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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Protesters Light Fires, Throw Rocks Outside Trump Rally; On the Relationship of Donald Trump and Susana Martinez. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired May 24, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Trump is confident he'll win most, if not all of the 44 delegates at stake in Washington State. Right now, he needs 48 delegates. He's 48 delegates short of the 1,237 he needs to officially win the nomination. So by the end of the night, he'll be very, very close to officially clinching he is the presumptive Republican nominee.
Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the contest that counts for the Democrats in Washington State caucuses that were held back in March.
Right now, I want to go back to Albuquerque, New Mexico. That's where Dan Simon is outside the convention center, where Donald Trump just wrapped up his speech.
Still protesters outside, Dan, what's the latest?
All right, Dan, you're having trouble hearing me? I can see you're having trouble hearing me. But I can just explain to the viewers that there were anti-Trump protesters there --
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have set up these barricades that have come down. They're trying to restore order. It's not quite what it was a few minutes ago, unfortunately, but still a sizable amount of protesters out here.
Obviously, you had a significant number of them, who wanted to cause some problems. They came here to have a confrontation with police. They were throwing rocks, throwing bottles at police officers.
We have to say, showed remarkable restraint in dealing with these protesters.
To be perfectly honest, I haven't seen a single person arrested all night. We haven't seen anybody hurt. But things still remain tense here, even though this rally has been over for quite some time. Still several people here at the scene.
I can't hear you, Wolf. So I'll toss it back to you.
BLITZER: All right, Dan, stand by. We're going to get back to you.
Dan Simon, outside the convention center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That's where Donald Trump spoke inside. He had a huge crowd inside.
There were some protesters, a few, inside, but obviously, a lot more outside.
Jake, we're going to continue to monitor this situation.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, thanks, Wolf.
Let's talk about what we just saw with our panel here.
And first of all, Jeffrey Lord, we've seen these kinds of protests before in Chicago and elsewhere.
What do you think, if any, is the political effect of seeing these anti-Trump protesters throwing things at police?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It helps Donald Trump, without question. I mean, as the Chicago Democratic Convention helped Richard Nixon. What it does is it presents a picture of chaos. And these are folks, I mean, I keep saying this and I know there are doubters when I say this, but this kind of thing is in the DNA of the left wing. Whether it's occupy Wall Street, whether it was Vietnam.
I mean, you can go back through any number of different things. This is what happens. And the sad thing is, you can't control this. I mean, I can see this with all due respect to the mayor. I can see this kind of thing erupting in Philadelphia, where Donald Trump will be nowhere in evidence of the Democratic convention.
It's not going to be everybody, but all you need is, like tonight, is a handful of people that are determined to do things. Smash windows in Seattle because of occupy Wall Street, et cetera. That's the problem. And it's always been the problem and it's a problem tonight.
TAPPER: Mr. Mayor?
MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, but there's no way in the world that Donald Trump can just escape any level of responsibility, whether they're, you know, in the convention, outside the convention, in the city, or not.
And so as a former mayor, first of all, you know, my heart certainly goes out to Mayor Jackson in Cleveland and in our own hometown. But, you know, he needs to say something about this and also recognize that his heated rhetoric, his divisiveness, the hate at times that he ferments by his own statements and comments generates this kind of activity.
And if you're running for president of the United States of America, just show a little more dignity in how you conduct yourself in this kind of contest. No city. Not Cleveland, not Philadelphia. No one should be faced with this kind of insanity going on. There were protests inside and outside. And certainly, we should all be concerned about what happens with these conventions or for the rest of this contest, wherever it is.
LORD: But where, mayor -- where was Donald Trump when occupy Wall Street went on a rampage in Seattle and smashed windows? Where was Donald -- Donald Trump was just getting out of grad school at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 when they went on a rampage in Chicago over Vietnam.
NUTTER: I don't --
LORD: Well, my point is he wasn't there. He had nothing to do it.
NUTTER: OK. But we're talking about right now.
LORD: What I'm saying is it's the same kind of folks who do this over and over and over again. They shift causes. They shift the blame, so-and-so made me do it.
LORD: It's always different.
NUTTER: So he shouldn't say anything -- he has no responsibility for anything out of his mouth and what he says and the kind of nastiness he has that generated in the course of this campaign. The same things were going on in his own rallies earlier this season. We saw that.
LORD: They went on at the Nevada Democratic Convention --
NUTTER: Nothing like anything we've ever seen at the Trump event, or Trump-related event. Come on now.
LORD: Look, look, look, all I can say is we've seen this before, we've seen this long before Donald Trump came on the scene. We're going to see it again.
[23:05:07] NUTTER: We haven't seen anything like that in recent times.
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: All right. I'm not keeping track of everything, but I've been keeping pretty good track of this 2016 primary. The only place where any violence in anybody's rallies, not Bernie's rallies, not Hillary's rallies, not Martin O'Malley, not John Kasich, nobody else but Donald Trump.
So, Jeffrey, there are some connection between the heat, between his language, and between what shows up either inside or outside of these rally that Donald Trump has to take responsibility for.
TAPPER: Let me ask S.E. what --
(CROSSTALK) NUTTER: His own rally, he was inciting the whole illegal immigrant.
TAPPER: S.E. is not a supporter of Donald Trump, and I'm wondering what, but she is a conservative. And I'm wondering what your impression is of this.
Do you think scenes like this help Donald Trump in some way?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Unfortunately, yes. I think he can use them to say, look, people are angry. Some people are angry with me. But people are angry and they need a vessel. And this is exactly what I'm talking about. These issues need to be solved.
I think it's important that he take responsibility for his language at his own rallies, saying he wishes he could punch someone.
There's a choice that a leader makes. Do you prey on fear and anger, or do you help to quell it? And he has made the calculation that he will foment and stoke fear and anger. And there's a consequence to that.
Bernie Sanders, I think, has made the same calculation. Now, he's playing footsie with fear and anger, while Donald Trump is, you know, outright engaging with it. But I think Bernie Sanders is facing a similar, but to a much lesser degree reality that some of the language he is using could result in a revolution, getting a little bit out of control.
TAPPER: One second, hold the phone right now, because I actually want to go to the phone.
And Jim Acosta, our correspondent who is covering Donald Trump is inside the Albuquerque venue and has some reporting for us about the response inside to the disturbance that we've been seeing images of for the last few minutes.
Jim Acosta, can you hear me?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, Jake, I can hear you right now. I can tell you that right now we are in the (INAUDIBLE) area at the convention center where Donald Trump just wrapped up his rally a few moments ago.
We should point out, Donald Trump has already left. So that part of the equation is sort of out of the way. But what I'm looking at right now is the main entrance to this convention center here in Albuquerque. One of the glass doors here is smashed. There are barricades in front of these entrances.
One is standing on its end, to sort of keep that glass door from being used. And just a few moments ago, as his rally was clearing out, Jake, you saw the bulk of this crowd being diverted to other exits, because they did not use this exit here. And the exit, it's very dark. But just outside these glass doors, there are riot police on horseback. I'm seeing six, seven riot police officers on horseback. And then on the other side of the street from the convention center, there's a good several hundred protesters gathered outside the convention center.
We're not seeing any sort of violence taking place at this point. But earlier this evening, obviously things got very serious outside of this convention center. There were people trying to get past the barricades, trying to break through the front doors of this convention center, and that's why you're seeing what we're seeing now.
Dan Simon was saying earlier, the protests that were taking place inside the rally as well as the protests taking place outside this rally are predominantly about Trump's immigration rhetoric.
Time and again, we were seeing protesters during Donald Trump's remarks that were demonstrating against his rhetoric on immigration. This has been a, a very big issue here in New Mexico.
The governor of New Mexico, Republican Susana Martinez, she is not even here tonight because she's very upset with Donald Trump, and what he's had to say about immigration.
But at this point, we can tell you that police are starting to get the situation under control. For a few moments, I can tell you that we were not allowed to leave this convention center.
As a matter of fact, we're sort of being held up right now. Some of us are heading out at different exits. But in terms of this exit, these main exit doors to the convention center, they're not being used right now. They are shut off right now.
TAPPER: All right. Well, there are few things I want to ask you about, Jim.
First of all, let me just read from some messages from the Albuquerque police sent on social media. One, they said the Albuquerque police reporting that supporters threw bottles and rocks at police forces.
They also try to clarify a point that there is no confirmation, the police say, that any gunshots have been fired contrary to reports.
TAPPER: Although there may be damage to a convention center window by pellet gun. And then, lastly, the police say that the smoke that we see on the screen is not tear gas, it's just smoke. They have not deployed tear gas at this time.
[23:10:10] ACOSTA: You know, Jake, I can understand why there might be, you know, various reports in terms of what's happening. As you know, you've been covering this for several months now and these outbursts flare up at Donald Trump rallies from time to time.
I remember back in Chicago earlier this year. There were, you know, different reports in terms of what was happening at any given moment. It's not surprising that there would be additional local media reports of that sort of thing going on, but we have not been told anything confirmed, Jake, that gunshots were fired, that pellets were fired, that tear gas was used at any point while police were trying to get this situation under control.
I can tell you only what I'm seeing with my own eyes and that is the main entrance to this convention center is barricaded off. There are riot police officers on horseback outside trying to get a hold on this situation.
And I'm seeing police officers sort of, in front of the demonstrators at this point. It looks like they're trying to get people to disperse here, but largely from what I can see inside the convention center looking out, these demonstrators are largely -- they look largely peaceful at this point.
I can't assess what was happening 54 minutes ago, but it looks like it may be calming down here in Albuquerque.
TAPPER: All right, Jim Acosta, continue to keep us updated.
Mayor Nutter, you're eager to say something?
NUTTER: I want to come back to S.E.'s point. One, she's absolutely correct with regards to Senator Sanders' language. And he needs to be, I think, very mindful of how that language can incite people.
Secondly, this new now, direct attack against Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, which continues then to inspire his supporters. Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been strong. She's been fair. She's trying to work with, you know, a wide open Democratic Party.
Has served not only the party and her constituents very, very well. With every respect, Senator Sanders has been a Democrat for about five minutes. This is like someone who comes to your house, says they don't like the food, your T.V. is too small, and they're not particularly thrilled with what your kitchen looks like. And then walks out complaining.
She's been leading the party. He just became a Democrat. And now suddenly believes that he should be in charge. He should be able to run the whole show. When she came in, the party was in deficit. She's had a strong, fair process.
NUTTER: She's worked with the various candidates, unlike, no disrespect, on the Republican side, their chairman with three people running declared that one was already the nominee.
She has never said to the senator to get out of the race. So it's a whole lot of nonsense and she should not be used as a sacrificial -- (CROSSTALK)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill, let me --
NUTTER: I'm talking right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just one second --
NUTTER: A sacrificial table for people who just want to complain.
TAPPER: I do want to continue to talk about what we're seeing in Albuquerque this evening. Because Mayor Nutter has suggested that what Bernie Sanders has done, quoting S.E., is playing footsie with the kind of violence that we now see this evening in Albuquerque.
CUPP: I said rhetoric, not violence, by the way.
TAPPER: Rhetoric, violent rhetoric, yes.
CUPP: Playing footsie with that rhetoric.
TAPPER: Footsie with the rhetoric.
Yes. Thank you.
Let me just say, first of all, that Hillary Clinton, a couple of nights ago, at a speech, went out of her way to say how, what a positive impact Bernie Sanders has had on this campaign and how much she looked forward to working with him.
PRESS: The next day, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came together in announcement of a platform committee in Philadelphia. And all of that is on the way to party unity.
And then you have, unfortunately, some Clinton supporters who continue to accuse Bernie Sanders of hateful rhetoric, and disrupting the party, and attacking the Democratic chair and everything.
I wish all the Clinton supporters would get behind Hillary Clinton in moving toward party unity, Number one.
Number two, I think it is just outrageous beyond belief to compare Bernie Sanders with Donald Trump.
This is a guy who said he wants to ban all Muslims from the United States. This is a guy who says he wants to deport 12 million people. This is a guy at these rallies who said, I wish I could punch somebody up. That's the way we used to do. We used to punch them out and then drag them out. Bernie Sanders is saying, you know what, I really think we've got to open the Democratic Party. I think we got to -- reflect more of the middle class. I think we have to open and bring people into the party and give them a chance to participate and really show what we stand for. That's very, very positive. That is not urging violence in any way, whatsoever.
You cannot equate the pacifist from Vermont with the hate monger from Brooklyn.
TAPPER: I don't think -- but let me ask you a question.
NUTTER: I think it was the kind of language. I would never compare Senator Sanders --
TAPPER: But Mayor Nutter, let me -- are you worried -- Mayor Nutter, are you worried about seeing this, the kind of images we're seeing in and out of Albuquerque this evening, anti-Trump protesters, protesting the presence of Donald Trump in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
[23:15:00] Are you worried about seeing those kinds of images in Philadelphia at the Democratic convention?
NUTTER: Of course, I would be concerned about any of that kind of --
TAPPER: No, no, but specifically, are you suggesting that Bernie Sanders' supporters might do this.
NUTTER: Donald Trump won't be in Philadelphia. That's a great thing.
We do not expect under any set of circumstances to see that kind of activity in the city of Philadelphia. There will be robust debates.
The city was created out of debate. We believe in debate, but you have to, you know, kind of maintain a certain sense of who you are and how you act, and so there is a line that people should not go across.
I think the issue with the Senator most recently is, he's in a campaign with Secretary Clinton. Now he's attacking Debbie Wasserman- Schultz. Then he endorsed her opponent.
This is a very unusual situation that a presidential candidate jumps in a congressional race of the chair of the party before the convention. Because apparently, the senator has now determined that he is the last honest, true person in politics, that he will now decide who the progressives are.
And if you don't agree with his platform, because some of his folks have now created a brand new Congress...
PRESS: I have to say --
NUTTER: If you don't agree with his platform, we will take you out in primary.
PRESS: I have to say --
CUPP: I think the interesting thing that our David Chalian has been saying is that sometimes when you ask for a revolution, you get one. And when your campaign is predicated on "the system is rigged," I think you have to be very -- whether you're Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, and that might be true.
I think you have to be very careful with where you are leading your people. In Bernie's case, he's not leading them to the presidency. And that's fine. He's leading them somewhere else, I'm not sure where, because he's not going to become the nominee for the Democratic Party and he's not going to become the party.
So he has to know where this car is driving. I'm not sure that he fully understands -- he might be responsible for it, but I'm not sure he fully understands just how angry it is making people when he is telling them, constantly, the system is rigged against you.
Donald Trump has the same problem. The difference is, he's playing right to it.
PRESS: I think Bernie --
NUTTER: Except when he wins. Then everything's all right.
PRESS: Please, please. I think he very much understands where he's driving the car, if you will. He wants a party that is much more open, that is back to its roots, that reflects the working class and middle class Americans, and he believes, as I believe, that the Democratic Party today does not, it's lost, it's lost --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where has he been?
PRESS: Pardon me, that it's lost its way.
But, you know, Bernie is in no way -- I keep coming back to this. You know, inciting violence. He just wants to get them involved in politics.
That's why 86 percent of young people support him. They're not out there throwing rocks. They're not out there burning buildings. They're involved in the political process. They're voting. This is good for the party.
TAPPER: Let me bring some of the people at this table, you know, in this conversation.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, look, we started this question a long time ago. What does Bernie want? And I don't think we know and I'm not sure he knows. Because if you talk to people in his campaign, you sometimes get conflicting accounts of where they're headed here.
But it was on Sunday in an interview with you, where he first publicly said this about Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz's opponent.
Now it is extraordinary, as the mayor says, when a presidential candidate, a serious challenger to the frontrunner to get involved in that. And so the question is if you're, a Democrat, your question is, well, we just went through this in 2010 and 2014.
This is a big cause of the Republican civil war. It's the tea party, where you have insurgents saying, challenge establish politicians in the primaries.
Is this a one-off, Bernie Sanders just has grievances with Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, or is Bernie Sanders telling his supporters, go out and find other established Democrats you don't like and let's have a tea party in the Democratic Party.
That's the question Democrats are --
TAPPER: A coffee party, a latte party, if you will.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. A latte party. And I think a fear for some Democrats I talk to is this sense among some Sanders supporters that is currently based on some of Sanders' arguments himself, that somehow, if and when Hillary Clinton wins of the nomination, that in some ways, it's the result of a rigged system.
And in that way, it's sort of illegitimate. I think that kind of, sort of framing will be much harder to kind of reverse for some these Sanders supporters.
NUTTER: It's the same system that elected Barack Obama.
TAPPER: I've been ignoring this poor table.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Where to start? Where to start? Where to start?
Let's start with this first. Bernie sanders, I spent a lot of time talking to both of these campaigns, as many of us do.
Bernie sanders has felt aggrieved from the DNC -- mayor, he has. He has felt aggrieved from the DNC, whether it's right or wrong, since day one.
NUTTER: Based on what?
PRESTON: He feels that the DNC didn't protect himself in Iowa, when a race was called while they were in the air from Iowa into New Hampshire. That's one.
TAPPER: He feels that way, as a dispute. He feels that way.
PRESTON: (INAUDIBLE), to Bill's point, is that we haven't seen violence yet from the Bernie Sanders folks. They're angry, we call it a revolution. It's a nice political word we use, but they're not throwing bottles and throwing rocks.
I do think we have to say one thing about what we're seeing on television right, OK?
Donald Trump should be responsible for the violence that he incites among his supporters. Right now what we're seeing out there is not his supporters and they're throwing rocks and they're attacking police officers who are only trying to keep the peace.
That is -- while it may be democracy, it is messy democracy and it's actually wrong democracy, quite frankly.
And anyone who says anything else is just bluster at this point. So I do think that we have to look at what's going out there and wondering what those folks are hoping to accomplish, because all they're accomplishing right now is hurting police officers on the street.
TAPPER: I have to go to Wolf Blitzer right now.
BLITZER: All right, no great surprise, but Donald Trump has won. Take a look at this. He's won the Washington State Republican primary. Didn't have any opposition. He's got almost 80 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz and John Kasich, each about 10 percent. Their names were still on the ballot.
Once again, no surprise. He's getting closer and closer to getting that official number 1,237. That's the number he needs to get the nomination. He's well on the way, almost there right now. We're going to update you on much more of that.
And update you also on what's going on the streets of Albuquerque. Take a look at these live pictures coming in right now. These are anti-Trump protesters there outside the convention hall, where he just wrapped up.
BLITZER: Let's go back to the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, outside the convention hall. Right now, Jim Acosta is there.
Jim, what's the latest? Because we saw those anti-Donald Trump protesters on the streets, grabbing barricades, throwing rocks. What's the latest?
[23:25:00] ACOSTA: Wolf, I can tell you right now that it looks like the Albuquerque Police Department is starting to get a handle on this situation. You could look behind me just to see what they've done.
In the last several minutes, I'm seeing dozens of police officers behind me. They have moved those bike racks or barricades up against the crowd, sort of pushing them away from the convention center. And now those protesters, which we saw in the hundreds at one point, they're sort of down to maybe 50 to 100, maybe even less than that right now.
So nothing like what we saw earlier tonight, where you saw people possibly hurling rocks, breaking through the barricades, going up against the glass doors of this convention center.
I'm standing next to a couple of people who witnessed some of this earlier this evening.
I'm just curious, man. You said you saw a car burning or you saw some fires being lit out here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, just cutting fires out there with the Donald Trump signs.
ACOSTA: They were lighting Donald Trump signs on fire?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And dropping them all over the road. He had to put several fires out and stomp on them.
ACOSTA: And what happened, sir. You saw this happening and you jumped in to put out the fires?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's what I did. I just jumped in and put them out. And they were screaming on obscenities at me and just being obnoxious. That's about --
ACOSTA: Did it feel like things were getting out of control out here for a little while? This doesn't happen very much in Albuquerque?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, this happens all the time in Albuquerque. Albuquerquians love to protest.
ACOSTA: But, I mean, what was it like when you saw this unfolding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we walked out, we were confronted and ambushed by six people in masks asking us if we were Donald Trump supporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They called us racists and bigots and all kinds of other stuff.
ACOSTA: OK. All right, Wolf, as you can see, Wolf, there are people outside this convention, outside this rally when all of this was taking place. There are several witnesses. It's very likely the police will be talking to those witnesses and trying to gather exactly what happened, who started this and so forth.
But it seems like it won't resume right now, Wolf. Things are starting to calm down here as police get a handle on the situation outside the convention center.
BLITZER: Yes. We're showing, Jim, our viewers some live pictures from the streets. Still protesters on the streets, just a few moments ago. We also saw a fight erupt and ended fairly quickly. But you can see protests still there, in the middle of the streets, blocking traffic right now.
I assume at some point, Jim, the police are going to go to that area and remove those protesters from the middle of the street?
ACOSTA: That's right, Wolf. They are not going to be allowed to stay out indefinitely. That's for sure. Having witness several of this outburst at different Donald Trump rallies over the course of this campaign.
At some point or another, the local law enforcement authorities will want this to come to an end. At this point, it's fairly peaceful from where we're standing out in front of the convention center.
As I said, these police officers behind me, they're in the dozens. I would say, behind me at this point. They have moved these barricades a good 50 yards or so away from the front entrance of the convention center. Sort of creating a perimeter to keep things peaceful and under control outside this convention center.
But as you said, Wolf, our helicopter vantage point of what's happening in other parts of downtown Albuquerque show that there are, and I can even hear it. It's within earshot of where I'm standing right now. You do hear other pockets of potential disturbances that are being taken care of right now, Wolf.
It is certainly something that's not just contained to this area right here. There are other pockets of this happening around downtown it sounds like, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. It looks like it's escalating in different part of Albuquerque, where you are. We're showing our viewers some live pictures going on right now.
It looks like somebody is in the middle of that.
ACOSTA: It may be, Wolf, but as they're moving them away, it's flaring up in other places.
BLITZER: Yes. The police have just moved in.
Jim Acosta, stand by.
Dan Simon is also on the scene at a different location outside of the convention hall.
Where are you, Dan?
I guess we lost that connection with Dan Simon. We'll get back to Dan Simon.
Dana and David, How does this play out, politically? These are anti- Donald Trump protesters outside the convention hall in Albuquerque, where he just wrapped up a speech, a rally, a lot of people inside that were very, very supportive of him.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, no question about it. And, look, New Mexico is a border state. There are a lot of people in and around that state who support Donald Trump. But Albuquerque itself, I mean, you heard the woman talking to Jim Acosta saying, oh, no, no, no, people in Albuquerque like to protest all the time. But in all seriousness, it's not necessarily fertile territory for Donald Trump.
BLITZER: Hold on for a minute. We've just re-establish our contact with Dan Simon. He's outside the convention hall.
Where are you, Dan?
SIMON: Well, hey, Wolf. I'm about a block away from the main convention center.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by, Dan Simon.
I want to -- we'll get back to you.
We're showing our viewers these live pictures.
Dana, you were finishing your thought?
BASH: Well, I was just going to talk to David about the fact that Albuquerque is not necessarily fertile political grounds for Donald Trump.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECOTR: No doubt about that, first off it's in Bernalillo County and Barak Obama won it by 17 points in 2012 against Mitt Romney. But here's the thing, you said it's a border state. You can see in those pictures that we saw. People were waving some Mexican flags in that picture so there's no doubt that the border state factor is real and important here to bring up. I do think there's something else that's really interesting going on when you think about what we're seeing tonight, what we saw back in March in Chicago.
Donald Trump, and again, New Mexico has an upcoming primary in a couple months. He's still campaigning through the nomination states, that's why he's there. But he is also trying to alter and flip the electoral map. And he has been unafraid to go into heavily Democratic areas and campaign there. And this is not a place that a republican nominee is likely to spend a lot of time in a traditional sense if you're looking at the electoral map. And yet Donald Trump is there and clearly going to make a statement there, with that comes this potential challenge of having an active protest community around you if you're going to places that are traditionally Democratic strong holds. And not likely where a ton of your supporters are.
You'll get the supporters inside the arena as he did no doubt. But you're also going to invite this very robust presence from protestors.
BASH: You know it's true, especially having been to many Donald Trump rallies, a big part of the goal from the Trump campaign has been and obviously continues to be, you know, the big rally. To fill the arenas, and you do that for the most part in big populations centers and you go where the people are. And so, you know, you get the good with the bad, if you're somebody as divisive as Donald Trump.
But there's no question, I mean look, I've spent time with Republican candidates in New Mexico and sometimes we went to places like Albuquerque but most of the time went to places where they probably had a better shot at getting their voters out, and Albuquerque isn't one of them. So, you know, whatever his reasons for going there, whether it is to have the big rally or not, it is something that you don't normally see from Republican candidates.
CHALIAN: It is one of two states that George W. Bush flipped from blue to red from his 2000 election to his 2004 election. It has been a place where George W. Bush style Republican was able to make it competitive. The question is, is Donald Trump going to be able to make a place like New Mexico which has such a heavy Hispanic population.
BASH: And a growing one.
CHALIAN: And a growing one, no doubt about it, a truly competitive place. It will actually be, we'll see if he puts real resources in there as the six months ahead go. Tonight is an indication that he's not afraid to show up there. I just think he has to be prepared for this kind of scene to repeat itself in cities and states like you said, big population centers over and over and over again throughout this campaign.
BLITZER: It's interesting that the Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, a Republican, was not there at the event tonight. The primary two weeks from today in New Mexico. Same day as the California primary. She issued a statement that she had other pressing business to engage in right?
BASH: Right. That's like pressing F4 on your computer, where you just have to say, this is my excuse for the day. She wasn't there, because she didn't want to be there. And she didn't want to be there for lots of reasons and she voiced some of her concerns about the Trump candidacy before he was last man standing. And made clear that she doesn't want to be anybody's running mate right now, especially when that person is just Donald Trump.
But I think it is telling about the strides that he still has to make. In a very and large way with the Latino community, which is obviously not going to be easy. He likes to say he is doing so well among Hispanics and so on and so forth but - - you can't take one protest and make a lot of conclusions about it. But this is an illustration of the challenge he's going to have.
CHALIAN: And Wolf brings up Susana Martinez, you know, remember it's not that long ago, what Chris Christie's reelection in 2013 in New Jersey, he brought one out of state surrogate with a national profile to come and campaign for him in New Jersey, Susana Martinez. That was the one. That, because Chris Christie at the time running as a Republican, who was all about trying to expand the appeal to the Hispanic community. And that's only a few years ago and today Susana Martinez doesn't want to appear with the presumptive Republican nominee having been somebody who the party had courted for quite some time but was seen as a rising star.
BLITZER: She is a rising star in the Republican party. You wanted to make one final thought.
BASH: I was just going to say, and talking about, you know, trying to change the tone and tenor in courting the Hispanic vote which, you know, the Republican party has been trying to do since, since George W. Bush did so well, got 44 percent of that vote. But when Donald Trump was here in Washington a couple of weeks ago, meeting with Republican leaders. John Cornan, Senator from Texas, said point blank to him, I won the majority of the Hispanic vote as a Republican in Texas who is very outspoken against illegal immigration. And there's a way to do it to have a different conversation, let me help you - - listen to that.
BLITZER: Just imagine the photo op David and Dana, if Susana Martinez had been inside with Donald Trump tonight on that stage raising their hands together that would have been a dramatic moment in his effort to unite, to unify the Republican party. These are live pictures we're showing our viewers the streets of Albuquerque right now, not far away from that convention center where Donald Trump just wrapped up his speech. Protestors still out there, these are anti- Donald Trump protestors. We'll continue our extensive coverage, right after this.
TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's election coverage. There are scenes of demonstration and some chaos in downtown Albuquerque this evening, where Donald Trump spoke earlier. And a number of anti-Trump protestors gathered, threw rocks and other objects at police. Let's go to Jim Acosta who is in the vicinity of the chaos. Jim, what is going on exactly right now.
ACOSTA: Jake, we're standing out in front of the convention center where Donald Trump wrapped up that rally about an hour or so ago. And it is basically status quo, you have a number of Albuquerque police officers, some in riot gear with barricades in front of these protestors. Some of the protestors are holding their hands up, sort of that hands up don't shoot pose periodically. You do see some burned Trump signs that were lit on fire.
When things were really, sort of, getting out of control earlier this evening. Some fire extinguishers scattered around in the road in front of the convention center, just to give you a sign of how they were putting out small fires here and there, outside this convention center. But it looks like in terms of where there was that little bit of chaos, as you mentioned Jake, outside this convention center while the Donald Trump rally was going on, it appears that has been taken care of. That Albuquerque police have that under control, but there are still protestors. There are still demonstrators stationed in front of this convention center with their signs up, with these messages basically saying to Donald Trump.
Your message on immigration is not welcome here. By in large, every protestor we've come across during this rally, inside the convention center and outside the convention center, they have had basically nothing but negative things to say about Donald Trump's immigration rhetoric. That has been the hallmark of what has happened here in Albuquerque, no question about it. And, you know, covering these elections every four years, Jake as you know, this is not supposed to be what are democracy is all about. We're not supposed to see officers in riot gear and gas masks and protestors squaring off with one another outside a political rallies. That's what we have here in Albuquerque tonight Jake.
TAPPER: I want to roll some tape from just a few minutes ago. There we see some protestors walking and jumping on police cars, some applauding there and running down the street as the police presumably started pursuing them for that act. And there goes the rest of that tape. As you see, on the screen, dozens of anti-Trump protestors, some of them, by no means most of them acting in a violent way. Police have come into the scene and seem to be dispersing with the crowd, using batons, police cars, police horses. Protestors running away, many of them waving Mexican flags. Let's talk about some of the images that we're seeing here.
But I also want to talk, if I can, about something that Donald Trump said earlier today. Actually Dan Simon is out there, hold on one second. Dan Simon, you're outside there in Albuquerque on the scene. What are you seeing? What's going on?
SIMON: You can see that police that are trying to push these protestors back. You see police in full riot gear right in front of several of these protestors. Also police on horseback, as you said just a moment ago, some of them are unruly. A small number at this point but they are creating a lot of trouble at the moment. Police throughout the evening have shown remarkable restraint as protestors have thrown rocks and bottles at police officers and obviously they want these folks to go home but you saw there are a number of people out here. This is pretty surprising given what we saw earlier today when
everything was completely peaceful on the streets of Albuquerque. Right now though, you do have, I would say a couple hundred people out here on the street, mainly young people. Just observing what's happening as a few of them attempt to taunt the police. That's basically what's going on at the moment. Police doing whatever they can to try and encourage people to go home, but these people seem to want to stay put Jake.
TAPPER: Al right. Dan Simon on the streets of Albuquerque for us.
And I want to talk about something that Donald Trump said at his rally at the convention center in Albuquerque earlier this evening. Something that was interesting. He took a few shots at the Governor of New Mexico which wouldn't necessarily be such a surprise if it were not for the fact that the Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez is a Republican. And the fact that he took some shots at her, although she had not endorsed him and has not been supportive of Mr. Trump, certainly caught our attention. Let's play that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Since 2000, the number of people on food stamps in New Mexico has tripled. We have to get your Governor to get going, she's got to do a better job. OK? Your Governor has got to do a better job. She's not doing the job. Hey, maybe I'll run for Governor of New Mexico, I'll get this place straightened out. She's not doing the job. We've got to get her moving. Come on let's go Governor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That's some tough stuff for a man who is, at this point, supposed to be uniting the party around him.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I was going to say that this is astonishing but nothing with Donald Trump is astonishing. This is a Republican governor, one of the future leading lights of the party until, she's gotten into some trouble recently with some personal problems in New Mexico. But she made one comment - - she's not on board the Trump train. She said that she didn't want to go to the rally because she was busy, of course that's an excuse because she didn't want to be with Trump.
Her state has the highest percentage of Hispanics in the country. New Mexico is 47 percent Hispanic. Donald Trump wants to kick out of the country 11 million undocumented immigrants. Imagine what that would do in New Mexico, there's quite a few undocumented immigrants there. She's not on board with his policies on immigration and the way that he's talked about Hispanics in this country. And she's basically one of the few remaining Republicans who's in the never Trump camp, and I don't think he likes that. And he hit back - - he hit back at her. He could have gone there and ignored it but instead he hit her really hard.
TAPPER: It wasn't a coincidence let's say and Mark we should point out although not this year but in past years Susana Martinez has been, her name has been bandied about as a possible vice-presidential nominee. You can debate whether or not if it were a different presidential nominee, she would still be on that list given some of the problems that were eluded to. But it still is remarkable for Donald Trump to swoop into a state, that in the past has been a battleground state and berates the sitting Republican governor.
PRESTON: Let's do a fact check on you Jake. Because had Susana Martinez come out and said, I'm for Donald Trump, then she would have been the best governor ever, ever, ever tonight during his speech and she would have been at the top of his list. He would vocally be saying that he's openly vetting her but he has been very clear that if you are not his ally then he is your enemy and if you bunch him once, he is going to try and punch you and kick you and knock your teeth out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And I think it begs the question, you think of somebody like Susana Martinez, Republican governor, she was a featured speaker at the RNC in 2012, very well.
TAPPER: Former Democrat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes former Democrat. Gave a speech about why she was a Republican and talked about Republican values. And that's what you need if you are the nominee of a party. You just can't just have all white guys and all white women on stage. You need a party that's diverse. I think remains as to whether or not Trump is going to be able to get those kind of people out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's also the sitting chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he's trying to unify the party, she leads a party organization. He has trouble with women, she's a prominent woman politician. He has trouble with Latinos, she and Governor Sandoval the highest elected Latinos in the land. Perfect.
TAPPER: To be fair, and then we have to take a break to be fair. It's not like she is uniting around Donald Trump.
TAPPER: I just wanted - - we're going to take a very quick break and we'll be right back after this.
BLITZER: Bernie Sanders wrapped up his speech in San Bernardino, California just a little while ago. California has it's primary two weeks from today on June 7th and he minced no words talking about Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me begin by telling you that Donald Trump will not become President of the United States. We defeat him by in some cases double digits and by far greater number than does Secretary Clinton. So if the Democratic party wants a candidate who's going to defeat Trump and defeat him bad, we are that campaign. Trump thinks it is a good idea to try to divide us up, we know, we know that what makes us great is bringing us together. This campaign is going to win here in California for a number of reasons.
Number one, we are going to do something unprecedented in the political history of California. We're going all over this state. This is our third rally today. And by the time we're finished, by the time we're finished our grassroots campaign will have spoken to over 200 thousand Californians. We'll win because we have energy, we have the enthusiasm and because people know that given the crisis we face it is too late for establishment politics or establishment economics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So that's Senator Bernie Sanders speaking just moments ago. I want to go over to Dana and David. You know, he's making it clear. He's not going anywhere, at least until after California, maybe a week later the District of Columbia.
BASH: That's right. And he also as you heard there is going after Donald Trump very hard even as Donald Trump tonight continued to try to appeal to Bernie Sanders' supporters, assuming that Hillary Clinton gets the nomination. Come to me, don't go to her.
CHALIAN: You've seen the polls. Bernie Sanders is right, he does perform better against Donald Trump in these hypothetical match-ups as does Hillary Clinton and he says it all the time. The other thing that we saw really interestingly in the Washington Post, ABC News Poll this week, 20 percent of Sanders supporters say they will vote for Trump in a Trump-Clinton match-up. That number needs to come down for Hillary Clinton to be successful this fall.
BLITZER: Al right guys. One more break. We'll have more coverage of the protests in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You're looking at pictures right now. We'll be right back.