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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Some Sanders Voters Like Trump, Trump May Focus on "Crazy Bernie"; Paul Ryan Under Pressure to Support Donald Trump; Trump Not Impressed by Micro-Targeting Data Basis; New Details in Death of Prince. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 11, 2016 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:30:00] JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, you know, that exit poll really in line with the Quinnipiac polls out the day before in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida where Bernie Sanders does much better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton. Some of those voters who would vote for Sanders are currently thinking about voting for Trump. Bernie sander has said, and he will, do everything he can to keep Trump from becoming president of the United States. We're going to have to reach out to voters to keep them from voting for Trump.

But, look, if Secretary Clinton is the eventual nominee, she'll have to reach out to the millions and millions of people who support Senator Sanders and his vision for a transforming the American economy and the political system. It is always incumbent on the winner to reach out and try to bring in the people who supported their opponent.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Jeff, as a political professional, I hope you can help explain one of the weirdest numbers I've seen in an exit poll in a long, long time. Bernie Sanders voters were asked in the exit poll who they would support in a general election, Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump? 34 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters in West Virginia said they would support Donald Trump in the general election. Explain. I don't get that.

WEAVER: Well, I've heard a few explanations for it, but I think one that was offered that makes a lot of sense, there are a lot of people who are Democrats by tradition in West Virginia, been Democrats, their whole life, and they participate in the Democratic primary process. But over time, as we've seen in the generally election, West Virginia has become more red, voting for Republicans. That's one of the challenges that we face as a Democratic party, is how do we reach out to traditional Democrats, working class Democrats in places like West Virginia, and bring those people back into the party? That's why a candidate like Bernie Sanders does so well. He's speaking to the issues that these --

(CROSSTALK)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Or not if you look at the exit poll, though, Jeff.

WEAVER: Well, it's going to take work here. I'm not saying -- you can't turn it around overnight. But Bernie Sanders talking about the real issues facing people. He's been against the bad trade deals and he's talked about raising minimum wage and making sure that people can go to college without being burdened with a lot of debt. These are issues that will ultimately bring folks back into the Democratic Party. And that's what we've got to do going toward.

BERMAN: Jeff Weaver, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Jeff.

Coming up next, Donald Trump once again breaking with conventional campaign tactics. Why he says a tried-and-true tactic of winning modern elections, he says, it's overrated. That's coming next.

BERMAN: Also, new developments in the investigation into the death of Prince. A search warrant now reportedly reveals the name of a doctor treating him in the final weeks of his life. New details on what investigators are looking for now.

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[11:37:20] BOLDUAN: It's 11:37. That means it's time to fast forward and look ahead to tomorrow's primary. Yes, we're voting -- not really. It's the Paul Ryan primary, the potentially crucial meeting between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. The future of Republican Party unity at stake.

BERMAN: That's no overstatement, I think, at all.

BOLDUAN: No.

BERMAN: I think Paul Ryan has actually set that bar.

And moments ago, our Manu Raju reported that behind closed doors up on Capitol Hill, there are members saying Ryan has put them under increased pressure. He had made it more difficult for them by saying he's not yet ready to support Donald Trump.

Let's bring in our panel to discuss. Alex Burns is the national political reporter for "The New York Times"; Ben Howell is contributing editor for redstate.com, who says he'll never vote for Donald Trump as long as he walks this earth; Jeff DeWitt --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: -- is the Arizona state treasurer and a Donald Trump surrogate; and we're joining also by CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston.

Alex Burns, let me start with you. Based on what we've heard from Manu that there's concern and unrest in the Republican ranks on Capitol Hill based on what Paul Ryan has done. We'll play our favorite game. It's Friday morning, the day closed- door meeting with Donald Trump. He wakes up saying?

ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Come to the land, I think, Paul Ryan would like to be able to say. We're all expecting fireworks to some degree on Thursday. But for everybody involved in this meeting, you can't overstate how much everybody who is participating wants to be able to say we had a really cordial and productive conversation. It would be surprising if Paul Ryan came out and immediately endorsed Donald Trump, but if he can do something and if Trump can do something to change the subject away from this idea that the two of them are butting heads from afar, day to day, that would be a huge gift to everybody involved.

BOLDUAN: But, Ben, to you, what kind -- what do you make of the increased pressure on Paul Ryan, what that means for the likelihood that there will be party unity, if you even think it's possible to find -- to merge around our common principles, as Paul Ryan put it.

BEN HOWE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, REDSTATE.COM: Well, I think there will be what they are calling party unity. I think what will happen is a lot of the people who have held back are going to come out and say they are now supporting him. I think that's going to be a long-term mistake, but I also think that Trump is right in one sense, he doesn't necessarily need any of it. If you go back to when he first announced, every single time I tried to predict what was going to happen with Donald Trump, it was based on conventional wisdom that was wrong. I kept thinking, hey, he's going to implode and he did and it didn't matter, and he imploded again and it didn't matter. So no matter how many times we've been told this has to happen or that has to happen for him to succeed, he's continued to succeed regardless of what happens, and that could be the case even if Paul Ryan doesn't endorse him.

[11:40:08] BERMAN: So, Ben, you agree, despite your greatest feelings here and big unhappiness this may be going this way, you think it is trending now towards at least some public claim of unity, that's what you're seeing?

HOWE: I think that a lot of people, Paul Ryan, especially, are going to believe that it's their responsibility to put the Republican Party -- the way I would phrase it -- to put the Republican Party ahead of conservatism, because somehow the club became more important than what the club stood for.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about micro-targeting and voter data bases. Barack Obama was famous in 2008 for putting together such an operation. That is one of the things they attribute to their big win in '08.

BERMAN: Micro-targeting is hot.