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Donald Trump Versus the GOP; Voters Go to Polls Soon in West Virginia; Trump to Meet with GOP Leaders on Thursday; New Web Video Hits Turmp Hard on Women. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 9, 2016 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: If you think Donald Trump has patched things up with the GOP, you have to think again.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Voters go to the polls in West Virginia in a few hours and questions are swirling around trump's campaign. Will the party be forced to follow his lead whether they like it or not.

Will Trump's meetings Thursday with Ryan and Senate GOP leaders seal the deal or make matters worse. And will Paul Ryan back out of sharing the convention?

Meantime, the presumptive GOP nominee taking aim at democrats, the democrats front-runner.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is playing the woman's card to the help. She is going, I mean, watched over the weekend and everything is about women and Donald Trump raised his voice and you know -- it's all nonsense.

And you know what? Women understand it better than anybody. And watch how well I do with women when it counts, when the election comes. Watch out well.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to let him run his campaign however he chooses. I'm going to run my campaign.


LEMON: It is a very, very busy night tonight. We are going to begin with some breaking news.

The newest web video from Hillary Clinton's super PAC. CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash is here with that. Dana, you know, Trump has been scathing in his attacks against Hillary Clinton calling her an enabler because of her husband's infidelities.

Tonight, a group is called Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton super PAC, put out this web video.


TRUMP: Because nobody respects women more than Donald Trump.

She came to my wedding. She ate like a pig. And seriously, that the wedding cake, it was like missing in action.


TRUMP: Does she have a good body? No.


TRUMP: Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely. Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she is very good, I think she is highly overrated. But when I came out, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her -- wherever.

Well, obviously, it's great outer beauty. I mean, we could say politically correct that the look doesn't matter. But the look obviously matters. Like you wouldn't have your job if you weren't beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump knocking supermodel Heidi Klum in a New York Times, saying, "Heidi Klum, sadly, she is no longer a 10."

TRUMP: A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10, OK?


TRUMP: You know what, the women get it better than we do, folks. All right. They get it better than we do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see, so you treat women with respect.

TRUMP: I can't say that either.



LEMON: Dana, pretty devastating look at Donald Trump's own words. How do you think that's going to play?

DANA BASH, CNN'S CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think first of all, this is a road map that was given to the Clinton team. And I should say we should underscore that this is the pro-Clinton super PAC which I'll get to in a second, it's not the Clinton team. A road map given to them by the republicans in the never Trump

movement. They understood that this was a potential weak spot for Donald Trump, big-time. Maybe not as much in the republican electorate. Although, you know, he didn't do as well with women as he did with men. But very much so they are hoping, certainly now democrats in the general election.

Now, the fact that it is a pro-Clinton super PAC and not the actual Clinton campaign is very interesting. And I think that this is obviously a shot across the bow. But this is an example of what they are going to be going forward, that they going to put be playing hardball, that they are going to be, you know, making very clear to Donald Trump, you want to talk about Hillary Clinton and the woman card, you want to talk about her being an enabler.

We've got a whole bag of tricks basically at our disposal that we are going to keep throwing at you while they hope at least, that super PAC folks, that Clinton can talk about issues.

Now I will also say, as I toss it back to you, Don, that the Trump folks really believe that as Trump continues to go with his gut on what will play, even with women in the general electorate, even with potential crossover voters from the democrats, independent women, that this is still something that will resonate despite his own history and his own words that he's had with about women.

[22:05:03] LEMON: Yes. Dana Bash with us responding to this devastating ad from Hillary Clinton's super PAC, Donald Trump's own words on women. It's not so favorable to him. My question, Dana, how will republicans respond with this?

BASH: Well, it depends on who it is. The issue for Donald Trump is that he doesn't have the entirety of the Republican Party getting ready to gear up behind him. Because of what we have been talking about for several days now, since he became the presumptive nominee.

And that is, that there is a big divide, because so many republicans have thought these very things. Again, if the Never Trump movement funded by republican donors put similar ads up by Donald Trump. So.

LEMON: Hey, Dana.

BASH: Yes?

LEMON: Is it fair to say the Republican Party is in the midst of a civil war? Donald Trump says he's not sure that the party even has to be united. I mean, what's the latest on that?

BASH: It's very fair. I mean, there is no question it's going through a civil war. look, it has been going through a crisis of identity and a civil war of sort for some time.

But it is now that they have a general. The people who are so angry at Washington that they -- that they really can believe in and then rely on in Donald Trump. And so, that is absolutely what we're seeing.

Now to your point earlier about how it's going to play. Again, the problem for Trump is that he doesn't have all these people behind him.

But the good thing for Donald Trump is that he does have these ardent supporters who are continuing to say we are going to go to the math with him no matter what because they just think Washington is broken and people here in Washington especially fellow republicans just don't get it.


BASH: And that is what we are continuing to see and we will see even and especially as we head into this big meeting this week, Don, with republican leaders and the House now and the Senate and Donald Trump.


BASH: Although I will make a prediction to you that they will all come out and it will sound like there is sort of a Kumbya moment.

LEMON: Kumbaya.

BASH: Yes. I really think so. At least they've been laying the groundwork...


LEMON: At least it will sound that way on the surface, right.

BASH: They've been -- they've been laying the groundwork all say today. If you listen very closely to what they're both saying, it's not in anybody's interest to keep this going. But whether or not they can really come together and join forces and resources is another question.

LEMON: All right. Dana Bash, thank you very much for that and the breaking news. This new for Hillary super PAC.

So, I want to bring in now political commentator Kayleigh McEnany who is a trump supporter, and Angela Rye. So, before I get you to respond because I want to take a crack at it first. I want to play a portion of the ad, Kayleigh, and then we'll talk about it.


TRUMP: She came to my wedding. She ate like a pig. And seriously, that the wedding cake was, it was like missing in action.


TRUMP: Does she have a good body? No.


TRUMP: Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely. Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she is very good. I think she is highly overrated. But when I came and, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see. So, do you treat women with respect?

TRUMP: I can't say this either.



LEMON: The response? Your response the video shows Donald Trump's own words, is this fair game?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is definitely fair game, it's an effetive ad. And you know, I said this before I'll say it again. I do think he needs to have a mea culpa with women. That's going to mean saying the statements I made in the 1990s are not acceptable, I don't stand by those, I don't like those.

That's not the same person I am. And that being said, I think the American people will forgive him. They forgave Bill Clinton when he was honest eventually with the American people. I mean, I guess he wasn't honest in the situation with Monica Lewinsky.

But eventually the American forgave him. And I think if he does that, the American people will forgive him.

LEMON: Do you -- some of the statements are a recent, and a couple of them are from at least one in this ad, in the short ad, this was from the show, which blood coming out of her wherever. That was I did that interview.

But some of these are as recently as August, some of them as recently as a couple weeks ago. This is not all old stuff from the '90s.

MCENANY: But the two statements that were recent, the one you just referenced.


MCENANY: And the one saying that she is an overrated journalist, those are recent, yes. But to me, that's not clear that he is referring to gender at all in those scenarios. He equally attacks men, he equally attacks women.

They are conflicting statements from the '90s. And now the statement from the 90's are different. I think he was a different person then than he is now.

LEMON: Bad, you said it's bad. Is it devastating?

MCENANY: I don't think it's devastating.

LEMON: It's bad.

MCENANY: I think his counter rebuttal, which is what he heard the enabler comment, I think it's an effective line of attack. LEMON: OK.

MCENANY: But it's not helpful.

LEMON: Angela, I want to get your response. What's your response to this ad?

ANGELA RYE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: A couple of things. One is and, Don, you've already addressed this. The statements are not from the 1990s. There is a clear connection between Donald Trump's words of yesterday and today. They are consistent.

He is remarkably misogynistic and sexist. And I think that he is been very clear that he continues to hold these crazy beliefs in the words that he continues to used today with the hateful vitriol that he spews towards with women even if it's suggestive.

[22:10:00] I know that now he says that blood coming out of wherever he meant to say nose. How convenient.

And I think the other thing that we can point is what he said about a fellow candidate that was running. Carly Fiorina and her face. He talked about Hillary Clinton, the length of time that Hillary Clinton was in the bathroom as disgusting.

So, there are things that we can point that weren't in this ad and perhaps correct the record run out of time in putting it together but they do a part two.

LEMON: Do you agree?

MCENANY: No, I don't. Because, look, he attack Marco Rubio's appearance, he attacked Carly Fiorina's appearance. So, he is clearly not saving his attacks just for women. The definition of sexism is saving them for women.

He's attacked men and women equally. And I don't think that he is the same person. But it is up to him to say, I disown the statement from the '90s, now I'm a different person and explain them.

LEMON: Do you think this changes the strategy though, because I mean, look, listen. Let's talk his unfavorables with women, you know they are high. Do you think this will change the strategy. Because he is going out to Hillary Clinton.

He is calling, you know, her an enabler for her husband. Some people think it's fair. Some think it's not because she didn't actually do it. It was her husband who had the infidelities. Do you think this is going to change his strategy?

MCENANY: I think in one regard. I think that it is OK to say, look, this is coming from Donald Trump. I don't like it. I don't believe it. people say that. And you know, some people will never believe the things he says. So, here is what he can do and that should change is say, hey, I'm

going to get Juanita Broaddrick, I'm going to get Kathleen Willie out here, I'm going to let the women tell the story. If you let the women tell the story rather than Donald Trump, to tell the story, I think it adds a lot more credibility for that line of attack.

LEMON: Yes. It definitely shows where we're headed in this particular campaign.

So, Angela, do you think it is too late for a mea culpa now as Kayleigh is saying. You know, come out clarify his remarks and say, you know, the 90s stuff at least I don't agree with that. And try to clarify some of the other stuff. Do you think women will forgive and forget all the things that he's said about women or at least some of them?

RYE: I think it's clear that women -- there are certain women who certainly will forgive him. You are talk -- you're sitting across someone right now, and that's Kayleigh. But I don't know that that will work with the massive numbers of women who are not supporting Donald Trump. It certainly won't work for me or with me.

I don't see any -- there is nothing worse to me than blaming someone who was the victim of infidelity for that infidelity or for enabling it. I think there is nothing worse than, for example, today, we talked a whole lot about Hillary Clinton's role in attacking these women. Where I know if I were the woman in her shoes, I would have done far worse than what she did.

All she said was, you know, she thought someone was ridiculous. So, I think that we really have to examine some of that. I also think that now that Donald Trump and his surrogates are attacking Hillary Clinton in words she used while she was a pro Bono court-appointed attorney for a client in the '70s, we have to look at some of the things that he did in the '70s, including the housing discrimination complaints that he was -- that he succumbed to.

I think we also have to look at the fact that when Mike Tyson, who is now endorsing him, was accused of rape.

LEMON: OK. Angela.

RYE: Go for it.

LEMON: I want to give her a chance to respond because I have to get to a break. But go on because...


MCENANY: Yes. No, here's the thing Angela that I would question you on. Look, it's one thing, of course, everyone understand being cheated on. That's a horrible feeling. And I completely empathize with women who have been cheated on.

But it's a completely different scenario when you've been cheated on for two decades you know about this and yet, you still try to describe the victim.


RYE: No, you are blaming the victim.

MCENANY: No, you're blaming the victim. I'm blaming the bully, you're blaming the victim.

RYE: No, she's not a bully because she is cheated on, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: Go please read -- go please what Juanita Broaddrick said happened to her.

RYE: Kayleigh, go read what -- go read what Donald Trump said about Mike Tyson's rape victim? You continue to -- you are throwing stones and you are living in a Plexiglas house. There is a major problem here and you are going to have to confront it on your side too.

LEMON: OK. All right. That's going to have to be -- sorry about -- we're running out of time.

MCENANY: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come right back, a man who's got the ear of the conservative voters. What they are telling him about Donald Trump. We'll be right back.



TRUMP: Because nobody respects women more than Donald Trump.

She came to my wedding. She ate like a pig. And seriously, that the wedding cake was like, it was like missing in action.

Does she have a good body? No.



LEMON: That new web video hits Donald Trump pretty hard on women. But what will voters think.

Let's discuss now with the man who has the ear of a lot of conservative voters. And that's talk show host, Dennis Prager. Dennis, good to have you on. Thank you for coming in.


LEMON: So, Dennis, that video about women, you know, in support of Hillary Clinton is pretty shocking. You talk to listeners all the time, to a lot of people. How do you think they are going to receive this? PRAGER: Well, it depends of course who you talk to. If you talk to

Hillary supporters, you will get one reaction. If you talk to Trump supporters, you get another. I'm not a Trump supporter. I'm not a Hillary supporter. I have -- I opposed the Trump nomination. Now that he is nominated, if he indeed will be, then I feel I have no choice and I will probably vote for him.

However, having said that, I am no fan of his. Nevertheless, the man is an equal opportunity -- an equal opportunity boor, b-o-o-r, not b- o-r-e.

LEMON: Right.

PRAGER: The man insults everybody. He called Marco Rubio 'little Marco.' I mean, insulting a man's height, I mean, I'm 6'4" so I don't take this personally but shorter men do take it very seriously. That is what he does.

I don't like that aspect of Donald Trump. But if women want to actually claim, the feminism claims that women are equals, then they have to take insults equally. All of a sudden it's we're your equal, but if you insult us, you are a sexist. Can't have it both ways.

LEMON: So, what do you think of the ad's effectiveness? Or you said -- you said it's all right.

PRAGER: I think it is minimal.


PRAGER: I think it's minimal. I actually think she has more to lose and I think they will start dropping it. I think she has more to lose. If the women come out who charge Hillary Clinton with having mishandled them, who were victims, alleged victims or real victims of her husband, I think she has much more to lose than to gain from this.

LEMON: More of an impact than a video that is put out online.


LEMON: OK. So, Dennis, let's talk now about the big picture. Republican fractions are tearing each other apart. Where do you see this heading?

PRAGER: Yes. That's a real good question. You mentioned earlier civil war. And as a republican I can say there is a sort of civil war. I hope it stops. Because I don't want four more years of a democrat in the White House. And I don't want a woman who I consider dishonorable to be the President of the United States.

[22:20:02] By the way, I don't consider him to be terribly honorable either. But I just want to make an interesting point here. And that is there is a great deal of soul searching on the right.

We care deeply about the character of our nominees. But I see no soul searching on the left, none. I don't hear any democrats say, you know, voting for Hillary Clinton is not an honorable human being; you don't get any of that. We only have...


LEMON: Have you heard some of the Bernie supporters?

PRAGER: Yes. That's Bernie supporters, not because of her character, but because of her positions. There is a very big difference. There is lamentation on the part of the right about the character of Donald Trump. There is nothing on the left about the character of Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Is it more about the character of Donald Trump, though, because he doesn't really have a history or any, you know, a background or resume as a politician? To have -- to have his issues looked at?

PRAGER: Well, the issues of the character are even more pronounced then in the case of Hillary Clinton who does have a track record. He is really a tabular rosin. We really don't know and I admit that. That's part of what bothers me about him. And he is policy wise rather opaque.

I don't know really what he stands, how he stands on many issues. But Hillary Clinton, we do know about the e-mails, we do know about how she acted in the White House with the various scandals that took place there.

We do know how she treated women. We do know that she is the only person, William Safire, the late great Pulitzer Prize winner of The New York Times. He said she was a congenital liar. He had never used that phrase in his 50 years of writing till he had won the Pulitzer Prize. He had never used that phrase about a public person. He said that about Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Interesting. Donald Trump is saying that the party needs to fall in line with him. Is it the burden of the party to unite and to unite around Donald Trump?

PRAGER: That's a great question. In my opinion, it is his task now that he has won or ostensibly won, it is his task to unite the party. And the party is just waiting, they are like standing, begging, please just be decent to us, just say, OK, I want to join with you. And he doesn't.

It is so odd to me. You know, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is everyone knows is such a good guy, even if you don't agree with him politically. Everyone knows he is honorable.

Just treat him decently. Just say, you know what, Paul -- or not Paul, a congressman, you know what, congressman or Mr. Speaker, I want to be with you and the Republican Party.


PRAGER: That would work.

LEMON: That simple. All right. Just be the bigger.

PRAGER: Yes, that simple.

LEMON: Take the high road. Always take the high road. So, listen.

PRAGER: If you are the winner, take the high road exactly.

LEMON: That's my model. But listen, over the past week, Donald Trump has really contradicted his earlier position on taxes, on the minimum wage and on debt. As a conservative, are you worried about what his positions would do to the economy?

PRAGER: Well, as any non-conservative economic positions worry me. So, I have two choices. She, I know, will expand the government, expand the debt. She will abolish fracking, which has been at the source of our -- to the extent that we have had an economic growth. This utterly safe way of getting energy.

She has now opposed to solely because she had to meet Bernie Sanders leftist supporters. So, I know how devastating she will be to the economy. I can't assume he will be as bad. And that's really what it comes down to.

LEMON: Hey, listen. Dennis, I have to go because over time. But this popped into my head when I heard Donald Trump earlier. And you are the perfect person to ask. If you can give me a short answer that's kind of complicated.

He said that, you know, he is a republican. He is not a conservative. He said, in other countries there is a party for that. How does that hit you as a republican or a conservative or wheatear you consider?

PRAGER: Well, I am a conservative. And it is troubling. Nevertheless, in life, here is your short answer. In life it is very rare that you have a choice between good and bad. It's usually bad and worse.

LEMON: Dennis Prager, thank you. Always a pleasure, sir.

PRAGER: Thank you, same here.

LEMON: Just ahead, does Donald Trump have a strategy to rally the Republican Party and could it work? We're going to talk about that next.



TRUMP: She came to my wedding. She ate like a pig. And seriously that the wedding cake was like, it was like missing in action.


TRUMP: Does she have a good body? No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. TRUMP: Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely. Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she is very good. I think she is highly overrated. But when I came out, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her -- wherever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see, so you treat women with respect?

TRUMP: I can't say that either.



LEMON: Let's discuss now this new video. Bob Cusack is the editor-in- chief of the Jeff DeWit is a the state treasurer of Arizona, who is Trump --he is a Trump surrogate, and also Amy Holmes, conservative political analyst, and Van Jones, CNN political contributor.

Again, this video is from Correct the Record, it is a pro-Clinton super PAC. They put this ad just a couple of hours ago. Jeff, I'm going to go to you. Do you think Donald Trump really should be going after Hillary Clinton on the women thing given what we just saw?

JEFF DEWIT, TRUMP SURROGATE: Well, you know, the way politics work, and a long-time politician like Hillary Clinton know it best, is they divide the public into segments and they say, OK, we are going to try to win the women vote and this certain race vote, and this and that.

And Donald Trump is going out for all of America. And so, you know, he's not a practiced politician, he was a long time businessman. You know, in the past he was an entertainer as we all know.

And so, he has said some things even in the course of a show and everything else that was meant to entertain. He has made some funny comments. But at the same time he is running to be the president of the United States, and I think he is doing a great job. He is going to bring a different approach to this. And, you know, she is -- what she is doing is trying to just divide America into these groups and we need someone like Donald Trump who is going to bring us together.

[22:30:01] LEMON: Van jones, go ahead. Because I know, Van. Listen, when you came on, I mean, honestly, you walk in and you said, you guys were talking.


LEMON: You said you are really concerned that she writes.


LEMON: She said you're really concerned about the tenor of this campaign.

JONES: I just feel so sad because here we go. I think the big fear was, if you have a Donald Trump and you have a Hillary Clinton, you got people with a bunch of negatives. And you are just going to drive each other's negatives higher and higher and higher until finally like there is some anti-matter explosion and we all just perish. And that's what it feels like is happening.


LEMON: Van Jones, didn't you work in the White House? have you been involved in campaigns?


LEMON: I mean, come on.

JONES: I mean, you know, deep inside, I think most Americans hope that at some point it will turn into an episode of the west wing and there will some intelligent thing I could said instead.

We are going to talk about big hands and little hands and whether or not Monica Lewinsky was the -- and I'm going to tell you right now. Ordinary people in the country are hoping that somebody -- and I think Hillary Clinton is betting at some point we get back to the issues.

LEMON: Do you agree with that. Do you think that people are just, you know, they would rather hear about policy than what happened in the '80s and '90s and how he feels about women? Do you agree with that?

HOLMES: I do agree with that. But I think these attacks are fair game for both sides. Unfortunately, these attacks are in the gutter. But what's where both sides have been at different points in their lives.

I think the attacks on Donald Trump are completely fair. He has said these things and he has attacked women in particular ways that attack female femininity. And I think that's something that voters will have to grapple with and Donald Trump will have to answer.

But looking at that attack ad and we saw a similar one, I'm wondering the republican primary by an anti-Trump -- an anti-Trump super PAC.


LEMON: It's the tip inside of my mouth.


LEMON: And that he when he went after Ted Cruz' wife.

HOLMES: Right. And while I agree the intention is to drive a wedge between Donald Trump and female voters. I think it is also speaks to character and that is something that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, those are tough questions that they are going to face.

LEMON: So, Bob Cusack, I wanted to ask you this, because you know Amy mentioned it, because it happened during and with the republicans, right? Remember the -- when he came out and he talked about or tweeted about Heidi Cruz and her looks, and he said he did because of the super PAC ad.

Even the super PAC said they had no connection with Ted Cruz. I'm wondering if he is going to directly connect this with Hillary Clinton even though it's a super PAC and she is supposed to have -- she has nothing to do with it. That he is going to say, I said if she went to the gutter, I would go to the gutter. And now, here we go.

BOB CUSACK, THE HILL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yes. And I think he is going to do that because these are clearly Hillary Clinton allies. And by law, they can't communicate. But when he talked about Cruz, he said, listen, these guys know each other. That he suggested they were breaking the law by communicating.

And I do think that people are going to get tired of this. I think he should be using -- Donald Trump should be using this family more, talking more about the women that he hired as opposed to going after her so early.

Because I do agree with Van, this is going to get real tiresome very quickly. It could be the nastiest election. And when you talk about a third party, the possibility of somebody getting in, wouldn't need a sugar daddy, would have to be financed. Maybe that person gets a serious look if this is going to be in the gutter for the next six, seven months.

LEMON: We've showed the pro-Clinton super PAC video. Now let's show Donald Trump in his own words, what he has to say about Hillary Clinton.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nobody in this country, and maybe in the history of the country politically, was worse than Bill Clinton with women. He was a disaster.


He was a disaster. I mean, there has never been anybody like this. And she was a total enabler. She would go after these women destroy their lives. She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.


LEMON: OK. So, Jeff, he actually had the affairs but he is connecting Hillary Clinton to it saying she is an enabler. Is this, as far as the voters are concerned the distinction without a difference?

DEWIT: Boy, I'm not the right person to ask that question to. You know, I just know that we get through a primary. The primary, you see a lot more personal attacks to because there are so few differences in the issues, because you are on the same side of the aisle. I think this stuff is going to end quickly. Because when we get to the

general, and we're not there yet because the democrats still have to obviously get through and figure out exactly who the nominee is going to be. Well, assume it's going to be Hillary but you never know.

Then the differences are so vast between their policies. I actually do think that this whole election is going to pivot and it's going to be about the policies.


LEMON: The American policy as -- everybody, when you say -- when you say -- and quickly, everybody on this panel went like...

HOLMES: Alleluia.

DEWIT: You know, these are -- these are two heavyweight fighters in the first round that are just getting in the ring and taking those little jabs.


DEWIT: But I think they are both going to realize too, that what's really going to land are the heavy blows. And that's going to come from policies.

[22:35:04] LEMON: How wrong...


DEWIT: Quite frankly, Donald Trump has the right policies and Hillary Clinton is just an extension of Obama and a lot of people want something...


LEMON: Hang on. Hang on. I got to get to a break. But how wrong is Jeff DeWit about this coming to an end very quickly? We'll stop right after the break and also stay with me. Because how Speaker Paul Ryan end up giving his support to Donald Trump? Does Trump even need it? We'll talk about that next. Don't go anywhere.


LEMON: We're back. Guess what we were talking about. Donald Trump and the fractured Republican Party.

So back with me now, Bob Cusack, Jeff DeWit, Amy Holmes, and Van Jones. What was funny about that? Jeff, I hope you are sitting down for this. Because...

DEWIT: Oh, boy, I can't wait, Don. I can't wait.

LEMON: How right...

(CROSSTALK) DEWIT: You're going to surprise me with that.

LEMON: .. is this going to stop soon as Jeff DeWit predicted? Go.


LEMON: And is he wrong?

HOLMES: It is not. Why is he wrong? It is past, its prologue, Don. Then this primary season, we've seen that Donald Trump has relied on personal attack, personal invective to, you know, to win the primary. And when it comes to policy, it tends to be pretty thin on the ground.

[22:40:02] You have some slogans that have worked that I think speak to deep concerns among voters and the American people. But he is even flip-flopping on some of those.


HOLMES: He said he would raise taxes on the rich, now he is saying the rich would pay less. So, I'm not sure where this, you know, thoughtful meaty policy discussion is going to happen on the Trump side.

LEMON: So, Bob, to Amy's point, is this to, you know, some of these things the distraction to get people not to talk about, you know, a tax plan or an economic plan, or foreign policy and then to talk about these things or this is just who he is?

CUSACK: I think this is just who he is. I mean, and he has been successful. I mean, who thought he would get the nomination? But the general election electorate is very different than the primary caucus.

DEWIT: I did.

CUSACK: Is that -- is that proven?

HOLMES: Thanks.

CUSACK: No, anyway.

LEMON: I can show you the take with me from last summer but that's OK. But go on.

CUSACK: Listen, I think that this is Donald Trump. This is who he is. And you saw with his top adviser, Paul Manafort trying to make him more, quote, "presidential" and Donald Trump being more raucous than ever. That's what sports like.

HOLMES: Right.

JONES: I think -- but don't forget, it was actually, it was Hillary supporters that started it, at least today.

LEMON: Right.


JONES: And I think that part of it is, I think Hillary supporters believe in strength as well. You actually have two candidates who their fundamental deep value is strength. I want to be strong. As a woman, I don't want to be pushed around. As a white guy, I'm tired of us being pushed around.

And there is this tendency to, I think there is going to be a big tendency at least for the supporters to get in all kinds of fights about all kinds of minor things.

But fundamentally, the question is how are ordinary people going to be benefited by either one of these characters. And my fear is as the more you have this going on, the more people tune out who have real problems that hurts everybody.

LEMON: So my next question is, though, let me ask you this, how much does this taint, if it does, Hillary Clinton. Even though it's a pro- Clinton super PAC and it's not her directly. Because as Van Jones says, he is tired of it. People are tired of it. Jeff DeWit says they should talk about issues.

Is this ultimately a negative possibly for Hillary Clinton? Go ahead if you want to.

HOLMES: Yes. Don, I mean, historically, what we know are negative attack ads tend to drive up the negatives of the attacker and the target. So, you know, this is -- this is something that could be risky for Hillary Clinton as well.

But getting back to Donald Trump and whether or not he is going to, you know, campaign in more substantive manner, remember, this is the person who bragged that he didn't study for the debates. And he just sort of stood on stage and made faces and sneered and mocked his competitors. I don't know if that's going to get him through...


DEWIT: He did more than that.

HOLMES: I don't know if that's going to get him through the debates with Hillary Clinton. But on the reverse side, interestingly, ironically, when Donald Trump's numbers have gone up, it is when he has hit on a policy position that has really resonated.

So, when he said that he was going to build that wall in terms of immigration reform, for a lot of Americans who feel economically insecure because of the competition from illegal immigrants coming to the United States, that sent him to the front of the line with republicans.

When he said that he was going to keep Muslims out of America, I don't happen to agree with that position, but again, that's when his poll numbers went up. I would advise Donald Trump to actually keep the personal attacks...


LEMON: Stick to the issues.

HOLMES: ... at a minimum and stick for issues. Because so far, the issues actually have been working for him.

LEMON: All right. Jeff, and also this might work for him. And I wonder if you, you know, you know, let's talk about Donald Trump's meeting with Paul Ryan on Thursday.

I'm wondering if you think that could work for him. What are the chances that Donald Trump comes out with an endorsement from the speaker. And that would, I think that would help him tremendously.

JONEs: And will help the speaker anyway.

DEWIT: I think it would help the speaker as well. I think the speaker is overplaying his hand and he's misreading the public on what he should be doing. I think the speaker very much needs to get in line with where the rest of America is at. And let's support our nominee and let's move forward.

So, you know, and going back to what Amy just said, keep in mind, the first half of the day today, we were talking about Trump's economic platform. That's what he was on TV talking about this morning. And that drove the news, up until this video came out, you know, 45 minutes ago. And that changed.

But that wasn't a Donald Trump video. That was a hit against Donald Trump. And I'll tell you, as an elected official myself, the mistake that I think the Hillary people are making on that is you have to put, you know, like you pointed out. The negatives go for both candidates, the one that gets hit and the one that does the hitting.


DEWIT: And before you go right for the attack you have to build up your bank, you positives in the bank and talk about yourself and your positives. Because any time you do a hit, you take a negative -- negative hit on yourself as well.

And if you don't have any positives in the bank that really hurts you. And I think for Hillary's people to be hitting so early, I think they are driving a bad narrative that's going to hurt their candidate.

LEMON: You got to go fast, Van.

JONES: Well, I just think that, you said that, I think Speaker Paul Ryan is in a tough position. He has a vision for the Republican Party that's more of a Jack Kemp inclusive, everybody in party; it's the exact opposite of a Donald Trump.

Whatever he does tomorrow, I think he gets hurt. But I think for the long-term, if he now embraces the kind of stuff you hear from Donald Trump, I don't know where he goes, I don't know where his party goes.

[22:45:04] LEMON: And is he like, hey, listen. I don't have to go to this convention.

JONES: Exactly.

LEMON: He's like, come on.

JONES: He's like this invited, Paul, I feel so terrible. Let me get out of here.


JONES: I think that's Paul Ryan. I'm not feeling well.

LEMON: All right. Thanks, everyone. I appreciate it. When we come right back, a lot of people were blindsided by the unconventional rise of Donald Trump. But not everybody we're going to talk to the man who saw this coming a mile away.


LEMON: Voters in West Virginia and Nebraska go to the polls in just a few hours. Donald Trump now the presumptive nominee. But was he inevitable?

Joining me now to discuss, Ben Howe, contributor -- contributing editor at RedState, and Norman Orstein, we'll just call him Norm, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "It's Even Worse Than it Looks."

My goodness. It's not a positive thing. But anyway, we'll take it. We like it. Norm, you say it's one thing to have a long-term senator outside of the party wing win a nomination, but it's another to have someone with no political experience coming in and stealing the show.

[22:50:06] So, how did we end up here?

NORMAN ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE RESIDENT SCHOLAR: Well, in a lot of ways, we could see this coming over the last several years. In the book, Tom Mann and I, and there is a new edition by the way, Don, called, "It's Even Worse Than it Was." And the next one is going to be "Run for Your Lives."

You know, we saw a Republican Party that was going off the rails and we saw a group of leaders that had begun to promise people out there in the aftermath of the collapse and the bailout all kinds of things that they weren't going to be able to deliver.

Bring Barack Obama to his knees, repeal ObamaCare, blow up government as we know it, and the opportunity for an outsider or insurgent was just very, very strong.

And going back a year ago, I saw every poll of republicans of whatever strife show 60 to 70 percent support for outsiders and insurgents 20 percent for the establishment figures.

And Donald Trump it was pretty clear was the strongest and savviest at being able to tap into a lot of the angry populism out there and the distrust and distaste and dislike for the republican establishment leaders.

LEMON: OK. So, then, listen, you said, "Run for Your Lives," that's the new edition or that's what's coming out.

ORNSTEIN: Well, let's hope that's not what's coming out.

LEMON: Specifically then, where is this anger coming from, Norm?

ORNSTEIN: So, a good part of it I think, Don, goes back to the economic collapse and the bailout. We always get populism. And populism brings with it nativism, protectionism and some isolationism.

LEMON: Which is what we're seeing.

ORNSTEIN: We're seeing a lot of that and the nativism let's face it also has a significant racial component to it. I think you get a lot of people who are dislocated, they have stagnant wages, they've lost their homes or seen their home values drop.

They don't know where they are going in the society. And they see a country that is becoming by 2 percent every year inexorably a majority minority country.

You put all those discontents together and we are getting the kind populism that let a Ross Perot emerge without some of that edge in 1992.


ORNSTEIN: That Trump has been able to exploit much better.

LEMON: All right. Ben to you now. You say, quote, "Donald Trump is my fault as much as anybody else." Why do you say that?

BEN HOWE, REDSTATE CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Well, you know, for a very long time, just what he was just talking about, back in 2008, when TARP and the auto bailouts came out, a lot of people on the right were very upset. I remember very well when George Bush said that he had to abandon the free market in order to save it.

That was kind of a clarifying moment for me and I think for a lot of others. So, there were conscientious people that came out that really did want to see a change in the way government functioned. Government spending was too high. The debt was out of control. Deficits were out of control.

There was a desire for it to be less about democrats versus republicans. But there was an underlying element of people that were just angry and outraged and I would say in my opinion, a little less rational. They were always there but weren't necessarily leading the movement.

I think in 2011 and 2012, my experience anyway, was when Romney didn't win, a lot of the more conscientious people they just went home. I think I don't know if they gave up or they just thought it wasn't working. The people who were left were this outraged group. And certain web

sites that I've been critical of for a long time, like Breitbart News after Andrew's death, I think channeled a lot of that anger and found a way to sort of profit off of it.

They sold ideas about what they thought politicians should be able to do and then sold the outrage that they didn't do it, regardless of what they were saying should be done was even possible. So, Donald Trump...


LEMON: So, they were exploiting people?

HOWE: I think...

LEMON: Do you I believe and people believes in their anger. So, then what do you wish you had done differently?

HOWE: I wish I had called them out. I wish I had called the people out at these rallies. I wish that when I went to rallies in 2010 and 2011, and I had conversations with people and I agreed with them on 70 percent of what we were talking about. When they said 30 percent that made me cringe and I kept quiet, I shouldn't have.

LEMON: Interesting. Let's -- Norm, do you agree with that, do you think that people should have done things differently that people should have called out, you know, as you said some web sites or some organizations exploiting people's anger?

ORNSTEIN: I do think that, Don. But I also think there are a lot of other people who enabled much of this to take place.

When Tom and I first wrote our book and we basically said that the Republican Party had become an insurgent outlier. An awful lot of bloggers and other writers conservatives sort of rallied behind the party. They said, everything is just fine. It is the same as it was.

And when we saw a pretty deliberate attempt to blow up the governing process, vote in unison against everything, make every victory look ugly. Make the whole government look so terrible.

[22:55:08] We had forces including many in the mainstream media who just shrugged at all of that and you've got a lot of people out there now who say, how could anything be worse than those idiots in Washington which becomes prime territory for a Donald Trump to emerge.

LEMON: Yes. To Ben's point, he said they gave false expectations about what could -- what government, you know, could do...


LEMON: ... could accomplish. So, my question is, you know, as you know, Paul Ryan made headlines last week when he said that he wasn't ready to support Donald Trump. Yet, he said he is hoping to get on board. So, why do you say that a party who calls Paul Ryan a rhino is symbolic of the entire problem?

ORNSTEIN: For me, certainly when you have the guy who is the most conservative speaker in the history of the House of Representatives called out as a rhino, a republican in name only, not just because he said, I'm not ready to support Donald Trump.

But also because he got behind a budget deal that raised the cap just enough that they could actually maybe pass some appropriation bills. And many in his own party are undercutting him on that basis. Almost anybody who is trying to do something to govern is going to be called out.

And at some point, we are going to have to have a reckoning in a party that is going to be a conservative party, it's going to be a party, I think, that Ben ultimately is going to feel comfortable with.

But if you are going to be contemptuous of government and almost everybody who is in the opposition including some in your party...


ORNSTEIN: ... you are going to blow up.

LEMON: I got to run. Thank you. We'll have you back. Great conversation. Thank you, Ben. Thank you, Norm. See you next time. We'll be right back.

HOWE: Thank you.