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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Big Stakes in Today's Indiana Primary; Trump Talks Cruz's Father, JFK Murder; Ted Cruz Speaks with Reporters. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired May 3, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00:] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Lyin' Ted does not have the temperament to be doing this.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you want your kids -- do you want your kids repeating the words of Donald Trump?
TRUMP: If we win in Indiana, it's over with, folks. It's over with, and then we focus on Hillary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We cannot let Barack Obama's legacy Donald Trump's hands.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I), VERMONT & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie Sanders is the strongest candidate.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. John is off today.
It is voting day in America once again, folks. So get all of your Hoosier, Midwest references ready. Throw them all through that basketball ring. Here we go. The good people of the great state of Indiana are headed to the polls as we speak. What happens in Indiana could reset the map in this wild primary season. 57 Republican delegates, 83 Democratic delegates, they are up for grabs today. Front runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they could be looking at two very different results. Tonight, Trump is aiming for a knockout blow against Ted Cruz. Cruz has events coming up any minute -- moments from now. We're going to bring it to you when we see him, hear what he has so say on voting day. And for the Democrats, the Clinton campaign seems to be lowering expectations about a big win against Bernie Sanders. She is not even in the state of Indiana today. So much at stake on this primary day.
Let's get to CNN's Sara Murray and Chris Frates. They are at polling stations in Indianapolis.
Sara, first to you.
What are you seeing this morning?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, I think everyone knows the stakes at this point. It's going to be very, very difficult to stop Trump from getting to 1,237 before Cleveland unless Ted Cruz can stop him here, and that's why you have seen Cruz and pretty much every high-profile surrogate he has crisscrossing the state, making the final pitch, trying to convince voters that, you know, Trump doesn't have conservative principles, that you can't believe what he says. But Trump and his campaign feel very, very confident going in today. And Trump has been openly saying on the stump, look, if I win in Indiana, we have got this thing wrapped up. That doesn't mean the campaign is not laying groundwork in some of the states that come up next. They certainly are in places like West Virginia, in places like California, but they feel like they are going to leave Indiana with a victory tonight, that he is going to come out of this essentially being the nominee.
All of that said, Ted Cruz is still insisting that he is to go on to Cleveland no matter what happens here today. Kate, as you know, that's going to be a tough pitch to make to his supporters, maybe an even tougher one to make to his donors if he can't stop Trump in Indiana.
Back to you.
BOLDUAN: Yeah. What tonight means for what Ted Cruz says tomorrow will be very interesting in that pitch he will make.
It's great to see you. Great to see you in Indianapolis. I wish I was there with you.
Let's get to another great guy in a great city of Indianapolis, Chris Frates, at another polling station in Indianapolis.
What are you seeing?
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, we're here outside of Indianapolis in a gymnasium. It's busy here for lunchtime. You have folks filling out their ballots here and they walk them across and they get them counted here. I can tell you about 500 ballots have already been counted. That's pretty high. They're looking at some pretty high turnout.
And I want to bring in here we're joined by a special guest. I want to bring in the Marion County clerk, Myla Eldridge.
Myla, thank you for joining us today.
MYLA ELDRIDGE, MARION COUNTY CLERK: Thank you for being here.
FRATES: Tell us about the turnout. ELDRIDGE: Turnout has been incredible. We're so excited to see so
many voters participating in the electoral process because that's what democracy is all about.
FRATES: You said there's been early voting. How that is that compared to the last cycle?
ELDRIDGE: Early voting the numbers have significantly increased from the 2012 primary presidential election.
FRATES: We're looking at an increase.
ELDRIDGE: Yes, we are.
FRATES: So there you have it, Kate, a huge increase in early voting. We're looking to see if it plays out in the polls as people continue to stream in all day today. We'll keep you updated -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: 95 percent increase in early voting. That's what I would call an increase.
Chris Frates, great to see you. Thank you so much. Please pass on our thanks to the clerk as well. And good luck today.
Let's talk about the fiery battle on the ground in Indiana between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. I want to bring in Barry Bennett, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign; and Steve Lonegan, New Jersey state director for the Cruz campaign, and former U.S. Senate candidate.
Gentlemen, great to see you.
STEVE LONEGAN, NEW JERSEY STATE DIRECTOR, TED CRUZ PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Great to be here.
BOLDUAN: Let's start with our favorite thing, the predictions game as we all love.
Barry, you had no problem throwing out some predictions before the New York primary. Delegates.
BARRY BENNETT, ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: It's going to be huge.
BOLDUAN: Huge. How many? Do you think you'll get all 57?
BENNETT: It's possible but I'd be happy with half. Because we were counting on none three weeks ago.
[11:05:] BOLDUAN: The landscape has significantly changed it seems, Steve. What do you think?
LONEGAN: Kate, I think the big story this morning is the ringing endorsement that came out of Ronald Reagan's oldest son, Michael, who came out and urged Indiana voters to vote for Ted Cruz, saying Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan, the same Donald Trump who supported Jimmy Carter against Ronald Reagan, who supported Walter Mondale, who ran ads in newspapers in 1987 attacking --
BOLDUAN: But Steve, Trump got Lou Holtz.
BOLDUAN: Trump got Lou Holtz, Steve.
LONEGAN: Wow. He attacked Reagan's foreign policy saying those are bad deals. Those are the bad deals that brought the Soviet Union to its knees. If Donald Trump does win tonight and pull out half the delegates, you will see a very different Donald Trump tomorrow. Donald Trump will look a lot more like Hillary Clinton than Ronald Reagan.
BOLDUAN: You didn't even tell me. Give me a guesstimation on delegates.
LONEGAN: Ted Cruz is going to do very well. He will outperform expectations like he always does. I don't think the conservative base of this party is ready to throw everything over to Donald Trump. In essence, we're not going to nominate Hillary Clinton with a penis.
LONEGAN: I said it.
BOLDUAN: Why does this always happen on my show. Why do you always throw around the crazy on my show? All I asked for was delegate count.
BENNETT: Permission to move this way a little bit.
BOLDUAN: Permission to do anything as long as you don't repeat Steve. Steve Lonegan is now in time-out.
Let me move on. Let's now talk about something strange, not just what likes to happen on my show.
Steve Lonegan, I'm looking at you. Let's talk about something strange that happened on the campaign
trail, which is Ted Cruz approaching, engaging, and taking it from a protester. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sir, America is a better country --
UM: Without you.
CRUZ: Thank you for those kind sentiments. Let me point out I am taking you respectfully the entire time, and a question that everyone here should ask --
Um: Are you Canadian?
CRUZ: Do you want your kids --
UM: Are you Canadian?
CRUZ: Do you want your kids repeating the words of Donald Trump?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: You guys, as the sound bite was rolling, you're saying exactly what I was going to ask you.
Barry, you point out, this wasn't protesters that w, there waiting for him. He walked across the street essentially to engage these protesters and speak with them.
First you, Steve, good idea? Are these voters you guys are thinking --
LONEGAN: This is the kind of Ted Cruz who is ready to be president on day one. He's ready to engage people in an intellectual discussion. And he did a good job engaging the guy and the guy was questioning his support of Trump at the end of that conversation. This is the --
BENNETT: This is the Ted Cruz that Washington hates.
LONEGAN: Can I talk, please?
BENNETT: Well --
BENNETT: This is the Ted Cruz --
BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Barry.
BENNETT: This is why people don't like Ted Cruz. This is why he has a net negative favorable rating with Republicans.
LONEGAN: Because he engages in voters?
BENNETT: No, because he turned from the happy warrior of the conservative moment to the mean guy who yells "stay off my lawn."
BOLDUAN: You don't hand it to him for at least going over and talking to these guys?
BENNETT: He took cameras with him. It was silly.
LONEGAN: It was good, good street campaigning. Let me tell you something, earlier this week John Boehner --
BENNETT: If you think this is good, this is why you're going to lose.
LONEGAN: The endorsement earlier this week by John Boehner sent a powerful message. Donald Trump is our guy. That's what he was doing this week and that's what you saw in John Boehner's endorsement.
LONEGAN: If he becomes the nominee, Donald Trump will be the candidate of John Boehner, of Mitch McConnell, of the Republican establishment, and deals he makes will undermine everything. You know, if Donald Trump becomes the nominee, he'll become a monumentally different candidate tomorrow. And a couple months from now, all those people will be looking off saying, what happened to that wall?
BOLDUAN: That was definitely the message that Ted Cruz was telling those protesters yesterday, and that is not a message they were at all open to taking. So we'll see what Indiana voters say about that.
You said silly, Barry. I want to talk about something else I think we can put it maybe into the silly category. Donald Trump is now pushing a story that claims Cruz's father was with JFK's killer a few months before JFK was assassinated. Donald Trump himself, he says it's ridiculous, that no one is talking about this story. Again, this is from the "National Enquirer." Do you want to defend Donald Trump?
BENNETT: Well, I mean, I have not read the story nor do I care to read it. I let my subscription lapse.
BOLDUAN: I summed -- your subscription to the "National Enquirer" lapsed. I summed up the story for you right there. Why is Donald Trump doing this?
BENNETT: I think this is a primary and there is no doubt that there's all kinds of crazy that's going on right now, especially in the Cruz campaign. But, I mean, I saw that photo, and I don't know if that's him or not, but I mean, come on --
BOLDUAN: Barry --
LONEGAN: That's after they transferred him to Mars.
[11:10:06] BOLDUAN: Why? Do you really think you need this kind of a conversation to win the nomination?
BOLDUAN: Then why is Donald Trump engaging in this? He has nothing else to talk about?
BENNETT: It was a throw-away line in a big speech. It wasn't a big deal.
BOLDUAN: Not a big deal, Steve Lonegan.
LONEGAN: Because Donald Trump will not debate Ted Cruz because Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton support universal health care. They haven't debated in over 150 days and primary voting Republicans --
BOLDUAN: Barry --
BENNETT: -- a number of times on this network.
BOLDUAN: You are really leaving open a possibility that this Rafael Cruz story is true.
BENNETT: I've no idea.
BOLDUAN: Then why is Donald Trump pushing it?
BENNETT: Come on. It's such a silly --
BENNETT: It's just a throw-away line in one speech. No big deal. BOLDUAN: Does he need to be a little careful? Is that presidential?
Do you want the front runner for the Republican nomination pushing "National Enquirer" stories?
BENNETT: I don't like the "National Enquirer" so I wouldn't do it but I don't think it's a big deal at all.
LONEGAN: So you're denouncing the story?
LONEGAN: It's about time. You're not denouncing the story?
BENNETT: I don't even have any facts.
LONEGAN: It's not worth discussing.
BENNETT: You're the one sitting here going, you know Donald Trump is going to be a different candidate. You don't know anything.
LONEGAN: You know it and I know it. He's going to pivot off of this if he manages to win in Indiana. You remember --
BENNETT: It's not living in reality that hurts --
LONEGAN: Donald Trump supports socialized medicine, universal health care, he supports Obama's individual mandate. He supports higher taxes --
BOLDUAN: Let me end it like this, guys. The only thing we do know is we'll see what Indiana has to say tonight.
BOLDUAN: Will they listen to Michael Reagan, Bobby Knight or Lou Holtz? Will they listen to Ted Cruz? Will they listen to Donald Trump?
You and I, the three of us, will sit and watch it tonight. This was an interesting one.
LONEGAN: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Steve, Steve, Steve.
We're going to have continuing coverage of the Indiana primaries all day on CNN with our special coverage starting at 4:00 p.m. eastern.
Yes, it's 11:00 and we're just getting started. The stakes are just as high for the Democrats today. Bernie Sanders hoping to keep his White House hopes alive, is pounding the pavement. His campaign manager is joining us ahead.
Plus, Hillary Clinton heads into what has become hostile territory. Apologizing for saying that she could put coal miners, the coal business out of business. She's in West Virginia today. Will she get a warmer welcome than yesterday?
[11:16:26] BOLDUAN: So it is decision day in Indiana as voters head to the polls in what has become maybe pivotal primary of the GOP election cycle. Donald Trump says a win today will end this race once and for all. Ted Cruz says no way. Not so fast. He is still in it to win it. John Kasich, well, he's not saying much about Indiana because his deal with Cruz has him campaigning elsewhere.
Here to discuss, New York City Councilman Joseph Boreli, co-chair of Donald Trump's New York campaign, CNN political commentator, Margaret Hoover; Alex burns, national political reporter for "The New York Times"; and Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast."
Guys, great to see.
We can talk about what happened in the last conversation I had, which we can talk about in a second, but in honor of John Berman, who is under the weather today, I will be making a "Star Wars" reference so brace yourself. This is for J.B.
Alex, you liken today's primary to the death star hovering over Alderon and spoiler alert, Alderon blows up, I learned.
Remind us, Alex, who is who in that scenario.
ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Donald Trump is the death star. Ted Cruz is sort of the one haplessly protesting, we're a peaceful planet, please don't do this to us.
Obviously, we need to let the voters vote but the polls seem to point in one direction. This could be close to the end of the line for Ted Cruz. Any path for him to the Republican nomination or even to a contested convention, regardless of who it ended up nominating, has to run through Indiana. If he does lose Indiana today, if he loses by a convincing margin, a lot of folks involved in funding and organizing and planning the Stop Trump movement say that it will just break the will of the resistance.
Less play our other favorite game, Jackie, Ted Cruz wakes up tomorrow feeling --
JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: I think he'll be feeling disappointed, but I think there also might be to talk about another movie a "Sixth Sense" situation going on where, you know, I can't imagine --
BOLDUAN: Don't spoiler-alert that movie.
KUCINICH: I won't. Everyone is fine in that movie.
But I think there's going to be a situation where he keeps going on and he hasn't given any indication anywhere that he's not in this to the convention or at least past California.
BOLDUAN: You brought it.
I like that, Jackie.
So after Ted Cruz wakes up and sees dead people, he calls his donors and tells them what, Margaret?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He defiantly says stick with me and the truth is this is the key, where does he have money to keep going. It's not just the hard dollar donations because he does have fervent hard dollar donations. They can put along. But these campaigns are largely about outside money, large money disclosed and undisclosed that can do to the air war. Where is the cavalry? That's what you need in California t| block and tackle. The truth is the never Trump movement started way too late.
BOLDUAN: It seems that it might be also ending way too late. We'll see what happens.
Councilman, if this is close, if it's not a 15-point victory for Donald Trump, is that less of a victory for him leaving Indiana?
JOSEPH BORELI, NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN & CO-CHAIR, NEW YORK DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Yeah. I think if Donald Trump walks away with anything less than 40, 45 delegates, it might be seen as some momentum for Ted Cruz. But to keep our analogies going, I think this is Ted Cruz's Alamo quite frankly. He made the case --
BOLDUAN: Is there a basement in the Alamo? South of it? A different movie?
BORELI: One of my favorites.
But it's going to be interesting to see what happens when Trump does pull up with those 45 delegates but not only is there a likely path for him to get to 1,237 but it will become clearer to people as they continue to digest these numbers.
[11:20:10] Alex -- go ahead, Margaret.
HOOVER: I was just going to say, one of the things we're starting to see here is people you didn't expect, we're seeing them fall in line. Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall if line. You're starting to see conservative intellectual elites make the case not for Donald Trump, but for falling in lined behind Donald Trump because that's where the momentum is going. You saw Jon Huntsman come out and essentially say if he's going to be the nominee, with he have to support him. You see the conservative "Wall Street Journal" editorial board laying that foundation today. So I think after Indiana, it's not just that the money dries up for Ted Cruz, it's that the wind blows vigorously in Donald Trump's direction.
BOLDUAN: And Ted Cruz says defiantly they're going to stay in it. But if Indiana becomes Trump country, which it has not been until now, what does the map then look like going forward in those other Cruz- friendly states?
BURNS: This is part of why losing Indiana big would be so devastating to Cruz. It seemed like May was teed up pretty well for him. You have a series of states like Montana, like South Dakota, eventually running into California where, you know, somebody of Cruz's characteristics ought to do well, similar to states where he has done well in the past. But what we've seen, and we've already seen in Indiana what momentum can do to a state that looks like it's friendly to Ted Cruz. After Trump blew it out in New York and the other northeastern states last week, it completely changed the race in Indiana. And if he scores a significant win in Indiana, I think you see some of the states like Nebraska next week start to swing --
KUCINICH: He's the first one up on the air.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, which is very interesting move in and of itself.
Got to wrap it up. A lot more to come.
Thanks so much. Appreciate it, everybody.
Right now there's so much at stake as voters head to the polls in my great home state of Indiana. Hillary Clinton's campaign says it is bracing for a loss. We're going to play the expectations game. Our favorite game ahead. And one of the nicknames for Indiana, "the crossroads of America,"
we'll take you there. Take you to the ground and hear from the voters who are deciding today.
This is our special live coverage of Indiana's primary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED INDIANA VOTER: And I'm tired of all these career politicians saying what people want to hear.
[11:26:46] BOLDUAN: Let's get you to Evansville, Indiana, where Ted Cruz is making a stop there. I think he's speaking to reporters. Let's listen in.
CRUZ: And appreciate your putting a bright smile on it. Listen, it's up to the voters. It is up to the people of Indiana. It is up to the men and women of this state.
I will say this. This morning Donald, Trump went on national television and attacked my father. Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinating JFK. Now, let's be clear, this is nuts. This is not a reasonable position. This is just kooky. While I'm at it, I should admit, yes, my dad killed JFK, he's secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard.
Donald's source for this is the "National Enquirer." The "National Enquirer" is tabloid trash, but it's run by his good friend, David Pecker, the CEO, who has endorsed Donald Trump. And so the "National Enquirer" has become his hit piece that he uses to smear anybody and everybody.
And this is not the first time Donald Trump has used David Pecker's "National Enquirer" to go after my family. It was also the "National Enquirer" that went after my wife, Heidi, that just spread lies, blatant lies.
But I guess Donald was dismayed because it was a couple weeks ago they wrote this story about JFK and Donald was dismayed that the folks in the media weren't repeating this latest idiocy, so he figured he'd have to do it himself. He'd have to go on national television and accuse my dad of that.
Listen, my father has been my hero my whole life. My dad was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba, and when he came to America, he had nothing. He had $100 in his underwear. He washed dishes making 50 cents an hour. You now, he's exactly the kind of person Donald Trump looks down on.
I'm going to do something I haven't done for the entire campaign for those of you all who have traveled with me. I'm going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn't know the difference. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And he had a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook. His response is to accuse everybody else of lying. He accuses everybody on that debate stage of lying, and it's simply a mindless yell. Whatever he does, he accuses everyone else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth but he combines it with being a narcissist. A narcissist at a level I don't think this country has ever seen. Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, "Dude, what's your problem?"
Everything in Donald's world is about Donald.