidates in those general election matchups than does Hillary Clinton; but here is where I think he is making this last stand argument about electability, and I think from tonight's data, you're going to see here, it's falling on deaf ears.
So, first of all, let me just say, electability, very low priority for democratic voters. In Pennsylvania, take a look at this, only 11- percent of the democratic electorate said winning in November was their top candidate quality, the lowest candidate quality of all the offers. Among those, Clinton wins overwhelmingly. For the small slice of 11-percent who believe in winning in November is the most important quality, she still wins those voters.
Now, then we also asked who has the best chance of beating Trump? Here, take Connecticut tonight for example. Hillary Clinton, 64- percent of the primary voters said she has the better chance of defeating Trump in November. 33-percent said that of Sanders. In Maryland, who has the best chance to defeat Trump? Clinton gets 73- percent in that question; Sanders gets 23-percent. Now, Jake, as you just said, he would say, yes, only registered
Democrats, these are closed primaries; that's who is answering these questions. My independent voters aren't in there to answer it; but the point is, he is trying to make this argument to DNC super delegates. These are the very people who sort of make up the body electorate in closed primaries and they're not interested. It's not an important issue, and for those that it is an issue, they really believe she is the more electable candidate.
So it's interesting to see how Sanders has put aside what could be a strength, sort of hit Clinton on her honest and trustworthiness, which is a weakness in the poll numbers, and more Democrats care about that as a candidate quality; but he doesn't use that part of his arsenal. He is making this argument as one of his last stands and I think it's falling on deaf ears.
TAPPER: Interesting; David Chalian, thanks. Dana, whatever you think about Bernie Sanders, whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton is going to have some work to do, if she gets the nomination, to get those Independent voters, the ones who like Bernie Sanders so much. She -- they have deep, deep doubt about her.
BASH: Right; and that is one of the reasons why Bernie Sanders really took off the way he did and continues to have such passionate supporters
because they like his message. They like the messenger, frankly; and for a lot of reasons.
I thought it was interesting that -- she didn't do it tonight, but over the past week Hillary Clinton talked about the fact that when she ran in 2008 she [00:40:00] just turned and supported Barak Obama and she got her supporters behind him and that's the way it should be, you know, without trying to, sort of, extract things like it seems Bernie Sanders is doing in his statement tonight. That might be true on the substance but, correct me if I'm wrong, didn't she also ask Obama to help retire her campaign debt? I mean, there were some quid pro quos going on.
TAPPER: I'm not sure if that was for the endorsement or for her to come on board to be secretary of state, but at some point, but at some point Obama had to agree to that. David Axelrod or somebody could shed light on that, but there are always concessions.
TAPPER: Jesse Jackson, in 1984, demanded that the primary process become more proportional in terms of allocation; that was one of the concessions he got. Other candidates in the past have wanted to be considered to be vice president.
BASH: By the way, the people who don't win but do very well, they earned it. I mean, I think that's fair to say, that they earned the right to kind of use the leverage that they have, because they have a lot of supporters who were following their causes, following their campaigns and want them to
continue to push it, even if they're not actually going to be the nominee.
TAPPER: Sure; and, look, he is not asking for anything for himself personally.
TAPPER: He is talking about issues that he cares about. He is not saying I demand to be considered for vice president, at least not in this statement. He is saying, minimum wage, --
TAPPER: -- Medicare for all, cleaning up money out of politics. These are the issues that he campaigned on in many ways. So, Anderson, to you.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: If only we had David Axelrod -
COOPER: So, what happened?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look; there were obvious discussions back and forth about what the Clinton campaign needed and so on. It was a different set of circumstances though, because there was a strong consensus among the party leadership on Obama's behalf.
There wasn't really a question as to whether she was going to -- there were questions, for example, the Clinton campaign, it was important to her to have her name entered into nomination and to have a roll call, that we were not that enthused about that because it would underscore the fact that the party was fairly evenly divided. So, the roll call went forward and then she stopped it and came on the floor of the convention, very dramatically moved for the nomination of Barak Obama by acclamation.
It was a very important moment but it is not easy. There are always negotiations involved, campaigns need things as they unwind. Their dignity needs to be afforded to the candidate who lost, which is why the roll call went forward.
In Bernie Sanders' case, he really did run in this campaign to advance a set of issues and I think the way, as I said earlier this evening, the way you build a bridge is to incorporate those issues in a significant way into your platform.
COOPER: Let's play some of what Secretary Clinton said tonight in her speech, kind of reaching out and building that bridge, or attempting to build that bridge to Sanders' and his supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving -
[Cheering and Applause]
CLINTON: -- greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality and I know together we will get that done --
CLINTON: -- because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us.
[Cheering and Applause]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Bill Press, as a Sanders supporter, is that a good start?
BILL PRESS, BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: That's a damned good start; and Bernie followed that up with congratulations to her and saying, in effect, we're going to move forward, talking about the issues not attacking each other.
You know, we have talked about -- I remember the last time we were together, a week ago, you asked me about why Bernie hadn't been able to expand his base among -- particularly among African-Americans and people of color. That's a weakness of his. A weakness of Hillary Clinton's has been her outreach to young people, which we talked about earlier, and to independents, which she's going to need Bernie's help to bring them in, which raises to me a very interesting issue, and I'm trying to approach this not just because Bernie does so well with Independents, and that is should the Democratic Party open its primaries up to allow Independents to vote and not have just closed primaries? I believe if you want the independents to love you in November, you have to show a little love in April and open up the process.
But I know a lot of -- most of my democratic friends disagree with that. They think the party should be an elitist, snobby party that is just members -
AXELROD: I'm sure they argue it just that way.
PRESS: They do. They do.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN COMMENTATOR AND SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": That's not a uniform rule, right; it varies by state.
PRESS: True. True.
BROWNSTEIN: Look, --
[00:45:01] PRESS: There could be a national point.
BROWNSTEIN: -- what Bernie Sanders did was extraordinary. I mean, he started off, as we've talked about, as that kind of classic one-track candidate and he's expanded well beyond that. He did win young voters in 23 of the 25 states with exit polls. He won Independents in 22 of the - he's also blue-collar whites now in 15 states, according to the exit polls, including, at least by the provisional right now, all three tonight.
Now that does give him some hope for recovery in Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky, because all of those are states where, in '08, non-college whites where at least half of the total vote on the Democratic side; but there are two big hills he cannot get over. African-Americans is one of them. The other one is Democrats.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Democrats.
BROWNSTEIN: -- 22 of the 24 states and was -- she was at 59-percent in Connecticut tonight; 61-percent in Pennsylvania; 69-percent in Maryland. it's hard to win a party's nomination if you can't -
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Many democrats would say, okay, and I hear your point about opening up the primaries, which wouldn't go far; but many democrats would push back to Bernie Sanders and his supporters and would probably see this in negotiations, as we go forward, get rid of caucuses. I mean, I think that a lot of -
SELLERS: You can -- I may never be able to run for president.
COOPER: Let him finish the thought and then we have to go.
SELLERS: Independent voters, we were talking about independent voters, really quickly. Barak Obama lost independent voters by eight points and he only -- five points, excuse me, and he only won independent voters in one swing state, that was North Carolina. So I do think this whole independent voters and Hillary Clinton's problems are a bit -
COOPER: More to come.
AXELROD: -- her numbers are quite bad, --
COOPER: Donald Trump --
AXELROD: -- much worse than Obama's in 2008.
COOPER: Donald Trump says all his votes should make him the presumptive nominee, that's what he said in his speech tonight. How did Trump do in the delegate race tonight? The latest numbers after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (HEADLINES)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[00:51:00] TRUMP: I consider myself the presumptive nominee; absolutely. I think the party is seeing me that way. I'm getting calls that, as I said, you wouldn't believe. I'm getting calls from people that I really can't even know how they can do it because they've said such horrible things about me. Now they want to join the team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Donald Trump speaking a little while ago. Welcome back; I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center. Ten contests in five states tonight. Let's take a look at the winners.
Hillary Clinton grabbing four of the five states on the Democratic side; Bernie Sanders a victory for him tonight in Rhode Island. Donald Trump winning, and winning big, in all five republican presidential contests tonight. That means there are two names not on that winners' board, we are talking about Ted Cruz and John Kasich. So where do their campaigns go after tonight? Let's go over to john king.
Clearly, Ted Cruz did not do well. John Kasich did not do well. Donald Trump did very well.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump on track to pick up more than 100 delegates, somewhere in the ballpark of 110 delegates. Ted Cruz may pick up three delegates; John Kasich five delegates by the time we're done counting, Wolf. That math alone tells you the scope of the Trump victory, but when you look at the states, when you look at the states, it's stunning. It is beyond overwhelming.
Here, in Connecticut, Donald Trump wins with almost 58-percent of the vote. You see the six purple towns. Six purple, six towns for John Kasich in the entire state of Connecticut. The rest is Donald Trump; no Ted Cruz.
BLITZER: Nothing for Cruz?
KING: Nothing for Cruz. Neighboring Rhode Island, John Kasich wins the town of Barrington, Rhode Island; Donald Trump winning everything else, nothing for Ted Cruz. So seven towns, that's how the map divides them, in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Now we move into states where we do this by county. Here is Pennsylvania, the biggest prize tonight. Look at it; 100-percent, across the board, a sweep of the counties of Pennsylvania for Donald Trump. Come down to Maryland, 100-percent across the board, a sweep of the counties in Maryland for Donald Trump. The state of Delaware, a sweep for Donald Trump.
Again, just for comparison, you look at the state of Pennsylvania. Here is the democratic race. Hillary Clinton winning by 12 points there, right; 55-43. This is a pretty convincing win for Secretary Clinton. This is a pummeling. I don't know what would you call that, but it's just a wipeout. It's an overwhelming wipeout for Donald Trump, which is one of the
reasons he's making the point tonight that he believes the Republican Party should acknowledge the reality, when you look at the five states tonight and then you go through this. Just stunning -- the scope of the win stunning tonight for Donald Trump. Obviously, Kasich and Cruz will say, it's a region of the country built for him, but you have to win to get them.
Let's look quickly at the Democratic race. I just showed you the scope of the Clinton win here; very impressive. Down here in Maryland, again, even more impressive for Secretary Clinton. You see a little bit of Bernie Sanders out here in the rural northwest part of the state, and here, the rest of the state Hillary Clinton ran up the score on Bernie Sanders. Then, top to bottom in Delaware, as well.
The one victory you talked about just a moment ago -- let me stretch out the map a little bit -- in the state of Rhode Island, a very solid win for Bernie Sanders; the smallest prize tonight of the democratic contests there. Then Hillary Clinton, early on she was trailing in Connecticut, but she came back and she's going to win by a few points there.
So, four out of the five wins stretches her delegate lead to almost 300 pledged delegates, which is why, even though the Sanders campaign is trying to say they are in it to win it, a definite change in tone tonight.
BLITZER: She's got a lead among pledge delegates, as you point out, about 300 pledged delegates. Donald Trump and pledged delegates, he has a lead about 400 pledge delegates going into the next Tuesday's contests.
KING: He does, and let's switch the map here to look at it this way. He certainly does; so the next contest is the state of Indiana. Donald Trump, five for five tonight. Ted Cruz has said, you know, the map is changing. The map is coming my way in Indiana. Well, the polls right now show Donald Trump winning. if Donald Trump can add a win in Indiana tomorrow night Wolf -
BLITZER: Next Tuesday.
KING: Next Tuesday, I'm sorry; what a signal that will send to the Republican Party, in the sense that Trump just won in the Northeast. now if he can go to the Midwest and win again, where he had great success, with the [00:55:01] exception of John Kasich's Ohio, look at the success for Donald Trump in the Rust Belt, in the heartland of the country. If Donald Trump can win there, as of where we are right now, especially when we count in -- we have 29 of the 54 non-committed, non-pledged delegates in Pennsylvania, at least 29 have told CNN they will be for Donald Trump.
When you add that in, Trump needs just a little bit more than 50- percent of the remaining delegates right now; it's between 50 and 51- percent of the remaining delegates to get to 1237. If he adds a win in Indiana, next week, that drops that number forward and especially, again, if you add that in, this is at the end of the calendar, New Jersey, where Trump is favored here, this is later in the calendar, West Virginia, Trump is heavily favored here; if you do that, a win in Indiana plus that, then Donald Trump's math falls below 40-percent, if you factor those states in; down around 37-percent.
So, is it a done deal? Absolutely not, but a huge win tonight helps Donald Trump's map. If he gets a win in Indiana next Tuesday; trust me, the conversation in the Republican Party changed tonight, that would change it fundamentally.
BLITZER: So that deal between Trump and Cruz -- Trump -- excuse me, the deal between Kasich and Cruz, Kasich isn't competing, supposedly, in Indiana right now; that was part of the deal. Stand by.
Donald Trump, a triumphant night for him; he went five for five. All of his victories by big margins, but will those big margins get Trump to the magic number of 1,237 delegates that he will need to be the republican nominee? We're taking a closer look at the numbers; that's next.