Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SUNDAY
Obama Roasts GOP, Democrats And Media In Speech; Larry Wilmore's Speech Gets Groans And Grimaces; Obama's Final Run As Comedian-In-Chief; Clinton, Sanders Campaign In Michigan; Protesters Storm Iraqi Parliament. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired May 1, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And with that, I just have two more words to say, Obama out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANA CABRERA, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: President Obama dropping the mic, delivering his final address at his last ever White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington.
Good morning. Happy Sunday. Thanks for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera in for Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning. So this dinner brings together the politicians and the journalists, the Hollywood stars, all for one night, and the commander in chief turns into comedian in chief. He didn't spare anyone including himself.
CABRERA: That's right. President Obama cracking jokes at everything from the media, the Republican Party, to of course, Donald Trump. He even took some good natured shots at the Democrats fighting to succeed him. Here is just a few of his best lines.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In my final year, my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major. And here's the thing, I haven't really done anything differently. So it's odd.
Even my aides can't explain the rising poll numbers. What has changed? Nobody can figure it out. Some candidates aren't polling high enough to qualify for their own joke tonight. You've got to admit it, though.
Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative would just signed up for Facebook. Dear America, did you get my poke? Is it appearing on your wall? I'm not sure I'm using this right. Aunt Hillary. Eight years ago, I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor. Look at me now. I am gray, grizzled, just counting down the days until my death panel.
Hillary once questioned whether I would be ready for a 3 a.m. phone call. Now I'm awake anyway, because I've got to go to the bathroom. Meanwhile, Michelle has not aged a day. The only way you can date her in photos is by looking at me.
Take a look. Here we are in 2008. Here we are a few years later and this one is from two weeks ago. Even some foreign leaders, they've been looking ahead, anticipating my departure.
Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face.
BLACKWELL: All right, so we've got a lot to talk about. Let's bring in CNN political commentator, Jeffrey Lord, who is a Donald Trump supporter, and comedian, George Wallace. Talk about a pairing.
GEORGE WALLACE, COMEDIAN: I didn't know he was going to be here. I'm afraid. Hello, Jeffrey.
BLACKWELL: So let me start with you, George. What did you think?
WALLACE: The first time I watched it -- you know, comedians watch it in a different point. We are looking at timing and delivery and all. It's kind of cute. Second time I watched it, very funny. I'm so proud of this president to come out and his open joke, I'm late, I'm on CP time, which stands for a joke white people should never tell.
CABRERA: But he could pull it off.
WALLACE: That's the good thing about this president. We've never had a president that could do everything to play golf to sing I'm so in love with you to basketball to golf, and comedian. It's -- public speaking is the most feared thing to do in life and he can do it all and he was a comedian last night, a real comedian.
[06:05:01]CABRERA: Jeffrey, let me come to you because you look at it tough a different lens. Obviously you've been one of our busiest political commentators here on CNN. What was your take?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The comedian was fabulous and so was Larry Wilmore.
WALLACE: I knew he was going to say that.
LORD: I thought he was terrific. I really did think he was very good. You know, having worked for a president, presidents work long and hard on these speeches and sometimes they misfire, his did not. I will also say that it was clear that he had some partisans in the audience and that's before you got to his aides and Democrats, but meeting the press -- BLACKWELL: We got it.
LORD: I thought he did exceptionally well.
CABRERA: Jeffrey is on a roll this morning, isn't he?
WALLACE: That's why, Jeffrey, usually the comedian is there to ensure that we have laughter, but we've never had a president that can pull it off and be the headliner. President Barack Obama last night was the headliner. You never put the headliner up before the opening act. That's what happened. That's Larry was saying -- I mean, Jeffrey was saying.
CABRERA: You think that the president was funnier than professional comedian, Larry Wilmore?
LORD: I really did think that. I really thought he was very, very, good at this. Of course, my favorite president is Ronald Reagan and I remember the year that he -- it might have been his eighth year where he said, you know, he was sorry he had to go and he wouldn't back, but he always wanted to do this, and he goes like this.
BLACKWELL: Hey, George, let me ask you, you know, people were waiting to hear what the president would say about Donald Trump. He had this mock wrap up. He said you know I've got to talk about Donald Trump and he went after him a little bit.
WALLACE: He was pretty cool about Donald Trump. You know, him being an international character, you know, dealing with these international leaders and Miss Argentina and (inaudible). I thought he was wonderful. I thought he would have hit Donald Trump a little more actually.
LORD: Frankly, I thought the same thing.
WALLACE: I know I would have because it's so much fun. You know, Donald Trump wants to build a wall and the Mexicans are building tunnels. There is so many funny things he could have done. There is so many different directions.
CABRERA: Why didn't he go there, Jeffrey?
LORD: Well, I was going to say the only candidate there was Bernie Sanders. Frankly, I have no idea what he was thinking. In truth, if you're one of these candidates and we're coming down to crunch time, you better be in Indiana, and not sitting in a Washington hotel room with a bunch of reporters in black tie. I mean, that would have frankly looked terrible. So both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz all did the -- John Kasich did the right thing. Don't go there.
BLACKWELL: I also wonder if that was a subtle sign to his supporters to tell them that, you know, we have passed that phase of the campaign, where I'm competing for the nomination that he is now in this room. Just a sign to say, he'll be back in Indiana, he'll be back today. WALLACE: Exactly. He was saying I'm supporting Hillary. He knows where he is right now.
BLACKWELL: And the president went after the former secretary too. We saw it with the Aunt Hillary.
WALLACE: You're right.
BLACKWELL: So Jeffrey, I wonder, Donald Trump is going to be back in Indiana, rallying today and tomorrow. We've seen Donald Trump hit back when he has been hit. Do you expect he will mention or talk about the president's comments on the trail?
LORD: He might but again, there is a real disconnect. To be perfectly candid, while, you know, people like me and all of us getting kicked out of it, if you're in Indiana and your problem is, what, your health care or mortgage or your kids, getting a job or what have you, you could care less about this kind of thing.
You know, a lot of people may not even be aware of it. So the sort of plausibility of getting a response from folks out there may or may not be that big a deal.
CABRERA: A lot of people are reacting to Larry Wilmore who we showed going into this was a little bit nervous. He was excited. He felt like it was going to be a big responsibility since it was the president's final White House Correspondents' Dinner. The reaction hasn't been particularly good for Larry Wilmore.
WALLACE: Just because of what I said at first. You never put the headliner on before the opening act. That's why Larry had to say stay in your lane. He said I don't come down to the White House making decisions. He moved into a lane where no other president has ever been, being the best performer of the evening.
CABRERA: Do you think Larry Wilmore tried too hard, George?
WALLACE: No. Comedy is the hardest art form and when it's not right, once the headliner is killed and when President Obama, Obama and dropped the mic, that pretty much means show is over.
WALLACE: And then a lot of people stood up and some people left. Larry Wilmore is a professional. He is a headliner, but not enough people knew him also.
[06:10:06]So he doesn't -- he didn't get that respect. He is a great guy, but some people are going who is Larry Wilmore.
BLACKWELL: Finally, about the content, that content might have worked for his show, for people who are coming to watch Larry Wilmore's --
WALLACE: Of course --
SAVIDGE: But the reference to the president using the "n" word at the end of his speech there.
WALLACE: That was new kids. That's new era. These young kids, they look at that "n" word as a term of endearment so we may not understand. A lot of older people why did he use the "n" word? Let's just face it.
The NAACP had a funeral for the "n" word and it roll again like Jesus in three days. So it's still around. I'm going to tell you the truth, it's not going to go anywhere. I stopped using it last Tuesday.
CABRERA: Last question to you, Jeffrey, as we top this all off. What did you make of the comparison of this year -- years past for President Obama in his final address?
LORD: Yes, well, of course, you get better every year that you have to do this. I really did think he was very good. I thought he was at the top of his game. But you know, one of the things it also signals in a serious political sense, I mean, Washington is one of these towns.
It's pretty brutal when any president is coming to the end of their term, all the attention goes to whoever would be the successor and you're dropped like a hot rock.
And there was some sort of sense of this, that the Obama era was just about over, get off the stage, sir, it's somebody else's time whomever that may be.
WALLACE: I'm just proud that Jeffrey has converted to our side, and Jeffrey, I want to thank you like a lot of Americans last night. You've learned a lot. You're good man. Thank you for becoming a Democrat and you're going to vote for --
LORD: Well, thank you, Governor Wallace.
WALLACE: Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.
BLACKWELL: We wrap this up now.
CABRERA: A fun way to start the show this morning.
BLACKWELL: Jeffrey Lord, George Wallace, thank you so much.
WALLACE: I'll see you in Las Vegas.
BLACKWELL: Much more ahead on your NEW DAY.
BLACKWELL: Hundreds of protesters you see here storming Iraq's parliament over government dissatisfaction, what's behind this anger and is there a concern for the safety of the Americans and the U.S. Embassy there. CABRERA: Plus looking ahead now to Tuesday's Indiana primary, the candidates rallying in the Hoosier state today, courting your vote. We'll take a look at what is at stake.
BLACKWELL: Also, much more ahead from the president's final White House Correspondents' Dinner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Bernie, you look like a million bucks, or to put it in terms you'll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot and it's anyone's guess who she will be, but --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Hillary Clinton did not attend last night's dinner, but of course that didn't save her from being ribbed by President Obama.
CABRERA: Fellow Democrats, rival Republicans, no one in the presidential race was spared. CNN correspondent, Chris Frates was also there. Chris, what's your take away there?
CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, it looked like he was having a good time. I've been lucky enough to go to a number of these. It was clear that he was loose. He gave a good performance last night and clearly it was his last performance of his presidency.
You know, he seemed a little bit more informal than he has in the past. Taking shots at not just at his Republican rivals to take his seat but also Democrats. We compiled the best of last night. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You got to admit it, though, Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative who just signed for Facebook. Dear America, did you get my poke? I am hurt, though, Bernie that you've been distancing yourself a little from me. I mean, that's just not something that you do to your comrade.
Some candidates aren't polling high enough to qualify their own joke tonight. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world, Ms. Sweden, Ms. Argentina.
Ted had a tough week. He went to Indiana, Hoosier country, stood on a basketball court, and called the hoop a basketball ring. What else is in his Lexicon? Baseball sticks, football hats, but sure, I'm the foreign one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRATES: So there you had President Obama kind of rolling through the presidential campaign field, and you know, he hit Kasich, Sanders, Cruz as well, but before he got to Donald Trump, it seemed like he was going to wrap it up and he was making the case, thanking the press, thanking the White House Correspondents Association.
And then he did a wait a minute, you didn't I think was going to leave here without talking about Donald Trump. So he had some really good timing, had a little fun with everybody in the room there, guys.
BLACKWELL: So Bernie Sanders as we saw, he was there, but back to business today, campaigning in Indiana. All the candidates will be there except John Kasich. What's the feeling ahead of the primary on Tuesday?
FRATES: Well, look, it depends on if you're talking about the Republicans or Democrats. On the Democratic side, Sanders really has a tough hill to climb. He needs to win almost all the remaining delegates left in this contest to claim the nomination.
Clinton needs just 20 percent to clinch it. On the Republican side, the math is even tougher for anyone not named Trump. Cruz and Kasich can't get to that magic number of 1,237 before the convention.
[06:20:03]So the name of the game for those guys is to stop Trump from clinching. Do that, Cruz has got to derail Trump in Indiana and he has to win as many of those 57 delegates as he can that are up for grabs there on Tuesday.
And so he is running two ads in Indiana. He's comparing Trump to Hillary Clinton. He's calling them both government liberals. Two sides of the same coin as you point out. Both Trump and Cruz are on the trail today in Indiana.
So we'll see what jabs are thrown in and how nasty this gets with just two days to go until this election -- Victor and Ana.
BLACKWELL: All right, Chris Frates for us there in Washington. I hope you enjoyed the dinner. We'll talk to you a little later.
FRATES: All right, sounds good, guys.
BLACKWELL: Reminder, the Indiana presidential primary is on Tuesday. Stay with CNN for live special coverage throughout the day.
CABRERA: Meantime, this morning, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, both are guests on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. That's coming up in just a few hours at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN. Still ahead here on NEW DAY, a massive immigrant rights rally planned in Milwaukee. Thousands are expected to show up. A leading voice from this planned protest is going to join us live with her powerful message for the presidential candidate.
Also ahead, in overseas, hundreds of demonstrators angry at the Iraqi government are storming parliament. A live report on what is behind this tension, and is there any danger to the U.S. Embassy base there?
BLACKWELL: This morning, a police officer is dead after bomb blasts in southeastern Turkey, 13 people were hurt including nine police officers. Officials say a car bomb went off in front of the police headquarters. No one has claimed responsibility thus far for this attack.
[06:25:08]CABRERA: New this morning, take a look at this new video, massive protests happening in Iraq. Demonstrators are still camped out in the parliament in the green zone, which is usually an area off- limits. It's also home to various embassies, including the U.S. Embassy.
I want to bring in CNN senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, who has reported extensively from this region. Ben, why are these protesters so upset and why now?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has to do with a vote that was supposed to take place yesterday with the -- under the leadership of the prime minister to try to work out a new cabinet to form a new cabinet that is not based on sectarian affiliation, but rather, he wants to point technocrats.
All part of his effort to fight corruption within the Iraqi government. What we heard was (inaudible), the very influential Shiite cleric calling on people after this vote failed to take place to go and conduct a revolution essentially.
Corruption is really something that almost every Iraqi agrees is a serious problem. The group, Transparency International, which monitors corruption around the world ranks Iraq as 161 out of 168 countries in terms of corruption.
And therefore, what we're seeing is just anger boiling over against the Iraqi government, which is rife with corruption and does not seem to be able to deal with the problem -- Ana.
CABRERA: Very quickly, Ben, any danger or threat to the U.S. Embassy right now?
WEDEMAN: Well, we understand that the organizers of this protest have urged people not to go near the embassies that are in the green zone, to stay away. It does appear that at this point, anger is very much focused on the entire political establishment in Iraq, not on the United States. Even though many people realized that the political establishment at it exists today in Iraq is very much the result of the United States and what it did since 2003 in Iraq -- Ana.
CABRERA: Well, thank you for your insight on all of this. Thank you, Ben Wedeman for joining us this morning -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: Ahead on NEW DAY, President Obama made a few jokes at Donald Trump's expense, even though Donald Trump was not there at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Next, reaction to Trump humor, including his foreign policy experience with world leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Ms. Sweden, Ms. Argentina, (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)