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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Interview with Hillary Clinton; Violent Protests Outside Trump Speech in California. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired April 29, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I will tell you, over the last two weeks -- and it look place really even before that, but people see what's happening, because we have far more votes than anybody else, far more delegates than anybody else.
And we're going to hit that number, I think, quite easily, because I watch -- and I watch the very dishonest media. And they say, oh, Cruz is getting delegates. He's not getting delegates. They say he's getting delegates. He's getting second, third, fourth, fifth round. He's not going to be there, because we're going to win it first round.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: We don't even compete for them. I'm we're so far as of today, we have 1,001. We just broke the thousand mark. OK?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And we did fight hard actually in Pennsylvania, because, in Pennsylvania, I won in a landslide. We got, I guess, over 60 percent of the vote. And that's pretty hard when you have three people running. When you get 60 percent with two people, you win in a landslide. Right? That's called a landslide.
When you have three people and you get practically 60 percent, and then, in the other states, you know, we had five, and we did unbelievable numbers, up to 66 percent. And it's been amazing. We had Rhode Island, and we had Delaware, Connecticut, and Maryland, Pennsylvania.
And we did great. But Pennsylvania had a little thing that, if you win, you get 17. So, I got the 17. And the rest, you have to fight for. I said, what kind of a deal is this? In other words, you have to take them out to dinner. And this is a wonderful hotel. I'm sure your lunch is good.
But they don't take them here.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, you're listening to Donald J. Trump. He's speaking at the California Republican Convention as a throng of protesters is swelling right outside of the hotel in which he's giving that speech. We will continue to monitor his remarks, much more on Trump and these tense protests in a bit. But right now, we have a CNN exclusive, an extensive and exclusive
interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She is on the verge of locking up the Democratic presidential nomination.
What does she think of what Bernie Sanders suggests he need to be in the Democratic platform to garner his support? What about Donald Trump's latest mean tweets against her? We talked about it all.
TAPPER: Madam Secretary, thanks so much for doing this. And congratulations on Tuesday night.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks a lot, Jake. It was terrific. It was really...
TAPPER: Four for five.
CLINTON: Yes, we did a -- we had a great campaign in all the states. It felt good.
TAPPER: That night, Donald Trump said that he considers himself the presumptive nominee of his party. Do you consider yourself the presumptive nominee?
CLINTON: No. I consider myself as someone who is on the path.
And, obviously, I'm very far ahead in both the popular vote and the delegate count. So I think the path leads to a nomination, but, you know, I'm going to keep competing in the elections that are up ahead of us.
TAPPER: Senator Sanders issued a statement that night that suggested he's not necessarily running to win anymore, he's running to advance progressive causes on the Democratic platform, specifically named $15 minimum wage at the national level, Medicare for all, breaking up the banks, changing our trade policy, and passing a tax on carbon.
Are these issues where you think you could make a deal with Senator Sanders, find some common ground and get those issues on the platform should you be the nominee?
CLINTON: Well, I certainly look forward to working with Senator Sanders in the lead-up to the convention, in the lead-up to the platform that will represent the Democratic Party.
It will be a progressive platform. I have run on a progressive agenda. I really welcome his ideas and his supporters' passion and commitment, because the most important thing for us is to win in November. There is no more important goal.
And I was pleased when Senator Sanders said the other day he's going to work tirelessly, seven days a week, to make sure that Donald Trump is not president. And I really welcome back that, because that has to be our primary objective.
TAPPER: Are there any of those specific issues that you think, yes, I could do that? I know Medicare for all, you have already ruled out.
CLINTON: Well, we're going to talk. We're going to work together, because, look, we want the same goals. We both want to raise minimum wage. The Republicans led by Donald Trump don't want to. We both want to get to universal health care coverage. The Republicans don't seem interested in that.
We both want to deal with climate change, something they deny. So, we go down the list. We have so much more in common. I said that in my remarks Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The connection between my supporters and myself and Senator Sanders and his supporters are very strong.
We really are going to be unified and have a tremendous progressive agenda to run on in the fall. And I really think that will help us with the election and it will also help us govern.
TAPPER: Do you think if he withholds his support until the convention, that will hurt your chances in November, should you be the nominee?
CLINTON: I don't have any reason to believe that.
I know when I dropped out in early June, I immediately endorsed Senator Obama. We had differences in our campaign. We had differences on issues. We had run a really tough race all the way to the end, but I endorsed him. I began working for him.
And, of course, we talked about the platform. We talked about the convention. He asked me to nominate him at the Denver convention. So, you know, we went through some of the same process. And, in fact, I think when I dropped out, the polling was at 40 percent of my supporters said they would not support Senator Obama. Thankfully, the vast majority of them did.
So, this is a natural kind of process that I think will play itself out.
TAPPER: It's interesting, because of all of the people in the world, there's probably no one who knows what Bernie Sanders is feeling more than you.
CLINTON: Right. Right.
TAPPER: Take us back to 2008, what you think Senator Sanders is going through, because it's like, oh, I came so close, but...
CLINTON: It's hard, Jake.
You throw yourself into these campaigns body and soul. You work 24/7. Your family, your supporters, everybody is so invested in trying to win. And I'm very proud of my campaign, grateful that I have such strong support. But I absolutely understand that Senator Sanders has been a passionate advocate for positions that he cares deeply about. I think that's been helpful to the Democratic primary process. He's brought millions of people into the process, which I think is also very good for the Democratic Party.
But there comes a time when up to look at the reality. In fact, in '08, I was much closer in both popular vote and pledged delegates to Senator Obama than is the case right now. But, eventually, I just decided that I had to withdraw and support Senator Obama because the goal was to make sure we had a Democrat in the White House.
TAPPER: Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in his view, and probably in reality as well, is saying that he's going to go after Sanders' supporters, that a lot of them are independents, that you have had trouble winning over in the open primaries where independents and Democrats can vote, that they have similar views on trade, on big money in politics.
How are you going to counter that? How are you going to prevent him from getting the Sanders supporters?
CLINTON: Well, we're going to be outreaching to Senator Sanders' supporters as well.
And I just don't see how the calculation adds up. If you don't believe in climate change, it's pretty hard to go after people who passionately believe in it. If you don't believe in raising minimum wage, in fact, you think that wages are too high in America, I don't think you have much of an argument.
If you are demeaning women, you don't believe equal pay is an issue, you are really insulting to women, I don't see how that adds up either. If you have a kind of reckless, loose, dangerous view of foreign policy, I don't think that's very appealing.
So I'm going to be very aggressive in reaching out to Senator Sanders' supporters. But we have so much in common and we have far more in common than they do Donald Trump or any Republican. And we're going to work together.
I really respect the important point of getting money out of politics. Remember, Citizens United was an attack on me. So, I take it very personally. And even before Senator Sanders got into the campaign, way back in April of last year, I said we are going to reverse Citizens United, and if we can't get the Supreme Court to do what I think would be the right decision, then I will lead a constitutional amendment.
So, we have a lot in common and we're going to work together.
TAPPER: You talked about Donald Trump's foreign policy. He gave a foreign policy address recently. I'm wondering if you had a chance to see it or think -- or read about it and what you thought.
CLINTON: Well, I certainly read about it. And I think it's quite concerning. His talk about pulling out of NATO, his talk about letting other countries have nuclear weapons, which runs counter to 70 years of bipartisan national security policy, his idea that he -- quote -- "has a secret plan" to get rid of ISIS and he's not going to tell anybody, I find it disturbing because I -- as a senator from New York for eight years, as secretary of state for four years, I know that the stakes are high, that we face some real challenges and dangers in the world.
And I don't think loose talks about loose nukes, I don't think turning our back on our strongest allies, I don't think pretending you have some sort of secret plan is a very smart way to go forward in leading the world, which is what we must do.
TAPPER: On some issues, it seems like he's going to run to your left, on a populist left, and one of them might be the use of force and military intervention, and whether it's Libya or Iraq, what will your response be when he says Hillary Clinton is part of the group that gets but into these wars?
CLINTON: Well, look, I think that I'm always someone who uses military force as a last resort. It's not a first choice.
As secretary of state, I talked a about smart power, about diplomacy and development. I'm the one who put together to coalition that imposed sanctions on Iran, brought them to the negotiating table, which led to putting a lid on their nuclear weapons program. And that's exactly what we need to do, because there was a real potential that military action might have been taken in order to try to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
So, when you have somebody who says he's going to be tough and he's going to get results, but he doesn't tell you how he's going to do it, I think we will have a lot to contrast with.
TAPPER: He also said that, if you were a man, you would be at 5 percent in the polls. What did you think when you heard that?
CLINTON: You know, I don't respond to his attacks on me. I think it's kind of silly.
I was elected to the Senate twice from New York. I was someone who got more than 18 million votes the first time I ran. I now have two million more votes than Donald Trump has, more than 12 million votes to his 10. So it doesn't really square with reality.
What I worry about is the way he attacks all kinds of groups of people. And I want to be their spokesperson. I'm going to stand up for them. Attacking me, demeaning me, talking about playing the woman's card, well, there are a lot of women out there who are really struggling, women working on minimum wage, working not being paid fairly, women trying to balance family and work and finding it really, really hard, women who are worried about security in their neighborhoods, women who have a lot of legitimate concerns. And as I said Tuesday night, if playing the women's card means standing up for the concerns that women have and that they express to me, then deal me in, because that's exactly what I have always done for decades, what I will do in this campaign.
TAPPER: He has taken politics to a new place with his negative branding of people, whether it's saying that Jeb Bush is low-energy or talking about lyin' Ted Cruz.
And for his supporters, it's really worked. He has lately taken to calling you, I believe, corrupt Hillary. And he's had some rather personal and pointed tweets.
Have you learned anything from watching the way that Republicans dealt with him in the primaries that will inform how you will deal with such an unconventional candidate?
CLINTON: Well, remember, I -- I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.
I'm not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me. He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I could really care less. I'm going to stand up for what I think the American people need and want in the next president.
That's why I have laid out very specific plans. There's nothing secret about what I want to do with the economy, with education, with health care, with foreign policy. I have laid it all out there. And he can't or he won't. I can't tell which.
So we're going to talk about what we want to do for the country, and he can continue on his insult fest, but that's the choice he's making.
TAPPER: He will also try to attack you for the trade deals that he's attacked so many of his Republican rivals for. And he says he's going to try to redraw the map and compete in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan, appealing to white working-class voters who feel like most favored nation status for China or NAFTA hurt them.
What argument will you make to those white working-class voters?
CLINTON: Well, look, I won I Ohio, more votes than he got in Ohio. I won Pennsylvania, more votes than he got in Pennsylvania. I feel very good about where we are, because I have a positive agenda to create jobs.
And I have said very clearly, I will not support any trade agreement that I don't think creates more good jobs with rising incomes. That's why I'm against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's why I voted against the only multilateral trade agreement that came before me when I was in the Senate.
I think that he can say whatever he wants to say, and he will, of course. But I have a track record of really helping people and standing up against China. I have gone toe to toe with the Chinese on numerous occasions.
So I feel very comfortable doing that. So I have a record. And I have a record that is very clearly on the side of working people and making sure that, you know, we get more good jobs with rising incomes. That's at the center of my economic policy.
TAPPER: Do you think that the trade deals pushed forward in the '80s and '90s ultimately some of them hurt working-class voters in this country?
CLINTON: There's no doubt about that. And they were mixed. They helped a lot of people and they hurt people.
And one of the problems in our country is that we don't do enough for people who are hurt by trade deals. But just picture this. I was at an auto plant, a unionized auto plant, a UAW local, oldest local in the country, outside of South Bend the other day.
They are making Mercedes-Benz cars to export to China. They're making the only mobile vehicle for people with disabilities to export around the world. They make Humvees. They have a broad array of products they produce there, about 1,400 people, with 3,000 more in the supply chain.
[16:15:04] So, they are in the global market but they're in it in a way that advantages America. That's what I'm looking for. We're only 5 percent of the population. We've got to trade with the other 95 percent. We just have to be smart and tough in the way we do it.
So if you take an absolutist position, every trade agreement is great, or you take the position every trade agreement is wrong, you're not dealing in the real world. We need smart trade agreements that help our people, that further our economy, and we need to do more to help people who do lose jobs because of global competition.
TAPPER: When Hillary Clinton attended Donald and Melania Trump's wedding in 2005, did she ever imagine that someday she would be running against him for president of the United States? I'll ask her and she answers, next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Hillary Clinton says she has handled rival male candidates who have gone, quote, "off the reservation" to attack her before. It's a reference to her opponents in the 2000 Senate race, Rick Lazio.
[16:20:03] But does Hillary Clinton think Mr. Trump has the qualifications for the job of president?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Do you think Donald Trump is qualified to be president? CLINTON: Well, the voters will have to decide. I'm going to lay out
TAPPER: Eleven years ago, when you were at the weeding of Donald and Melania Trump, did you ever picture that you would be in this situation with him as the presumptive Republican nominee, you as the likely Democratic nominee running against each other in what is likely to be a very brutal and tough campaign?
CLINTON: Well, look, back then, I didn't think I would run for president. So, I can't speak to whatever was in his mind. But that's a good question.
But I'm in all the way. I'm going to do everything I can to finally get the nomination wrapped up which I think will happen and then turn and get ready for the general election.
TAPPER: But it's safe to say that sitting there, watching the two get married, it never crossed your mind, some day he and I are going to face each other --
CLINTON: Never crossed my mind. No, not at all. Never crossed my mind.
TAPPER: All right. Madam Secretary, thank you. And congratulations again.
CLINTON: Thanks a lot, Jake.
TAPPER: Let's turn now to the Republicans. This is the scene outside the Hyatt in Burlingame, California. That's in the San Francisco Bay area.
A crowd of protesters is growing by the second. They are chanting, pushing against police barriers. Some are throwing eggs. Why? Well, Donald Trump is inside the hotel that you see on your screen.
And CNN's Jeremy Diamond is outside amidst the protesters.
Jeremy, police are standing by in riot gear. They clearly think this could turn violent. Trump even had to take a rather circuitous route to get inside the hotel I understand.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. At the very top of his speech, Donald Trump remarked on the strange way that he had to get into this hotel, to actually speak and address the California Republican Party. He said it felt like crossing the border, of course, a reference to his views on immigration and the fact that he wants to build a wall on the southern border of the United States.
Of course, that is what a lot of the protesters who are here are demonstrating about. A lot of them here railing against Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration. Of course, this is the candidate who launched his (AUDIO GAP) talking about undocumented immigrants (AUDIO GAP), talking about many of them being criminals and rapists.
So, that is the kind of rhetoric that protesters here are protesting. You had 200 to 300 people protesting. The number had significantly dropped off now. We see this protest kind of starting to quell a little bit.
But what we saw before, you saw dozen of protesters initially try and rush the barricade. They actually were able to get over the barricades and start rushing the doors of the hotel. You had police officers who had to run back to try and stop the protesters from actually getting inside. Then a wave of more protesters joined them, and push back against police officers. Police officers using force, using their batons to push the protesters backwards, to keep them from getting inside this building where Donald Trump just spoke moments ago. And then they went around and they rushed another barricade.
So, protesters are now on the private property of this hotel. They are in the parking lot of this hotel where Donald Trump is speaking inside and they are continuing to rally. They are continuing to make their voices heard, railing against what they view is Donald Trump's hateful and bigoted rhetoric. That is what many of the people here are -- how they are defining Donald Trump's rhetoric -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much.
Trump's appearance in California is critical. That state could deliver the nomination to Trump and to make sure the mogul avoids a contested convention in Cleveland. Let's watch a little clip of Trump making his case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a rigged system. It's a rigged system. OK? It's a horrible, horrible, disgusting system.
We have picked up so many votes over the last period of time and, in fact, I was just watching the networks today and they have a chart that I think has already happened but in the history of primaries, Republican primaries, I've gotten the most votes in the history of the Republican Party, right?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And we haven't even hit some of the big -- we haven't even hit some of the states yet, which is sort of an amazing thing. So, we're really on a path that's incredible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I want to bring in my panel, former Democratic Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who is a Bernie supporter. Also with me, CNN political commentator (AUDIO GAP) to a pro-Clinton super PAC. I also have CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Kevin Madden.
There's a lot to discuss in both the Clinton interview and with Donald Trump. We're going to take a quick break and come back and talk about all of it. Stay with us.
[16:29:10] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD, with the politics lead.
We're looking at some remarkable video you see on the right side of your screen. Donald Trump and his posse coming back the way they came into the hotel, a back route into the hotel and here we go out of the hotel, circuitous route of sorts, to avoid the protesters on the left side of your screen that you see there that were trying to block his passageway. Trump's motorcade had to do an end run around those protesters who are butting up against police in the San Francisco area in California. Police had donned riot gear.
I'm back with my panel. Let's talk about it all.
Kevin Madden, the anti-Trump protests in California, we've also seen violence around his rallies. Sometimes the violence is from people who support Trump. Last few days, it's from people who oppose Trump.
Is this the new normal, do you think, when it comes to Trump rallies, that there's just going to be this violence surrounding it?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is. I think what's interesting about a lot of these scenes is a lot of it is not really new to us if you've been following the Trump campaign to this point. I think the interesting thing to see, one of -- if there's a change in the political dynamic is and how the public starts to react to it.