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Reviewing the Cruz Family Town Hall; Large Rally in New York for Bernei Sanders. Aired 10:11-11p ET

Aired April 13, 2016 - 22:11   ET


[22:10:30] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Anderson.

Breaking news, Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi take questions from voters in our town hall with their two young daughters alongside them. It is very interesting to watch.

This is CNN TONIGHT special edition. I'm Don Lemon,

The New York primary is just day away and as Ted Cruz tries to win over voters in our town hall tonight, an overflow crowd of 27,000 people cheered on Bernie Sanders in New York's Washington Square Park tonight.

We'll tell but that as well.

But let's discuss all of this with my political dream team, they're back, they're back. Kellyanne Conway is here, president of Keep the Promise One PAC, a super PAC supporting Ted Cruz, CNN political analyst, Mr. David Gregory is here, our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger is here as well, Dana Bash joins our team tonight, she's our chief political correspondent, Matt Lewis, senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and Kayleigh McEnany, a CNN political commentator and a Trump supporter.

Thank you all for joining us again this evening. Gloria, I have to ask you, as you're sitting and watching, you're watching those cute little girls talking about...


LEMON: Right. We're talking about build a bear and American dolls. So, I learned a lot tonight. The Republican Party, I think the candidates really (Inaudible) party give themselves a favor tonight by doing this.

BORGER: Sure. Look.

LEMON: Or just read I should say.

BORGER: Any time -- any time you see a portrait like the one we're looking at right now with the candidate with his fabulous, intelligent, smart wife, their two beautiful daughters, you get to see another side of them as parents and as spouses. And I think it's important -- you know, the vote you cast for

president of the United States is a very personal vote. I don't think it erases political differences or anything else, you can't overstate it, but I do think it kind of lifts the veil a little bit and I think that's important for voters.

CRUZ: Did you coordinate with the Cruz family?

BORGER: I did. You know, we called each other up and said we're going to have a build a bear party and what are you wearing? And I said yellow and I said OK.

LEMON: And there you go, there we have it. David, what do you think, how did Ted Cruz and his wife do?


LEMON: They're cute back stage, you know, outshine them, right. You know they should never be on stage with kids...

GREGORY: Right, right. But I think, you know, you can overdue the political analysis of how they play on various things with women or anything like that. And realize that, you know, the looking glass of a political campaign shine as really hard spotlight of who these people are, how they run the rough and tumble of politics.

And, you know, when you see a candidate with his spouse and with his kids, it's humanizing, it's humbling. You get a sense of the everyday of what their life is like, what they care about, what they encounter. And I think it's a nice package to see because it gives us a sense -- it gives us a sense -- a more complete sense of who they are even though they are on stage like this.

LEMON: Yes. You said overplay the politics. But of course, we're going to overplay.

GREGORY: No, no. I just want to -- I was just holding back, I was just pacing myself.

LEMON: Well, let's talk about the politics because one of the first questions out of the gate was about the intense battle over delegates and Trump calling the whole process rigged. Watch this.


COOPER: Last night Donald Trump was sitting here in that exact same speech and he told me that the rules are stacked against him. You heard this before, he's been saying it a lot, that the rules are stacked against him by the establishment, that there are shenanigans going on, that the whole process is rigged, that the RNC doesn't want him to get the nomination. Do you think that's true?

T. CRUZ: Well, listen, I think anyone who knows anything about Washington knows that the establishment isn't voting (ph) for me. That they have been battling me every day I've been in the Senate. But the rules are simple. The way you get elected is that you win a majority of the delegates in elections. What Donald is unhappy about is that in the last three weeks there have been a total of 11 elections in four states and we've beaten Donald in all 11 elections. He's unhappy about that because he's losing at the polls.

And so, I guess he thinks what he should is just complain attack the voters. I think the way you win is you make the case for the voters and you earn their votes.

COOPER: Does he just not have the ground game that you have in the states? Because he says even if he had more people in Colorado, even if he had a different...

T. CRUZ: He's right. He would have lost. For the last three weeks he's lost over and over again. You know, Donald has a hard ceiling in most states of about 35 or 40 percent. So, he did well early in the race when there were 16 other candidates because all of the votes were dispersed.

[22:15:06] Now that the field has narrowed, what we're seeing is that republicans are uniting behind our campaign and we're beating him over and over and over again.


LEMON: So, Dana, but this battle over delegates this is just beginning.

DANA BASH, CNN'S CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And that's an understanding. By the way, I love him saying well, the establishment isn't with me.

I remember, I'm old enough to remember when the establishment wasn't with Ted Cruz. So, 2015. But they are now, I mean, reluctantly holding their nose, kicking and screaming, you know, they are now with them and it's the anti-Trump movement is, you know, sort of the great equalizer in getting everybody behind Ted Cruz.

I do think that there was a very clever moment that Anderson had where he said, wait a minute, talking about maybe not dirty tricks but, you know, rigged moments, the fact that he sent out -- he, Ted Cruz, sent out a fund-raising notice saying if you give X number of dollars, you can be a deputy Cruz delegate, which doesn't exist.

And he said it's a fund-raising tool and it's not real but, you know what, not everybody gets that. Not everybody understand that it's not real.

LEMON: It's like getting the wings when you get off the airplanes. That doesn't make you a pilot. Yes. Speaking of Anderson, here he is. Anderson moderated our town hall. Hello Anderson, great job again.

So, three days, three town halls with the GOP candidates. We were just talking -- and their families -- we were just talking about what a service that, you know, this probably did for the candidates and their families and for the voters because you get to know a different side of them.

COOPER: It is. I got to tell you actually the audience who's remaining here just singing happy birthday to Caroline Cruz.


COOPER: Which is very sort of sweet surprising thing there. But, you know, it is. It's essential. Look, the way we're tried to organize this, spending the first 10 minutes, you know, engaging with the candidate directly one-on-one, trying to ask tough questions from it, you know, ask news of the day type questions and then bring in the families. And obviously that's when it's up to the viewers, the audience.

And a lot of the questions we were getting from the audience members was really about the family dynamics, things like that that you don't normally hear in a debate or even in a town hall.

So, you know, for those wanting nothing but tough questions, they were not going to get that. But I do think as many of your panelists were saying, it's interesting to see these candidates with their families and interacting.

I should point out, you know, the kids are very young in this case. The Cruz's wanted their kids to come up on the stage. This wasn't something where we were kind of suggesting this or anything this came from Ted Cruz and Heidi Cruz, they wanted to invite the kids on stage. So, that's what they did.

But, I think it's interesting any time you can see kind of the family dynamics, it's another side of a candidate and it's just one of the many kind of, you know, data points that a voter takes into consideration when they go into the voting booth.

LEMON: I think we learned a lot about build a bear and about the American girl doll store which I've only gone to once to try to find something for one of my nieces but there's too many dolls in there.

COOPER: Well, I will tell you, I ran into Caroline Cruz in the elevator here before this and, you know, I started talking to her and she told me it was her birthday and told me that she wanted to go to the American girl doll store. So, that is foremost in her mind because she's mentioned it about six times in the few minutes that I've spent with her.

LEMON: I know. They should, you know, be paying us advertising and Cruz's as well. So, Anderson, you know, the primary just next week, the New York primaries, you said, you know, you got to see the different sides of these candidates. Do you think they moved the needle at all, though?

COOPER: I don't know. I mean, I don't know that, you know, I mean, it was interesting I thought in the Donald Trump town hall last night, we had I think three people in the audience who came in saying that they, you know, weren't sure but they were thinking of voting for Donald Trump who then said last night convinced them to vote for Donald Trump.

Clearly in most of the polls, Quinnipiac poll, a New York one poll, the latest New York polls, Donald Trump is way out in front. I don't know, you know, how much any of this moved the needle, but I do think in, you now, for many people around the country, it's a chance to see these candidates in a different light.

And you know, we've had plenty of tough, contentious interviews over the last several months and plenty of debates, though, certainly Senator Cruz would like more debates, which I can certainly understand but I do think this allow us to see candidates in a different light.

LEMON: Yes. And the debate tomorrow night for the democrats. Thanks, Anderson, See you see soon. Great job again.

COPPER: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: All right. Kellyanne, let's talk about this. Ted Cruz was asked about the Gestapo tactics. Oh, you were over there last night. I remember about Gestapo tactics. Watch this and we'll talk about it.


COOPER: His new convention manager who he recently hired said your folks are using what he calls Gestapo tactics.

T. CRUZ: You know, I have to say, Anderson, it is bizarre. Donald and his team, it's almost like they are subjects in a clinical course in psychology. There are all sorts of different behaviors they display but one of them is projection.

[22:20:00] That the conduct they do regularly they accuse everyone else of doing. So, literally in the last few weeks Donald's team, Roger Stowe and his chief political adviser was threatening to out the hotel room of delegates who dared to cross Trump so they could be intimidated.

They're acting like union boss thugs. In Colorado, I spoke yesterday to the chairman of the Republican Party in Colorado, Trump supporters put out his home address, put out his phone numbers, he got thousands of phone calls, he got death threats.

Trump supporters were telling the supporters go to his house and bring their guns. Look, violence doesn't belong in democracy and the Trump campaign encourages that over and over again in Indiana police are reporting threats of violence against delegates from the Trump campaign.

COOPER: Roger Stone, though, officially has left the Trump campaign.

T. CRUZ: Well, that's what he says. But he planned the campaign. He's been -- he's been...


COOPER: Usually they're still working with the campaign? T. CRUZ: I think he's their outside henchman. They used him for their

dirty work. And he is the one actively encouraging putting out we shouldn't be intimidating delegates and they shouldn't be controversial.

Look, what Donald doesn't like is that he keeps losing the election.


LEMON: Is the Trump campaign intimidating people do you think, Kellyanne?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It seems like they're trying to. There's a great article today in the Washington Post by Keith (ph) on he really laid out the facts of what happened this weekend. So, we hear from the Trump campaign the rules, the rules changed, it's not fair, the system is rigged, the system is corrupt, and by extension to Colorado delegates it would be corrupt who participated than I suppose.

And yet, very clearly it was laid out there at Stephen House, who is the party chair of Colorado, has received over 3,000 calls since the convention, all of them nasty and he posted on Facebook. When I hear about burials and my family mentioned in the same sentence, this isn't politics, this isn't democracy, this is crazy.

And so, you can whine and complain all you want, that you didn't know the rules, you changed the rules. I would just also say there's analysis today that Donald Trump won 35 percent of the popular vote but 40 percent -- 42 percent of the delegates at that time already.

So, apparently they like the rules -- they like those rules. But look, there's no place in politics and I hope Kayleigh will back me up on this, there's no place in politics for people accusing folks of using Gestapo tactics, the Gestapo that was Nazi tactics. And they took people and kill them. And I don't like this kind of reference in politics as there are people -- you seem they can get their life in Colorado.


LEMON: Kayleigh, I want your response to that. I know you think the whole system, you don't think it's fair. But do you think that -- don't you think Cruz is just doing a better job with delegates?


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I don't think so. Because Donald Trump is ahead in the delegates. He's won more than double states of Ted Cruz. But I want to address another thing.

LEMON: But working the rules, though, do you think they're doing a better job or working rules?

MCENANY: Can I quickly just address some of the things that Kellyanne said? LEMON: Yes, absolutely.

MCENANY: Because, first of all, you know, since winner of third party is indicative of what someone else says. So, you're trying to say that Trump supporters are indicative of what Trump stands for. That's not true. Trump has his own violence time and time again. Roger Stone, who Ted Cruz tried to pin on Trump tonight, does not work with the campaign. And there's a controversy of...


CONWAY: Kayleigh, what he doesn't with the campaign but you got to...

MCENANY: Kellyanne, I got to finish. There's controversy over whether he was fired from the campaign or quit. He left on not good terms with the campaign. So, again, that's another false...

CONWAY: He's involved, I promise.

MCENANY: ... accusation. And in fact, the only person who has been accused of dirty tactics was Governor Kasich accusing Cruz in engaging in dirty delegate tactics aiming Michigan.


CONWAY: So, it's OK that people are being threatened. It's OK.

MCENANY: So, there are accusations by both candidates that Ted Cruz is in fact doing the bullying. So, it's really ironic that he's not engaging in this.


CONWAY: Kayleigh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I can't (Inaudible) You're a very nice person, but are you going to look the viewers in the eye and tell them it's a false report that Stone and others are saying we will publish that where your hotel is.

MCENANY: I didn't say that was false.

CONWAY: We will come in knock on your door and threaten you if you don't support, is that OK.

MCENANY: Kellyanne, I didn't say -- I never said that that report was false. We can obviously see that on a video so it's not false.

CONWAY: So, is it false?

MCENANY: Well, what's false is to say that he's tied to the campaign. There is no evidence to that. I would love to see Senator Cruz put out the evidence of his connection, direction connection to the campaign that he will go from.


CONWAY: What you would love to see, no, you know, you'd like to see, Kayleigh, Donald Trump stand up and say Roger Stone cut the crap. Stop threatening people and their lives. That's not democracy.

MCENANY: Well, I would like to see Ted Cruz stand up against the people bullying (ph) delegates in Michigan.


CONWAY: It's the same.

LEMON: Let's get the other guys. Go ahead, David.

GREGORY: I want to make a larger political point about, I think there's a couple of things that have hurt Donald Trump. One of them are self-inflicted wound which have come back to.

But the first one is the calendar. Let's remember there were two weeks before Wisconsin, and he looked like he was going to lose all the way and then he loses.

LEMON: Right.

GREGORY: And then two weeks after. So, he's been in this vacuum where I think he's had a desire politically to distract from the fact that he lost and there was a lot of media momentum and other momentum around the idea that the stop Trump movement was gaining some traction.

He is on course to do very well in New York and throughout the northeast, which is going to quiet a lot of that down. It is also true that he has misplayed, you know, some of the non-primary states like Colorado where he has lost delegates and he's got to tremendous inside game to try to catch up.

He's got Paul Manafort. He just hired somebody away from Scott Walker's campaign in Wisconsin. So, he's going to try to buff that up and he can't catch up.

[22:25:01] The other piece of it, the self-inflicted wound piece which the things he said in these past two weeks, here's the other big problem. The reason he's in this situation is because he's not a majority candidate.

LEMON: Right.

GREGORY: He's not getting above 50 percent. And because what he faces is unusual, which is a dedicated movement to oppose him within his party. Usually you have consolidation around the front-runner so it's keeping him below 50 percent which is difficult.

And that I think this combination of factors have created this difficulty. Winning in New York will do a lot to quite that.

BORGER: Well, and I think the Trump campaign expected this kind of normal consolidation that you have.

GREGORY: Right. BORGER: At this point in a campaign when you have a candidate who's been consistently ahead, consistently the front-runner, and I think this kind of pushback that they're getting is something perhaps they didn't anticipate, which is why they've been so far behind on the ground game in terms of delegate selection because maybe there's a sense they didn't need to do that. Right?

LEMON: Matt, I'm going to get you in. You sat there quietly so you're going to have to wait till. All right. You're awfully quiet tonight.

I want to tell you guys about this. So, a crowd of 27,000 people flooding New York's Washington Square Park tonight for Bernie Sanders's for a rally there.

I want you to stay with us for our Brooklyn democratic debate, that's between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, that's tomorrow night beginning at 9. And we'll continue to update you on the dense as well.

So, stick around, everyone. We got much more reaction to tonight's town hall with Ted Cruz, and his wife Heidi and his two lovely daughters.


LEMON: With less than one week to the New York primary, Ted Cruz and Heidi Cruz take questions from New York voters tonight at CNN's town hall.

I'm back now with Kellyanne Conway, David Gregory, host to the David Gregory show podcast.

GREGORY: Wow, thank you.

LEMON: Yes. Host to the David Gregory podcast. Gloria Borger, Dana Bash, Matt Lewis, author of "Too Dumb to Fail," you're welcome, too, Matt.

LEWIS: Thank you.

LEMON: And Kayleigh McEnany.

So, Dana, Anderson asked Cruz about his comparison to -- comparison of Trump to the Godfather's Michael Corleone. Watch this.


COOPER: You compared Donald Trump to the lead character from "The Godfather." One of my favorite movies. You said -- you said he needs to understand he's not Michael Corleone, he needs to stop threatening the voters and threatening the delegates.

Do you actually think that Donald Trump is threatening voters and threatening delegates? You saw Roget Stone but you have no evidence that Donald Trump is doing that.

CRUZ: Well, I was very glad to wake up this morning to wake up that I didn't find a horse's head in my bed. So, that was comforting. Listen, I think it is grotesque to have a campaign that engages in threatening voters.

Donald Trump himself from his own mouth at his rallies when there's protestors has told his supporters to punch that guy in the face. You know what? I have protesters at my rallies. I don't ask people to punch them in the face. In fact, usually what I'll do is I'll engage them in civil discourse.

They are American citizens. I'm running to be their president. Even if they're liberals and disagree with me I'm still running to be their president. Now if they're disruptive, law enforcement will remove them. You don't have a right to silence another speaker.

COOPER: So, you believe Donald Trump is encouraging violence?

CRUZ: He stood at the podium and told his supporters to punch that guy in the face. And he said, we'll defend you if you do it. That's not funny. It's not funny when Roger Stone, who organized and put together Trump's political campaign is telling delegates in Cleveland, we're going to make public your hotel room so people can come and threaten and intimidate you if you dare vote against Donald Trump.

That is -- you know what that is behaving like that, that's behaving like democrats in 1968 in Chicago. And we're not democrats, we're not interested in behaving like union thugs. And Donald Trump needs to learn that.


LEMON: Dana, what's your reaction?

BASH: OK. Let's start with the pop culture headline of this entire thing, that he liked "Godfather 3" the best.

LEMON: He's the only person who said that.

BASH: I think he's the only person on the planet who's ever said that.

GREGORY: That's his qualifying.

BASH: Possibly.

BORGER: That I never even saw it.

BASH: OK. I mean, that's -- I rest my case, your honor.

LEMON: Yes. So, what do you think?

BASH: But I do think that, look, he's got a point about the tactics but he's never said that someone should be punched from the podium and he never would, but they all have different variations of raw political tactics.

LEMON: Yes. BASH: Again, violence is not something that -- it appears that Ted Cruz or his campaign has ever engaged in. But it is a rough and tumble world of politics. Which is why I just think, you know, just briefly the fact that Ted Cruz really more than any other candidate appeared with his family is critical for him because he does have that likability issue that this helps more than anybody else.

LEMON: He needs to show a softer side. At least that's what the word on the street is. Seriously, Vanity Fair put it this way and said, "Of all the back room deals Cruz is trying to close, his hardest sell is still himself." Did he show a softer side to Dana's point and Vanity Fair's point?

LEWIS: Yes, tonight it was a very good night for Ted Cruz. I thought it was a b-plus before the girls came out then it was an a-plus after the girls came out. And you're absolutely right. They're not on Ted Cruz is not likable. There's a sort of pious sanctimonious quality of him especially women don't tend to like him.

This helps soften him up. But I also think the other really amazing thing is that Donald Trump has made Ted Cruz into this palatable, moderate sort of temperamental moderate guy. And you even hear when you sort of decrying when Ted Cruz is decrying the violence and the harsh rhetoric in politics. Because it's really unfathomable that Ted Cruz is now the sort of compromise moderate candidate.


LEWIS: Not philosophically but...

BASH: Can I put quickly on that?

LEMON: Yes, quickly.

BASH: Which is we all know because we've covered politics and the presidents and White Houses before. At the end of the day people vote on their policies, they vote on their ideology but they also vote on the guy or woman they want in their living room every night. And that is something that you cannot measure.

LEMON: So, before you go, I really want to play this.


LEMON: Because I think it's important. Because he was asked about whether he could beat Hillary Clinton which is that what's important come the general, right?

BASH: Right.

LEMON: Here's his response. Watch this.


[22:34:59] COOPER: You told our Dana Bash last week that poll after poll after poll shows you beating Secretary Clinton. I've heard you say that. That's not exactly accurate, though.

According to PolitiFact, of the nine polls released just in the last month, you've beat her only one and of the polls taken since February 4th, you win two, you tied two and you lost in the seven.

CRUZ: Listen.

COOPER: Why do you think you're the best in the general election and the answer.

CRUZ: Because we will beat Hillary Clinton. If you go back starting from December, there's been poll after poll after poll that had shown me beating Hillary Clinton. Most of the polls either show me beating her or tied with her.

COOPER: But not in the last two months certainly, not even in the last month?

CRUZ: Well, that's not true. Three weeks ago, Fox News showed me leading Hillary Clinton by three points 47...


COOPER: That was the only one.

CRUZ: But there were a whole bunch of them that were just a few weeks earlier. But beyond that, you go state by state, key swing states. Ohio just a few weeks ago, I'm leading Hillary Clinton by 2 points, 47 to 45. Let's take Wisconsin.

Wisconsin in presidential race is a blue state, it hasn't gone republican since 1984. Reagan's reelects the last time it went republican. Marquette University just a couple of weeks ago did a statewide poll, Trump loses to Hillary in Wisconsin by double digits, Hillary and I are tied in Wisconsin at 44-44.

Let's take Pennsylvania. Trump is behind Hillary in the general election in Pennsylvania, Hillary and I are tied in Pennsylvania. And other historically blue state in presidential races. But I believe in the general election we're going to compete and I think beat Hillary in Pennsylvania.

We're seeing that across the country. Iowa, another swing state. I'm leading Hillary Clinton in the State of Iowa, Donald Trump is behind and one final point, young people. Obama won young people 70/30 in both elections.

Right now, I'm 14 points ahead of Hillary Clinton among young people. If the democrats are losing the young people by double digits, Hillary Clinton is not winning the general election.


LEMON: Gloria Borger, I feel a fact check coming on.

BORGER: Oh, my god, my head is exploding with all these polls. LEMON: The establishment is putting their money behind him, can he do it?

BORGER: Yes. Well, I just love hearing Ted Cruz and all of these candidates quite frankly say, you know, I don't really care about the polls and then talk only about the polls.


LEMON: Don't say those things.

BORGER: No, no, no. Donald Trump he lies, so I was going to say Donald Trump had kind of set this new standard here where presidential candidates actually talk about the polls and say you should vote for them because of the polls.

John Kasich, for example, in New York says, you know, you got to vote for me because I'm the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton and we just heard this recitation from Cruz laying out Wisconsin, whatever state he went through, you know, exactly how he can do this.


BORGER: And it is the case he's making to everybody, including members of the so-called establishment who hate him but now love him, love/hate relationship with because Cruz.

LEMON: Love/hate, right.

BORGER: And this is all we're hearing these days, which is you've got to vote for me because the polls say maybe I can...


LEMON: I love it when you go to an interview with Donald Trump, he actually hands you the polls.

BORGER: He hands you.

LEMON: I know it's coming. Sit down and I'm like, here he comes with the polls in his hand.


CONWAY: He's never taken a single polling. He has no pollster.

BORGER: And can I say...


CONWAY: So, he doesn't understand the value of internal polling. I'm looking at your own cross ads. The data analytics, I know it sound like a broken record on show but the data analytics, the ground game, you need your own operation to do that.

But the other things I want to say is to quote Senator Obama from 2008, I think Ted Cruz is likable enough for this cycle because people are looking -- they're not asking just who is likable, they're asking who is a leader. And if you look at Hillary Clinton's likability ratings, the Huffington Post had the whole companion today, they're actually going in the wrong direction for her. She's nearly a near where Senator Obama at this point.


GREGORY: But let's remember...

LEMON: Hold that thought, David. Hold that thought. Then we're going to talk about that and more, including who would he like to be his vice president? A surprising name. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Ted and Heidi Cruz speaking directly to voters and answering their questions tonight at CNN's town hall. You saw them.

Back with my political dream team right here. So, let's talk about this, David Gregory. V.P picks. He talked about it, potential V.P. picks. Here he is.


COOPER: Marco Rubio just yesterday said that he hopes, quote, "they'll nominate a conservative." And the only one that fits that criteria is you. Is there a chance we could see a Cruz-Rubio unity ticket, realistically the two of you could cut a deal in which basically he gives you his delegates.

CRUZ: Well, listen, I think very, very highly of Marco. I appreciated those very kind comments he made. I'll tell you, he is an amazing communicator. He's one of the best communicators in the Republican Party. And he ran a campaign that inspired millions across this country and it inspired me.

When he ran for Senate in 2010, his underdog race in Florida inspired me, it was one of the inspirations that led me to run two years later in Texas. So, I think the world of Marco -- and I very much appreciate...


COOPER: Is that really true? Because you guys had tough words, I mean, during the campaign. Is that just part of how it works?

CRUZ: It's a campaign. He was trying to beat me, I was trying to beat him, that's what happens in a campaign. I can tell you I consider Marco a friend. He is someone...

COOPER: Could you see a Cruz/Rubio ticket?

CRUZ: Look, anybody would naturally look at Marco as one of the people who would be a terrific person to consider for V.P. and we're in the process now of considering a number of different options... (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: You're not ruling it out.

CRUZ: He would be someone you would be a fool not to look at seriously. He's very, very talented.


LEMON: So I just heard something as that was rolling, you guys didn't hear at home. And Gloria said we've been talking about 'Crubio' for months. I mean, what's your reaction, you said you'd be a fool not to look at Marco Rubio. Do we see a 'Crubio' ticket here?

GREGORY: It's an obvious place to go. Look, Paul Ryan made a point of saying that there was not going to be a white knight who didn't run for the party. That was his view and he was not going to do it.

Rubio's got to be in that mix. They can mend fences. There's no question. If you take Trump out of the equation for a moment, what I mean by that is go back to before he got into the race.

Marco Rubio was a guy who came up with Tea Party backing, was a Tea Party darling when he was elected to the Senate. He's a big part of the future of the party. Cruz has all the anti-establishment credentials which perhaps could come back to hurt him as well when he gets a more thorough scrubbing if he becomes the nominee.

[22:45:05] Right now he's benefiting from the fact that he's kind of a safe haven from people who don't want to see Trump. So, I think that combination make sense of Rubio is conservative, he's from Florida, he provides the kind of contrast that they would want with Hillary Clinton about who is really, you know, looking to the past, looking to the future. It's an obvious place to begin consideration.

LEWIS: If he run it's going to Clinton/Gore, and they doubled down two young southern guys. This would be two 44, 45-year-old Cuban Americans, children of immigrants. You know, it's not balancing the ticket, you know, but it's reinforcing something that actually republicans probably need to reinforce.

CONWAY: The Republican Party has been terrible at doing this. So, it would be nice to see, it would be nice to catch up. It's the Democratic Party has been masterful at elevating and indeed electing young transformational, inspirational figures like JFK, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and even Jimmy Carter in his early 50s with a 9-year-old daughter when he got to the White House.

And the Republican Party usually does the voice lesson thing. Let's nominate the person who lost to the person who won. And this time they're kind of stuck with...


LEMON: I think everyone on the stage who remember the Carter presidency feel old like, how long it has been. BORGER: Yes.

CONWAY: But they're stuck with Hillary and Bernie. They don't have that transformation in generation.

BORGER: But Reagan won 170 delegates by the way.

LEMON: Yes. He's more than -- yes, right.

BORGER: So, if you want to -- if you're going to a contested convention...


GREGORY: Correct. That helps.

BORGER: ... that would help a little bit.

MCENANY: I was going to say, as Reagan said, we don't want to exploit our opponent's youth and inexperience over here, Kellyanne. So, sometimes, though, you know, with them with having the older candidates the Reaganesque candidate, the guys who's been around the block...


CONWAY: Well, who was that?

MCENANY: Donald Trump I would argue.

CONWAY: I didn't want you to say that.

MCENANY: I would argue, hey. I would argue.

LEMON: So, David, I have to ask you. If we get to an open convention and Cruz is chosen as the nominee, can he unite the party and get Trump supporters on his side?

GREGORY: I think he's got to -- I think he's got a shot. I mean, he does have a lot of anti-establishment game. And I want to come back to the fact that in a general election if he were the nominee, he would be in for very rough treatment about the kind of colleague he's been in the Senate, his positions in favor of shutting down the government on Obamacare that put him at odds with the rest of the Republican Party, let alone the broader electorate that he wants to try to court.

In terms of, you know, younger voters and women and minorities. So, I think he faces a lot of difficulty. I'm not sure -- I'm not sure that he in the election era of Trump, I'm not sure that those backers, many of whom may not have voted before, are easily going to slide over somewhere else. I think they may be its own base and that's why he, Trump, is such a wild card whether he will stay in the party, both from the party or get the nomination.

LEMON: The question is tonight, though, what does Taylor Swift have to do with all of this? We're going to talk about that next. [22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Back now with my...

CONWAY: Dream team!

BASH: Dream team!

LEMON: Political -- oh, my goodness, Are you guys, are you paying attention, David Gregory?


GREGORY: I was going to say.

LEMON: So, we often wonder what the next president is going to bring to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, right? Obama said that they are going to make it the people's house again. Of course, Nancy Reagan fixed it up, you know, so that making that state dinner or what have you.

So, here's what Taylor Swift has to do with a possible Cruz White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, hoping to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who is the one person that you can't wait to invite over for dinner?

CRUZ: Well, let me answer -- Caroline, why don't you answer to that question. Who do you most want to invite to the White House if we win. That you didn't say the answer, we know the answer.


HEIDI CRUZ, TED CRUZ'S WIFE: Who do you want to invite over for dinner, baby? Who's your favorite singer?


CAROLINE CRUZ: No, you have to say it.

CATHERINE CRUZ: No, Caroline, say it.

CAROLINE CRUZ: How about mom says it.

H. CRUZ: I'll say it. The girls would love to have their first guest be Taylor Swift.


COOPER: What's your favorite Taylor Swift song?

CAROLINE CRUZ: I like all the songs.


CAROLINE CRUZ: Like three favorite or is "Bad blood," "Blank space" and "Wildest dreams."

COOPER: OK. Sounds good.

T. CRUZ: And they have karaoke machines they got for Christmas, they both have matching karaoke machines and it is a little frightening with the two of them singing Taylor Swift together. It is amazing.

CAROLINE CRUZ: We don't sing together.

T. CRUZ: That's true.

CAROLINE CRUZ: It does not match.

T. CRUZ: You do sometimes. You do sometimes.

CAROLINE CRUZ: Well, I stopped singing because she oversings me, and so I stop singing.

H. CRUZ: I'm sure many families can relate.


T. CRUZ: Two daughters so make the singing too as well.

COOPER: I would love to see you singing on the campaign bus you do singing and that's in front we're go along.


H. CRUZ: OK. But we'll get you some tape.


LEMON: So, many TV anchors relate. When you guys all talking over to each other. But I mean, clearly they, you know, they outmaneuvered and out sign their dad.

BORGER: Yes. And they're so natural like these are sisters who are -- she oversings me, right? I mean, it's...


LEMON: But there are no "I'm not touching you" moments luckily, which would be a normal family moment if that would have happen.

BASH: Right. That would have happened in my house for sure with a little brother.

LEMON: Really?

BASH: Yes. You know, look, this is -- again, what we're talking about just to say this humanizes him really makes it seem more superficial, you know, than it probably should be. Because I spent some time on the campaign trail but the kids really are with them.

And she said, Heidi Cruz talked about this that it was a difficult decision because they are campaigning, both of them, so much that they decided to pull them out of school and they have, you know, tutors with them and they're together all the time. And this is a true family affair that they chose.

LEMON: Who do you think this is more important to, you know, this moment was more important for? Was it -- everyone says John Kasich is such a nice guy, right? And he has a great family.

But Donald Trump who is, you know, so harsh sometimes, especially in social media and his comments out on the campaign trail and then Ted Cruz, as we've been talking about, you know, people in Congress say I don't really like the guy, no one likes the guy. Who was this important for? Was it Donald Trump or was it Ted Cruz?

MCENANY: It was important for all of them. Look, this week, the Republican Party had a really bad week last week and the week prior.

[22:55:00] It did not look good. There were accusations flying, there were insults. It was not a good week for the party. But this week to see John Kasich stand there and talk about walking in on his daughter and the boyfriend and meeting the boyfriends.

And tonight, to see Cruz with his daughter and to see Donald Trump's sons and daughters speak with him glowingly, this humanize the Republican Party. This a victory for the party this week. It was a victory really for the all the candidates.

GREGORY: And the public too. And the public too. I think they got a better sense.

CONWAY: And it comes in a time when the nastiness the rhetoric is really getting heated on the democratic side.


CONWAY: The knives are longer and sharper.


CONWAY: And I expect we'll see that in CNN's debate...


LEWIS: And it's not -- I mean, you know, you could look at this like a flop or something but you don't know what's going to happen, especially when you bring children on. I mean, they head out of the...

LEMON: They said last night that Ivanka was Donald Trump's biggest imprimatur. The girls is that Cruz's biggest imprimatur?

CONWAY: Absolutely. Yes.

GREGORY: But it's also important, it becomes very easy within politics and the people scrutinize politicians to delegitimize and dehumanize them. BASH: Absolutely.

GREGORY: And I think we make a mistake when we lose that ability to be compassionate to be purely political. And I think you could probably amplify in this. You know, one of the big tests that Cruz faces in New York and throughout the northeast is Wisconsin and anomaly, can he grow out of his base of Christian conservative voters? He's got to show that he can do that if he's going to keep doing well.

LEMON: Stick around, everyone. When we come right back, how their families have helped and hurt the candidates.

Plus, why Donald Trump is heating up his attacks on the RNC tonight. And on the democratic side, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton dueling rallies in New York City just days ahead of the primary. We'll be right back.