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GOP Civil War: Trump v. Ryan; Trump Attacks Clinton for Husband's Past. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired May 9, 2016 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:07] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think it necessarily has to be unified.

I'm smarter than they are.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He doesn't have a view. He has a slogan.

TRUMP: She's married to a man who was the worst abuser of women in the history of politics.

CLINTON: I ask myself all the time, who is he talking to?

TRUMP: She was a total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no clear identification of gender identity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is open discrimination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is no longer just a North Carolina issue.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to your NEW DAY. We begin with an epic showdown, scheduled this week between Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. At stake, just the future of the Republican Party.

Ryan and Trump set to meet this week to settle their differences and to try to unite the divided party. Sarah Palin vowing to help defeat Ryan, who is up for re-election, for not backing Trump.

CUOMO: On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton says she's hearing from, quote, "a lot of Republicans who want to help her campaign." Clinton blasting Trump for being reckless on foreign policy as Trump ramps up personal attacks on Clinton, saying Bill Clinton is the worst abuser of women in political history and that Hillary Clinton is the great enabler. How's that going to go over in this election?

We've got it covered the way only CNN can. Let's begin with Phil Mattingly -- Phil.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, it may take more than just one meeting. The ramping up of -- between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, what happens next for the Republican Party? It is a major concern for top GOP officials. Donald Trump seems less concerned, saying that he doesn't need the party to come to him. And while he wants unity, it's not necessarily top of the line for his prerogative to going forward. Going so far as to mention that Paul Ryan may have a problem being the convention chair if he refuses to endorse Trump.


TRUMP: I don't want to mention now. I'll see after. I will give you a very solid answer if that happens, about one minute after that happens. OK? There is no reason to give it right now.

CHUCK TODD, NBC'S "MEET THE PRESS": It sounds like -- sounds like I know what the answer is but you don't want to say it yet. You don't want to sound -- you don't want to issue threats. You're not going to issue a public threat.

TRUMP: I don't think that's going to happen.


MATTINGLY: And Sarah Palin actually going further, saying she will support a primary challenge to Paul Ryan, saying that Paul Ryan's political career should be over, because he will not endorse Donald Trump, something that looks fairly unlikely, given Ryan's approval in Wisconsin.

But it is an interesting look, guys, at what is actually happening right now inside the Republican Party. And it goes beyond just endorsements or tone or tenor, goes to policy, as well.

Donald Trump this weekend also starting to pull back on his tax policy, saying that taxes will likely go up for the wealthy, continuing to talk about changes to the minimum wage. Top issues that moved completely away from where the Republican Party, away from where Paul Ryan is as the House speaker. A lot of issues, guys, that Paul Ryan and Donald Trump will have to hash out on Thursday. Again, the types of issues that can't just be figured out in one meeting, just the start of what will likely be a long conversation going forward: How to get the Republican Party back together -- Chris.

CUOMO: Phil, we remember the promises: "I can unify. I can be presidential, and I will if I'm the nominee." Both of those things not happening yet. Kind of the opposite from Donald Trump.

So let's discuss these recent turns of event in the election with the man himself, the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, on the phone this morning.

Mr. Trump, can you hear us?

TRUMP (via phone): I can.

CUOMO: We need to talk policy. We need to talk the state of play within your own party, but you have commanded a different headline that needs to be addressed.

You are attacking Hillary Clinton for the sexual past and indiscretions of her husband, calling her an enabler. We have a panel of independent voters. They are smart as heck, and most of them don't like it. They see it as a distraction. They see it as hypocritical coming from you. And mostly, they see it as potential proof that you may have no real ideas to offer as president. What is your thinking on this line of attack?

TRUMP: Well, this is a nice way to start off the interview. First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race. I thought you know, at least there would be a small congratulations, but I'm not surprised with CNN, because that's the way they treat Trump. It's the -- you know, they call it the Clinton network, and I believe that. So, you know --

CUOMO: Wait. Hold on. Mr. Trump, I did congratulate you the last time we spoke. I said congratulations on winning the big race.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Well-felt.

CUOMO: But you made -- no, no, no. Hold on, hold. Let get this off on the right foot. I'm trying to address what you --

TRUMP: You're starting off with a question. We haven't spoken, last week, towards the end, I was the, essentially the nominee of the party, and you start off with this question, which is not surprising, because --

CUOMO: I'm asking you -- I'm asking you --

TRUMP: -- -- I understand CNN perhaps a lot better than you do.

[07:05:03] CUOMO: OK, OK. Let's -- you know what? You're right. Sometimes it's good to restart. Here's the restart.

You are going to be your party's nominee by all accounts. You are going to carry the standard for this party. You have said that, once you get into the general, people will see what you have to offer. The first thing that you've come out with hot and heavy out of the box are these attacks on Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: That wasn't the first thing I've come out with. The first thing I came out, if you watched, was trade. We're making horrible trade deals. We're losing our jobs. We're losing our manufacturing. It's trade.

The next thing I came out with is rebuilding our military, because our military is absolutely being decimated. We're not spending the proper money. We're not buying the proper equipment. We're not taking care of our soldiers. We're not taking care of our vets, by the way. But we're not taking care of our military at a time when we just about in the history of our country need it the most.

So I talk about that. I talk about the border. I talk about the fact that we have to stop the drugs from pouring into our country. Those are the things I talk about in a very long speech, in Washington, actually Nebraska, which was unbelieve -- every one of them had tens of thousands of people. I mean, there were massively, they were massively attended, of course you don't mention, nor does CNN ever show the crowds. Very interesting. I could be making a speech for an hour, and they never show the extent of the crowd.

CUOMO: Well, I'll tell you, Mr. Trump, I would suggest that CNN shows your events more than they show any other candidate's.

TRUMP: -- crowd where Hillary Clinton said she wants to put the coal miners out of business, the miners. She said --

CUOMO: We covered that extensively.

TRUMP: -- and the companies to go out of business.

On the military, you raise an important issue. We tried to get your campaign and the other campaigns to hold forth or whether or not they supported the current G.I. Bill.

As you know, in the Congress, a sneaky vote in the House, where there was no roll call, and they were going to cut money from the G.I. Bill to allow for other expenditures for vets. The vets were upset. They said, "No, don't take money from us and reallocate it. Find the savings elsewhere."

Do you support maintaining the G.I. Bill the way it is right now and even growing it, as opposed to cutting it?

TRUMP: I don't want to be hurting our vets. Our vets have been hurt enough. We treat illegal immigrants better than we treat our vets. So I'm going to do nothing to hurt our vets. I'm going to only help our vets.

CUOMO: So is that a yes?

TRUMP: Think that the vets are getting toO much? They're not getting too much. I've traveled. I've seen so many vets now. I know so many vets now, and I have a lot of friends. I've developed great friendships among the vets.

CUOMO: So is that a yes, "I do support the current G.I. Bill?"

TRUMP: No. I want to bring jobs back to our country. I want to make our country go again.

I just traveled. I won so many states in a row in massive landslides, and part of the reason was trade. And it wasn't what you brought up at the beginning of the show, which was totally inappropriate.

Part of the reason I won was because of trade. And I talk trade, and I'm the only one that can do anything about trade. I'm going to renegotiate these trade deals.

These trade deals have sucked everything out of our country.

And by the way, Clinton is the one that approved NAFTA. NAFTA is the worst deal, one of the worst deals our country's ever made from an economic standpoint. One of the worst deals ever. It's taken -- if you've seen what it's done to New York state and New England and virtually every state, but it's just -- it has just sucked -- it has sucked the jobs out of our country. It's sucked the money out of our country.

We're going to bring our jobs back. We're going to make it much harder for people to leave, for people to take their companies and just go to Mexico and then sell the product back into the United States with no tax or nothing.

CUOMO: All right. So let's unpack a little of this stuff one at a time. And first of all, just to get back to tone just for one second, a little bit of this is because you're on the phone. As you know when you're person with somebody, very often you can interpret --

TRUMP: You would you have asked the same question in person.

CUOMO: But I think maybe if you're face to face, it might be a little different. That's all.

TRUMP: You think you would have asked a different question? I don't think.

CUOMO: I think that you're taking it the wrong way, because obviously, I'm playing off what the headline is everywhere this morning. I'm not just making it up, and NAFTA, I understand you wanted to bring up trade. You know, Clinton did not pass NAFTA. Bush passed NAFTA.

TRUMP: Really? Who signed NAFTA?

CUOMO: You criticize all you want. I'm just saying you want to keep the -- you want to keep the history. Bush was involved with NAFTA, as you know.

TRUMP: Excuse me. Who signed NAFTA? Whose bill was it and who signed it?

CUOMO: But what is your point, though? This was in the Bush administration --

TRUMP: One of the worst deals ever made in the history of our country, and it has just destroyed manufacturing, and destroyed jobs.

CUOMO: All right. That's a valid point. You just have to spread the blame across both parties. And you have to come up with a solution. TRUMP: No. The signer of NAFTA, take a look at who signed it. Check

it out.

CUOMO: Bush 41.

TRUMP: OK. You take a look. You take a look. NAFTA was a Clinton deal, and he wanted it so badly. And I have not been a big fan of what went on in terms of economic development, or with the war with Bush either, frankly. If you want to know the truth. I mean, there's a whole -- that's a whole other story.

But if you take a look at NAFTA and you take a look at what's been done and how hard Clinton pushed it, and that bill has been an absolute disaster. The passage of that has been an absolute disaster for our country.

CUOMO: All right. Fair point. You want to criticize NAFTA. Doing more about trade, helping the veterans.

[07:10:13] TRUMP: And we're going to bring it back, get jobs back into our country, and we're going to make it very hard for companies to leave and then sell --

CUOMO: All right.

TRUMP: -- product back into our country and rip -- rip us off. And all we end up getting is unemployment of great people.

CUOMO: All real issues. As you know, the last time we spoke, when we did talk about your taking everybody out in the race and now being the man yourself, we talked about how you would bring about bringing back jobs. You said, "I would tax companies who don't do the right thing. I would have a tariff imposed."

I said, "That's what Congress does, not a president."

You said, "Well, I'll work with them."

All real issues. And that's why I was so surprised to see you going after Clinton for her husband's infidelity and calling her an enabler. Why --

TRUMP: No, it's only retribution for what she said.

CUOMO: -- waste time on that?

TRUMP: She is playing -- she is playing the women's card to the hilt. She is going -- I mean, I watched over the weekend. 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 how well. Because women want to see strong security. They want to see strong military. They want to see borders where people just can't come crossing -- walking across the border like it's Swiss cheese, and you see the damage that's been done to our country with the weak borders.

You see what's happening. You see the crime. You see the drugs flowing in and poisoning our youth and everybody else.

CUOMO: But then why don't you talk about those issues --

TRUMP: I do. I do.

CUOMO: And get women on your side, as opposed to talking about infidelity.

TRUMP: I do. A long one-hour speech.

CUOMO: Mr. Trump, it's not one sentence. You were grandstanding on it. You were working the crowd about it.

TRUMP: Chris, I spoke very little about that, compared to other things. You took -- you took a small amount of the speech, and you build it up like it's the biggest thing in the world, but it is a big thing.

Hey, look, he was the worst abuser of women.

CUOMO: You just said, "I'm making too much of it." Now you say it's a big thing.

TRUMP: Excuse me. As a politician, in the history of our country. He was impeached. He was impeached, and then he lied about it. He said nothing happened with Monica Lewinsky and then he said, "Sorry, folks. It actually did happen." And the guy was impeached for lying.

CUOMO: All of that can be true. What does it have to do with Hillary?

TRUMP: She can't talk about me, because nobody respects women more than Donald Trump. And I'm going to take -- I will -- I will be better for women by a big factor than Hillary Clinton, who frankly, I don't even think will be good to women.

You know, she went and she spoke -- it was very interesting. She spoke a few weeks ago, and she said, "I'm going to put the miners and the companies out of business."

Then she went to West Virginia, and she tried to pretend she doesn't make the statement. And that's the way it is with her. You know, the lies, and the deception. It's horrible.

And by the way, they understand her in West Virginia, and I'll bet you that she loses West Virginia, when she was easily supposed to win. And I would bet that, if you took a poll there now, myself compared to her, you'll see a big difference. But you watch the problems she'll have. But the deception and the lies. And she tried to pretend like she didn't mean it.

CUOMO: All right. Let's talk about something else. Sarah Palin came out and said, "Paul Ryan is done. I'm calling on the supporters of Donald Trump to go after Paul Ryan and make sure that he gets Cantored," as in Eric Cantor. You know, that he loses his seat where he is.

Do you want that? Do you want Sarah Palin going out there and trying to turn people against Paul Ryan? You're supposed to be unifying the party?

TRUMP: Sarah Palin has endorsed me. And I like her a lot. I think she's a terrific person --

CUOMO: But do you want that? Do you want Paul Ryan kicked out?

TRUMP: Let me finish what I wanted to say. OK? But I had nothing to do with that. I mean, Sarah's very much a free agent. She's a terrific person, but she's very much a free agent. And I didn't know about this until yesterday. I guess she's been fighting or she's endorsing somebody that's running against Paul Ryan. And I didn't know about it until yesterday when I read about it.

CUOMO: But this is a big deal. Paul Ryan, the speaker there, you have said to this point, to give you your due, "Hey, I want Ryan on my side. I want to work with him. Let's meet with him."

TRUMP: I have always liked him. He called me not so long ago -- I don't know, a number of weeks ago, but he called me and he was very supportive and very nice. And I thought everything was fine. And then I got blindsided. So we'll see. I mean, look, see what happens.

Look, Chris, I think you know this better than anybody. The Republican Party, because of me, has received more votes than any time in its history during these primaries. Right? Is that a correct statement?

CUOMO: You are on track to have gotten --

TRUMP: Is that a correct statement?

CUOMO: -- more votes than anybody in this primary.

TRUMP: OK. No, no, no, I'm not even talking about me. Because of me --

CUOMO: Any GOP primary ever, you've gotten the most votes.

TRUMP: Because of me, you've got the highest ratings of anybody during a CNN debate; and FOX set the all-time record for cable television, 24 million and 23 million. OK.

Now, more importantly, most importantly from my standpoint, in the history of primaries, I, with many states left, it will be beat this weekend. I think it might already be beat, I've received more votes than any person ever to run in the Republican primary.

[07:15:14] So I have people that I'm representing. They're unbelievable people. They're loyal. They're smart; they're sharp. They're tired of being abused. They're tired of being lied to by people like Hillary Clinton, with the 3 a.m. in the morning, and then she never answered the call.

Benghazi, all of the things, all of the e-mails. It's just -- it's just a mess with her. So they're tired of it. They're tired of not having increases in their wages for a period of 18 years. Essentially making less money now in real wages than they made 18 years ago.

And we have a group of people that's great. This group of people has given me -- and it's them, it's a group. I'm like a messenger, but they've given me a number that no other president, not Ronald Reagan, nobody, has ever gotten. OK?

And by the way, we have many states left. We have California. We have New Jersey. We have many -- Washington state, where I was this weekend. I was in Oregon. I was in Nebraska. I was in West Virginia. And they haven't even been included in these numbers yet. So we're going to break it by millions and millions of votes.

So I represent a very important group of people and a powerful group of people. These people have to be treated with respect, Chris.

CUOMO: Understood, but Paul Ryan said, "I'm not ready to endorse yet." You know you have the big meeting coming. This weekend, you gave him some pause for concern. It seemed as though you were saying this weekend two things that were different from what you've said in the past: one on taxes for the wealthy, where you said you were open to taxing them more. As you know, that's against the conservatives.

TRUMP: I didn't say that, Chris.

CUOMO: Well, that's how it's being reported. Tell them.

TRUMP: NBC misrepresented, and Chuck Todd, if they put out that clip, in fact, I corrected him when he said it.

CUOMO: All right. So give us the -- what is it?

TRUMP: Listen for a second, OK. I'm going to say something.

CUOMO: Please.

TRUMP: Maybe somebody is actually listening to your show so we have actually have a --

CUOMO: There are millions watching.

TRUMP: Let me just -- let me just set it straight. I put in the biggest tax decrease of anybody running for office by far. OK? And many people think it's great. And if anything, I was criticized because it's too deep, too steep a cut, but that's OK. But I put in by far the biggest tax decrease. All right.

What I said, and that really is a proposal, because we have to go to Congress. We have to go to the Senate. We have to go to our congressmen and women. And we have to, you know, negotiate a deal. So if really is a proposal, but it's a very steep proposal. I said that I may have to increase the section. And by the way,

everybody across the board -- businesses, everybody's -- getting a tax cut, especially the middle class.

And I said that I may have to increase it on the wealthy. I'm not going to allow it to be increased on the middle class. Now, if I increase it on the wealthy, that means they're still going to be paying less than they pay now. I'm not talking about increasing from this point. I'm talking about increasing from my tax proposal.

CUOMO: Key distinction. Key distinction.

TRUMP: And Chuck Todd understood that totally. And yet, they released information like I'm looking to increase the taxes.

They will be getting a reduction, but the big reduction is going to be for business and for the middle class, because the middle class is being decimated in our country. So it was totally misrepresented just now by you, and it was misrepresented, frankly, by NBC.

CUOMO: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on.

TRUMP: And actually, Chuck Todd, when I corrected him on the show, and he put it on. And yet they go then and talk about it like I'm giving a tax increase for the wealthy. I'm not. I said they may have to pay somewhat more than my proposal.

CUOMO: I understand.

TRUMP: But my proposal is much less than people are paying right now. You understand?

CUOMO: I totally understand. But when something is reported a certain way and I ask you about it and give you the opportunity to correct it, that's not being me misrepresenting. That's giving you the opportunity you want, which is to tell the audience what you say the truth is.

TRUMP: Another one really misrepresented. I'll tell you this.

CUOMO: About the minimum wage?

TRUMP: That's the buyback of debt. I said if we can buy back government debt as a discount. In other words, if interest rates go up, and we can buy bonds back at a discount, if we are liquid enough as a country, we should do that. In other words, we can buy back debt as a discount.

People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt and -- these people are crazy. This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default, because you print the money. I hate to tell you. So there's never a default. But the point is, I was -- it was reported in the "New York Times" incorrectly.

CUOMO: You said you would go to creditors and make them pay less. TRUMP: It was reported in the "New York Times" and other places that

-- that I want to default on debt. You know, I'm the king of debt. I understand debt probably better than probably anybody. I know how to -- how to deal with debt very well. I love debt, but you know, debt is tricky and it's dangerous. And you have to be careful and you have to know what you're doing.

But let me just tell you: there's a chance to buy back debt at a discount, in other words, interest rates up, and the bonds go down.

CUOMO: Right.

TRUMP: You buy debt. That's what I'm talking about. People had it. The "Times" and others wrote, Trump wants to go and seek creditors and buy debt at a discount. Now, there could even be a time when somebody comes in, but with the government, they're never going to walk and say, "Do me a favor. Would you buy my debt at a discount?"

[07:20:17] In business that happens all the time. I bought mortgages back when the market went bad. I bought mortgages back at tremendous discounts. And I loved doing it. There's nothing like it, actually. It gives me a great thrill.

But in the United States with bonds, that won't happen, because you know, in theory the market doesn't go down so that you default on debt. And that's what happened. So here's the story, just to have it corrected.

If we have a n opportunity where interest rates go up and you can buy debt back at a discount, I always like to be able to do that, if you can do it. But that's all I was talking about. They have it like I'm going to go back to creditors --

CUOMO: Yes. That's what they're reporting.

TRUMP: -- and I'm going to restructure debt. It's ridiculous.

CUOMO: All right.

TRUMP: And they know it's ridiculous, but they print it out wrong purposely.

CUOMO: All right. So let's just be clear. Your team is saying you've got to go. I know you've have a lot of different interviews to do. It's good of you to accept these opportunities, because it's important for the people to hear these distinctions in what's reported versus what you say is on the table from you, and that's the opportunity --

TRUMP: There's so much misreporting. The press and -- unbelievably dishonest.

CUOMO: And that's why we ask you to come on. That's why we ask you to come on.

TRUMP: And they know it's -- they know it's wrong. You have a lightweight, a real, a real dope.

CUOMO: Mr. Trump, they say you have to --

TRUMP: You have a lightweight named Jennifer Ruben who spoke about I didn't speak to Rubio. Well, I have spoken to Rubio. And then she said I never spoke to Ryan. Well, I have spoken to Ryan. And either she's living in a time warp or something, if you watch her.

CUOMO: All right. There are going to be a lot of talking heads.

TRUMP: -- asking me --

CUOMO: -- saying a lot of things. What I offer you is this --

TRUMP: Some day you'll put good people on about Trump, one of these days.

CUOMO: Look, what I want is to have you on. That's why I offer you these opportunities, not to be unfair, to be fair and to give you the chance to correct what you say others get wrong, and to be tested. Thank you for being here today. Your team is saying you've got to get going. But I appreciate the time on NEW DAY. I want to talk to you, not about you. Thank you for being with us.

TRUMP: Good. Thank you.

CUOMO: Take care.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right. There's Donald Trump, saying that people have it wrong on two major issues from the weekend that you'll see in the headlines today. We're going to take you through that, and everything else that happened in our interview, right after this.


[07:26:17] CAMEROTA: All right. You just watched Chris's interview with the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. So let's get reaction.

We want to bring in David Gregory, CNN political analyst and host of "The David Gregory Show" pod cast; and CNN political director David Chalian. Gentlemen, we have a lot to talk about.

Donald Trump has given us a lot of food for thought. David Gregory, let me start with you about his tone. I mean, right from the jump from Chris' first question, Donald Trump seemed annoyed that he had to talk about what me has been talking about on the trail, about Bill Clinton's sexual past, and he said that the media is making too much of it. Go ahead.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, this is what Donald Trump does. I mean, Donald Trump is an aggressive guy. He's going to lash out against the media. It's a favorite topic for him and his supporters. No doubt -- no doubt that Chris's Twitter feed will be lit up by Trump supporters who think that he's unfair. He wasn't unfair.

In politics, things don't happen by accident. Donald Trump made a decision that he is going to target Hillary Clinton on the issue of her husband's infidelity. Period. Knows what he's doing. He, in particular, knows what he's doing. He's hitting very, very hard. He's going to be asked about it.

And he, himself, admitted to Chris this he thinks is a big deal. He's got a huge deficit with women; he's very unpopular with women, among others. He's going to have to deal with that, and he's doubling down on an attack line he knows, as an expert on the media, is going to get a lot of traction.

Two, he is a candidate who doesn't have fixed positions on issues. He himself -- this is a quote, his words -- says he's flexible. That you have to be flexible. That is scaring a lot of conservatives in the party, and it is going to invite scrutiny, whether it's taxes, whether it is trade, whether it's the issue of debt or the minimum wage. He's got to deal with that. He does a lot of interviews. He hasn't got button down language about what he's going to do.

Those are a couple of quick takes about what we heard.

CUOMO: I have no problem with him attacking me and attacking the media. I think it is what it is, and I'm fine with it. I also like the opportunity to give him a chance to clarify things. I actually think --

CAMEROTA: That's the point, right?

CUOMO: I actually think he said several things there, David, that are very important.

I think he's right about where he was on tax policy. I think that was, maybe through his own articulation, but taken the wrong way, not as he intended. That he may have to boost how much tax the upper echelons pay within his proposal but not more than they're paying right now. Fair point. Interesting point of clarification. Fair point for him to criticize the media, if, in fact that should have been more clear from the start.

Also now then on credit. This is my question to you. He did say, "I think we can get them to take less than 100 cents on the dollar." Trump is a very sophisticated guy when it comes to finance. You can look at the bankruptcies a lot of different ways. He knows how to use leverage.

Do you think that's something that's just too subtle to sell to people, and they should just avoid it, Chalian?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I think it is a tough sell, because he's talking about himself as the king of debt. How much he loves debt.

And, yes, to your point, he means in the world of business how he has mastered leverage and has been able to use it to his gain and to his success, but I think that is a very tough message to sell. Especially while you're trying to bring conservatives, who may have questions about you, on board, because it's discordant from sort of the normal orthodoxy they hear and that they support in terms of policy positions.

But, Chris, I'll tell you, in listening to you talk to him, what I think we saw today is a candidate in transition.

We all know Donald Trump is a gut instinct candidate. This is not somebody who has mapped out a general election strategy and knows what message he wants to hit every single day. He's far more instinctual than that.

But I think you see someone who is trying to make that change from -- from primary season victor to party nominee and potential president.