Return to Transcripts main page


Democratic Race Unresolved; Interview with Donald Trump; CNN/ORC Poll: Clinton Leads Trump By 13 Points; Trump Vets Potential Running Mates; Report: Aides Sought Addiction Help for Prince. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 4, 2016 - 18:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: What is his strategy for the general election?

Calling it quits. Surprise announcement by Trump's last two remaining rivals, John Kasich just revealing he is dropping out of the race hours after Ted Cruz did the same following his loss in Indiana. Will they now rally behind Donald Trump?

And battling on. The Democratic race still unresolved, as Bernie Sanders scores a win over Hillary Clinton in Indiana, vowing again to go all the way to the convention, despite nearly impossible odds.

And now Hillary Clinton is turning her attention to Donald Trump and a November showdown. What does she say about him in her exclusive interview with CNN?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: The breaking news tonight, a new phase in the chaotic Republican race for the White House, Donald Trump now the party's presumptive presidential nominee with the departure of his two last remaining rivals.

Less than an hour ago, John Kasich announced he is dropping out of the race. Ted Cruz quit last night after Trump's commanding victory in the Indiana primary.

I sat down with Donald Trump today for his first on-camera interview since Indiana made his nomination a near certainty, confirmed by the Republican Party itself. We talked about potential running mates, his campaign strategy against Hillary Clinton and whole a lot more.

And Hillary Clinton also talking to CNN, calling Donald Trump a -- quote -- "loose cannon" in an exclusive interview with our Anderson Cooper. Unlike Trump, her fight for the party's nomination isn't over yet. Her rival, Bernie Sanders, won Indiana, energizing his campaign and his determination to keep going, despite Hillary Clinton's nearly insurmountable delegate lead. We're covering all of that and much more this hour with our

correspondents, our guests and our expert analysts. They're all standing by.

Let's begin with the Trump campaign.

Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is in New York with the very latest.

Jim, Donald Trump told me the general election campaign begins today.


With Ted Cruz and now John Kasich out of the race, Trump campaign sources say the presumptive GOP nominee will start to focus on building a 50-state general election campaign with a much bigger staff that will begin to join forces with the RNC.

And advisers to Trump names are already beginning to surface as early favorites in his search for a running mate. Trump has said repeatedly he wants a politician as his vice president to help balance out the GOP ticket.

And a Trump source tells us Ohio Senator Rob Portman, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are the early favorites inside the campaign, as they would be on anybody's short list. Trump's daughter, we should point out, Ivanka, is being to said to expect her to offer input on this process, which is in its early stages.

But all three, Wolf, we should point out, all three of those potential running mates said today, told CNN they're not interested. Portman through a spokesman said he will not be Trump's vice president.

And Haley offered a statement to CNN that says -- we can put it up on screen -- "While I am flattered to be mentioned and proud of what that says about the great things going on in South Carolina, my plate is full," she says, "and I am not interested in serving as vice president."

Other names will undoubtedly come up. And part of the strategy in all of this is sometimes just mentioning who you might consider as your running mate. And as Trump said to you, Wolf, that he would like to vet John Kasich. So, you can throw that name into the mix as well.

As for the road ahead, Trump is still planning to campaign in the states that are still holding primaries in the coming weeks, to turn his attention to Hillary Clinton. I talked to a Trump campaign source who said they like doing those big arena events. They draw a lot of attention, a lot of free television time, and they need that to go after Hillary Clinton.

And team Trump is enjoying the fact that he's driven off his rivals before Hillary Clinton has. One Trump surrogate put it to me, Wolf, who would have thought that they would have a nominee before the Democrats? But, Wolf, vanquishing his GOP rivals is one thing. Beating Hillary Clinton is quite another -- Wolf.

BLITZER: It certainly is.

Thanks very much, Jim Acosta.

Further clearing the field for Donald Trump, John Kasich just announcing he is also ending his presidential campaign. Word leaked out earlier in the day, and the Ohio governor made it official just a little while ago at a news conference in Columbus.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And as I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith that the lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life.


BLITZER: CNN Phil Mattingly in Columbus for us tonight.

Phil, John Kasich made the decision to drop out quite suddenly, according to sources. He didn't take reporters' questions at the news conference. But update us on what happened.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, when you talk about the news conference specifically, Wolf, it was interesting, a decision not to talk to reporters after his statement.

And advisers tell me it was because he wanted his statement to stand alone, his look back at his campaign. More specifically, he didn't want this to turn into a question-and-answer session about Donald Trump. And what that really underscores, Wolf, is the push and pull, the tension that John Kasich has faced throughout his campaign.

He was an individual who wanted to campaign on issues, on ideas. He said repeatedly he wanted to be above the fray. Donald Trump was the one who was riding on the opposite page of that, and he didn't want to get into that throughout the campaign. He brushed off reporters. He brushed off questions about that.

And once again, today, he wanted to make clear that Donald Trump was not going to be the focus of how he closed his campaign. Now, I have been asking advisers what happens next relate to the Trump presumptive candidacy. Nobody is willing to weigh in yet. Kasich has been willing to say over the last couple of weeks, Wolf, that it had become very, very difficult to see himself supporting a Trump nomination.

That said, we have started to see a lot of stalwarts in the Republican Party get behind a Trump nomination. One thing he has said very clearly over the last couple of weeks, he does not want to be Donald Trump's vice president pick. He doesn't want to be considered as Donald Trump's vice president pick, and it is not something he is interested in.

It will be interesting to see how he comments on that going forward. Obviously, Donald Trump has said some very nice things about John Kasich and even had mentioned that he would be in consideration for such a pick just over the last 24 hours, Wolf.

BLITZER: Phil Mattingly in Columbus, Ohio, thank you.

Now more of my interview with Donald Trump, his first on-camera interview since cementing his position as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

I spoke with him at his New York office today, Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York. And I asked him about who might share the Republican ticket with him.


BLITZER: Give me the qualifications you're looking for, for a vice presidential running mate.

TRUMP: Well, you always have to say the same boring answer that probably everybody has given to you from day one. They have to be a great president. Potentially, you have to be a great president. So, that's always the number one...


BLITZER: But that is the most important fact.

TRUMP: Well, it's always...

BLITZER: You need somebody potentially, God forbid, if the president...

TRUMP: Look, they're there for that reason primarily.

But I would want somebody that would help me from a legislative standpoint, getting things passed through Senate, through Congress. And to me, that's why I think probably, in terms of vice president, I am going to go the political route. I don't need the business route. I have got that covered.

BLITZER: You mean somebody who has been a governor or senator?

TRUMP: Somebody that -- well, somebody maybe that's been even a senator. I like that because they're dealing -- look, we want to get legislation passed.

We are at total gridlock in Washington. We can't even take the trillions of dollars that we have overseas back for our companies.

BLITZER: I know you're not going to give me a name.

TRUMP: I can't give you a name. It's too soon.


BLITZER: Because you have -- you're going to start vetting people, though, pretty soon, right?

TRUMP: I am starting to think about it very soon. And we will be vetting people.

BLITZER: Do you think some of your former Republican presidential rivals will be on that vetting list?

TRUMP: That could be. It could be. I have a lot of respect...


BLITZER: Even people who have said nasty things about you?

TRUMP: Well, you know, I feel differently about that.

When somebody says nasty, I don't -- I never like them quite the same, but I will tell you, you look at somebody -- you know, I'm going to set up a committee. And I may put Ben Carson on the committee. I may put Chris Christie on the committee. They came out early. They were very strong. They are very good people, very good people.

BLITZER: These are people who would vet?

TRUMP: The vetting, yes.

We are going to set up a committee in terms of vice president. We're going to set up a committee in terms of other positions also.

BLITZER: Hillary Clinton says she's released all of her tax returns; you haven't. Are you going to do that?

TRUMP: I will. I really look forward to doing it. But I am under order. When you are under order, you just don't do it. Any lawyer...

BLITZER: Under order from who?

TRUMP: From the government.

BLITZER: They're auditing some of the -- but what about tax returns that have already been audited?


TRUMP: We go -- I go back a long time, because they're called linking returns. They link.

So, when I am under order, I don't want to do it. Now, I hope to be able to do it.

BLITZER: So, once the audit ends, you will release them?

TRUMP: By the way, and I will tell you what's very unfair.


TRUMP: I have been audited every year for many years, beyond Obama.

BLITZER: Well, you make a lot of money.

TRUMP: I do make a lot of money, but I am audited every year.

I have friends that make a lot of money, they have never been audited. I say to friends of mine, how often are you audited, very wealthy people?

BLITZER: So, you think this is political, that they're aiming at you?


TRUMP: I would say yes. I would say yes.

BLITZER: The IRS is doing this?

TRUMP: I am -- I don't know. I can't tell you. But I am audited every single year.

I have friends that are very wealthy people. When I talk about audit, they don't know even what I am talking about. So, I am almost used to it, almost like a normal thing. But so many people never get audited, and I'm audited every year.

So, while I'm under audit, I am not going to release tax returns. No lawyer would let you do that. It is routine ordered stuff, but no lawyer would let you do that.

BLITZER: Let's talk about women voters out there.


BLITZER: If you're going to be president of the United States, you are going to need to do really well with women voters in a general election, let's say, against Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: And I will. I will.

BLITZER: There's a new CNN poll that is out shows 61 percent of female voters nationwide, Republicans, Democrats, independents, they say they back Hillary Clinton. Only 35 percent of women nationally say they back you.

How are you going to change that?

TRUMP: I think we are going to change that.

I think it will change. I think it will change rapidly, because women want security. Women want strong military. They want to know that they're secure in our nation. Women want women's health issues taken care of.

[18:10:10] And Hillary is not going to do it like me, because I am going to make

our country rich again. I am going to bring back our jobs. We are going to have a good economy again, which we don't now. We have a horrible economy right now.

And again, remember this. NAFTA has been a total disaster for our country. NAFTA was signed by the Clinton administration. What NAFTA has done to this country -- and I have gone through it -- I won New York big. And, by the way, speaking of winning New York big, if you look at the polls, the exit polls, I was number one with women by a long shot. Nobody was even close to me.

So, I won New York, I won Pennsylvania, I won Maryland, I won Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, all of these, and Indiana the other night. If you look at the polls, number one with women, and it is not even close.

BLITZER: Let's talk about a general election Electoral College strategy, getting to 270 electoral votes. John McCain couldn't do it, as you well know. Mitt Romney couldn't do it.

How are you going to do it? What states are you going to put in play that they couldn't put in play?

TRUMP: OK. That's a question I love, because it's something I think that I am better served than anybody. First of all, you see how well I did in New York. Do you agree I did very well in New York?

BLITZER: But that's with Republicans in New York.

TRUMP: It doesn't matter.


BLITZER: Because a lot of them are Democrats, as you well know.

TRUMP: You're right.

BLITZER: I think you have won basically almost every county in the recent elections, except, by the way, your own personal home county here in Manhattan.


TRUMP: Which, by the way, is now under review, and they think I won that, too.

BLITZER: Really?

TRUMP: Yes. It is called Manhattan.

But I won every county in New York. But I every county in Pennsylvania, every county in Maryland. I won every county in the five states, plus New York. That's a pretty good run. And I hear I won every county in Indiana last night.

BLITZER: Because, in New York state -- I am from Buffalo, Upstate -- you will do well up there.

TRUMP: I did well.

BLITZER: But in the city, New York City, there are a lot of Democrats.

TRUMP: I did very well. No, I did very well. it was like a 50-50 deal.


BLITZER: Among Republicans. Among Republicans.

TRUMP: Among Republicans, yes.


BLITZER: But you're not suggesting you think New York would be in play?

TRUMP: Oh, I am suggesting New York is in play. For me?


BLITZER: You believe that? I know you have suggested Michigan and Pennsylvania.

TRUMP: I will win Upstate New York by massive numbers. I will win out on Long Island by massive numbers.

I will all win all of the sections that are horribly affected by NAFTA, a Hilton deal -- you know, a Clinton deal. I will win sections of this city that nobody else could win.

Yes, I think New York is in play. And, by the way, if New York is in play and, if I won New York, then I win the election. You understand that because of the size. I will win Michigan. Michigan is not going to be even contested by any other Republican. They wouldn't even go there.

I will win Michigan because of what's happened. They have sucked all the jobs out of Michigan, too. And I am constantly talking about Michigan with the cars and what's happening. I think I will win Pennsylvania. I'm sure I'm going to win Pennsylvania.

I will win Florida, which you have to win. I think I'm going to do very well. But I'm going to -- I will put states in play that no other Republican will even talk about or go to.


BLITZER: There's much more of my interview with Donald Trump coming up.

How does he feel about a one-on-one debate with Hillary Clinton, and how will he prepare for that kind of a debate? I'm ask him. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLITZER: The breaking news this hour, the Ohio governor, John Kasich, just announcing he is dropping out of the Republican presidential race one day after Ted Cruz also quit, leaving Donald Trump the party's presumptive nominee.

I talked to him today in his New York office about this new phase in the race for the White House.


BLITZER: Do you think the general election campaign has already started, you vs. Hillary Clinton, that, for all practical purposes, Bernie Sanders is out?

TRUMP: Well, I think what has happened, there's been a little flip. And I'm even surprised by it. I thought that I would be going longer and she would be going shorter. She can't put it away. That's like a football team that can't get the ball over the line. I put it away.

She can't put it away. So, I thought that I would be out there and she'd be campaigning against me. I didn't realize. So, yes, I will be campaigning against her while she's campaigning...


BLITZER: So, the general election campaign, from your perspective, starts today?

TRUMP: Essentially, it started, I mean, yes. It started actually three months ago, when I hit her pretty hard. And she went down in the polls.

BLITZER: And your tone supposedly more presidential, or will you really go after her?

TRUMP: Well, look, you know, I went to the best school. I am a smart person. I did well.

You know, I am who I am. I don't like to change. I don't like to really change. It's sort of interesting. There was a little talk about, will he be presidential?

We had 17 people, all smart. One by one, week after week, boom, boom, boom, gone, gone, gone. I don't maybe want to change so much. And I do want to use that same strategy for trade deals. And I want to use that same -- but I feel I'm a presidential person.

BLITZER: The same strategy that you used to get rid of the other Republican candidates, you want to use now against Hillary Clinton?

TRUMP: Well, I would say yes. I mean, and, again, a lot is going to depend how they treat me. If

they treat me in a certain level, I am not looking to do more. You have seen I'm a counterpuncher more than anything else. I don't like -- I don't really like hitting people first, because I don't know how.

I guess I have always felt that I am better -- like certain boxers, they are better counterpunchers. I have been very successful. I have only been doing it for 10 months, Wolf. Somebody in your world gave me credit the other day. They said, he has really been effective. We have never seen anything like it every before.

And then somebody else said, and he's only been doing it for 10 months. These people have been in politics for 35 years.

BLITZER: It's very impressive that you came out of no political background, for all practical purposes, and now you're the Republican presidential nominee.


Well, but I have always been very heavily involved in politics. So, I haven't been elected. And it has never been my thing, frankly. And I wouldn't have done it this time. I would have been very happy to stay what I doing. I have a great family, a great company, a really great company, and I love doing it.


But when I see the mistakes and the stupidity of what they're doing with our country, the Iran deal, the trade deals, the -- everything is so bad. Our military, they can't beat ISIS. When I see what's going on, I said, I have to do this.

BLITZER: One final question, because we're out of time.

It is not going to be a contested convention in Cleveland, as you now know. You're the presumptive Republican nominee. You say you want to bring a little bit more showbiz or pizzazz to that convention. What are you talking about?

TRUMP: Well, I would like to.

I was seeing the other one. The last convention, it was the lowest rated convention I think in the history of conventions. It was not an exciting convention, and it turned out to be a race that should have been won and it wasn't won.

I would like to add something that would be -- that would make people happy. We have to promote our country. Our country -- we have to be cheerleaders to a certain extent. Our country is very depressed. People are fighting each other, whether it's black and white, rich and poor. I mean, everybody is fighting.

President Obama has not done a good job in terms of promoting our country, in terms of being a cheerleader. And I want to make -- I want to do something that's good, that's going to make people feel good about the country. It is really not about that party. It's about the country.

BLITZER: So what do you want to do at the convention? What do you want to do at the convention?

TRUMP: Well, we will be looking at certain things. I mean, we will be looking at certain things.

I actually recommended things the last time. They didn't do them, and they should have, because it was a very boring convention. But much more important than exciting, we want to have good ideas, because, ultimately, it is ideas that are going to matter.

We're going to make great trade deals. We're going to build up our military. We're going to take care of our vets. We're going to do lots of good things with education, because, right now, our educational process is a disaster. We're going to strengthen our borders. Obamacare is going to be repealed and replaced with something much less expensive that works much better.

I mean, there are so many things we can do. That ultimately is to me more exciting than making the event exciting.

BLITZER: And right after the convention, there will be three presidential debates, let's say, you against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, for that matter.


BLITZER: One vice presidential debate. You're going to have to start gearing up for those debates.

TRUMP: Well, I'm ready.

One of the things that was interesting that I was never sure of, when I heard about debates, I have never debated professionally before. In every single poll, Drudge, who is a great guy -- they all have polls, "TIME" magazine. They all have these polls. I think there's like, on average, seven of them, and they're online polls that take place right after the debate.

I have won every single poll of every single debate. So I feel good about my debating skills. And, again, it was something I said. I have never done this before, stand there and answer formal questions. And...

BLITZER: Hillary Clinton is a pretty good debater.

TRUMP: I think she is. I have watched her. I think she is. I really -- I really do. And I think Bernie is a good debater also.

BLITZER: You will be ready?

TRUMP: I will be ready.

BLITZER: Congratulations.

TRUMP: OK. Thank you very much.


BLITZER: Just ahead, we're going to dig deeper into my interview with Donald Trump. Our political experts are standing by.

Also, new details about John Kasich's decision to quit the race, why it caught his top advisers by surprise.



BLITZER: Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, now that Ted Cruz and John Kasich have both dropped out of the White House race, I talked to Trump at his New York office today, his first on-camera interview since the Indiana primary victory that made him the likely GOP candidate in November.

We discussed his next step, the search for a vice presidential running mate.

Let's talk about that and a whole lot more. Joining us, our CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, our senior political reporter Nia Malika-Henderson, and "The Washington Post" assistant editor David Swerdlick.

It is interesting, Gloria. He told me he is probably going to ask Ben Carson, Chris Christie to lead a team to vet various potential vice presidential running mates.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Maybe Chris Christie will pull a Dick Cheney.


BLITZER: Because Cheney was vetting candidates and he picked himself to be George W. Bush's running mate.

BORGER: Yes. Yes. Exactly.

BLITZER: So, this pick, a vice presidential running mate, how critical will it be?

BORGER: Well, it is always a critical pick.

In the end, voters vote for a presidential candidate and not for a vice presidential candidate. But, in terms of Donald Trump, first of all, it is the first personal decision you will see him make. And we will learn a lot more about Donald Trump, where he feels his shortcomings are.

He has already said he thinks he needs somebody in the world of politics who understands Washington and how to deal with Washington, so I think it will tell us a lot about the candidate himself. And, you know, voters will be interested in figuring out just what kind of person Donald Trump believes he can get along with, what kind of person he believes is of value to him.

And then, of course, there are all the political considerations, which is somebody who can give you a state, somebody who can help deliver, say, women voters or minority voters.


BLITZER: And, as he said, somebody who is qualified to be president of the United States, commander in chief.

BORGER: Well, that goes without saying. That goes without saying.


BLITZER: Some of the names -- you have been doing some reporting, Nia. Who are you hearing that may be on that vetting list?

HENDERSON: Yes, and then Jim Acosta and Sara Murray doing some of this reporting.

Some of the names that have been floated, people like Susana Martinez, who is the governor of New Mexico, Nikki Haley, who of course is the governor of South Carolina. Both of those people have essentially criticized Donald Trump before this and are essentially at this point saying they're not interested.

I think, if you look -- I mean, Chris Christie obviously a name that...


HENDERSON: And Rob Portman also said, "Listen, I want to stay in Ohio."


BASH: Within an hour.

HENDERSON: So I mean, he's going to -- I mean, this is going to be a hard decision for him to make because of the resistance among elected leaders and party leaders to the Donald Trump candidacy. Not so many of them are going to want to tie their -- their political fates to Donald Trump.

So Chris Christie maybe, who seems eager to tie his fate to Donald Trump. Then maybe something like Rick Scott, who's the governor of Florida, and who's already endorsed him, somebody like Mary Fallin, who's the governor of Oklahoma. She seems like she would be somebody who was interested and might shore up some of his weaknesses, which are great among women.

So, you know, but again, I bet it's going to be a surprise, as have much of what we've seen from Donald Trump been so far.

BLITZER: As you know, there are still a lot of Republicans out there not happy that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, for all practical purposes.

Is there still any lingering talk of a third-party candidate, a so- called white knight?

BASH: Very much so. Maybe not a white knight, because that -- keep mixing our metaphors, that ship has sailed for the Republican Party. But there were -- I'm told that there were calls today by those who are still very much in the "never Trump" camp who say that they don't want to support Donald Trump. They certainly don't want to support Hillary Clinton, because they're conservatives; and they're actively looking for a third-party candidate.

They say that they know that their time is short, but Erick Erickson is one of these people. He is somebody who has written the blog "Red State," which had been historically influential with conservatives and others who he has had regular meetings with about the "never Trump" movement, saying that, you know, we need a new home. Perhaps we need a new home.

Now, at the same time, I mean, I know that you have been talking about a "Wall Street Journal" editorial, which was very good yesterday, which makes the obvious point, which is if you're looking for a third- party candidate, you're effectively handing the keys to the White House to Hillary Clinton, because you're truly going to split the Republican Party even more than it is. And that maybe it's time to just focus more on the down ballot races, Senate and House, and that's where a lot of other Republicans who I'm talking to who are not going to vote for Trump are putting their focus.

BORGER: Yes. And the "Journal's" point is lose...

BASH: Yes.

BORGER: Lose and then reconstitute the Republican Party after this.

BASH: Exactly.

BLITZER: All right. Well, let's see what happens.

The former president, George W. Bush, through a spokesperson, told our special correspondent Jamie Gangel, President Bush does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign. He's not going to comment; he's not going to participate. Your take on that?

SWERDLICK: Well, in a sense, it's consistent with President George W. Bush's stance during -- throughout a lot of the Obama administration. Right? He really sort of hanging back from the political limelight.

The way Donald Trump went after his brother in the campaign, it doesn't surprise me. I think the Republican establishment, along the lines of what Dana is saying, is still trying to sort out how they handle this.

It would be deja vu all over if, for instance, there was a third-party candidate, this time who had taken over the Republican Party. Ross Perot, if you will, would be Trump as the Republican Party. And then the third party would be the establishment. People forget that, in 1992, Perot got 19 percent of the vote. They could really split the vote and put a Clinton back...

BASH: Let's just be clear: George W. Bush not commenting is a comment.

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: And the fact that he's not going to participate, because as you know, Dana, a lot of times former presidents of a particular party, they show up at the convention, make a speech, do something to rally. And if he's not even going to show up, not participate, that in and of itself, as you point out, is significant.

BASH: It is. I mean, he's been more low-key, like David said, first of all just because he wants to stay out of it. Second of all, because he hasn't exactly been Mr. Popularity until recently, even within the Republican base, but certainly within the country as large.

But no question, it's very unusual for the party elders to not immediately rally around the presumptive nominee.

BORGER: So you have the previous nominee, Mitt Romney, saying that he will not vote for Donald Trump. We don't know yet whether he's going to go to the convention.

You -- you know, you have George W. Bush.

BLITZER: John McCain is not going to go to the convention.

BORGER: John McCain is not going to the convention, although he has said he will support the Republican nominee, whomever it is. Then you have Bush 41 and, you know, Bush 43, you know, stepping back from this. And I -- I think it's, unprecedented really.

HENDERSON: Because there's typically the sort of rally-around-the- flag sort of feeling, right, at these conventions. It's a coming out party for whoever the nominee is, and the fact that so many people, at least so far, are wanting to stay mum.

BLITZER: Let's see if this changes. The convention is in July. So they still have time. People can change their minds in this country.

You heard Donald Trump say in the interview, Gloria, he thinks states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York state are in play now that he is the Republican nominee.

[18:35:08] BORGER: Right, right. He went on and on.

BLITZER: Is he living in a dream world or is there some credibility?

BORGER: No, look, he had a pretty long list, and you know, some of them, I think, are quite -- are quite realistic. With white working- class voters, he's got an awful lot of appeal.

And I was looking at this earlier today. If he were to flip Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania and then continue to win all the states that Romney won in 2012, he'd get to 270. He would win. So his list that he gave you, you know, makes a lot of sense to me, because he knows the appeal he has to those voters who may be traditionally Democrats but may -- his populist message really resonates.

BLITZER: So Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, for that matter, they have to worry about Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

HENDERSON: Yes, they do have to worry, you know, and he has some weaknesses, as well, I mean, not only among women. He is losing women to Hillary Clinton, 61 percent, 35 percent. In some ways he doesn't do as well among white voters as Romney did.

If you look at what Romney, Romney was able to get 59 percent of white voters overall in this poll. At least so far, Trump is only getting 52 percent of white voters.

So we have a situation where Hillary Clinton is able to maintain that Obama coalition. She's getting something like 81 percent of non-white voters, and then she has sort of an extra boost there, because she's getting 43 percent of white voters, which is the same amount that Clinton got in 1996, Bill Clinton.

BASH: but the flip side, if you talk to people who are still, you know, licking their wounds about having Donald Trump as their nominee, they're concerned about the states where they have the expanding population.


BASH: About Arizona, about New Mexico, and other states where they were hoping exactly to -- remember, going into this election year, the whole goal of the Republican Party was to expand beyond what Romney got, which is mostly the narrow white vote, and so the concern is that they're going to go back.

BLITZER: Does he have an opening there at all, you think, with voters of color?

SWERDLICK: Interestingly, on that list of vice -- potential vice- presidential candidates, Governor Martinez from New Mexico. She struck me in 2012 as the one Republican at the convention who found a way to speak to voters of color without alienating voters of color. And she campaigned for Chris Christie when he got a huge amount of people of color voting in New Jersey in his reelect.

The problem is, as a Latino and a border-state governor, I can't imagine what she would do on the campaign trail with Donald Trump, answering the question over and over again, what do you think about his comments about immigrants, what do you think about, you know, his comments about immigration and about Mexico?

BORGER: And the whole -- and the Republican Party, as Dana was pointing out, went through this kind of internal therapy session. They said, "Look, we have to appeal to women, and we have to appeal to the Hispanic community. And we have to broaden our base to the African-American community." And, you know, this is a -- this is a tough haul for Donald Trump right now. I mean, he's doing so poorly with women and with Hispanics. Hard to see how he gets...

BLITZER: Stand by, guys.

How is Hillary Clinton reacting to the news that Donald Trump, for all practical purposes -- I've got to admit, all of us agree -- he is the Republican nominee right now. How's she reacting? She spoke with our own Anderson Cooper. We'll have that and a whole lot more right after this.


[18:43:05] BLITZER: The Republican presidential race may have coalesced, but not the Democratic one. Bernie Sanders got a boost with his victory in Indiana, and his campaign continues, despite Hillary Clinton's insurmountable delegate lead. Nearly insurmountable, I should say.

Our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar, is following the Democrats for us.

Brianna, Hillary Clinton is now waging a dual fight against both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And Sanders says he's in it until the convention, both to win and to influence the party platform. And his campaign says whether you're fighting for the nomination or for the platform, the strategy is the same.

But Hillary Clinton says she does understand Sanders is staying in for the long haul, something she did back in 2008. But it's clear, she now considers this a two-person race with Trump, not Sanders.


KEILAR (voice-over): Donald Trump may be trying to brand Hillary Clinton.


Crooked Hillary.

Crooked Hillary.

Crooked Hillary. Right? Crooked. She's crooked as you can be.

KEILAR: But she's got her own label for the presumptive Republican nominee.


Loose cannons tend to misfire.

I don't think we can take a risk on a loose cannon like Donald Trump.

KEILAR: In an exclusive interview with Anderson Cooper, Clinton made moves to protect her lead with minority voters.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Elizabeth Warren tweeted out last night that Donald Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism and xenophobia. Do you agree with that?

CLINTON: I think Elizabeth Warren's really smart.

COOPER: Do you think he's a racist?

CLINTON: I'm going to let people just for themselves, but I have the highest regard for Senator Warren.

KEILAR: With Trump the last Republican standing, Clinton still has a primary battle, Bernie Sanders clinching a win in Indiana.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand that Secretary Clinton thinks that this campaign is over. I've got some bad news for her.

KEILAR: But despite a victory in the Hoosier State, Sanders' path to the nomination is seen as impossible.

Clinton has turned her attention to Trump.

[18:45:01] She beats him in the national polls 54 to 41 percent, but Trump bests her on handling of the economy as he eyes the industrial Midwest where Clinton could pay dearly to this comment at a March town hall.

CLINTON: We are going to pull a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.

KEILAR: Clinton has since said she misspoke.

CLINTON: I've been very clear we've got to make a transition to clean renewable energy, I've always been clear for this whole campaign that we can't do it in a way that totally leaves behind people who dug out the coal to turn on the lights and to power our factories.

KEILAR: But Trump is insisting he will make sure the comments stick.

TRUMP: I watched her three or four weeks ago when she was talking about the miners as if they were just numbers and she was talking about she wants the mines closed.


KEILAR: And just to show you the cleanup duty that Clinton is on for those remarks, she was in Ohio yesterday and she said she was there to explain that she made a mistake, Wolf. This is a big issue in key states, not only Ohio but also Pennsylvania and other areas.

BLITZER: Certainly is. All right. Brianna, thanks very much. You know, Nia, the whole Hillary Clinton lead right now if you look at

the CNN/ORC poll among registered voters nationwide, 54 percent, 41 percent from Donald Trump.

How does she maintain that kind of lead?

HENDERSON: You know, one of the things, she has to stop making mistakes in terms of what she said about coal miners, putting them out of business. She was trying to explain they would be put out of business because there would be alternative jobs and alternative fuel sources.

And I think you can see her doing this now. She's trying to frame Donald Trump right now, sort of freeze him in place, freeze him in amber almost. You can see her doing that now with this idea that he is a loose cannon, that he's predictable. Last night, her campaign aide John Podesta, the same language, he is a risk, Donald Trump is, that he's unpredictable.

So, I think that's what she's got to do. But, you know, it's going to be hard for her, because on the one hand, she's got to figure out how to keep this Obama coalition engaged and energized but also try to figure out how she can still do well with women and white voters as well.

BORGER: But, you know, I think one way to energize the Obama coalition is to attack Donald Trump.


BORGER: And, you know, it is very clear their strategy is, he's risky, he's a loose cannon. To use the words like he's degrading, demeaning and a bully, to -- those are code words to women, they're not even code words, we all know what that means.

And so, she didn't take them directly on the question of whether he was racist but, you know, I think this is just the beginning of things to come and what they've learned from the Republican primary process, don't wait. Don't wait.

BLITZER: Yes, this could really get intense and very ugly, Dana, pretty on soon.

BASH: No question about that. But I think the fundament problem that Hillary Clinton has, which is truly fundamental, is not changeable, just have to figure how to work around it, is that she represents everything that he, that his victory represents, meaning she is the establishment, she is how Washington has worked, she is the way that it is perceived as Washington, not working for people.

And the old way is just not working, need something completely new. You know, no matter what she says on her policies, which are obviously very specific and in many ways very, very different from Donald Trump, it's almost like I was saying like the Charlie Brown teacher, two people who just don't even care about the specifics and they just want something different in Washington. BLITZER: David, Donald Trump tweeted today, "I would rather run

against crooked Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders and that will happen because the books are cooked against Bernie."

So, he's obviously trying to interfere in the Democratic presidential process, if you will. But Bernie Sanders, by all accounts, he's not going anywhere.

DAVID SWERDLICK, ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think Sanders can and should stay in the race because he has money and message and his supporters want him to continue. Had he lost Indiana, I think it would have been easier for him to sort of bow out gracefully like Cruz and Kasich, I guess gracefully as well. But winning that state, it's hard to figure out how to land the plane.

And right now, he doesn't have the math working for him, but Sanders maybe goes to the convention to push his issues, if not willing to --

BLITZER: He doesn't have the math, Nia, because the Democrats, they allocate delegates on a proportional basis. So, even if you get 55 percent, 45 percent, you don't get a lot more delegates. He is way behind in pledged delegates and certainly, way, way behind as far as super delegates.

HENDERSON: And the superdelegates, and he and his campaign aides have said they're going to lobby superdelegates to flip because --

BLITZER: Is that realistic?

HENDERSON: No, it's not, it's not realistic. And even if he were to get all of the superdelegates in states he won, to flip, it's still not enough. But he's going to keep using this argument that he's stronger in a general election.

[18:50:00] BLITZER: Because he could win some of these upcoming states.

BASH: And he likely will.

BORGER: It's really not about states. It's about math.


BORGER: And it's about delegates. And he has to win huge in order to make something miraculous happen for him. And that's not going to happen. And he knows it. I think this is about his agenda, and his influence, and his leverage --


BORGER: -- over Hillary Clinton when it comes to what she campaigns on. If she were to become president, what she would do first.

BLITZER: And I think it's fair to say, no matter what happens, he has been amazing, Bernie Sanders.

BORGER: Oh, yes.

BLITZER: He has reached this point. No one really expected him to do.

BASH: Can we just take a step back and underline something that Donald Trump said too, which is kind of stunning. Which is, the Republican race is over, and the Democratic race goes on and on and on --


BLITZER: Who would have thought.

BASH: It was pretty shocking.

BLITZER: So much of this -- stand by, guys. We'll have much more on this coming up.

Also, another story we're following, a desperate phone call by Prince's aides to a doctor specializing in addiction. We're learning new details tonight about the musician's death.


[18:55:45] BLITZER: Disturbing new information tonight about the death of Prince, a report that his aides made a desperate phone call to an addiction specialist just hours before the musician's death.

CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us.

Brian, sources have told you about the prescription pain killers that were found.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Those drugs were found, Wolf, and tonight, we have new information about a top doctor who deals with painkiller addiction was called just hours before Prince died. This doctor's lawyer saying he was recruited, quote, "for a life-saving mission."


PRINCE, MUSICIAN: Clap your hands tonight

TODD (voice-over): Alarming new information tonight on a frantic attempt by the pop star to save himself from addiction. On April 20th, the night before he was found in his elevator at home, Prince's representatives desperately called Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a top expert on pain killer addiction. That's according to Kornfeld's attorney.

WILLIAM MAUZY, ATTORNEY FOR ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Dr. Kornfeld felt that his mission was a life-saving mission.

TODD (on camera): How desperate was that situation? Could Prince have been in and out of consciousness at that point?

DR. LEE ANN RHODES, MEDSTAR WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER: When it comes to opioid narcotic medications, time is crucial. As people are taking more and more of these agents, they can become less and less responsive.

TODD (voice-over): Kornfeld was in California, so he asked a doctor in Minnesota to meet with Prince as soon as possible. Kornfeld's lawyer says that doctor cleared his schedule, but Prince never showed up for the meeting. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, on a red-eye flight to Minneapolis. On the morning of April 21st, Andrew got to Paisley Park. The lawyer describes the scene when prince was discovered unresponsive.

MAUZY: One of the staff members started screaming. Andrew heard the screams, and went to the elevator where he saw that Prince was unconscious. Andrew was the person who -- to make the 911 call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're asking you for medical at Paisley Park.

TODD: The 911 caller, now identified as Andrew Kornfeld, says, quote, "The person is dead here and the people are just distraught."

Lawyer William Mauzy says Andrew Kornfeld brought a drug with him to Minneapolis, a drug called buprenorphine.

RHODES: It is used in patients who are opioid-dependent to curb the cravings and to curb the withdrawal symptoms.

TODD: The lawyer says Andrew Kornfeld is not a doctor, would not have given the drug directly to Prince, but would have given it to the Minnesota doctor.

(on camera): If someone on the ground had gotten this drug to Prince, hours earlier, could he still be alive?

RHODES: Certainly, it's going to depend on somebody's state. If they have taken a huge amount, where they're respirations are depressed, most likely not. They would need another type of agent, most likely an injectable agent, to reverse the effects of opioids.


TODD: Now, when he was asked the same question, Dr. Kornfeld's lawyer said the doctor wishes he had had the chance to meet with Prince and to treat him. Neither Dr. Kornfeld nor his son would speak to CNN specifically about what happened in Minnesota. A relative of Prince's told us the family would not comment -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And, Brian, there's a new focus tonight on finding out who gave Prince those painkillers. Is that right?

TODD: That's right, Wolf. Yes. We're told tonight that the U.S. attorney's office and the DEA are joining this investigation. They're helping the Carver County sheriff's department. We have previously reported that opioid medication was found with Prince's body and elsewhere in his home. We also reported that so far, he doesn't appear to have had a valid prescription for those drugs, so now the fed and sheriff are actively searching for who gave Prince that medication. As you know, Wolf, there is a massive black market for this stuff.

BLITZER: All right. Brian, thanks very much. Brian Todd reporting for us.

This note to our viewers: ahead, tomorrow right here on THE SITUATION ROOM, the United States clearly now facing a greater threat from Russia than any time perhaps since the Cold War, in the air, on the sea and under the sea, as well. CNN's Jim Sciutto got an exclusive ride on a U.S. nuclear attack submarine, training in the Atlantic as Russian submarine forces get more and more aggressive. We're going to bring you Jim's exclusive reporting tomorrow, right here on THE SITUATION ROOM beginning at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Looking forward to that report.

Remember, you can always follow us on Twitter. Please tweet me @wolfblitzer, you can always tweet the show @CNNSitroom.

Be sure to join us again right here tomorrow in THE SITUATION ROOM. I'm Wolf Blitzer.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.