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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Where the Campaigns Are Heading; Surprises in Wisconsin Primary Exit Polls; Clinton Speaking in Pennsylvania; Sanders Strategist Talks Wisconsin Win, Going Forward. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired April 6, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:00] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, if I lose, I lose. I wouldn't feel good about it.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The math isn't adding up for him to clinch the nomination before the convention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look up in the dictionary, at least on the Democratic side, under winning streak, Bernie Sanders' name would be on that list, at least for now.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got an excellent chance to win New York and a lot of delegates in that state.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe the values of New York are the values of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, hello, friends. I'm Kate Bolduan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman.
Welcome to, "It is all different now" Wednesday, where, in moments, you'll hear from Hillary Clinton here on CNN just hours after her tough loss to Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin, giving him six wins in the last seven states, giving her political heartburn, and setting up a must-win here in New York in less than two weeks.
BOLDUAN: On the Republican side, the surprise win Donald Trump promised in Wisconsin, not so much. Ted Cruz calls his decisive victory a turning point in the race. As it turns to New York, what does that mean?
One thing is definitely more clear this morning, it seems, a contested convention this summer now even more likely. So where are the campaigns headed today? What does it all mean?
Jeff Zeleny has fresh reporting on Democrats and Clinton's new attack strategy. And Phil Mattingly is looking at the Republicans. Phil, let us begin with you, my dear friend. Big night for Ted Cruz.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. It's what his campaign needed. Not just his campaign. It's what any of the anti-Trump groups had to have. Not just because Wisconsin changes the game, or it certainly doesn't put Ted Cruz within striking distance of 1237 himself, but it brings him closer to a contested convention. And what it sets up more than anything not about keeping Donald Trump from 1237, it's about delegates. It's about the fight behind the scenes going on. And you've got super PACs already sending resources that way. And you have Ted Cruz's campaign best organized of all three campaigns in a very good position there going forward.
BERMAN: It's a fight he's good at, Ted Cruz.
MATTINGLY: That's right.
Phil Mattingly, thank you so much.
Jeff Zeleny, let's turn to the Democrats. Now the fight comes here. It brings it home to the both candidates. Bernie Sanders born in Brooklyn. Hillary Clinton lives in Westchester. How do things look there?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Things look more intense for the Hillary Clinton campaign than ever hoped. It wasn't just a win for Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin. It was a 14-point win. That is a real win in a real battleground state. Clinton has to fight another day and prove that she's the strongest candidate.
The campaign has had problems with excitement and enthusiasm. What they are now trying to do contain Bernie Sanders. They believe New York is the place to stop him. So what I'm told they are going to start doing is show that he's not qualified to be president. So on the way to doing that, they are going to try to diminish his potential. And we're already seeing that in interviews. He sat down with the "New York Daily News" editorial board a couple of days ago and didn't really spell out his plan to sort of break up the banks. She seized on that. The campaign seized on that. The entire transcript is saying, read this, he's not up to the task. She's also questioning if he's a true Democrat. So look for the intensity, the rhetoric to increase and ratchet up. The Sanders campaign is also seizing on this, trying to raise money for the Clinton plan to disqualify them. So it's a bit of a chess game.
But the bottom line is, New York, if Bernie Sanders wins New York or competes strongly, this continues in earnest. If not, the math is still on her side in every way.
BOLDUAN: Jeff, I want your take on this. Hillary Clinton, she's now pivoting back, right? She was almost pivoting to a general and now she's pivoting back to taking on Sanders. Last night, you saw Ted Cruz pivoting straight towards Hillary Clinton. How does this all pan out? What do you say?
ZELENY: The best way to show your strength inside the par$ is to go after the other party. That's what Ted Cruz was doing, saying get ready for us. Moment after he said that, someone within her campaign in Brooklyn said, we would love Ted Cruz to run because he's more predictable.
BERMAN: I'm curious, Phil, what do you think Ted Cruz -- he's at an event in the Bronx today. Donald Trump is in Long Island. Ted Cruz is in the Bronx. What is New York the strategy?
MATTINGLY: Watching their strategy over the next couple of days is going to be fascinating. Donald Trump's advisers are not even hiding it. They believe they can get 85 to 90 delegates out of the 95 in New York State. New York is a great place for them. The map going forward is not great for Ted Cruz. A lot of northeast, a lot on the east coast right now. So how he deploys here is an interesting way of looking at things.
The reason why is this. We talked about how organized this campaign is, how they have a great ground game and how they've been able to flood in to places and pick off delegates.
BOLDUAN: Camp Cruz.
MATTINGLY: You allocate delegates in this state by congressional districts, the vast majority, three per state. So long as you hold Donald Trump under 50 percent in the majority of the 27 congressional districts and you get above 20 percent, you can start picking off delegates. So Ted Cruz is not going to try to win New York but he's going to try to pick off delegates, try and depress, suppress on some level Donald Trump's ability to do well here, set himself up to go forward. Again, saying last night that last night was the turning point, now he needs to prove that, this is the first step to do that.
[11:05:18] BOLDUAN: Math is not fun but it's definitely becoming more and more important here.
BOLDUAN: Guys, thanks so much.
Wisconsin voters handed big wins to Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. Let's talk less about how they voted and about why they voted the way they did.
Chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is here with a deep dive into the exit polls.
What are you seeing, Christine?
ROMANS: Kate, John, there are some surprises. We asked Democratic voters who would be a better commander-in-chief? 51 percent picked Sanders ahead of Clinton. That's a turnaround from other primary states. On trust, a wide margin for Sanders there. 83 percent say he's more honest and trustworthy. Clinton wins just 16 percent of that vote. Another reversal of recent trends, Sanders beats Clinton with women voters. This one was close but it's been a strong area for Clinton and Sanders closing the gap there at least in Wisconsin. Her advantages showed elsewhere, Clinton crushing him with African- American voters. She took 69 percent of the vote. Just 10 percent of the Democratic voters in Wisconsin but it's an important demographic as they head to New York and California.
For Republicans, fear of their front-runner and fear of the economy. We asked voters how they would feel if Trump was elected president. 38 percent said scared. Another 20 percent said concerned. Almost six in 10 voters worried about front-runner Donald Trump as president, a sentiment that clearly benefited Ted Cruz there. Another fear factor, an astonishing 94 percent of GOP voters say they are worried about the economy. Who has the best chance to defeat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton? Republican voters on that in Wisconsin, Ted Cruz gives their party the best chance, they say with 43 percent. Trump was not far behind at 37 percent and Kasich at 17 percent.
Overall, a very bit win for Ted Cruz, leaving the possibility of an open convention to be a real, real possibility -- guys.
BERMAN: Delving into probability. We'll have to see.
Christine Romans, thank you so much.
Let us bring in Barry Bennett, senior advisor to the Trump campaign; CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro; and Amanda Carpenter, CNN political commentator and former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz.
Ana, you get the honor of the first question.
Ted Cruz last night called this a turning point in the campaign. Is it?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Definitely. Look, if Donald Trump had won last night in Wisconsin, he would have been that much closer to being the presumptive nominee. Right now, we are that much closer to being an open convention. So last night was a turning point. I think last night was a fork in a road and we took the fork that's leading us towards an open convention. It's still not an absolute certainty but a lot more possible than it was before last night.
And I think what you're hearing from the campaigns is a lot of spin. The Trump campaign is trying to lay the narrative out that we are in for shenanigans at the convention. That if he doesn't reach 1237, it's because of shenanigans and the establishment.
The Cruz campaign is telling you, we're still alive. It's an open convention. We are recruiting delegates. We are courting delegates. We've got a strategy.
Kasich is saying, hey, don't forget about me.
Most importantly, the RNC is saying, we are going to be transparent. We are preparing for this. And we're going to give everybody a chance and we're going to lay it all out. The last part is the most important.
BOLDUAN: Barry, from your perspective, how do you spin last night as a good night, because from the angles that we've looked at it, it just isn't? It just wasn't.
BARRY BENNETT, SENIOR ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, one, I never expected to have any delegates from Wisconsin and I woke up this morning with six. That's good.
BOLDUAN: That's a way to set expectations.
BENNETT: Wisconsin, the establishment, Ted Cruz is their Trojan horse in Wisconsin. Governor Walker is a very talented politician. His machine he's built there is amazing. But the bad news is, for Ted Cruz, there aren't a lot of more Scott Walkers laying around the country. We didn't expect to win. We didn't expect to get any delegates. But the most important thing is, there's no place like home.
BERMAN: New York. We will see how that goes over the next -- the fact is, you went from 54 percent of the delegates to get to the nomination to 60 percent. It's a step back as far as that goes.
Amanda Carpenter, I'm curious, do you think Wisconsin was more of a victory for Ted Cruz or a victory for the Stop Trump movement? And does that distinction actually matter?
[11:09:56] AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Probably more for Ted Cruz, but I would concede it as a major movement for the stop Trump movement. Listen, we all woke up today and accepted this fact that we're going to an open convention. I think the RNC once described it as the ultimate grassroots experience which is kind of funny. We see now that Donald Trump probably is not going to win the nomination outright. That is a big, big deal. Even if he's leading in the delegates, he is not going to walk out of that convention the nominee because he didn't clinch the magic number of 1237. It's going to be a delegate fight. It's important to show that Cruz can continue to unify people. And you have to get them unified around the principles. I think it's essential going into a contested convention that people poison the well on potential deal making, to wheel and deal and the cronyist type of way. I think that would be Donald Trump's M.O. to win over delegates in this type of environment. There has to be distinction drawn that we are going to unite around principles that matter to the party and not special favors for delegates that they may be seeking.
BOLDUAN: And those papers will be interesting to watch as we learn about it as it goes on.
BERMAN: But not illegal.
BOLDUAN: Not illegal. There are some lines but we haven't found it yet. NAVARRO: Wisconsin was very interesting because it wasn't only a win
for Ted Cruz and his organization, which is impressive. It's low-key but it's impressive. But also a culmination of Donald Trump's mistakes. We talked about this last week. For the first time last week, he uttered the words misspoke an mistakes, which tells you how much the things he said regarding abortion, women and the Heidi Cruz thing hurt him.
BOLDUAN: Do you think it added up to a loss last night, Barry?
BENNETT: No. Look at the state. We won 61 percent of the counties in Wisconsin. What we lost was the Republican machine around Milwaukee. That's how they won. That's how they turned out big numbers.
BERMAN: Barry, you're going to states with a lot of closed primaries. You're going to states that have machines.
BENNETT: But I mean, if there was some atmospherics, it would take place in all of the counties. It didn't. It only took place around Milwaukee where they turned out the machine and big numbers. There's no woman problem --
BERMAN: They turned out the people where they live. You're talking about counties that don't have many people there. They turned out people where they live.
BOLDUAN: Barry --
BENNETT: Turnout was the same in almost all of the counties. It's just more people live there. But they voted differently than the rest of the state, because of the machine.
NAVARRO: Barry, I'm curious, as an advisor to Donald Trump, what changed last week that, for the first time in 10 months, we saw them make a mistake and misspeaking? What triggered that, other than the phases of the moon?
BENNETT: I don't know what you're talking about.
BERMAN: Well, he said it. He said it in a tweet that he wished he hadn't done it.
BOLDUAN: He said it was mistake.
Amanda, can I get a final thought from you, from the Ted Cruz perspective, and then we've got to run.
CARPENTER: Yes. I think what is being overlooked is that Donald Trump just casually accused Ted Cruz of a crime in a statement last night. When Trump is losing, he's threatening to sue. He also threatens with lawyers and legal action and never comes through with it. But it is a big deal that he so baselessly smeared Ted Cruz on that in a carefully written statement. People should wake up and pay attention to it because it's simply not acceptable.
BERMAN: Barry, quickly, there have been articles saying that there is disarray in the Trump camp. Is there any acrimony inside the campaign that you can see? Any inward looking introspection right now?
BENNETT: No. I talked to everybody this morning. And we knew we were going to lose Wisconsin. We won three more delegates than I had hoped, which is great. Everything is fine. We're going home. Let's go home.
BERMAN: If you see fine like this, Barry, that could be a problem, though. We will see.
Barry Bennett, Ana Navarro, Amanda Carpenter --
BERMAN: -- thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys.
Coming up, it really is coming down to two things for both primary fights, momentum and math. We're going to look ahead to the big showdown in New York. Does Trump plus Cruz plus Kasich, divided by New York, equal a definite contested convention? Pull out your TD- 83s. One man who knows the numbers will lay it out for us.
BERMAN: And any minute now, Hillary Clinton, live here on CNN, again, just hours after the big defeat in Wisconsin. What's her plan moving forward? A whole lot of questions for the democratic still front- runner but not by as much. That's next.
[11:18:20] BERMAN: All right. You're looking at live pictures from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania votes in a few weeks. We are already past yesterday and on to tomorrow.
BERMAN: Hillary Clinton speaking to a union crowd there in Philadelphia fresh off the tough loss in Wisconsin.
BOLDUAN: At this event for us is senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns.
There you are, Joe. He's in Philly at the event. What are we expecting to hear from Hillary Clinton AT THIS HOUR? JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: We do expect Hillary
Clinton to show up here at the AFL-CIO meeting in just a little while. We're told she's running a bit late, according to the speakers.
We've been getting mixed signals out of the campaign, Kate, I think. On one hand, they've been sending out e-mails containing links to an interview that Bernie Sanders did with the editorial board of the "New York Daily News" and talks about remedies for breaking up the big banks, which is his key issue, saying he's not even certain how some of that would occur legally and, you know, what would happen in the courts. So it appears to be a bit of a stumble for him. The Clinton campaign leaning on that and sending out links to that interview and suggesting that they are going to turn up the heat on him to qualify and defeat him and go ahead and unify the party. But this morning, Hillary Clinton on an interview on MSNBC was asked if she thought Bernie Sanders ought to get out of the race. And to be honest with you, she said it's just not up to her to decide that. Sort of mixed signals coming out of the campaign.
The question now is whether Hillary Clinton now here in Pennsylvania as well as New York will try to turn up the heat and seal the deal on Bernie Sanders. And the question is what kind of rhetoric she's going to be using.
Back to you, John and Kate.
[11:20:27] BERMAN: Joe Johns for us in Philadelphia.
We're going to keep an eye on that event. When Hillary Clinton starts talking, we will bring that to you live.
BOLDUAN: Right now, let's turn to Team Sanders and talk about last night and also, forget last night. We're past it. Let's talk about the future.
Let's bring in Tad Devine, senior strategist.
Onward, my friend. Let's focus on New York and beyond. We've been hearing from Jeff Zeleny from inside the Hillary Clinton campaign that they have a renewed focus to disqualify, diminish, defeat him and part of that might have already started. Glenn Thrush did an interview with Hillary Clinton and in that interview she says she's not even sure Bernie Sanders is a Democrat. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN THRUSH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST (voice-over): When he puts his head on a pillow at night, do you think he goes to sleep a Democrat?
CLINTON (voice-over): Well, I can't answer that, Glenn, because he's a relatively new Democrat and, in fact, I'm not even sure he is one. He's running as one. So I don't know quite how to characterize him. I'll leave that to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: We'll leave it to you to respond, Tad.
TAD DEVINE, SENIOR STRATEGIST, BERNIE SANDERS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: She's right he's a new Democrat. He was elected as an Independent. When he got into this race, he signed a form with the Federal Election Commission saying that he was running Democratic Party. When he filed for the New Hampshire primary, they asked him what he was running as. It said Democrat. It's true. His affiliation with the Democratic Party is new. He's been a member of the caucus in the United States House of Representatives of the conference in the United States Senate. For 25 years, he's caucused with the Democrats. If you look at their voting records, he has voted with the Democratic leadership -- it's only a small percentage, fractional -- more than Hillary Clinton did when she served in the same time in the Congress with him. So, yes, he is a Democrat and running as a Democrat.
BERMAN: You know, if he ran for re-election in Vermont, would he run as a Democrat there?
DEVINE: There's no party registration in Vermont. If he could go and register as a Democrat in Vermont, he would do so. That's not allowable in Vermont. We're not worried about Bernie's re-election in the Senate. He's going to be elected as president of the United States and that's our focus.
BOLDUAN: The Hillary Clinton campaign has said he's not done a lot to get Democrats elected. You said, sure, he's a new Democrat. Do you think that's a line that's going to help you win in these closed primaries coming up?
DEVINE: Well, first let's look at the facts. When we were in New Hampshire, they were attacking Bernie for attending fundraisers for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee because they said lobbyists were there and he was at the fundraisers, raising money for the Democratic Senate campaign committee. Earlier, in this cycle, Bernie signed a piece of direct mail for the campaign committee and raised more than $1 million. I think it was the biggest piece of direct mail they sent out. Bernie Sanders is prepared not only to support the Democratic Party but to pull it together and unify it. Most importantly, he's demonstrating that he and he alone can bring millions of people, Independent people, young people disaffected by the party, that's the strength of his candidacy.
BERMAN: There are people now, Tad, he's demonstrating perhaps not as firm a grasp on some of the issues as some candidates would need at this stage of the game. He did a sit-down with the "New York Daily News" editorial board. He was asked about how he would break up the big banks, which is something that Bernie Sanders would say, given the chance, is part of his campaign platform, and his answer was muddled on it. He wasn't sure on what he would do. Is Hillary Clinton right, does Bernie Sanders need to do his homework?
DEVINE: No. She's wrong. Bernie's answer was absolutely correct. He said it's best done through legislation. The legislation that he's talking about would impose a cap on these big banks to say that they could only be big as a certain percentage of the GDP. He supports that legislation. And he also said that the secretary of treasury would be empowered under Dodd/Frank to move ahead along with other financial regulatory authorities to do it if the bank was too big to fail. He rightfully and correctly stated that it's questionable as to the extent of the Federal Reserve's authority in this area. Most economists agree on that. What Bernie said is right.
I understand when you go to New York you're going to get hit by the tabloids. That's what the New York primary is about. Everything he said in that interview was absolutely, 100 percent correct.
[11:25:07] BOLDUAN: So where folks outside of the "Daily News" see as a muddled response to something that is a staple of your campaign, you are satisfied with how he handled that answer?
DEVINE: More than satisfied. They criticized him for not knowing about a case that was decided last week that is still sealed and hasn't been released, OK? So I understand what's going on in terms of the criticism. But I think Bernie Sanders understands completely what he would do as president.
BOLDUAN: -- the authority of the Federal Reserve.
DEVINE: No. It was a very broad based. And the authority of the Federal Reserve specifically on this issue as to whether or not they have authority to deal with and to break up big banks is a question that is disputed among leading economists. By the way, a number of economists are speaking out supporting everything that he said in that interview.
BERMAN: Last night on CNN, Jeff Weaver, the campaign manger, he had a dramatic turn on election night, and he talked about the tone of the campaign. He has a statement we'd like you to explain. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF WEAVER, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, BERNIE SANDERS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: This is what I would say to them, which is, don't destroy the Democratic Party to satisfy the secretary's ambitions to become president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: What do he mean by that, don't destroy the party?
DEVINE: Jeff had just been told while he was standing there, I think from Jeff felony's reporting, that the Clinton campaign was going to -- as you stated at the beginning of this interview -- begin attacking Bernie Sanders, defining him, and essentially trying to destroy him, and then unite the party. We don't have to be like the Republicans. Donald Trump doesn't care about the Republican Party. I don't think Cruz does either. They are willing to tear the whole thing apart. If we disagree on issues like fracking, which she supports in some places, Bernie does not, like breaking up the big banks which Bernie wants to do and she does not, we can have the disagreements but we don't have to attack each other personally. I hope Hillary disregards that advice from people on her campaign.
BOLDUAN: But when it comes to running for president and running in a primary on a basic level, isn't it to defeat and disqualify the other person and say that you are more qualified? Couldn't we say the same -- couldn't they say the same about Bernie Sanders? You guys have gone negative.
DEVINE: Well, listen, I don't agree with that characterization we've gone negative. We've never run an ad with her image. We've never mentioned her in a single television ad. Those are the things --
BOLDUAN: Taking on the speaking fees, talking about the fund-raisers, criticizing her for --
DEVINE: We've talked about and he will continue to talk about a corrupt system of campaign finance that Hillary Clinton, unfortunately, has chosen to be part of. So have many other people in Washington. That's why we have the gridlock that we have today. Bernie Sanders has taken actions to undermine that system and created a new way forward when it comes to funding campaigns. That's the only way we are going to make progress on the critical issues facing this country, particularly a rigged economy.
BERMAN: Tad, another thing that your campaign has opened the door to in the next 24 hours is the idea of contesting this at the convention, taking it all the way to the convention.
BOLDUAN: Jeff Weaver last night said it was going to a convention.
BERMAN: Wouldn't that tear up the party? Hillary Clinton did fight at the convention in 2008 but you're suggesting you will?
DEVINE: Let's see where this process is when the voters are done speaking. What we're committed to. What Bernie is committed to right now is allowing everyone in this process, everyone from California and here in the District of Columbia, in the middle of June to vote. And after the voting is done --
BERMAN: But you're willing to fight? You're willing to fight?
DEVINE: We're going to fight all the way.
BERMAN: In Philadelphia?
BERMAN: In Philadelphia on the floor?
DEVINE: We'll see where the numbers are. We believe we can win a majority of -- (CROSSTALK)
BOLDUAN: Do you disagree with Jeff when he says this is going to a convention?
DEVINE: I don't disagree with Jeff at all. I'm saying we'll see where we are when we get to the end of the voting. We believe --
BOLDUAN: When we talk about a convention, it for a threat or a promise?
DEVINE: It's neither. It is a factual statement that we believe we will have a majority of pledged delegates by the time the voting ends in June, and on that basis we intend to try to get the super delegates. And both candidates are going to need super delegates to get the majority of convention delegates. We will make an appeal to them. Our appeal will be Bernie Sanders is the strongest candidate to win the general election. We have enormous polling data that supports that view. We'll have more when we finish the process. We'll also demonstrate that he can have momentum and pull together a coalition that wins in the general election once we finish in places like California.
BERMAN: If you don't have enough super delegates or commitments heading over into Philadelphia before the convention, will you still fight it out on the floor?
DEVINE: Listen, I'm not going to speculate about what we are going to do in July. We're focused right now not just on New York but what will happen on Saturday in Wyoming. We'll take it one state at a time. I think if we do, Bernie will be the nominee.
BOLDUAN: Tad Devine, thanks for your time. We appreciate it, as always.
DEVINE: Good to be with you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
[11:30:01] BERMAN: Ted Cruz took a bite out of Donald Trump's delegate lead with a win in Wisconsin. What does that mean for the map? How does that cut into Donald Trump's path to secure the nomination before the convention?