Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Ted Cruz Speaks to Reporters; Sanders Vows to Stay in Race. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired May 3, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everything in Donald's world is about Donald. And he combines being a pathological liar, and I say pathological because I actually think Donald if you hooked him up to a lie detector pass, he could say one thing in the morning, one thing at noon, and one thing in the evening, all contradictory, and he'd pass the lie detector test each time. Whatever lie he's telling, at that minute he believes it, but the man is utterly a moron.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Senator --
CRUZ: Let me finish this, please.
The man is utterly a -- morality does not exist for him. It's why he went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her. Apparently, she's not pretty enough for Donald Trump. I may be biased but I think if he's making that allegation he's also legally blind.
But Donald is a bully. We just visited with fifth graders. Every one of us knew bullies in elementary school. Bullies don't come from strength. Bullies come from weakness. Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity. There is a reason Donald builds giant buildings and puts his name on them everywhere he goes.
And I will say there are millions of people in this country who are angry. They're angry at Washington. They're angry at politicians who have lied to them. I understand that anger. I share that anger. And Donald is cynically that anger, and he is lying to his supporters. Donald will betray his supporters on every issue. If you care about immigration, Donald is laughing at you, and he's telling the monies elites he doesn't believe what he's saying. He's not going to build a wall. That's what he told "The New York Times." He will betray you on every issue across the board.
And his strategy of being a bully in the particular is directed at women. Donald has a real problem with women. People who are insecure, people who are insecure about who they are, Donald is terrified by strong women. He lashes out at them.
Remember, this is the same Donald Trump who last week here in Indiana proudly touted the endorsement from Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist who served three years in prison here in Indiana for raping a 17-year-old girl and, in Donald's world, he said Mike Tyson was a tough guy. I don't think rapists are tough guys. I spent a lot of years in law enforcement dealing with rapists. Rapists are weak. They are cowards, and they're bullies, and anyone that thinks they're a tough guy, that reveals everything about Donald Trump's character. Donald Trump said Bill Clinton was targeted by unattractive women. You know what? I've been blessed to be surrounded by strong women my entire life.
Today is voting day here in Indiana. The president of the United States has a bully pulpit unlike anybody else. The president of the United States affects our culture. I ask the people of Indiana, think about the next five years if this man were to become president. Next five years, the boasting, the pathological lying, the picking up the "National Enquirer" and accusing people of killing JFK, the bullying.
Think about your kids coming back and emulating this. For people in Indiana, who long for a day when we were nice to each other, when we treated people with respect, when we didn't engage in sleaze and lies, and I would note one of the lies he engages in, listen, Donald Trump is a serial Philanderer and he boasts about it. This is not a secret. He's proud of being a serial philanderer. I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery, how proud he is, describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam. That's a quote, by the way, on the "Howard Stern show." Do you want to spend the next five years with your kids bragging about infidelity?
[11:35:00] What does he do? He does the same projection, just like a pathological liar, he accuses everyone of lying even though he boasts about his infidelity he plants in the "National Enquirer" a lie about me and my family attacking my family. He accuses others of doing what he is doing. I'll tell you, as the father of two young girls, the idea of our daughters coming home and repeating any word that man says horrifies me. That is not who America is.
And I would say to the Hoosier state, the entire country is depending on you. The entire country is looking to you right now. It is only Indiana that can pull us back. It is only the good sense and good judgment of Indiana that can pull us back. We are staring at the abyss. And I have incredible faith in Hoosiers.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why isn't your message resonating with people then? You were up two weeks ago. Trump was up 15 points now. You're saying all these things about him --
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Looks like the transmission there cut out a little early, but I think we heard quite a lot. If there was any question of what Ted Cruz thought of his rival, Donald Trump, I think it's been answered. Words like, "this man is a pathological liar, the biggest narcissist ever, utterly amoral, a serial philanderer." That's just a little bit of what we just heard.
I think we have the signal back. Let's listen back in.
CRUZ: There is a broader dynamic at work, which is network executives have made a decision to get behind Donald Trump. Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes at FOX News have turned FOX News into the Donald Trump network. Rupert Murdoch is used to picking world leaders in Australia and the United Kingdom running tabloids, and we're seeing it here at home with the consequences for this nation. Media executives are trying to convince Hoosiers, trying to convince Americans the race is decided. You have no choice. You are stuck between Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, either one of which is a horrific choice for this country.
And I will say the cynicism -- and Donald is playing on the cynicism. He lets the media echo he cannot be beat. Hoosiers can prove that wrong. The people of Indiana can prove that wrong, and the country is depending on Indiana. If Indiana does not act, this country could well plunge into the abyss. I don't believe that's who we are. We are not a proud, boastful, self-centered, mean spirited, hateful, bullying nation.
If you want to understand Donald Trump, look no further than the interview he did a few months ago in Iowa when he was asked a very simple question -- when is the last time you asked god for forgiveness? And Donald Trump said he had never asked God for forgiveness for anything. I want you to think about that. What does that say about a person? I have asked God for forgiveness three times today. Your children, do you want your children coming home and saying, mommy, I don't need to ask God for forgiveness for anything. Why? Because Donald Trump doesn't, and he if he doesn't, and everyone likes him, all the media praises him, I don't need to either.
I love this nation with all my heart. I love the people of this country. This is not who we are. These are not our values. If anyone has seen the movie "Back to the Future II," the screenwriter says that he based the character Biff Tanon on Donald Trump. A caricature of a braggadocios, arrogant buffoon who builds giant casinos with giant pictures of him everywhere he looks. We are looking potentially at the Biff Tanon presidency. I don't think the people of America want that. I don't think we deserve that. I don't think Hoosiers want that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Senator, these are some of the strongest words you've used against Donald Trump yet. You know I have been with you, I heard you talk about him. Today feels different for you. I'm going to ask you a question and you're going to say I sound like a broken record --
CRUZ: You sound like a broken record.
CRUZ: Does someone else have a record?
CRUZ: You have asked one already, Hallie.
[11:40:03] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Will you support him as the nominee. I don't understand why you won't answer the question, Senator. If you say he's a liar -- if you say he's a pathological liar --
CRUZ: Hallie, you have asked one already.
CRUZ: Go ahead, Jessica.
[11:40:14] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Senator, when you talk about Midwestern values and the common sense and good judgment, if Hoosiers don't pick you today, does that mean they consider things a different way when the northeast voted and you could say those are Trump's neighbors?
CRUZ: There is no doubt this Indiana primary has national significance. The media is trying desperately to convince you it's over, I'll tell you if Hoosiers come out and vote, if you pick up the phone and you call your friends, you call your neighbors, if Hoosiers come out today and vote and say no, this is not who we are, this is not America, that will change the entire trajectory of this campaign, of this primary. It will pull us back from the cliff. Indiana can do it. Indiana can pull us back, but it takes Hoosiers showing up and voting today. And the country is looking to Indiana. It's looking to the judgment of the good men and women of this state.
Heidi and I and Carly, we have traveled the state showing Hoosiers respect, asking for their support, answering their questions, all the while Donald Trump laughs at the people of this state, laughs, bullies, attacks, insults, I don't believe that's America, and it is my hope, it is my prayer, that Hoosiers will come out and vote today in record numbers to say to this who we are. We are a people who believe in goodness. We are a people who believe in manners. We are a people who believe in generosity. We are a people who believe in honesty. We are a people who believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is America. That is the America I love. It's the America my father fled Cuba to come to. We're fighting for this nation. We're fighting for who we are for the very soul and character of this nation, and it is Hoosiers across this state.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What if they don't pick you?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If they don't pick you what does that say about Indiana?
BOLDUAN: All right. You're hearing right there Ted Cruz speaking to reporters as he makes a stop in Evansville, Indiana. I mean, we've never really heard words this strong coming from Ted Cruz against his rival, biting, scathing critique of Donald Trump, taking him squarely on, on several fronts, things we should absolutely talk about.
Barry Bennett, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign is here with me now.
I know you did not hear the top of it, but I think you kind of got the gist once you got your earpiece in. He's a pathological liar Ted Cruz says. He is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him. He calls him a serial Philanderer. What do you say?
BENNETT: You know, Kate, I have been in politics my whole life. This is what I do. And I have been a part of a lot of campaigns that have come to an end that we didn't expect or want, but this was truly sad display, what just happened.
BOLDUAN: Why is this sad?
BENNETT: Because he knows -- his people knows he's going to lose tonight. Yet to go out and do this -- I know he's tired. I feel for him and his family. But that was reprehensible. I mean, no one should do this. I don't know who thought this was a great idea, but we're watching his campaign implode. We're watching his reputation just being torn to shreds. There's, you know -- this is not the way you lose.
BOLDUAN: One of the first things though that he brought up, Barry, has to do with something you and I just talked about. He came out here and one of the reasons he's so mad is because of this "National Enquirer" story about his father, calling it kooky, calling it nuts. But when you say it's sad, it's beyond the pale --
BENNETT: Yeah. When you call somebody amoral, that's ridiculous.
BOLDUAN: But Donald Trump has taken on his wife.
BENNETT: -- a serial liar --
BOLDUAN: He's taken on his wife.
BENNETT: They both went after their wives. They ran ads.
BOLDUAN: You think -- do you think Donald Trump should apologize --
BENNETT: Donald Trump has never done anything like what just happened, never.
BENNETT: No way. Never called anybody amoral.
BOLDUAN: Called Hillary Clinton --
BOLDUAN: His moniker for Ted Cruz is Lyin' Ted Cruz.
BENNETT: But there's a difference between saying you're incapable of telling the truth versus telling having told lies. That was very sad.
BOLDUAN: You've been around this a long time --
BENNETT: You know Indiana like I do. My family is there. Your family is there. This is not persuasive to anybody.
BOLDUAN: Now, you're telling me that you think Donald Trump is taking the moral high ground here?
[11:45:11] BENNETT: No. I'm saying the primary has been row with this, but this was the piece -- this was the top of the cake.
BOLDUAN: Do you acknowledge Donald Trump is part of that though in pushing this "National Enquirer" story. You said earlier you said you would not have gone there. You acknowledged it was a misstep.
BENNETT: I don't believe anything I read in the "National Enquirer."
BOLDUAN: Donald Trump seems to.
BENNETT: He raised the spectacle in his speech but that's not why he's angry. He's angry because he's losing, it's not working, and he's tired. To hurl insults and then take one or two questions afterwards, midway through voting in Indiana, that's a campaign implosion.
BOLDUAN: There's no question Ted Cruz is laying it all out on the line. He talked about how high the stakes are but --
BENNETT: Half the people have already voted.
BOLDUAN: But seriously, Barry, Ted Cruz, I mean, he's stepping up his attacks but do you think Donald Trump should be --
BENNETT: I think after tonight, you'll see --
BOLDUAN: -- saying -- singing a little bit of a different tune if he doesn't want Ted Cruz to take him on this way.
BENNETT: After tonight Donald Trump will be the presumptive nominee and he won't talk about Ted Cruz anymore.
BOLDUAN: What do you think what we just saw from Ted Cruz and from Donald Trump, back to Ted Cruz, what do you think it says about the chances of unifying the party.
BENNETT: I think if you look at the polling, Gallup five day average, the unification has already started.
BOLDUAN: Not according to the CNN poll we just put up.
BENNETT: If you look at Donald Trump's favorable rating among Republican, it's 20 points positive, with Cruz two points negative.
BOLDUAN: What do you want, to see with Ted Cruz going forward? Let's say this goes all in your favor. Is Donald Trump going to reach out to Ted Cruz to try to unburn this bridge, to mend this fence?
BENNETT: I think some time has to pass. Obviously, he's an angry man. It's best to let him heal for a while.
BOLDUAN: How do you reassure voters? One thing we heard from Ted Cruz and we heard from Steve Lonegan here is that Donald Trump is laughing at you. He's one thing in private. He's a different thing in public. That was a conversation Paul Manafort had with Republican insiders in Florida. How do you reassure folks that Ted Cruz isn't correct?
BENNETT: He isn't correct about most of the things he said. I'm not going to waste my time refuting every crazy, wild charge about Donald Trump. I mean, do you believe that Donald Trump is not going to build a wall, you don't live in the real world. Trust me, the wall is going to be built. America wants it built.
BOLDUAN: I know you will acknowledge this, I will force you to acknowledge this, though, Donald Trump could be on much safer footing in combating Ted Cruz and fighting him if he wouldn't take on these stunts of pushing "National Enquirer" stories and taking on wives and making these ridiculous things that a nominee, someone who is comfortable with the fact they're going to lock in a nomination, you wouldn't think they would need to do.
BENNETT: In the heat of battle, people say all kinds of things, but what happened today, this battle is over, and he knows it's over, and it was just a sad display.
BOLDUAN: It was something.
It's great to see you, Barry. Thank you so much for coming back on. Running back on set so we could discuss.
We have a lot more to discuss ahead, including what's going on, on the Democratic side. Bernie Sanders is hoping for another Midwestern win today in Indiana. He's facing a tight race with Hillary Clinton. We'll talk to Bernie Sanders' campaign manager, coming up next.
[11:52:39] BOLDUAN: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton locked in a tight race in Indiana. So how is Sanders feeling today about his chances? Let's find out. Campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, is joining me right now.
Jeff, thank you so much for coming in.
JEFF WEAVER, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, BERNIE SANDERS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: My pleasure, Kate.
I've been having a hard time following up what was just on the air, but go ahead.
BOLDUAN: I've had a hard time following up on everything that's been on the air today. It's been quite a show. Let's talk about chances in Indiana. How's it looking for your guy?
WEAVER: Well, look, the Senator has been there the last few days. He had a ton of rallies. Three gigantic rallies. A lot of people coming out for him, a lot enthusiasm for him. I think he's going to do very well tonight.
BOLDUAN: Does well mean win?
WEAVER: Well, we certainly could win. People come out, we'll certainly win in Indiana, absolutely. But it depends on people coming out. People got to go to the polls.
BOLDUAN: What does a loss mean for you guys going forward? You saw on "The New York Times" the editorial board basically writing an obituary for you guys this morning.
WEAVER: Well, what I took from that piece, Kate, was that Bernie Sanders is bringing in tremendous amounts of young people and new people in the Democratic part. He's talking about the issues that the Democratic Party is going to have to adopt if it wants to be successful in the election. That there's a tremendous amount of disenfranchisement with players, and if the Democratic Party wants to reach out and broaden its base and become a winning party on a consistent basis up and down the ballot, it's going to have to adopt a lot of the platform that Bernie Sanders was talking about in the campaign. That's what I took away from the article.
BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the DNC. You guys do tout your strength among Independent voters. I've heard you say that many times. Chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said the party's nominee, in your view, should be chosen by members of the party. That does not include Independents. What would you say?
WEAVER: There are an increasing number of Independents including people who vote Democrat every self-identify, but they self-identify as Independents. They're disproportionally young people. And if you want to engage in a path that's going to disenfranchise the young people who affiliate with the Democratic Party, that's a recipe for disaster. We want young people to have an affinity in the party and participate. And also, it's a good test in the primary system for general election strength. As you know, you can't win a general election with just Democrats. You have to have Independents.
BOLDUAN: You think the chairwoman is wrong?
[11:55:13] WEAVER: She's definitely wrong. Absolutely. It's a recipe for a small party, a more insular party, a party that's more out of touch with the broader base of the American people including the broad base of Independent Democratically-leaning Independents, who, as I said, vote Democratic all the time. There's a lot of young people who fall into this category. Millions who vote Democratic but self-identify as Independents and to push those people away endangers the long-term health of the Democratic Party.
BOLDUAN: Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager. Good luck today, as we say with every campaign on voting day. We'll talk to you tomorrow.
WEAVER: Thanks. Appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.
Let's discuss this, the state of race on the Democratic side with CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston; Patti Solis Doyle, CNN political commentator and former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008; and Alex Burns, national political reporter, "The New York Times"; and Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief, "The Daily Beast."
Patti, you heard Jeff right there. They're feeling good about Indiana.
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's going to be a close race. And it may be that Bernie Sanders actually ekes it out. It's an open primary. He spent $2 million on ads. Hillary didn't spend any. But really, if he's going to change the trajectory of this race, he's going to have to win it by 20 or 30 points and I just don't think that's going to happen.
BOLDUAN: What is the landscape, Mark? How do you see it depending on if it's close? If it's a close win for either of them, what does the map look like going forward?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: The map for Bernie Sanders right now, he can basically not win it in the primary. He has to win it by trying to flip the super delegates who are supporting Hillary Clinton and right now, she has a 469 person advantage over Bernie Sanders when it comes to super delegates. So when Bernie Sanders said he's going to the convention floor in Florida for a contested convention, in many ways, that's true because he is going to take it to the floor and he is going to require a roll call vote. At the end of the roll call vote, if we believe what we know right now, Hillary Clinton would then become the nominee.
BOLDUAN: But, Alex, the Sanders campaign, they're not open to the possibility of even talking about getting out. They're not. They're going all the way to California and let folks vote. They're going to, I heard some squishy language if they're actually trying to flip super delegates or not. Where they are with that? But they're not changing the path.
ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: This is the difference between being a really formidable serious threat to Hillary Clinton's grasp on the nomination and being a protest candidate who wants to move forward with a message that speaks to a certain segment of the party.
BOLDUAN: That campaign will take exception to the protest candidate.
BURNS: I mean, if they simply don't have a path forward. I'm not saying he doesn't have a place in the party today, and I do think we'll see if he wins Indiana, I think Patti's right, that he needs a really big margin. Not just to change the trajectory of the race but to demonstrate there's an underlying feeling among Democratic voters that this thing has to keep going.
BOLDUAN: It has to keep going.
What do you think of Jeff's reaction when I asked him about Debbie Wasserman Schultz saying the Democrats should be the only ones in the primary?
JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: There hasn't been a lot of love lost between the DNC and Bernie Sanders campaign so it doesn't really surprise me that that continues. But this has been good for the Sanders campaign. They say they're speaking truth to power and the DNC is a great loyal.
BOLDUAN: Mark, Jeff talked about the young people drawn into the process. Donald Trump said the young people who are supporting Bernie Sanders, those are the kind of voters he's going to pull over in a General when he's up to Hillary Clinton. Is there evidence of that?
PRESTON: I think it's wishful thinking on Donald Trump's part. They are both preaching a certain bit of populism and that has been their appeal but their populist messages are very different. Bernie Sanders supporters will stay within the Democratic Party, by and large. You might have a few stragglers here and there. Donald Trump saying the Bernie Sanders people to support his campaign is really just rhetoric at its best.
BOLDUAN: Patti, playing a prediction game. If Bernie Sanders would pull off a win here, but we still know the math is so definitely not in his favor. If you're running Hillary what is the message tomorrow?
SOLIS DOYLE: The message tomorrow is what she said at the last election, at the last primary and that there is more that unites us than divides us. She needs to bring the Bernie Sanders supporters in and that's what she's going to do.
BOLDUAN: Keep on her message. Keep on her path. That's what Patti Doyle said.
Alex, Jackie, Patti, Mark, great to see you guys. Thank you very much.
And thank you all so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR.
John, feel better.
"Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[12:00:11] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. Welcome to "Legal View."