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Latest Polls on Presidential Contenders; GOP Leaders Split on Trump Support; Trump Speaks in Oregon; Ryan, Trump to Meet. Aired 10- 11p ET
Aired May 6, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:06] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Breaking news. There it is. It's in Oregon, we're just moments away from Donald Trump addressing supporters at a campaign rally there. We'll take you there live.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Trump is reveling in his new found position as a leader of the GOP even as the rift widens in the party and just missing other top republicans like Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham who say they won't vote for him come November.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, but I won't talk about Jeb Bush. I will not say, I will not say he's low energy. I will not say it. I will not say it. And I won't talk about Lindsey Graham who had like one point.
Did you ever seen this guy on television? He is nasty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Former Vice President Dick Cheney will support Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan will meet with him next Thursday. And President Obama weighing I saying Trump's record needs to be examined and the statement he's made -- statement's he has made need to be taken seriously.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: CNN's Jim Acosta and Chris Frates, both in Oregon where Donald Trump is about to address supporters and there we go with pictures of that rally tonight. There's Jim Acosta inside, Chris Frates outside. Jim, I'm going to
start with you. A lot of drama in the GOP tonight. What's Donald Trump saying about it all?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he seems to be enjoying the spectacle right now, Don. They are not sweating inside the Trump campaign and Donald Trump was brushing off these attacks from Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush earlier in the day.
You heard in that sound that you just play that Donald Trump is going right after Lindsey Graham not only steady lofty GOP race and the disgrace but in a statement earlier in the day, he said that Lindsey Graham has no credibility, has zero credibility.
And went back to his old insults aimed at Jeb Bush saying he is low energy. But it is interesting, Don, to look at the contrast between Donald Trump's attacks on Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush and what he is saying about Paul Ryan. Remember, Paul Ryan told our Jake Tapper yesterday said he is not just ready to support the presumptive GOP nominee.
Donald trump was a bit more measured in talking about this. Here's how he described at an event earlier today in Omaha, Nebraska.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't know.
He called me two or three weeks ago, it was a very nice conversation, he was congratulating me. This was before we had the ultimate victory. But he was congratulating me and doing so well. I figured routinely he would be behind it.
And he, the other day, just in a big surprise because I had so many endorsements. I mean, today, a lot of them, Bob Dole came in, Dick Cheney came in.
Many congressmen came in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now as for Paul Ryan, we should point out the Speaker has invited Donald Trump up to the Capitol to meet with the house republican caucus. That is going to take place on Thursday.
And I talked to a couple of Trump campaign sources, Don, one of them told me that he believes that Paul Ryan and Donald Trump will be like old friends by the end of next week after this meeting takes place.
And I talk to another source who said, you know what, this is a -- this was probably a strategy on the part of Paul Ryan that he has to go and show some of the members of his caucus that he hears them. He understands that many of them do not want to support Donald Trump
or not ready to support Donald Trump. And so, that's perhaps part of the strategic process for Paul Ryan to get to the point where he can support the presumptive GOP nominee.
But as you heard Donald Trump saying that sound there just a few moments ago, Don, he also picked up the support of Dick Cheney and Bob Dole, who was the party's nominee back in 1996. Bob Dole says he will be at that convention later on this summer, Don.
LEMON: Old friends by the end of next week. We'll see about that, Jim. I wouldn't put the cart before the horse.
LEMON: But listen, I want to -- the New York times, Jim, is reporting that Trump is already looking ahead at November starting a transition team. What do you know about that?
ACOSTA: Right. What we know is that the Trump campaign says that they are going to be announcing this transition process in a couple of weeks. We should note that the White House let everybody know today that the president signed an executive order to get this transition process underway.
So, at the White House they are doing, they are under deal. This is sort of a part of the, you know, that the normal process of running a presidential campaign. All the campaigns do this when they get to this point in the campaign when they are heading into general election.
But the New York Times is reporting that Jared Kushner who is the publisher of the New York Observer also happens to be the husband of daughter Ivanka Trump. So, he is Donald Trump's son-in-law.
And I talk to a Trump campaign source about this earlier this evening who said Donald Trump trust Jared Kushner immensely. He even talked about Jared Kushner at the event at Trump tower the other night when he won in the Indiana primary.
[22:05:03] And so, it's really no surprise that Jared Kushner is part of this. But it's not exactly clear what role he will have in playing the transition process.
And keep in mind, Donald Trump still has to win the general election before he can plan for a transition. He has to get that part of the way first. And getting to that point, Don, means uniting this Republican Party. That's a work in progress at this point, Don.
KENT: All right. Thank you. Stand by, Jim. There is a big crowd inside. You can see where Jim is. I wonder what's happening outside. And for that let's go to Chris Frates. You're outside that Trump rally, what's the scene out there, Chris?
CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don. Well, as you can hear this crowd of a couple hundred people chanting I believe that -- that he will win. They are very, very fired up here. And if you look it were just down the road from the University of Oregon. So, a lot of young people here, a lot of people coming out they are very anti-Trump and very peaceful.
No violence, no fights or anything like that at this point. Little trolling happening between Trump supporters and the anti-Trump forces here. Trump supporters saying Trump is going to win Trump is going to win. A little bit of back and forth that we saw.
But by and large it closed off some streets. People are gathering, they're banging the drums, they're clapping. We are seeing a lot of different colors and fun signs. In fact, I saw one guy he was dressed as death and, Don, he had a sign that said "free hugs."
I saw and I went to asked him why is death giving out free hugs, Don. And he made the case that if people can overcome their fears and give death a hug then maybe we have a chance here, and in fact, we should all embrace one another.
So, a very peaceful, loving kind of vibe out here. And I can tell you that while there are a couple hundred people here lots and lots more people lined up to get inside see to Donald Trump, which is surprising, Don. This is a very liberal part of Oregon. It's a college town. And so, we are seeing a, you know, a big turnout for Donald trump here, but outside the gates lots and lots of people protesting him, Don.
LEMON: All right. Stand by, Chris Frates. Outside that rally which is in Oregon and Jim Acosta inside. If we need to get we will. And also Donald Trump speaking and we will bring it to you if he comes up during this hour.
You know, so a question that Donald Trump driving a wedge through the GOP between those who are supporting him and those who are not.
And I want you to take a look now. This is former Vice President Dick Cheney, he is announcing his support joining a list that includes Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Representative Peter King, and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell.
Also on the list of supporters, RNC chairman Reince Priebus along with two previous GOP nominees, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Dole, and three of his former rivals from the nomination. Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Scott Walker.
Those republicans who say they will not vote for Trump and will not vote for him includes, former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Lindsey Graham, former Governor Mitt Romney, and Senator Bob Sasse of Nebraska.
On the list of those not endorsing Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan at least not right now, and former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.
OK. So, with that said, I want to bring in now Jamie Gangel, CNN's special correspondent. So, all right, Jamie. We just saw the list of key republicans for and against Donald Trump. You were the first to confirm that Vice President Dick Cheney is going to back Donald Trump. And a lot of people were surprised to hear that. What do they say?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I was surprised, too, because it just really came out of the blue today. Look, no question, I don't think the timing was an accident today. We may have all been surprised because up to now Dick Cheney really has not commented on the race. He never endorsed any of the candidates.
And so, he knew when he came out the way he did today that it was going to make big news especially in the middle of this week when so many others were saying they would not or were not ready to support Trump.
That said, Don, let's be clear, Cheney has criticized Trump in the past when Donald Trump came out calling for ban on Muslims coming into the country. Cheney said in the radio interview with Hugh Hewitt that the ban, quote, "goes against everything we stand for and believe in."
So, this support from Cheney giving Trump his blessing in this way is a big deal and no doubt a surprise to some of his fellow hawks, Don.
LEMON: So, Jamie, our colleague Dana Bash landed an exclusive interview with the former GOP presidential candidate, Senator Lindsey Graham who says that he will not vote for Trump. And Dana asked him about Cheney's endorsement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY GRAHAM, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA SENATOR: What I hear from Donald Trump is the farthest thing from republican conservatism domestically and on foreign I've ever heard. So, we'll see what happens.
DANA BASH, CNN'S CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Dick Cheney is apparently now going to endorse Donald Trump. Does that surprise you?
GRAHAM: A little bit, but that's great. You know, Dick Cheney is a great man. We see the world a lot alike when it comes to foreign policy. I can understand why people want to support the nominee of the Republican Party. I would like to be able to do that but I just can't. And, you know, maybe I'm the outlier here, probably am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:10:00] LEMON: Jamie, so, Cheney endorses Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham who shares Cheney's foreign policy vision basically saying, hell, no.
LEMON: I mean, how should we interpret all this?
GANGEL: Right. And I'm guessing he was surprised more than a little bit. Look, guess what? The Republican Party is even more divided than some people might have thought yesterday. And now you're seeing it among the hawks in the conservative wing.
And I think that Lindsey Graham was genuinely surprised by Cheney saying he would support Trump because first of all, let's forget, Trump has made a huge deal over and over saying that he opposed the Iraq war which Dick Cheney is considered one of the chief architects of...
GANGEL: ... and still, you know, supports it. So, for Dick Cheney to look beyond that criticism is not what his fellow hawks, conservatives like Lindsey Graham might have expected. I think it's also important not to forget that many people think Hillary Clinton will be running to the right of Donald Trump on national security and some foreign policy.
And so, there was some thought she might be able to pick up some of these conservative republican hawks. So, you know, again here Dick Cheney is sending a signal to that camp as well that he is supporting Trump and they should -- they should, too.
LEMON: So, Senator Lindsey Graham also says that he is against this third party option that has been mentioned. What's the latest on that? We're going to see a republican run as a third party candidate, Jamie?
GANGEL: Well, I -- who knows, right? We've been wrong a lot this year. I don't know, but there are several people who are seriously trying to come up with a third party candidate including conservative columnist and the editor of the Weekly Standard Bill Crystal.
In fact, as the Washington Post first reported tonight, Crystal met with Mitt Romney in Washington yesterday and urged him to be that third party candidate. Now, I was e-mailing with Bill Chrystal just a few minutes ago. He confirmed to me that that meeting happened because he says he is looking for, quote, "A strong independent candidate."
He said he wanted to get Romney's thoughts on who it could be, how it could be done and he was hoping and pushed Romney and said, you know, would you be willing to help? And he even suggested to Romney would you be willing to be that third party candidate?
That said, we know in the past, we can't say it often enough, that Mitt Romney has said he is not interested in a third party run. We've reached out because of this report once again to Romney's spokesperson for comment. We have not heard back yet.
LEMON: Never a dull moment.
LEMON: Jamie Gangel, thank you. Have a great weekend.
GANGEL: Thank you. You, too.
LEMON: All right. Just ahead, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump have different ideas about the direction of the Republican Party. Can they bridge that gap when they meet next week? And does Trump need the house speaker's backing to win the election in November? We're going to talk about that, next.
[022:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: And here we are. There is Donald Trump speaking in Eugene, Oregon. He has taken to the stage at that rally for him.
Again, there are hundreds of people inside, maybe thousands. I don't have an official count. But also according to our Chris Frates who is outside, there are hundreds of people outside protesting Donald Trump as well.
We're keeping an eye on all of it for you. In the meantime, we are going to continue our discussion as Donald Trump speaks there, and keep an eye and ear on what he is saying.
Let's talk about the House Speaker Paul Ryan taking many by surprise yesterday saying that he is not ready to support Donald Trump. It was an interview with our Jake tapper. The two will meet next week in Washington, though.
I want to talk about this with CNN political commentator Andy Dean, former president of Trump productions, and Ryan Williams, former spokesman for Governors Mitt Romney and John Sununu. Good evening, gentlemen. Thanks for coming on this Friday evening.
ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: As we keep an eye and ear on Donald Trump let's discuss. Ryan, you first. After saying that he could not support Donald Trump as a candidate, just so Paul Ryan tweeted this out saying "I've invited Donald Trump for a meeting with GOP leaders next week and I look forward to the discussion."
So, that is an olive branch, I think. It sounds like an olive branch to me that he is taking the higher road. What would have to happen for Paul Ryan to come around here?
RYAN WILLIAMS, FORMER GOVERNORS ROMNEY & SUNUNU SPOKESMAN: Well, Speaker Ryan has indicated that he wanted to be part of the unifying process. He wants to make sure that we have a nominee who is running a campaign that republicans can be proud of and then Americans can support, and that the standard bearer of our party bears our standard.
So, I think he wants to hear more from Donald Trump about his policy proposals. He wants to see a campaign that our party can respect, a campaign based on ideas that contrast with the democrats, that gives all republicans a positive message to run on.
And I think he's not there yet. He's not comfortable based on the campaign that Donald Trump ran in the primary which was very divisive and has left a lot of scars. So, I think he wants to hear more from Trump. This meeting is a good first step. I think Trump should approach it graciously and have just a frank and open discussion with him about where he intends to take his campaign in the general election.
LEMON: What do you think of that? And, Andy, does Donald Trump need Paul Ryan?
DEAN: I think he needs Paul Ryan. But, you know, Don, as a Trump person I think that reaction that most people would expect would be for us to say something awful about Paul Ryan or Paul Ryan is wrong and he should listen to the American people.
I actually see this as a major positive for Donald Trump because what Paul Ryan is, is he's a bridge between the American people on one hand who love Donald Trump, and then you got the elites and party regulars, these are the very silly people in Washington, D.C.
And the reality is Donald Trump needs both. Now the American people are much, much more important than the silly elites, but Paul Ryan is a bridge. So, what Paul Ryan did today, he said, hey, you know, Donald Trump, good job, but I'm not ready yet.
And then next week, all eyes will be on this meeting and then Trump will say nice things to Ryan. Ryan will get it. Then they will come out of this meeting holding hands metaphorically. And it will look like Trump has understood the concerns of the silly party elites and then the party will now have cover to truly embrace Donald Trump. So, I think this is a cool thing.
LEMON: What do you mean by the silly party elites? Because here is why I ask you that. Because he is saying he wants to unite the party by you are saying silly party elites, that's not being, you know, it's not that uniting or building any bridges there.
[22:20:01] There are many who have real concerns...
DEAN: Well, I'm just being honest.
LEMON: But listen, there are many who have real concerns in Congress. They are facing competitive races in Congress. John McCain is facing a competitive race. He has said that the fight of his life. Is this about trying to protect them, the silly elites as you say, or is it about the Republican Party and the majority?
DEAN: I think it's both. I think the elites and we can call them silly elites, that's fine by me. I think they are just shell-shocked that the American people dealt such a major victory to Donald Trump which Donald Trump earned the hard way with campaigning over the past 10 months.
And I think that this is something that they are getting used to, they're trying to absorb. And at the end of the day what the American people want is what they get and they want Donald Trump. He is the standard bearer.
What I'm so confused about, Don, and maybe Ryan can answer this because he was Mitt Romney guy, it's strange to me that the party was so quick to embrace Mitt Romney when he is much more liberal than Donald Trump. I mean, Mitt Romney ran Massachusetts and was like the main author of ObamaCare before ObamaCare was created.
So, this idea that like, Donald Trump is not as conservative as previous nominees. He is much more conservative than Mitt Romney. So, I think this takes some time but the party will come around behind Donald Trump.
LEMON: So, Ryan, I don't know if I -- and I have to be honest with you. And I didn't get what Paul Ryan was saying that Donald Trump wasn't conservative enough. I think that there were other concerns beyond his conservatism there.
But I want, please follow up, Ryan, on this silly elite thing. Do you think this is about, you know, silly elites or do you think it's about real concerns in the Republican Party that Donald Trump's character doesn't fit what the party wants?
WILLIAMS: I think there are real concerns. The type of campaign he ran created very deep divisions. You know, even in the last few days before he clinch the nomination throwing out the accusation that Ted Cruz's father was somehow involved in the Kennedy assassination.
Things like that have left scars. And Donald Trump is the nominee needs to show people that he is worthy of their support. And, you know, I think that calling people silly elites is not productive. Donald Trump needs every vote he can get if he is going to win the presidency in November.
He has received over 10 million votes in the republican primaries but over 14 million voted against him. And he is going to need every one of those votes if he is going to go into the general election and win.
If he doesn't, if he continues to alienate people he is going to have a very hard uphill climb to win the presidency.
LEMON: Are you calling Paul Ryan a silly elite, Andy?
DEAN: No. I think Paul Ryan is actually a decent, smart, hardworking politician. There are very few of them. But I think Paul Ryan is one of them. And that's why I think he is able to bridge the gap between the American people who have a good feeling about Paul Ryan.
And then Washington insiders who make a living with these consultants and PR people and pulling and all they care about, the elites is to just stay in power and do things the way they that they've been doing them.
And so, Paul Ryan is that bridge. And so, what I think you'll see after this Thursday is that Donald Trump represents the American people coming in to meet with Paul Ryan and Donald Trump is bringing in into this room metaphorically 10.7 million people. It's going to be a very, very room.
And then Paul Ryan is going to say, hey, American people I get it, Trump is the guy. And then Paul Ryan is going to talk to the Washington, D.C. elite and say, hey, guys, it's time to come around. Trump is the guy. Let's beat Hillary Clinton. So, I think all of this is theater is just at the end of the day going to help next week when Paul Ryan holds hands with Donald Trump.
LEMON: But what about -- what about possibly some of it helping, Ryan, Hillary Clinton because there are reports that the campaign wants to try to win over some of these republicans who don't like Donald Trump.
There was a point in the not so distant past when Trump himself have said a lot of positive things about Hillary Clinton. Do you think that she can pick up some of that support?
WILLIAMS: I think she is going to try. And it's up to Donald Trump to try to bring those republicans who are disenfranchised with the kind of campaign you were in at the primary back into the fold. He has to do work. He can't just assume that every vote is going to come his way.
He has to, he can take no vote for granted. He needs to go out and work to earn support. And look, I don't -- I don't know what Paul Ryan is going to do next week. I don't think that we should be presuming he is going to hold hands or do anything at this point.
He is a very principled conservative. I think he wants to hear from Donald Trump about his principles and what he would do and see how they match up with his agenda, which is a fiscally responsible agenda to get our economy moving and to create jobs.
And I can't assume anything at this point. I do think that he will hear Donald Trump out. Trump should approach the meeting with class and dignity and go in and just have a frank discussion about where he wants to go.
But he has to work. He cannot assume that the 14 million republicans who did not vote for him are just going to come his way magically.
LEMON: Yes. We'll see what happened in the meeting soon enough. That's going to be the last word. Thank you, Andy.
DEAN: Oh, that's it. OK.
LEMON: Thank you, Ryan. I appreciate it. Have a great weekend.
Up next, President Obama reminds voters that the race to replace him is, in his words, not a reality show. As we look in now on Donald Trump in Eugene, Oregon at the podium at the big rally there.
[22:24:59] TRUMP: You know, I did great in Massachusetts. I won Massachusetts with almost 50 percent of the vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: President Barack Obama acknowledging Donald Trump's new position as the GOP's presumptive nominee saying this at the White House today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: With respect to the republican process and Mr. Trump, there's going to be plenty of time to talk about his positions on various issues. He has a long record that needs to be examined. And I think it's important for us to take seriously the statements he has made in the past.
But most importantly, and I speak to all of you in this room as reporters as well as the American public, I think I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job.
[22:59:59] This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now is democratic strategist, Jamal Simmons, and Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway. He is weighing every single word there. He's like, let me think about what I'm going -- how do I say, this Jamal.
The president, I mean, is taking a clear swipe at Donald Trump. He is just weighing every word. But is this just campaign rhetoric or is it a genuine warning about the campaign tone and what's at stake here?
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's both, right. The president is actually in a really good spot where he can talk about the genuine concern of governing the most complicated and oldest democracy in the planet, still consumes democracy.
At the same time take a political swipe because there are a bunch of republicans who themselves are really uncertain about Donald Trump. And so, underlining that for them is incredibly important for the president to do.
LEMON: Ms. Conway?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, that would be fine except that Barack Obama has a short memory. It was he running in 2008 who did and continues to do as president of United States. He goes on the comedy and late -- the night show circuit. And remember, the Grecian columns and...
SIMMONS: Oh, Kellyanne, you know, that's good.
CONWAY: ... and the 100,000 people that he talked to in Germany that getting them both.
SIMMONS: You know that is comedy that people do.
CONWAY: Yes, but, look, I guess he misses the presidential trail. And I fully expect the best thing to happen to Hillary Clinton in the next six months is to have President Obama if not Vice President Biden, and Mrs. Obama if she were willing popular people in the Democratic Party to go and to campaign with her.
That would be really the best thing that happened to her. But until then, I think that the president I'm surprised that he would make such a political statement today when the republicans seemed to have a nominee.
And Bernie Sanders is poised to get in the way more and more of Mrs. Clinton's quest for the nomination just in May alone. He is going to win Oregon and West Virginia. And keeps on racking up victories and he says he's taking all the way to contested convention. So that party is fractured.
LEMON: But, Jamal, even with that, though, let's say there was a three-way race, Jamal. A three-way race. The president definitely wins the popularity contest here.
This is a new CNN poll out today. It says that 51 percent of Americans approve the job President Obama is doing compared that to 48 percent favorable rating for Hillary Clinton and 39 percent for Donald Trump.
Can he lend some of that popularity to Hillary Clinton's cause? And is that what he is trying to do here?
SIMMONS: So, Don, I'm going to be sober about this. I think that the president can be helpful. And it is very helpful for the democratic nominee to have the president be more popular. I think the economy is doing better, a little nostalgia might be sneaking in. People are starting to miss Barack Obama already a little bit.
But he can't save the day for her. She's got to close -- to close the case for herself. She's got to go out there and sell it. And I think her biggest challenge is going to be getting those Bernie voters back on her side or really on her side.
Because there was on her side to start with. She has to go out there and get those voters lined up with her if she's got any chance of winning. And I think she should be able to beat Donald Trump.
LEMON: Well, but she has to be careful though, Kellyanne, because she is fully embracing President Obama's agenda.
LEMON: And the critics are saying and Donald Trump, they're both saying that, you know, it's a third term of Barack Obama.
LEMON: If he doesn't -- if his favorability rating starts to go down that could hurt her. CONWAY: His favorability rating can stay solid and steady, Don. And
people may still not want the third term of Barack Obama because it's very unusual that this country votes for the third term of anybody. It's actually very unusually.
Usually it's two terms in that. There been a couple of exceptions to that. George Herbert Walker Bush being one. Everybody says that was Reagan's third term but it's hard to do. Yes, Bill Clinton was popular in 2000. Al Gore couldn't get his third term, for example. And so...
SIMMONS: He did win the popular vote, though.
CONWAY: And so, on this president never will be. But I agree 1,000 percent with Jamal.
SIMMONS: But Americans chose him. The American people chose him.
CONWAY: Sixteen years ago. You are educating the millennials here now, Jamal. Stop it.
SIMMONS: It was the justices that didn't choose him.
CONWAY: But I agree 1,000 percent with Jamal on that in the end and Mrs. Clinton., Secretary Clinton needs to stand alone here. And, you know, if Donald Trump's campaign were smart and they are, apparently, they will run tape of Hillary Clinton attacking Barack Obama, and Barack Obama attacking Hillary Clinton in the thug of wag of 2008 where they really disagreed...
LEMON: But can't they run -- the people who are -- who have supported him, as well, you can say that about all of those people who came out today in this week saying I will support him when they -- when they ripped each other apart just this time on the stage.
CONWAY: But that's getting all the coverage. What's not getting the coverage is I think the checkered history that Barack Obama has only...
LEMON: Yes, but there is a difference. I mean, come on, let's be honest. There is a difference about if you and I had an argument yesterday or today and then I came out and then I said, there is a difference in you and I having an argument and disagreement eight years ago. It's not the same thing.
CONWAY: Well, it's President Obama today, Don, that said welcome back and scout for Donald Trump long record...
LEMON: A lot of -- there is a lot of water under the bridge after eight years.
CONWAY: So, I assume the mean things that he has said 10 and 20 years ago. The other thing I just like to put out there is that if you are going to super glue yourself to Obama's third term if Secretary Clinton decides to do, then she's going to have to own things that may be uncomfortable for her.
[22:35:05] So, the New York Times today has a report that those who have the Affordable Care Act, the otherwise known as ObamaCare, their premiums are set to increase next year.
You do have people -- you have these border patrol agents saying they are still having a crush of immigrants coming of -- she's going to own all of these things. Does she still agree that she stand by her decision in Libya, does she support everything he has done in Syria. These are going to be tough questions because you can't just pick and choose the legacy.
LEMON: Well, I think that's fair because that's on the issues.
LEMON: But, I mean, let's just say that you, you know, you and I have an argument and then I work...
CONWAY: I can't imagine, Don.
LEMON: ... and then -- an then I hired you as Secretary of State.
CONWAY: I don't like this hypothetical.
SIMMONS: But, Don...
LEMON: And whatever, that's all different thing. So, Jamal, let me ask you.
LEMON: Let me ask you about -- go ahead and respond. But I want to -- I really want to get to something that he said to one of our affiliates. Go ahead, quickly please.
SIMMONS: No, no, no. I think Kellyanne has a very small point. And that point is she can run on the Obama administration because she was in it. So, she has to own some of it. But she also has to run on the future. She has to -- they have a vision for where she wants to take the country.
And I think people are still waiting to get that in a really concise way that's compelling. And I think when she does that, she will blow Donald Trump out of water.
LEMON: All right. I will get to play, but I will play the next spot for the other one. Thank you. CONWAY: Maybe. I don't think anybody to associate her over the
future, though. She is kind of the past.
LEMON: Well, we'll see. Donald Trump is the bad past.
CONWAY: He is the insurgent. He is the Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, JFK here the insurgent outsider.
LEMON: Oh, boy.
SIMMONS: I think he will -- I think he will...
LEMON: I know you are, but let me...
SIMMONS: He is a little more Amoroso than he is JFK.
LEMON: Coming up, Donald Trump speaking to yet another packed venue of loyal supporters. But will top republicans ever get behind him?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump had the recipe for success that made him the presumptive republican nominee. Yet, republican leaders are split on whether they will support him.
Let's discuss now Jason Roe, former senior adviser to Senator Marco Rubio, Joseph Borelli is the co-chair of Donald Trump's New York campaign, and Philip Bump, Washington Post political reporter.
Joseph, welcome to the show. Welcome to the panel. We're going to start with you. Today, Jeb Bush joined a growing list of republican elites who says that they won't support or endorse or vote for Donald Trump. Do you think any of these matters to the voters on main street who support Donald Trump?
JOSEPH BORELLI, NEW YORK'S 51ST DISTRICT COUNCILMAN: Right. Look, today we heard from Jeb Bush, we heard from Lindsey Graham, two people who combined couldn't even account for 5 percent of the votes in the republican primary if they tried.
I think the majority of Trump supporters do not care what establishment endorsement has gotten. That said, it is nice to get people on your side. There have been a number of people who did come out and support him. But ultimately, the republican support for Donald Trump is not based on which establishment candidates are supporting him.
LEMON: OK. Philip Bump, this is what Donald Trump tweeted today about Paul Ryan. He said, "Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong. I didn't inherit it. I won it with millions of voters." So, explain why you think that some GOP elites are doing this?
PHILIP BUMP, WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: Sure. I mean, Donald Trump is absolutely right.
LEMON: He has a point, right.
BUMP: I will say, though, that it's not the republicans that already like Donald Trump that Donald Trump needs to appeal to. He needs to appeal to everyone else. That's why he wants the Paul Ryan, why he want the Mitch McConnell, why he want the republicans that don't listen to Trump have to listen to him throughout this primary to come on board.
I think that Donald Trump isn't sure how to consolidate the party. We saw at the end of the campaign the people he was running against a lot of folks said they weren't voting for them either.
So, I'm not sure how big a problem is this. What Donald Trump needs to do is to remind people that it's him or Hillary Clinton. I think that's the thing that's probably going to consolidate.
LEMON: To that point, Jason, Paul Ryan and other republican leaders have not been able to unify the party. Why do you think that Donald Trump will be able to do it? Are they setting him up for failure do you think?
JASON ROE, FORMER MARCO RUBIO'S SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I think they are trying to navigate a very difficult situation as party leaders. They want to obviously maintain some solidarity among our base of republican voters, but at the same time they recognize that a Trump candidacy does not put us in the best position to win in November.
The presidency, control of the U.S. Senate and possibly even putting house seats at risk. So, I think it's a very difficult dance right now that they are trying to navigate.
But I think, you know, far from concerning ourselves with how Donald Trump did in the primary, I think we have to look to how he is going to do in the general. And CNN's own poll that came out this week has him trailing by some 13 points.
And so, set aside how people feel about Donald Trump the candidate, let's talk about Donald Trump and his ability to win or cost us control of the Senate and the presidency. And I think that's the path that we're heading on.
LEMON: Speaking of the presidency, President Obama may have come out swinging at Donald Trump today. But Vice President Joe Biden actually had some encouraging words for him. Here is what he said to our affiliate Pittsburg affiliate KDKA. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: He has beaten the odds. He surprised everybody. I think we all make a mistake and we don't take him seriously. And I think one of the things that is the greatest potential he has is that he may pivot and actually get some really significant people around him on foreign policy, domestic policy and begin to do the policy pieces of what would make people think well maybe this guy can actually be president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joseph, are you surprised by the Vice President's comments?
BORELLI: No. I think he's identified some of the problem that Donald Trump has had in fairness. Donald Trump has to prove himself to be more substantive in order to gain, you know, points in every poll.
Hillary Clinton's unfavorables are very high also. Her unfavorables are largely based on who she is as a person. He has easier job almost of just having to be more substantive. She has the more difficult position of having to prove people she is not herself.
LEMON: Yes. So, Joe Biden perhaps better than anyone in the party. He understands those blue collar white voters, right. So, when Donald Trump is meeting next week with Paul Ryan and they are trying to bridge this gap, what advice do you give him to keep some of the blue collar voters, his supporters but also, you know, win some of the people over who are on Paul Ryan's side? What advice would you give him?
BORELLI: Look, it benefits both of those gentlemen to come out of that meeting and even as a show of force to hold hands, you know, and prove to people that the party is united. I think Paul Ryan doesn't have much choice. He really has to support Joe -- Donald Trump, excuse me.
[22:45:03] Most of his members you see in swing state are early starting to endorse him. And a lot of the members are seeing how he did in their home districts. And they realize that the force that the voters have.
LEMON: Do you agree with that both?
BUMP: Not entirely. I mean, I think that the difference between Paul Ryan and a lot of those folks in the district is that Paul Ryan is still probably he's thinking about maybe running for president someday. And I think there is a contingent of the Republican Party, republican leadership that is looking at this race thinks Donald Trump is going to lose to Hillary Clinton.
Thinks he is going to embarrass the party and totally damage his reputation with Hispanics which is already happen to some extent. And I think they are keeping the distance from Donald Trump so they can say in four years' that Trump was a disaster but I wasn't on his side.
LEMON: Jason, so your piece here, what do you think?
ROE: Well, you know, Phil mentioned Hispanics. Right now Trump is at 87 percent unfavorable with Hispanics. And you know, we thought that one thing we learned from Mitt Romney that the floor for republicans with Hispanics was 27 percent.
I think -- I think we are going to dig deeper into the basement with Trump at the head of our ticket. And then when you take into consideration women that have a 73 percent unfavorable view of him. And then, voters across the board at 67 percent. I mean, it's just the math is not there for Trump to be successful in November.
LEMON: All right. Stay with me, everyone. When we come right back, Donald Trump and Senator Elizabeth Warren get into a Twitter war. We're going to see what it's all about. That's next.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, back now with Jason Roe, Joseph Borelli, and Philip Bump.
OK. So, we've been paying attention and keeping an ear on what's happening in Eugene, Oregon. Donald Trump speaking there and he is taking on Hillary Clinton now bringing up her and her husband's past to do so. Let's listen.
TRUMP: And she was the total enabler. She was to go after these women and destroy their lives. I mean, have you ever read what Hillary Clinton did to the women that Bill Clinton had affairs? And they are going after me with women? Give me a break, folks. Give me a break.
LEMON: OK. So, what do you think? This is clearly a sign of things to come here when it comes to Donald Trump. Is it fair? Because, you know, he has, as you have said, he's got low numbers when it comes to women and minorities. Is this help or going to help or hurt? Is this fair?
PHILIP: I mean, those are a lot of different questions. Is it fair? I suppose it's fair because everything is fair. It's politics, right. I mean, as putting as I talked to someone snopes.com, the classic Clinton conspiracy theory.
I talked to someone this week and I was just like, what's going to happen with the course of this like and they were like, they absolutely in just record trust. Because everyone -- every conspiracy theory that's ever come up about the Clintons is going to be thrown out over the course of the next six months.
LEMON: So, everything is fair.
LEMON: but does it help or hurt?
BUMP: I mean, I don't know that it helps him. I mean, I'm always skeptical that when a man is running against a woman and the man tries to appeal to women more strongly that that ever really works very well particularly with this argument.
BORELLI: I agree. I think it's always a difficult position to be a male running against the female and trying to be a very strong attacker on her. But he is proving that he is going to attack her day in and day out for that on November.
BORELLI: He is not afraid to go to places that people may not be...
LEMON: Jason, how would you advise him on this?
ROE: Well, listen, I mean, he is right. I think pointing out the hypocrisy of the Clintons on the left as it relates to women and women's rights, you know, he is spot on. I don't know if he is the candidate to exploit it in the most beneficial way.
I will give him credit for having stones to call him out on this. I mean, typically you don't see a politician that's willing to say those things. I think that's part of his appeal. But I don't think it's going to engender goodwill for him with women.
You know, the problem is, you say how would I advise him? I don't know how you unsay the things he said over the last eight months. I mean, there is too much bad out there to paper over with the change in behavior.
And I've seen zero example of him changing his behavior at any point in this entire process, let alone since he secured the nomination on Tuesday.
LEMON: Yes. And he has had a lot of criticism when it comes to women especially for the first debate, his response to Megyn Kelly. And right after that debate he came on this show. I'm sure everyone remembers, this is back in August these famous words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And then tonight, just moments ago in Eugene, Oregon, this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Remember I said like blood coming out of her eyes, blood out of wherever. I was talking her ears or nose. Everybody said, oh, that's terrible. I didn't say anything. I never even finish -- you know why I didn't finish the sentence? Because I love what I'm doing so much and I didn't want to waste any more time. Who cares?
So, when I didn't finish the sentence they all figured coming from someplace else. And because they all have dirty minds -- I never even thought about it. That was -- I was thinking of ears or nose. But that's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, most people say let sleeping dogs lie. I mean, Philip, why would he -- I ask Jason how he would advise him, why would he bring that up?
BUMP: It's completely unfathomable. I don't know. I mean, this is the thing about Donald Trump that is so strange. Look, the other day when he went after Ted Cruz's father with the weird JFK thing, right, the next morning he had the chance to say, OK, I was out of line.
He had already beaten Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz get out of the race. But he is still stuck by it. He just likes to win, he likes to fight. And it popped in his head and he wanted to fight about it. It's just battling...
BORELLI: The one thing we could say about Donald Trump is he clearly doesn't say the things a lot of professional politicians would say including myself. That said, it's part of his appeal. He is not going to change. I think he is trying to, I think he is making good effort to. But like you said, why do you think he have to bring this up.
LEMON: You think he is just trying to get publicity for the interview that he has coming up with Megyn Kelly? Maybe he wants more eyes on that? You know.
BORELLI: I don't know that.
LEMON: Yes. Did you believe that that's what he meant by that?
BORELLI: I don't know. I don't know. Look, he explained himself. I don't have to, you know, answer for everything he says. Thank God.
BUMP: I was not...
JOE: Well, listen, I think you could hear the mischievousness in his voice as he trailed off at the end of that sentence. I think he is rewriting history by trying to pretend he didn't imply exactly what we all knew he was implying.
[22:55:01] LEMON: Yes. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate that. You have a great weekend. Boy, it's going to be a crazy one. Now imagine the debate. We'll be right back.
TRUMP: And I was asked that question. How important is it? And we are going to be a unified party. But the real unification is not some guy that doesn't want to endorse or doesn't have his heart on an endorsement. And my attitude is and I won't -- you know, I mean, the pledge is
signed by the people that ran for president. Every single one of them signed it. I don't even want -- if somebody doesn't want to endorse I don't want their endorsement. It's OK. I'm going to release them. I will release them from their -- they are not...
LEMON: That's it for us tonight. But before we go I want to say happy Mother's Day to my mom and all the moms out there. I put this on my Instagram today. Donlemon@cnn, by the way. Don Lemon on Instagram. And I said, to my two favorite moms, that's my mom Katherine, and my big sis, Liza. Happy Mother's Day, guys. I love you. And I love all the moms.
Be good to your moms. Do something nice. Send some flowers, chocolates or at least call her or go see her if you are not going to the Kentucky Derby like me. Sorry, mom. I'll see you next weekend.
United Shades of America starts right now. Happy Mother's Day. Love you.
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