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Interview with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Sanders Campaign Says Nevada Democratic Party Prevented Fair & Transparent Process; Clinton Declared Winner of Kentucky Primary. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 17, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: And with Bernie Sanders supporters really felt that they were disenfranchised from the process and led to angry protests and outbursts both at Hillary Clinton supporters and at the party establishment.
Worry that this could be replicated come July. And this could actually hurt efforts for the party to unite and to heal and to go after Donald Trump.
Now, earlier, you spoke with Wolf, Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager of Bernie Sanders who said that the Nevada situation was an anomaly. Something almost an isolated incident. And we should cause most Sanders events are peaceful events.
But I've talked to a number of democratic senators and some have said that actually this is not an anomaly. They have noticed this over the -- all over the country, of course they are Hillary Clinton supporters and when they talk about promote Hillary Clinton, they get backlash from Bernie Sanders supporters.
Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire democrat told me yesterday when I had a chance to speak with her about this, she said that this is -- this has been something that she has not been experienced before.
She said, "It's been interesting to me because I've never experienced that before and I've been involved in every presidential campaign since 1976. We've had lots of people who have supported different candidates and have never seen that kind of behavior before."
She's talking about heckling, outbursts, people interrupting her while she's speaking. That is really a development that party officials and leaders who want to support Hillary Clinton, they're seizing on after the Nevada episode and hoping that this could convince Bernie to either reign in supporters or push him out of the race come June when voting ends, Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All right. Thanks very much, Manu Raju reporting for us.
Let's bring in the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Thanks very much for joining us.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), CHAIRWOMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Thanks for having me, Wolf.
BLITZER: I interview just a little while ago Bernie Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, who had some rather tough words for the Nevada State Democratic Party. Listen to what he told them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Not any kind of violence or threats, that's unacceptable, bad language, that's unacceptable. But we are not going to allow the millions of people who supported Bernie Sanders to be sort of rolled over in places like Nevada by the way, they handled that convention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The Sanders campaign says that the Nevada State party, the Democratic Party prevented a fair and transparent process, was it unfair?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, Wolf, first, let me reiterated that the Democratic National Committee remains neutral in this primary based on our rules.
But when I heard what happened at the Nevada State democratic convention this weekend. I was deeply disturbed. Regardless of any campaign or candidate's frustration over process, there should never be a bust when it comes to condemning violence and intimidation.
Violence and intimidation are never acceptable under any circumstances and what happened at that convention was unacceptable. I was not at the convention, and the Democratic National Committee didn't have anything to do with the way the meeting was run.
But the bottom line is that we've had the same rules in place, you know, that elected Barack Obama7 and these rules were adopted for state parties all across the country in 2014.
They were followed and even if the Sanders supporters were frustrated, there is never under any circumstance a place for violence and intimidation to be resorted to in response.
BLITZER: Congresswoman, the Nevada State Democratic Party said, and I'm quoting now that "the Sanders campaign staff and supporters insisted violence and chaos."
Those are pretty strong words. Does the DNC believe the Sanders campaign, that staffers actually incited violence?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, like I said, I was not there, but I do know because there was video and acknowledgment, that chairs were thrown at the stage. That violence was used. That the state party chair, Roberta Lang who has worked in the trenches to elect democrats for decades has been threatened.
Her children, her child has been, has had implied threats where people have called and said they know where her child goes to school. This is unacceptable behavior.
And the Sanders campaign and Senator Sanders himself should not only outright condemn that specific conduct, but they also need to take steps to prevent it and make sure that their supporters understand that the most important and correct way to respond to any frustration they have over process is to be civil and orderly.
Not respond with violence and intimidation. And that needs to be unequivocally condemned, and unfortunately, it has not unequivocally condemned.
BLITZER: Have you reached out directly to Bernie Sanders to talk to him about your concerns?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I have not. We have communicated through our senior staff, and that is -- I sent a statement and Senator Reid and others have spoken directly with Senator Sanders.
[22:04:59] I think it should be pretty clear to anybody that violence and intimidation is never acceptable under any circumstances and it should be condemned. And there are no if's, and's, or but's about it.
BLITZER: Why not call him, why not reach out, you're the leader of the Democratic Party, why not make a phone call to Senator Sanders and tell him exactly what you just told us?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, after I heard that Senator Reid had had -- that leader Reid had had a conversation with Senator Sanders and he publicly announced that he felt that Senator Sanders was going to respond appropriately and issue a statement, I was comfortable that, you know, one conversation was enough.
Unfortunately, the Senator's response was anything but acceptable. It certainly did not condemn his supporters for acting violently or engaging in intimidation tactics and instead added more fuel to the fire.
Like I said, you can be frustrated with the process, but in the United States of America, and especially in the Democratic Party, it is never appropriate to act in any way other than civilly and in orderly fashion. And address process concerns in a civil way.
It is never OK for violence and intimidation to be the response to that frustration. That's what happens with the Trump campaign. We can never resort to the tactics that they -- that they engage in.
BLITZER: Congresswoman, how are you going to make sure, given the anger out there, given the passion out there that you could prevent this kind of chaos from developing at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, I think that as a result of this happening this weekend, we will have conversations both at the staff level, as well as my having conversations with the candidates so that we can make sure that both campaigns are focused on making sure that we can allow this process for the duration of the primary to play out in a civil and orderly way.
And make sure that we don't do anything that is going to make it more challenging for us to unify behind our eventual nominee so we can elect a democratic president.
But it is incumbent upon all democratic leaders to make sure that they lead. That they speak out against violence and intimidation that those tactics be condemned and that instructions be given and plans made to communicate with supporters who may not always be familiar with the way the democratic process works.
Make sure they understand it, and let them know what they can expect, and what the expectations of each campaign is of their own supporters in terms of of the way they act as the remaining delegate election process takes place.
BLITZER: Congresswoman, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, a woman you know well, she thinks Bernie Sanders should drop out of the race after the voting concludes June 7th in California. Should Senator Sanders do that?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, I think Senator Sanders is right to have respect for his supporters and make sure that the remaining primaries can play out and those voters be given an opportunity to cast their ballots.
And I'm sure the campaign is going to make of this, and the Senator are going to make a decision at the end of the primary nominating contest about what their next steps are.
BLITZER: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Congresswoman, thanks for joining us.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: My pleasure, Wolf. Thank you.
BLITZER: Let's go over to Dana and David for some -- a little analysis.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wow, Wolf.
BLITZER: You know a pretty tensed situation right now. She was pretty blunt.
BASH: Very. That was a very telling interview that you just did with the head of the Democratic Party. She was talking about this statement which we showed earlier, this is the one page statement that the Sanders campaign, that Senator Sanders himself released about what happened in Nevada.
And she really condemned it. She said that it added more fuel to the fire. And basically made clear that this is unacceptable, said that Senator Sanders has to come out and speak publicly. That is the kind of thing that we did hear at least just to CNN from the democratic leader in the Senate.
I think that that's one issue that was kind of illustrated in that interview. Another, we got a window into what is going on be the party and Sanders and Clinton because the fact that she, as the party chair, didn't pick up the phone and say to Sanders which she just said to you, I think is indicative of the fact that there's been a very, very -- a lot of -- a lot of reluctance to believe that she's truly objective.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: One of the most...
She's not in the bag for Hillary Clinton and she clearly wanted Harry Reid to take the lead on this.
CHALIAN: One of the most tension-filled relationships in politics this cycle has been the relationship between the DNC and the Sanders campaign. And it's been on display. You remember the whole data breach episode back in December?
CHALIAN: It never got back on course. And so, you know, the Sanders camp has always sort of seen the DNC sort of in the pocket of the Clinton campaign.
[22:10:05] And the DNC is constantly trying to remind that they're neutral here, but there is really nothing neutral about that interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
For her to -- she's trying to police the candidate. She said that anything but acceptable with Bernie Sanders said. And the fact -- the fact that she allowed Harry Reid to take the lead is an -- it's sort of an abdication of her party leadership because you can see how frayed the relationship is. How effective would a call from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to Bernie Sanders be at this point?
BASH: Right. And I think, you know, reading between the lines doesn't really take a lot to read in between those lines. Not very effective because they haven't had a great relationship starting with the negotiations over how many debates would happen at the beginning when the Sanders campaign said that the DNC was trying to protect Hillary Clinton by not having more debates.
But, look, the fact of the matter is when you look at this statement, I know CNN has been reporting on it all day. It is true that Senator Sanders doesn't condemn the violence until half way down this page.
The whole beginning, the first two, two and a half paragraphs is talking about the importance of standing up and the imperative of, you know, fighting for against the donors and standing up against Wall Street and so on and so forth.
The kind of thing that you hear of course over and over from Sanders himself at campaigns at rallies and so forth. But it's very clear, the combination of what we just heard from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, maybe more important from the democratic leader in the Senate that he's probably going to have to say something. BLITZER: He's getting ready for a big speech. Big speech in
California, Bernie Sanders. We'll have live coverage and we'll see precisely what he says about this very sensitive issue.
Anderson, over to you.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Am I supposed to talk about this with our panel? David and Gloria.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Debbie Wasserman Schulz and Bernie Sanders probably wouldn't have a nice conversation on a good day, much less a bad day.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Even if he hadn't blocked her number.
BORGER: Right. Right to say, the 'do not call' list, right? And I, look, he has accused her of being in Hillary Clinton's camp. They have had problems with his data breach.
And as David was talking about, they don't like each other, even if she had called him, I'm not sure he would have picked up the phone, and I'm not so sure how productive that conversation would have been particularly coming from her.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this was not -- but what she just did is not productive at all.
BORGER: Right. Well...
JONES: And I'll tell you now, that just went down horribly. My phone is blowing up. Listen, she didn't have to do that. I'm going to tell you right now. She says that Bernie's adding fuel to the fire. She just added fuel to the fire.
The problem that we have right now is that there has been this concern on the part of Bernie's people that the DNC has been on Hillary's side.
JONES: That they had three debates, and they're hitting like, you know, in the Saturday at 2 a.m. because they were trying to protect Hillary Clinton.
JONES: I don't think that was wise for her to do that. I think that much -- first of all, Bernie did say, in his statement, that he's against the violence. Also, if you want to talk about violence. Only one person's been arrested, it was a Hillary Clinton supporter, Wendell Pierce arrested for assaulting a Sanders supporter.
So, if you're going to come out and you're going to talk about violence and you're the DNC chair, you have to be fair about it. I don't think she was fair. I think she actually made it worse now. We have to pull these people together, that did not happen.
COOPER: We also want to point out we're waiting here from Bernie Sanders, we expect to hear that within this hour. So, we're going to go to that.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What this says, I think, is the democratic establishment is a little panicky and they don't know what to do here.
You've got all these people on the streets, you've got people that are going to be in that -- on the floor of that convention using a process for platforms and whatever else, and they're not sure how to handle this because they are getting increasingly terrified that if they do the wrong thing, people are going to go crazy on them.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right, that's right. And it's Senator Sanders is the most important voice here. He's not inadequate, you may not like what Debbi Wasserman Schultz say, they hate her, they're angry with.
So, I don't know if she's putting any fuel on the fire. Senator Sanders needs to stand up and unequivocally and solely condemn violence and threats. This is what a leader of a movement does. She talk like Gandhi, I'll set the bar a little lower. Bob Dole, 1996...
LORD: Is that lower?
BEGALA: Senator Dole was receiving the nomination of the party and he said, "We are the party of Lincoln, and if you don't welcome everyone, if every color and every religion into our party, the exits are clearly marked."
He told the bigots to get out of his party. And it was a great moment of leadership. William F. Buckley did that back with the John Birch back in the day.
Bernie needs to do that. I think it's in his heart. He's a very - he's a terrific guy. He's got a really good heart, but you can't conflate threats of violence with we feel like we were mistreated and the rules are not fair. You have to simply say violence is always wrong.
[22:14:59] COOPER: Let's continue this discussion. We do -- I need to just take a quick break. But we'll more on this when we come back.
BLITZER: Very, very close race in Kentucky for the democratic presidential primary. Take a look at this. Our only 1,813 votes ahead, Hillary Clinton slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders, more than 420,000 votes have been counted, 99 percent of the vote is in. She's got 46.7 percent, 46.3 percent for Bernie Sanders. I want to bring in Alison Lundergan Grimes, she's Kentucky Secretary
of State, she's a Hillary Clinton supporter. Secretary, thanks very much for joining us. Obviously this is an extremely close race in Kentucky right now. Are you ready to declare a winner with 99 percent of the votes in?
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES, KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE: We are still waiting on two precincts, Wolf, that are going to be coming in from Jefferson County. We should have those results to us, we believe within the hour and importantly under Kentucky law, all official, all result totals tonight are unofficial results.
We do not certify the vote totals until the end of May, May 31st is when the unofficial totals that you're seeing here tonight, across your screen, will become official vote totals.
What we're seeing out of the two precincts that are remaining in Jefferson County, it's the northeastern corridor of Jefferson County that's remaining. Possible democratic votes outstanding, 769 votes.
[22:19:57] We do not obviously anticipate all of those possible democratic votes cast, and obviously not making right now the unofficial vote totals any impact in the outcome anticipated out of this election.
BLITZER: I know -- and as once again, I know you're a democrat, I know you're a Hillary Clinton supporter, you campaigned with her.
Secretary, I want to bring in John King, he's over at the magic wall. He's taking a look at those precincts, those counties, he's got some questions for you as well. Go ahead, John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Madame Secretary, thanks for joining us. I just want to draw, you say 18-13 is the margin right now statewide with the count, were it officially right now?
GRIMES: Unofficially, yes it is.
KING: Unofficially, I'm sorry, 18-13. So, let me stop there for a second and go -- and the only votes are two precincts here in Jefferson County, is this the northeast part of the state?
GRIMES: Yes. So you're looking at precinct 152 and precinct 156. That's 152 and 156.
KING: And the maximum number of democratic votes there are how many?
GRIMES: Possible democratic votes between, total between the two precincts, 769.
KING: And is that by registration? How do you know that number if you obviously haven't counted the votes yet?
GRIMES: Yes, it's possible by registration.
KING: All right. So, if you're looking at the vote count we have now, obviously even if Senator Sanders is behind at the moment by 1813, in that county, Secretary Clinton has been winning by a healthy margin.
But even for the sake for the hypothetical, even if he won 170 -- I'm sorry, 769 of those votes, it's obviously not enough. She would still have a lead of more than 1,000 votes if he won them all, and yet, you can't say tonight by law, you can't declare a winner tonight, is that my understanding?
GRIMES: The results tonight as you see from the Secretary of State's office all remain unofficial. I do believe though that base on what we're seeing coming that Kentucky will remain in a win column for the Clintons.
KING: A win column for the Clintons because you can see the simple math there, even if Senator Sanders got them all, Wolf, it wouldn't be enough to overcome her.
And if I could just ask one quick last question before you go back to Wolf, now what are the recount re-previsions. My understanding is you have to go to court, there's no automatic recount, is that right?
GRIMES: There is actually a re-canvassed process that folks can request. They have Tuesday, by Tuesday of next week to request that in writing on the Secretary of State's Office and what that process is. It is manually rechecking the machine to make sure that the totals as uploaded to our systems are correct.
BLITZER: Well, Secretary, so basically what I hear you saying, you can't declare an official winner, but is it fair to say you ready to declare that Hillary Clinton is the unofficial winner in Kentucky?
GRIMES: That is what it looks like right now. We have 99 percent of our precincts reporting based on the unofficial vote totals that we are seeing. Hillary Clinton will be the unofficial nominee on behalf of the Democratic Party here in the common wealth of Kentucky.
BLITZER: All right. Alison Lundergan Grimes the Secretary of State of Kentucky joining us. Thanks very much for that.
John, so her analysis basically coincides with what you're seeing actually in Jefferson County there with those precincts.
KING: Actually, what we've seen all night in Jefferson County would suggest as those final two precincts come in. She said a maximum total of 769 votes by registration. What it would suggest to us looking at the county all night long is that Secretary Clinton's lead would actually grow. Because she's been winning in Jefferson County by a very healthy margin.
But the reason we can be more sure about what this tells us tonight is even if you gave the current lead right now for Secretary Clinton is 1,813 votes. Even if you gave all 107 -- I'm sorry, 769, even if all of these votes came in, and all of them went to Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton would still lead by a 1044 votes.
Now we don't expect that to happen base on what we've seen in Jefferson County, and I'll clearly just show you in a minute. But if the current lead is 1,813 and the maximum number of votes from the remaining precincts is 769, if Senator Sanders got them all he would still trail by more than 1,000 votes.
And so, remember that 1,044 numbers as I clear this just to take us back into Jefferson County. The reason I say that's unlikely is that she has been winning county-wide by a 17-point margin consistently throughout the night.
So, it's unlikely that Senator Sanders would get all those votes. But even if he did, Wolf, as I said, just a moment ago, even if he gets them all her lead would still be 1,044 votes.
So that's about as close as it gets. It means they roughly evenly split the delegates. But what it means for Secretary Clinton and what they'll be happy for inside the Clinton campaign is we'll see how that recanvassing goes, we'll see if there are any legal challenges.
But Secretary Clinton is hoping to end the night with Kentucky, Clinton blue which will give her again an even split of the delegates. But Senator Sanders coming in to tonight needed to win 67 percent of the remaining delegates to catch her in pledged delegates, and he's not getting 67 percent out of Kentucky tonight. He's going to get a little shy of 50 percent it looks like.
BLITZER: You and I are sportsman, John. We know a win is a win, and I'm sure the Hillary Clinton campaign if in fact it holds up and she is the winner, she'll be breathing a sigh of relief as far as Kentucky is concerned.
We're standing by for Oregon right now. Polls are going to get ready to close over there at the top of the hour.
Dana and David, you heard the Secretary of State, she's a democrat, she's a Hillary Clinton supporter, campaigned with Hillary Clinton, but she says for all practical purposes, she is the unofficial winner.
[22:25:07] She is the unofficial winner. Hillary Clinton according to Alison Lundergan Grimes, she fought back it looks, if you believe that, it's a significant development for Hillary Clinton.
BASH: No question. I'm suspecting that there's going to be a lot of criticism coming from Bernie Sanders supporters, given the fact that she is the Secretary of State, but she also is an overactive Clinton supporter and she and her family have been for, I guess, now in generations.
Having said that, this is her job. And she's making it very clear that she believes it's effectively over. But a win is a win, you're right, Wolf, but it's going to continue to fuel the Bernie Sanders energy that he is going to still get a fair number of delegates. Not the number he needs for the nomination...
BASH: But still a fair number. CHALIAN: And if he does have a sizable victory in Oregon and they are
splitting these delegates evenly, he will probably net more delegates out of this evening because of how close it is in Kentucky.
But that was kind of astonishing, normally, you know, we make projections and election nights, and we don't usually get the election official to come out and see you then and declare a winner, and she gave the caveat, which is true by the way, every election we cover, these are unofficial results that the Associated Press tabulates before the Secretary of State in each of these states actually certifies it.
BASH: Which is why you say that she is the winner not an actual winner.
CHALIAN: But she has the caveat winner. But she said she doesn't expect the change in the result.
BLITZER: You heard Alison Lundergan Grimes, make a major projection right here, unofficial, but that's what she said, she's the Secretary of State of Kentucky.
There is a big announcement coming in from the Donald Trump campaign. We're going to have that for you, a whole lot more when we come back.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: All right. You heard the news right here, the Secretary of State of Kentucky, she declared the unofficial winner in Kentucky. Hillary Clinton, she says Hillary Clinton has beaten Bernie Sanders for the democratic presidential nomination in the State of Kentucky.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, she's the democratic Secretary of State, she's also a Hillary Clinton supporter, but she says Hillary Clinton, based on almost all of the votes now counted, she will be the unofficial winner right now.
This big development, Hillary Clinton wins according to the Secretary of State of Kentucky, in that state. Stopping the momentum at least a little bit for Bernie Sanders. He had been on a roll, but a win is a win as they say. And she wins even if it's very, very narrow, which it will be, it still is a win according to the Secretary of State of Kentucky.
Let's go over to David Chalian and Dana Bash. David, the delegate division in Kentucky is going to be relatively even, but it's still momentum stopping a bit for Bernie Sanders. Even as he waits for Oregon to close at the top of the hour.
CHALIAN: Right. This is the first Tuesday in the month of May that Hillary Clinton has put a W on the score board, and she really wanted to do that.
She didn't want to do a string of losses here on each success of Tuesday night before getting to the June 7th finale here. But you are right about the delegates. Take a look at how the delegates break down here.
Tonight, these are delegates allocated based on tonight's result, right now we can allocate 25 to Hillary Clinton and 25 to Bernie Sanders out of Kentucky.
Now let's take a look at delegates to date, 2,268 to 1,490, that's super delegates and pledged delegates together. So, let's break that out for everyone and take a look at just among pledged delegates, she's got just shy of a 300 pledge delegate lead, 1,747 to Bernie Sanders 1,449. And she's crushing him among those super delegates who are unbound, 521 to 41.
Look at that number, that total on Hillary Clinton side there, 2,268, remember, the magic number is 2,383. One of the things that the Clinton campaign is looking at the end of the night tonight after the Oregon results are in and she will win some delegates there too. Does she bring herself within 100 delegates? It looks like she might to that magic number of crossing the threshold?
BASH: And then, well, there's that and then there's the whole argument you hear from the Sanders campaign about super delegates. Which tonight makes those even more irrelevant. Right?
Because the pledged delegates number is still very much in her favor. The other thing I would add is that it started off the night several hours ago, talking about the fact that the Clinton campaign learned lessons from Michigan and more importantly from Indiana. Places where she did not win. They spent time here, they've been in Kentucky, they spent money there, they put advertising. And it paid off.
CHALIAN: It did indeed.
BASH: Which is important.
BLITZER: And a win is a win as we like to say. And she clearly according to the Secretary of State of Kentucky, Hillary Clinton is the unofficial winner tonight in Kentucky.
I want to the go back to John King, you've got closer look at the delegate count himself. What are you seeing, John?
KING: I just want to map this out going forward. Entering tonight, Bernie Sanders needed 67 percent of the remaining pledged delegates, there are just shy of 900 pledged delegates left entering tonight, Wolf.
Bernie Sanders needed 67 percent to catch Hillary Clinton just in pledged delegates. We'll get to super delegates in just a minute.
Well, here's what we expect just going to happen out of Kentucky tonight. David just said our CNN estimate as we go forward so far, I'm going to be just slightly more aggressive here and say about we're done, it's going to look something like this. Now Secretary Clinton could get a bit more of an advantage here. But let's say for the sake of argument they essentially split them. She gets one more under this scenario of the 60 delegates. Well, it's just simple math at home.
[22:34:57] Senator Sanders needed 67 percent coming in. That's less than 50. And so that means his hill gets steeper as we move on to the remaining contest. We have every expectation Senator Sanders will win out in Oregon tonight. He's done very well out in the west in the Pacific Northwest.
Under this scenario, we're giving it to him 60/140. Maybe he'll win bugger than that. Again, he needed 67 coming in to the night. If he gets 60/40, it will look something like this and will update this if the results come in later and show him bigger than that.
If something like that happens, he ends up here, and this is the challenge for Senator Sanders. Absolutely without a doubt, he has the money to stay in the race. Absolutely without a doubt, he said he would stay in the race, but after tonight, nine contests left on the democratic side, Wolf.
If Senator Sanders won them all, if he won them all, he wouldn't get there, and so inside the Sanders campaign the Kentucky results tonight means his hill gets steeper going forward and we'll see what Oregon does to that map as we go on.
BLITZER: We certainly will. John, stand by. The Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes tell CNN Hillary Clinton is the unofficial winner in Kentucky. We're going to have much more on this coming in. Oregon, the results, the polls close in 25 minutes, 24 minutes in Oregon. We'll have live coverage. We'll see if we can make a projection right at the top of the hour. We'll be right back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: All right. Less than 20 minutes now until the polls close in Oregon the democratic primary. We're watching that very closely.
You just saw it live here on CNN in Kentucky, the Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN the unofficial winner in Kentucky narrowly is Hillary Clinton. You have hears her make that announcement, the unofficial winner.
Let's take a look at the actual votes in Kentucky right now. Ninety nine percent of the votes in, look at how close it is between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, 46.7 percent for Hillary Clinton, 46.3 percent for Bernie Sanders, so more than 420,000 votes counted.
She is ahead by 1,813 votes. But that's enough for the Secretary of State of Kentucky to say that she is the winner. The unofficial winner in the State of Kentucky. An important win, very important win for Hillary Clinton. A lot of her supporters, a lot of her staff feared she could lose in Kentucky as she lost last week in West Virginia to Bernie Sanders.
But she is at least right now, according to Secretary of State, the unofficial winner in Kentucky.
I want to take a look on -- let's go on the Donald Trump campaign right now. Jim Acosta is covering that for us. There's a dramatic announcement that just came in a few moments ago. Jim, update our viewers.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's right, Wolf, the Trump campaign is doing everything possible to stay in the conversation on what is normally a quiet night for the Trump campaign, even though it's not so quiet for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Early this evening announcing that personal financial disclosure form had been filed with FEC. Now the Trump campaign is announcing along with the RNC, that it is basically come together and agreed on these joint fundraising agreements that will allow Donald Trump to start raising money not for himself, but for other republican candidates across the county.
Now Donald Trump did put out a statement along with his announcements saying, "By working together with the RNC to raise support for republicans everywhere, we are going to defeat Hillary Clinton, keep republican majorities in Congress, and in the States and make America great again."
Wolf, the reason why that quote is interesting, is because obviously there are concerns inside the Republican Party about this down ballot affect that Donald Trump may have.
Now, of course, if you're in a safe red state, safe red district as a republican lawmaker, up for reelection. You feel , coming into your state, to raise money for your campaign. But there are some in danger purple state senators, people like Pat Toomey, who talked about the republican Senator in Pennsylvania who may not be willing to embrace and welcome this news with open arms.
But wolf, this is just another example, and perhaps the biggest, biggest example so far since the end of the primaries essentially in earnest for Donald Trump that this is Donald Trump's Republican Party now. That is one big message coming from this announcement tonight from the RNC and the Trump campaign, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. Sort of a joint announcement, Donald Trump, and Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Jim Acosta, thanks very much. Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Yes. Wolf, we are waiting to hear from Senator Sanders in California. Thousands of people gathered to hear the Senator whose flying in from Puerto Rico, I believe it was. We expect that probably by the top of the hour. We expect to hear from Senator Sanders, we'll bring you his comments.
It's interesting, though, why wouldn't candidate -- why wouldn't Hillary Clinton try to speak tonight to -- I mean, there's an audience watching. There's people who are clearly interested in politics, why wouldn't she make a speech tonight? Donald Trump very wisely was in Megyn Kelly's Fox broadcast. So, his
voice was out there tonight. He's been also tweeting about that broadcast, why not have Hillary Clinton come out to speak?
AXELROD: I think Jeff Zeleny spoke to it earlier, I think that this was their way of saying, these are sort of beside the point events because Hillary Clinton already has virtually clenched this nomination. And I think not knowing exactly how they were all -- their votes were going to turn out. I don't think she wanted to assign more importance to them than she felt should be assigned to them.
BORGER: Right. You know, they feel they've got the nomination. And that these are just -- if she losses one and wins one tonight, or whatever, these are bumps along the road. And that she will, you know, get to Philly and she will be the nominee. And you know I give Bernie...
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: He did more credit than they want.
COOPER: Interesting to me though, I mean, again, Ford, she's going to be running as soon as she's the nominee, she's going to run against Donald Trump. On the day, I think it was two weeks ago, I think it was on a Wednesday. The day after Indiana.
She, you know, I spoke to her for maybe 10 or 13 minutes. Donald Trump -- and that was the only interview she did that day. Donald Trump I think did like six or seven interviews that day.
HENDERSON: Yes. I mean, Donald Trump dominate the news by showing up, right. In calling in, I think he called in to our controlled room this week and he's in the news every single day. He's getting interviews and you do wonder if Hillary Clinton is going to are to take some cues from him and really start to get out there more.
There are all sorts of instances in her campaign. In the beginning where they, you know, felt like they weren't going to do much press and then they started to, you know, say they were, you know, make nice with the press and do more interviews.
[22:45:02] I don't think we've seen it yet in a sort of consistent engagement with the press, and I think she's going to have to do that.
COOPER: Hillary Clinton, by the way, just put out a tweet saying that she's won in Kentucky, I believe I was just told.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's interesting that Donald Trump made the announcement that he -- I don't remember in any previous cycle that it necessitated an announcement that the candidate who's the presumptive nominee has decided that he will fundraise with the party, but I think there's a twofold purpose.
One, it brings around the Paul Ryan's and gives them cover because now he's on their team, raising money for their campaigns, but more importantly, it gives Donald Trump cover from what you were talking about earlier, from having backed away from the self-finance. Now what he's doing, well, he's out there raising money for the entire party.
AXELROD: So, here's my question. Before of the conversation we're having before, why did he dump that announcement at 10.45 on a Tuesday night when there was all kinds of other news going on? And I think the answer is that it does pose the problem that was being discussed before.
Here's a guy who at every event and you saw the video of boast of the fact that he was self-funding who's not a self-funder anymore. And it does create a little distance that he's going to...
LORD: He did say this the other day that I'll read you the quote, "I'll be putting up money that won't be completely self-funding." And he's going to work with the party.
That the self-funding thing was in the primary, and now, I mean, look, if you want to be president of the United States in this country you've got to win a party nomination. And then you were the head, particular head as the phrase goes of the party.
I assure you, if he wins the election, he's not going to be living with the new Trump building there. The old post office, he's going to live in the White House in taxpayer's funded money.
COOPER: Let's take a quick break. More as we wait for Bernie Sanders to speak in California.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Just nine minutes from now, primary voting ends in the State of Oregon. We're standing by for a huge release of results from battling that's been going on in Oregon for weeks. The focus of the democratic presidential race still unfolding.
We'll watch that closely. Bernie Sanders is hoping to score a new win over Hillary Clinton in Oregon and after his narrow loss today in Kentucky. Oregon is the kind of liberal mostly white state where Bernie Sanders has done well.
Sixty one democratic delegates are on the line in Oregon. They're split proportionately. So, a win for Bernie Sanders wouldn't substantially narrow his gap with Hillary Clinton in the overall delegate race.
There's also a republican primary going on in Oregon as you'd expect the presumptive republican nominee Donald Trump discounting on adding Oregon to his win column tonight. He has no other opposition.
Let's bring in CNN's Jeff Zeleny. He's covering the democratic race. He's in California right now where Bernie Sanders is getting ready to speak before a huge crowd over there. You got new information, Jeff, update our viewers. JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I do, Wolf. Senator
Sanders has been watching this unfold, these results in Kentucky. And I am told that his campaign has no intention of contesting these results of requesting a recount. Which they probably could under a Kentucky law because this is so narrow.
I am told that Senator Sanders in his speech tonight is likely to acknowledge that he narrowly lost the State of Kentucky and then he will look forward to Oregon. That's the state of course that they believe they can win.
But again, from the Sanders campaign, they are having no plans of requesting a recount or requesting these results and all they say, so far in the numbers, they do not believe that anything that they see is unusual, it was a hard fought battle, and they split the delegates.
Now we do see just a brief comment from the Clinton campaign a second ago, she said this, she said "We just won Kentucky. Thanks everyone who turned out. We're always stronger united." But, Wolf, that is going to be the only response from the Clinton campaign, of course Hillary Clinton is not speaking tonight.
They're trying not to dwell too much on these primaries here, but a keyword there, "we're always stronger united." That is a message to those Bernie Sanders supporters to come on board with her and get on to this fall campaign here against Donald Trump.
But wolf, Bernie Sanders will be coming to speak here just a sort, a few short minutes. And of course he is going to say he's continuing through California, the primary here on June 7th. Wolf?
BLITZER: Yes, what is so impressive is the huge crowd that he attracts, especially all the young people who want to go out and listen to him. We'll have live coverage of that coming up.
I want to go over to Dana and David right now. There's a lot of friction going on, Dana, right now within the Democratic Party. Forget about the republicans for the time being.
BASH: There is a lot of friction, but this is one particular contest, one particular night where that friction is going to be set aside because Jeff just reported that the Sanders campaign is not going to be asking for the Kentucky Secretary of State to re-canvass or regular for a recount. It's over. Kentucky is over. Hillary Clinton won.
CHALIAN: That's right. We had the Secretary of State declare it, we had Hillary Clinton accept victory, and now we have Sanders basically conceiving the fact that there's no recount.
CHALIAN: So, yes. You can put the W in the Clinton column. I'm not sure that that victory alone is going to all of a sudden help bring the party together. I can tell you just observing on Twitter as we were reporting the delegate totals and saying that Clinton is getting close to that 2383. You know, the Sanders folks immediately, supporters of his just said
you can't count super delegates, you can sense that friction is still very present just discussing the very notion of the delegate math which again, is very much in her favor.
It's nearly insurmountable and those super delegates, this is our reporting. We've contacted them.
CHALIAN: We've spoken to them. And they have told us of their allegiance to Secretary Clinton. So, the way the DNC rules work, those votes count towards the nomination.
BLITZER: Like the Bernie Sanders people say they can change their minds.
[22:55:00] CHALIAN: They can. They're right about that. They can change their mind if there was some big intervening event, perhaps that would happen. But as Dana was saying before, Kentucky, he just -- Bernie Sanders just got robbed of one of his best talking points to be able to convince super delegates to start coming his way.
BASH: To say he's got the roll. Right. There's no question. And never mind super delegates, she's still, you know, doing quite well comparatively. Among the pledged delegates.
CHALIAN: That a bigger lead than Barack Obama ever had over her.
BASH: No question.
BLITZER: She got almost 300 delegates in pledge delegates.
BASH: No question, which is why looking forward to at the end of day, June 7th, Pacific Time, when everything is over. Assuming that she does go over the top. She does get the magic number. It is going to be up to Bernie Sanders as the leader of this movement that he helped kind of harness and fuel.
It's going to be up to him to say to all of them, OK, now it's time to get behind Hillary Clinton. Just as she did with Barack Obama eight years ago.
BLITZER: Going to protect your fellow District of Columbia residents. After California a week later is Washington, D.C.
BASH: I'm just saying that...
CHALIAN: Dana for Hillary very disappointed.
BASH: I'm a D.C. resident, although, you know, I'm an independent. I will tell you that that's true. But, you think that you're going to go over the top before that if all of the numbers add up to where we think it's going to be.
BLITZER: And if that happens we'll see what Bernie Sanders...
BASH: I love my home city of D.C., but I don't know that it's going to matter.
BLITZER: Yes. June 14th, District of Columbia primary, the week before California. June 7th.
Let's go over to John King. He's at the magic wall.
KING: Now, Wolf, I just want to reiterate what you're hearing, I would add to it this. Bernie Sanders as he won super delegates to change their mind. I can tell you talking to democrats in D.C. today. Yes, they're establishment democrats. Yes, Sanders supporters may not like them, and yes, Sanders supporters may not agree with the characterizations from the establishment.
What happened in Nevada in recent days has reinforce the belief among democratic establishment to not go with Bernie Sanders. But let's just do the math at the moment and play this out. Here's where we are right now.
We've signed most of the 60 delegates from the State of Kentucky tonight or even split so far. Some delegates still to assign. And here's the problem for Senator Sanders, it's difficult math. This was coming into tonight. Coming into tonight in the 60 delegates in Kentucky, will come off the board from this number.
But Senator Sanders needed 67 percent of the remaining pledged delegates, just pledged delegates talking right now tonight to catch up to Secretary Clinton and beat her by one if he got 67 percent.
Well, obviously he's getting a little less than 50 percent in the State of Kentucky tonight. We'll see how he does in Oregon tonight. But it just reinforces the hill is now steeper because of what happened in the State of Kentucky.
A very close race, competitive race for Senator Sanders, but it makes his math harder because he did not get 67 percent out of the State of Kentucky. And so you just think forward, if he can't get 67 percent of Kentucky. Can he get 67 percent or more now? It's probably closer to 70 percent out of New Jersey?
Can he get 67 percent out of a State with a heavy Latino population like New Mexico? Can he get 67 or 70 percent out of the State of California? That is the math going forward, this makes this so hard.
So as we look, first the next challenge tonight is Oregon where let's say, 74 delegates at play there. This scenario here gives it to Senator Sanders at a 6040 rate. He obviously needs to do better than that especially after Kentucky tonight. So we'll see if he does.
If it ends up 60/40, he'd get a 13 gain after losing a few in Kentucky that would do about this. But, Wolf, here's how the Clinton campaign expects this to end. They expect roughly a split from here on out. She got Kentucky tonight, they expect to win Mew Jersey.
Now they think, the Clinton campaign thinks they can win California. But let's switch it. Let's switch it. But if Bernie Sanders wins California by 10 points, 55-45, it's still not enough. Let's say Senator Sanders can surprise Secretary Clinton in the State of New Jersey.
Now there is no question if she lost these two states, no question at all if she lost those states, lot of democrats would say, who, is Secretary Clinton weak, wow, where did Senator Sanders get this momentum? but even if that happened, Clinton campaign would say that's unlikely 55-45, still leads her here.
And again, Sanders supporters don't like this. David Chalian was just talking about it. But at the moment, and we check with these people all the time, yes, it is quite possible Hillary Clinton ends up at the end of this path shy of the pledged delegates she needs to win the nomination.
Shy of the pledged delegates she needs, but at the moment, as we speak tonight, 521 super delegates who have publicly committed and we've checked it back with them to Secretary Clinton, only 41 percent for Senator Sanders, they get both at the convention.
Those are the rules. No, you don't count them now, but if they stay in this camp, wolf, she's over the top by a wide margin unless Senator Sanders does something shocking, which is starting to win by 70 percent or more going forward.
BLITZER: John, we're standing by to hear from Senator Sanders. He's got a big rally in California. We're going to hear precisely what he has to say at all of this. We'll have live coverage of Senator Sanders getting ready in California.
He's being introduced over there right now. A big, big crowd in California, June 7th, the primary there.
[23:00:05] Right now, the polls have closed in Oregon, let's get a key race alert.