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Donald Trump a Symbol of the '80s; Donald Trump and Paul Ryan Release Joint Statement After Meeting; Uniting the GOP. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 12, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: There is no better symbol of the '80s than Donald Trump but no one in the 80s, not even Trump himself, could have predicted where we would be right now.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
The man who invented "The Art of the Deal" in Washington today to make the deal of a lifetime, a deal that he hope could put him one step closer to the White House.
Trump tweeting from his private plane "Great day in D.C. with Speaker Ryan, with Speaker Ryan and republican leadership, things working out really well." But leaving without the speaker's endorsement for now.
Paul Ryan pointing out, it just might take more than a day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The process of unifying the Republican Party, which just finished a primary about a week ago, perhaps one of the most divisive primaries in memory, takes some time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders weighs in on the whole thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They've got a serious problem, an extreme right-wing party dealing with a guy who changes his views every day from bad to worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife, the candidate, simply saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This has been I think the most benign word I can think of, this has been a fairly interesting election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We -- excuse me, we want to begin though, with today's Trump/Ryan meeting on Capitol Hill. Joining me now, CNN's senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. I mean, Jim, the whole day, it does choke you up.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It does.
LEMON: Good evening to you. You know, you said it would take a pretty big tent to hold the political circus in D.C. today. Tell us about that.
ACOSTA: That's right, Don. Donald Trump and his team came to Washington to test just how much face there is inside that Republican Party big ten. Is there enough room for Donald Trump? And the answer Trump got from House Speaker Paul Ryan was there just might be.
There was no endorsement today from the speaker. But officials inside the Trump campaign tell me they weren't expecting that today. They know this is just the first step in what will be a long healing process for the GOP.
They were little bites, you might say, for Donald Trump. Even on the Senate side, where Trump has the endorsement of the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. There are still some hard feelings. John Cornyn, Senator from Texas, said Trump needs to change his tone on immigration.
But, Don, by most accounts, Trump was doing a lot less talking today and a lot more listening. And I think that went a long way with a lot of republicans here in Washington.
LEMON: Imagine that, imagine that. You know, Jim.
ACOSTA: Imagine that.
LEMON: Yes, it's the conventional wisdom, though. Is it that Paul Ryan will eventually have to endorse Trump? Is that accurate?
ACOSTA: Right. I think that is the conventional wisdom at this point. Paul Ryan himself said today that he represents a wing of the Republican Party but Donald Trump himself has created a whole new wing of first-time voters who are pumping a lot of excitement and in the party.
The question becomes can Trump meet Ryan halfway or almost halfway on some of these issues like trade and entitlements where Trump and Ryan are very far apart. Almost like democrats and republicans.
But the Trump campaign officials I spoke to today believe Ryan's endorsement will come in time.
LEMON: Was today just as much about introductions? I mean, how well does Donald Trump know some of the politicians that he met with today, Jim?
ACOSTA: Not well. Paul Ryan himself said he barely knows Donald Trump. Where it is just ordinary to think where we are in this stage of the campaign. But Donald Trump showed today that he is willing to work on that.
You saw him pick up the endorsement today of Senator Orrin Hatch. Hatch was effusive about Donald Trump today talking to reporters. And then we learned that Trump had spoken by phone with Senator Lindsey Graham. That goes to show you right now that miracles can happen in Washington, Don, considering how much they hammered each other over the last six months.
And finally, a Donald Trump held a meeting that just about all Washington insiders covet, a sit-down with former Secretary of State James Baker, a trusted adviser of the Bush family and it does not get more Washington than that, Don.
LEMON: Jim Acosta in Washington. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate it.
ACOSTA: You're welcome.
LEMON: The GOP remains divided tonight over Donald Trump. Joining me now two people on opposites. Jan Brewer is the former Governor of Arizona, she has endorsed Donald Trump. Also Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard who says the GOP was wrong to nominate Trump. Interesting.
So, let's get this conversation going. Hello to both of you. Governor Brewer.
BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD EDITOR: Hi.
LEMON: Let's listen to Speaker Ryan today after the meeting. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: I was very encouraged with what I heard from Donald Trump today. I do believe that we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified, to bridge the gaps and differences. And so, from here we're going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where what common ground is and how we can make sure that we are operating off the same core principles.
And so, yes, I am -- this is our first meeting. I was very encouraged with this meeting but this is a process. It takes a little time. You don't put it together in 45 minutes. So, that is why we had, like I said, a very good start to a process on how we unify.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Donald Trump didn't speak today but we know he's a prolific tweeter. So, he did say this on Twitter.
[22:04:59] He said "Great day in D.C. with speaker Ryan and republican leadership. Things working out really well."
So, Governor, my question to you is this is about deal making, right? So who has more leverage here?
JAN BREWER, FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, let me begin, if I can, Don, you know, that was very encouraging, the results that took place today. And it's a lessening of the friction that's taking place. And I think that it is going to work its way through and that -- well, obviously Donald is going to be our candidate.
So, this is the way that it should play out. Everybody should get behind Donald Trump and support him, he's the republican candidate.
And the person that has the most power, I think, is both of them. You know, the art of compromise is the art of working in a body. The governor or the president of the United States, they work with their legislature or their Congress and you put ideas out there and that body that is the Congress that we all look upon and elect people from is that everybody compromises.
But it is so important that you have an open door and it's so important that you have maybe a person there of your same party so that you can compromise.
BREWER: Because if you have one party and you have a president with a different idea totally, this is not going to get done. We need to elect Donald Trump and get the job done.
Bill Kristol, I know you're dying to get in here, jumping it a bit. What's your response to this today?
KRISTOL: Well, actually I'm against Trump and Jan is for Trump. But I kind of agree with her. This is a day for Donald Trump. Republican establishment turns out to be really as weak and as lame as Donald Trump said of us.
I mean, here they are basically capitulating to Trump. Jan is being polite. As a Trump surrogate and saying oh, they both have leverage and it's a compromise. There's no evidence that Donald Trump is compromising on anything.
And in case, most people who are critics of Trump weren't interested in compromising and they just don't think he has the character or judgment to be president. It's Donald Trump's Republican Party which is why some of us are going to have to leave at least at the presidential level temporarily.
LEMON: What would you like to have seen today, Bill?
KRISTOL: I would have liked Paul Ryan to say, you know what? I'm Speaker of the House, I'm going to keep the republican house, here and principles and commitments. I don't know that I can in good conscience support Donald Trump and I will just stay out of the presidential race. LEMON: What effect do you think that that would have haven, Governor
BREWER: Well, you know, Bill, I respect you so much and I've been a supporter of yours for a long time, but we have a nominee and it's Donald Trump. And it's going to be a lot easier to get to your side of the issues and to compromise than to have Hillary elected.
I ask everybody what are you going to do? Are you going to just stay out of the election or are you going to go and vote for Hillary and have four more years of Barack Obama?
It just simply doesn't make any sense. And as a former governor, Bill, we know that we go in there with philosophical believes that we believe in, but everybody comes from all different areas and you never agree 100 percent on everything.
And in the business world I think they call it, you know, doing a deal like Donald calls it, doing a deal. Well, in the legislative body, it is a compromise because you don't always get 100 percent.
But you're better to be able to work with somebody of your same ilk than totally, totally against everything that you believe in.
LEMON: Bill, go ahead and respond.
KRISTOL: I would just say for me it's not so much about of Donald Trump's particular positions. So, I don't like the fact that he likes President Putin of Russia and positions he has in foreign policy and domestic policy.
But for me it's his just a matter of character and judgment. I mean, this is a man that went to Indiana in the last contested primary, embraced Mike Tyson's endorsement of him.
Someone pointed out to me, hey, Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl here in Indiana, you know, a couple, 20 years ago, served his sentence, was actually charged again for another rape. Don't you want to reconsider praising Mike Tyson as a kind of tough guy that whose endorsement you welcome? Oh, no, I like tough guys, you know.
And at some point, you would just have to say, I want to say, I'll just make different judgment that he shouldn't be president of the United States.
LEMON: So, you saw -- I'm sure you saw, Bill, the joint statement released by both Donald Trump and the speaker that saying "We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party's history, which is interesting."
And so if, you know, is there any hope of defeating Hillary Clinton? If there is any, doesn't there have to be unity within t party?
KRISTOL: Well, I think there will be. I think there will be an independent candidate. I think a republican of integrity and honor who people like me will feel comfortable voting for. I hope that person can. It will be an outside job, but I hope that person can beat both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Because I think that more people see Donald Trump, I'm not convinced that he will wear well. Well, I don't think he has more well.
[22:10:02] And for all the talk about how well he did, and he won the nomination fair and square,. The rules are the rules, he won the plurality, he get the majority of the delegates in many states.
He's still -- he's still a less than 50 percent of the republican votes, all that huge turnout, more than half of that turnout didn't vote for Donald Trump. But I don't want to litigate that...
LEMON: Are you suggesting a third candidate, Bill?
LEMON: Isn't it too late for that, though?
KRISTOL: No. Only one state's deadline has passed. Texas and I think North Carolina will pass soon. The others, the next one is June 27th and a lawsuit in those two states would work because in the 80s there were lawsuits against states that are excessively early deadlines. I think Jan would say I think Arizona's ballot, for example, is perfectly easy to get on, too.
And I think if Ben Sasses or Tom Coburn or Mitt Romney or others...
LEMON: You mentioned Mitt Romney. Why is that? The possibility of Mitt Romney.
KRISTOL: Well, just because, no, just because those three have all said they couldn't support Donald Trump. And I would -- that they may choose to step it out. That is the easiest thing to do. I would admire them if they stepped forward and said, look, I'm going to run a positive campaign.
I think we have two people running for president who should not be president and a majority of Americans in both cases have unfavorable views of Trump and of Hillary Clinton. Neither should be president.
So, let me offer an alternative. Is it unusual? Is it a long shot? Do independent candidates usually win though, of course not. But I think this is such an exceptional year, it will be worth trying.
LEMON: Governor, if that happens, let's just say a third party candidate enter at this point, wouldn't that just be turning it over to a democrat to whoever the nominee is, which is of course this could be Hillary Clinton? BREWER: Absolutely it would be turning -- absolutely it will be
turning it over to Hillary Clinton and the people of our party have spoken and they have overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Trump.
And for people wanting to put a third party in there is just going to fracture the party again. I've been a republican, Bill, all my life and it's been a long life, a long, hard life by the way. And, you know, you don't have to agree with the person 100 percent on everything.
But you talk about Donald Trump's ability to say things sometimes that are maybe not so well-accepted. But, you know, maybe he was trying to be nice to say that Mr. Putin was a nice guy. Who knows? But we like his policies. And people want to shake things up.
Republicans have been in charge and a lot of steps didn't get done at all, at all. And they want a change. And I think you would agree at least with his reduction on tax policy, that's very, very important and bringing jobs and creating jobs and he's a known job creator. And you know -- you know, Mr. Trump. I mean, I know Mr. Trump.
LEMON: Give him a chance to respond.
BREWER: He's a very nice man. OK.
KRISTOL: Well, I've only met him once or twice and I don't actually think he's a particularly nice man and I think there's plenty of evidence that he's a bully and sort of ego -- has a huge ego, kind of narcissist. And I just think he'd be a terrible president.
And it's not about this -- I mean, who knows what is his tax plan is, he's changed it about five times, who know what's his position is on deporting 11 million people or on anything.
He has no serious policy positions. He's been a very effective demagogue and unfortunately convinced a lot of people to vote for him. And I don't begrudge elected officials. I just think they were on a different position. I think Jan is sort of write about this.
If you're an elected republican, you have more of an obligation or at least your inclination should be at first to support the nominee of the party. But look, I voted republican for president every election since I first voted in 1972.
I regret none of those votes. None of those were perfect I think in each case. I would have prefer their policies if they had won to the democrats who did win. Or I was happy to vote for a republican who did win, like Reagan twice.
LEMON: But not this time? Yes.
KRISTOL: But not this time for me.
LEMON: OK. Stand by both of you. We'll continue our conversation. When we come right back, I want to talk some more about the names being mentioned as possible Trump running mates, including you, Governor Jan Brewer. Can we see her face? Including you, Governor. So, we'll talk about that when we come right back. Don't go anywhere.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump and Paul Ryan releasing a joint statement after their meeting today saying while they have differences, there's also a lot of common ground between them, and that they're committed to unifying he GOP.
But is that even possible at this point. You've been listening the conversation between Governor Jan Brewer and Bill Kristol. Is that even possible at this point.
Governor, I want you to listen to some of what Donald Trump said during the campaign season. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the king of debt. I love debt.
This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK?
We're out of control. We have no idea who's coming into our country. We have no idea if they love us or if they hate us. We have no idea if they want to bomb us.
They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some I assume are good people.
I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.
We're going to build a wall, believe me, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Governor, it was statements like that that got so many worried about him as a nominee. Do you think though statements represent the Republican Party's principles?
BREWER: I think that it represents the people of America. The people are America are very, very angry. They want some results. I certainly agree with Mr. Trump in regards to we need to secure our borders for a lot of different reasons.
You know, Arizona was a gateway of illegal immigration and they're still coming. Along with that comes, you know, the drug cartels and with the drug cartels comes the sex trafficking, the drop houses, the extortion and it ends up in our state and we are responsible for all those bills that we have to incur by them creating crime, the incarceration. And then they filter out into the rest of the United States. So, we're all affected by a bit.
LEMON: But, Governor, the statue overall that immigrants are responsible for less crime than Americans who are born here.
BREWER: I'm not talking about immigrants, I'm talking about illegal immigrants and drug cartels...
[22:20:01] LEMON: Even the legal immigrants.
BREWER: ... and all the crimes that they bring in here. We don't want it, nor can we afford it and it's wrong. And we believe in the rule of law. If you want to come, come legally.
LEMON: Bill, do you think those statements represent Americans?
KRISTOL: I think Jan is a better spokesperson for Donald Trump than Donald Trump is. And I think she is Donald Trump vice presidential nominee that the Trump campaign would do well to put her out more than him.
But I don't it would be tough to be Trump's vice presidential nominee. I don't think get a sense a guy who consults a heck of a lot. So, it will be an interesting -- I'm curious to talk to Jan after the whole thing is after I think the Trump -- after there's an independent republican president and an independent wins for the first time in the last couple of centuries in America since really the party. And that will be exciting. And then Jan can tell stories of what it was like to be on the Trump/Brewer ticket.
LEMON: Well, Bill, I appreciate transition because you got mt to my next line of questioning. In today's meetings, Trump sat down with a few congressional republicans who had been mentioned as V.P. picks.
This was he said on Fox News. This was last about you as a possible V.P. pick, governor. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Jan Brewer's been fantastic. She has been so fantastic. You know, I won so big her territory, and we won so big. She's a fabulous woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What's your reaction?
BREWER: Well, certainly I appreciate him speaking so nicely about me, but there are a lot of people out, there men and women, that are highly qualified that would be great candidates.
LEMON: Who would you like to see? Like who?
BREWER: I have no inside information. Well, I don't get to make that choice. Mr. Trump is going to have to choose somebody that he feels comfortable with, somebody I think political that knows the ropes, that have been down there, to be able to negotiate and compromise and knows the process to help him.
And I think he realizes that, too. And I would be honored, of course, to talk to him about it. I would be honored to serve Mr. Trump in any capacity, if I could help him. Because I love America and I've been in politics for a long time.
And I, you know, I want to do what's right. You know, these last eight years of our administration here has been a disaster, an absolute...
LEMON: So, he also met with Rob Portman today, Alabama's Jeff Sessions, South Dakotas John Thune. All of whom have been mentioned as a potential running mate. But do you think, Governor, that he should pick a woman or maybe a minority?
BREWER: I'm probably one of the few women. I don't think that it needs to be a woman. You know, he's got choices. Johnny -- you know, Donnie Ersch, Mary Fallin, myself, whoever. But I don't think people vote for the president because they have a woman vice president.
I think they vote for the person because of their ideas and their policies and they want change. And I think that Mr. Trump has come forward with several policies that have struck a huge cord amongst the people.
LEMON: Is there someone who would help you -- if that he would pick as a vice presidential pick, Bill, that would help you move over to the Trump side?
KRISTOL: Not really. For me the question, Don, is if you're Trump's vice presidential -- if your trump's vice presidential running mate, do you get to call him Donald or do you have to keep on calling him Mr. Trump?
That for me is the question that he needs to be asked. What is with the Mr. Trump thing? I mean, you know, he's a private citizen. He's not the president of the United States. Which is President Obama out of respect. But really I think we can call people by their first names, can't we?
LEMON: I don't know. I think with someone running for president, you should try to show some respect and call them, you know, by their last name.
KRISTOL: But I think...
LEMON: Yes. Like sometimes I slip and call him Donald. But I try to him Mr. Trump, the man could be president of the United States.
KRISTOL: No, you. I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about his peers, governors, senators, congressman. It's Mr. Trump this, Mr. Trump that.
LEMON: I think it's just a sign of respect.
KRISTOL: But anyway.
LEMON: Just like when people say sir or ma'am.
KRISTOL: That's true. I'm for that, I'm for old fashioned courtesy. Bu when Jan becomes V.P. it becomes V.P. it will be Donald, it will be Donald or Jan.
LEMON: Well, thank you, governor. And thank you, Mr. Kristol.
BREWER: I call him both. I call him both.
LEMON: All right.
KRISTOL: I know, I'm just teasing you.
LEMON: All right. Have a good night. See you guys soon.
Up next, how would Ronald Reagan unify the GOP and Trump? I'm going to ask his son Michael, next.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: House Speaker Paul Ryan still withholding his endorsement of Donald Trump despite their meeting today.
Here to discuss all of this is Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan and the author of "The Lessons My father Taught Me," and Dennis Prager, nationally syndicated talk show host.
How do you guys doing?
MICHAEL REAGAN, RONALD REAGAN'S SON: Doing well.
DENNIS PRAGER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW HOST: Hi. Thanks for having us.
LEMON: It's great to have you on. Dennis, I want to play again what Paul Ryan said coming out of today's big meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: This is our first meeting. I was very encouraged with this meeting but this is a process. It takes a little time. You don't put it together in 45 minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, still no endorsement from Paul Ryan. Can Trump and Ryan put their differences behind them and resolve this you think, Dennis? PRAGER: I do, actually. And I think Paul Ryan is handling it with a
lot of dignity. Had he after all of the critiques of Trump said, OK, we're on the bandwagon, I think people would not have taken him seriously.
He has to worry about hundreds of congressmen and their reelection ability, and he has to worry about his own credibility. I think he's handling it with a lot of dignity and I salute him.
LEMON: So, Michael, if your father, Ronald Reagan, were in this kind of situation, if he saw a Republican Party standard bearer who, you know, may not share his particular principles, how do you think he would handle it?
REAGAN: I think there's a big difference between someone who doesn't, you know, share his principles and Donald Trump. I think there would be a big difference. I think my father always did support the nominee of the party.
But I think in this case right now, he really -- we have to sit back and really truly think about Donald Trump. And it would be up to Donald Trump to bridge that gap between himself and Ronald Reagan or himself and Paul Ryan himself and Lindsey Graham himself and the Bushes himself and those who are going to vote in November.
[22:30:02] Not incumbent upon anybody else, it's incumbent upon Donald Trump to make those inroads to bring people together for November.
LEMON: When you say -- when you say there are big differences between your dad and Donald Trump, what are those differences?
REAGAN: Well, my father was a demean, he paid attention to the 11th commandment. Don't speak ill of another republican. He didn't demean people because he knew at the end of the day he had to bring those people on board to win the national election in November.
By demeaning them, it's very hard, not only to get them on board but also get their supporters on board. You can't say 'lyin' Ted' on a regular basis and then go to his supporters and say please, come and vote for me in November unless you've done something to reach out and do a mea culpa with those in fact who voted for Ted Cruz.
LEMON: Yes. I read something interesting that you told our producers. I think you said, the question is what would your father do in this position. You said what would make you think that my father would even want to be in this position?
REAGAN: Well, yes. I mean, really somebody said wish your father back? I said what would make you think he would come back. I mean, there are people out there who talk about my father and Donald Trump and say to Donald Trump is just like Ronald Reagan. Well, the truth is if Ronald Reagan were like Donald Trump, Nancy never would have married him.
LEMON: Dennis, you know, time is of the essence here. How much time do you think republicans have to pull all of this together?
PRAGER: They have the time, there's no question. This is just May, the election of course is in November. I think in fact, believe it or not, I think they will.
Look, I'm a perfect example. I have devoted the last half year in print at National Review and elsewhere in print and on my national radio show to criticizing, quite severely, for criticizing Donald Trump.
However, I did say at the beginning if God forbid, I don't know if God forbid, but if he is the nominee I would vote for him. I said it in my first article and I am sticking to that. Because from my perspective, the Democratic Party has done a lot of damage to my beloved country and I cannot really abide by the idea of having another four years of that, of having the Supreme Court set.
And the reason -- it's not just that I disagree obviously because I'm conservative and I don't agree with folks on the left. It's not just that. It's that they use the court in lieu of Congress, that for the left if you can't pass a law, you use judges to pass the law. And that's a very disturbing thing. It has made the Supreme Court far stronger than the founders envisioned it.
LEMON: Do you agree with that, Michael?
REAGAN: No, I really don't agree with that at all. As I said, it's really up to Donald Trump to get everybody on board. Now Dennis is on board because he's a conservative and he is a republican. But Donald Trump hasn't proven himself to be a considerate and he just really came into the republican ranks.
And you can't really trust the fact he's going to pick the right judges to go on the Supreme Court because every day he seems to change his message just a little more depending on who he talks about and who he speaks about.
So, he has a lot of work to do to in fact, bring other people such as myself and others on board. But I'm not appreciative at all of a man who demeans people like John McCain, who demeans others on the campaign trail and people applaud that kind of demeaning. I don't think that's right.
LEMON: So, you're not going to vote for him?
PRAGER: Well, Don, let me just say.
LEMON: Let him answer. So, you're not going to vote for him?
PRAGER: Well, sure.
REAGAN: No, I'm not saying I'm not going to vote for him. but at this point if the election were held today, I'd be voting down ballot, not up ballot. LEMON: OK.
PRAGER: Let me just say the irony is, Michael doesn't agree with me but I agree with every word that Michael said. I do believe and I said it to you when I was last on with you, I do believe that it's up to Donald Trump to make the overtures. I couldn't agree more and the despicable things he said about John McCain and others remain despicable.
PRAGER: I'm not happy about it but this in life very rarely do we have the choice between good and evil. We generally have it between lesser of evil. I'm not pointing to anyone...
LEMON: You said that the other night when -- you said that the other night when you came on. It sounds like a shotgun wedding to me between you two. So, if...
REAGAN: Wait, if I could say something, Don.
LEMON: Yes, go ahead.
REAGAN: I mean, we're on the scientist Hispanics for Donald Trump., where are the science women for Donald Trump? I mean, these are the areas he's so weakened this country that we live in today. You got 75 percent of the women are against him, I'm sure more than 100 percent of Hispanics are not going to vote for him on election day. How is he going to make inroads into those areas and how's the democrat party going to deal with Donald Trump as another one?
LEMON: All right. Hold that thought, Dennis, because I know you want to respond to that. Gentlemen, please stay with me. When we come back, if Trump -- if he is winning with voters, why should he change, you know, to party leaders now? We're going to talk about that next.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Both sides say they want unity but should Donald Trump change to suit the GOP or should they change to suit him?
Back with me now is Michael Reagan and Dennis Prager. Let's see if I can say this more succinctly, Michael, than I did going into the break. The whole idea behind Trump's campaign is to let Trump be Trump. It's a winning formula for him now, so why should he change his tone?
REAGAN: Well, he probably won't change his tone at all but he needs to do something to bring people together. I don't know if the republican national party wants to be a party say we're going to pick up 11.5 illegals and ship them out of the United States of America, there will be going to be the party that's going to stop Muslims from coming into the United States of America. I don't know if the Republican Party if that's the change they in fact
want to make. And I think that's part of what Paul Ryan is considering at this point in time. Who is the Republican Party?
And I tweeted out as you know, a couple of weeks ago, the Republican Party is no longer the party of Reagan, it is the party of Trump. Good luck.
LEMON: So, Dennis, to Michael point before the break, how is he going to make inroads with women, how is he going to make inroads with Latinos? And now he's saying the Republican Party should not be the party of people who are trying to stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, or stop immigrants I should say, from coming into the country whether they be Hispanic or Muslim.
[22:39:58] PRAGER: OK. To begin with women, I think he has a number of very powerful arguments, not least of which is you've had a democratic president and for part of the time a democratic Congress, do you think it's gone better for you?
They are using you just as in my belief they have used minorities for all of my lifetime. They use people in order to gain votes saying how much they're on their side and that anyone who opposes them, meaning any conservative or republican is what I call SIXHIRB, sexist, intolerant (ph) xenophobic, homophobic, islamophobic, racist, and bigoted.
That is the entire lexicon of the left. Paul Krugman of the New York Times wrote "I figured out the real support for Donald Trump is racist."
Well, the fact is, I'm sure he will get more black votes than Mitt Romney got. And his appeal to women will be very simple, what is a more important issue for you than the security of the United States? Do you really believe that Hillary Clinton, who was prepared to compromise the security of her country for the sake of her foundation for money is going to protect this country like Donald Trump will - I think he'll make tremendous inroads with women.
LEMON: But, Dennis...
REAGAN: He may very well do that. He may very well do that. But it comes down -- I have a 33-year-old daughter, Ashley Marie, and we talk about this on a regular basis. And like Ashley said, you know, her group of people her 33-year-old, 34, or 35-year-old vote for someone who is relatable and likable.
And whoever is going to be the most relatable and likable is probably going to win the vote. They're not going to intellectualize it like Dennis does in a wonderful, wonderful way. They're going to go to the polls and say, you know I relate to that person and that's the person I'm going to vote for.
PRAGER: Well, that is -- that is -- you may be right, Michael and if that's the case, there's very little hope for the United States of America.
This is a perfect example of amusing ourselves to death, the brilliant book that was written in the 1980s where everything has become entertainment. A hundred years ago, Americans didn't vote for who was likable.
They -- if you watched the Nixon/Kennedy debate, the issue was issues, but now with television, likability, who would you like to have a beer with? That's why I figure I could never run. I don't think people want to have a beer with me. I don't even drink beer. So, if that's what your daughter's criterion is and it may well be, that's really sad.
REAGAN: No, it's not her criteria but she's talking about her generation.
PRAGER: OK. Yes, I saw it. All right. But that's your daughter. OK.
REAGAN: And what you have with Donald Trump is you have the first nominee of talk radio and social media. That's what you've got. And where these kids live and what have you.
So, you know, a lot of this given to them through all of these different arenas anymore. And I don't know if that's the best thing for America.
LEMON: We've heard -- we've heard this like to have a beer thing since Ronald Reagan, we've heard it with, you know, democratic presidents, we've heard with republican presidents, we've heard it with a republican president...
REAGAN:I had a beer with Ronald Reagan.
LEMON: ... we have heard with Bill Clinton, we've heard it with George W. Bush. But listen, I have to set -- Dennis, I have to push back a little bit because you said this is, you know, sort of a talking point of the left by calling out Donald Trump saying that he is somehow xenophobic, that he is racist in some way.
There are people on the right who say the same things and there are people on the right who say similar things, maybe, you know, not as far. Even the Speaker of the House said we are an open party, we don't talk about keeping people out, America is exclusive. So, it's not just a talking point on the left.
PRAGER: Right. Well, that would be said, I mean, the idea that the United States of America is allowed to have border doesn't make you xenophobic. It's an odd correlation. We are allowed to have borders, we should have borders. Mexico has far more stringent borders with Guatemala than we have with Mexico. Is Mexico xenophobic? I don't -- I find that charge unacceptable.
LEMON: Do you want to respond to that, Michael? Do you agree? No?
REAGAN: Well, I mean, we do need borders. Nobody's arguing we don't need borders. We got laws, we should abide by our laws but you're not going to be able to pick up 11.5 million people and ship them out?
PRAGER: Of course.
REAGAN: Because those people have families.
PRAGER: That's right.
REAGAN: They're out there, they're now -- they're now married into families, there's children being born and what have you. So, you know, to take that stand and have people applaud that stand like it's going to happen, do we need an immigration policy? Yes.
We need a coherent immigration policy and we need to pass that, but the immigration policy shouldn't be, hey, are you Hispanic? Are you legal? We're going to ship you to a country that you may never have ever lived in.
I will tell you this about my father, he would have pulled people into the Oval Office and he will sat, people down and said where are the areas we agree on immigration? Should we really send people home that were children brought here by their parents?
Are we going to hold them accountable for the sin of the parent? I think my dad would come down on the side of the child, maybe not the parent, but you come down on the side of the child and find a way to take care of the birthers.
LEMON: Dennis, last word.
[22:44:57] PRAGER: I think that Michael's father would have supported the idea of some barrier to protect the United States of America. I agree about the shipping -- it's irresponsible statements and I agree it won't happen, it's a nonissue.
But the idea of a barrier, a wall whatever you wish to call it, look at how effective Israel has been building a barrier and how it reduced terrorism to almost zero as a result of it.
LEMON: Israel is not the size of America though and we have to deal...
PRAGER: All right. Well, then that's -- all right. But that's a logistics issue, not a principle issue.
LEMON: But if you're going to compare something, it should be an equal comparison especially if you're talking about geography and the topography to actually build a wall.
But that's a conversation for another time. Thank you, gentlemen.
PRAGER: Next time.
LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
PRAGER: Thank you.
LEMON: Donald Trump says he had a great day in D.C., Paul Ryan said he was encouraged by Trump. Is the GOP about to get in line?
LEMON: It is beginning to sound a lot like the GOP is coming around to the idea of getting in line behind Donald Trump but what will that mean for the party?
Joining me now is CNN political commentator Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter, and Peter Beinart, a contributor to The Atlantic.
[22:50:02] So, good evening to you both. Let's listen to Paul Ryan what he said about Donald Trump. This was last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: He also inherit something very special and it's very special to a lot of us. This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, the Jack Kemp and we don't always nominate a Lincoln and a Reagan every four years. But we hope that our nominee inspires to be Lincoln and Reaganesque, that that person advances the principles of our party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So that was then. This is now today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: I was very encouraged with what I heard from Donald Trump today. I do believe that we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified, to bridge the gaps and differences. And so from here we're going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where that common ground is and how we can make sure that we are operating off the same core principles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What a difference a week makes. Peter, you say that there's a remarkable difference between those two statements. Why do you say that?
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A remarkable difference. A week ago on CNN, what Paul Ryan said was that Donald Trump was inheriting the party of Lincoln and Jack Kemp and had to be true to those principles and had to reach to people from all walks of life.
That was a clear statement. Jack Kemp is renowned among conservative for being conservative who reach out to African-Americans and other minorities. That it was a statement about things like the Muslim ban, calling Mexican immigrants rapists, encouraging assaults of African- American protesters.
There was none of that in Paul Ryan's statement today. He said, he didn't say that Donald Trump was going to have to adopt the principles of the Republican Party as he defined them. He said Donald Trump represents one legitimate wing. I represent the other. It was basically a surrender.
LEMON: So what happened? Did Trump get to him? Did members of the party get to him? What happened?
BEINART: Look, I think that the truth is that the Republican Party surrendered to Trumpism long ago. Its 70 percent of republicans in these polls support Donald Trump temporary ban on Muslims. Paul Ryan, although I think he's an honorable man, simply is a minority in his own party.
LEMON: Do you agree with that?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. Because here is what I think happened. Apparently, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump had only met once very long ago. They've spoken on the phone but they've not met him in person and had a chance to have a long drawn of discussion.
And I think you watch the news it's very easy to walk. I think Donald Trump is the merrily all of these things, X, Y, and Z, a bigot, XYZ, you know, whatever you want to call him. And I think that -- and I think Paul Ryan was very surprised when he sat down and saw a reasonable person, a smart person, someone who knows policy.
It's like the overnight kind of change Ben Carson had where he said, wait, there are kind of two Trumps. I see this person out there who's talking and I -- whose summarize in the media as this and then I talk with him and he's very reflective, he's very smart and he understands policy.
So, I think this is Paul Ryan seeing this is what the voters are seeing.
BEINART: I got you. Paul Ryan saw a Donald Trump who understands public policy? He is perhaps the only American who has ever seen that Donald. We've been watching Donald Trump several times a day on national TV now for a year. I've never once seen a Donald Trump who has shown a command of public policy.
MCENANY: By the way, Lindsey Graham said the same thing today, he said "I was very surprised by the very nuisance complex questions Donald Trump has -- in foreign policy.
BEINART: Will he please start showing that to the American public?
MCENANY: I think he had shown it.
BEINART: Where is this Donald Trump that is hiding for years?
LEMON: But several of them reported to have said, you know, I actually kind of like the guy, right? They say that. But here's my question in this fame. The former Speaker of the House, right, John Boehner said that he didn't -- he did support Donald Trump, if he becomes the nominee, he would support him but he doesn't support some of his positions.
So then, how can you support him if you have don't support his positions. I don't understand that, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: You don't need someone who is a litmus test everything you ever wanted. That would be unrealistic to say you agree with the candidate on every single thing.
And John Boehner recognizes I might not agree with him on a lot of policy, some policies but the principles, this grow like...
LEMON: But isn't that what really matters is that you -- the policies and not the person...
BEINART: Here's what I think.
LEMON: ... because this person represents these particular policies that's why I want to vote for? It's like he's voting for him, it sounds like just because he's a republican.
MCENANY: It's the principles, limited government.
Donald Trump, I've never heard him say limited government that's something that Donald Trump stands by.
LEMON: Donald Trump because I've never heard him say unlimited, maybe he had...
MCENANY: He doesn't want a big expansive government.
LEMON: What he espouses it doesn't -- it seems to be a government that worlds but he doesn't seem to be a small government...
BEINART: Yes. You know, I don't know. Endorsing, Fort Riley endorsing it doesn't sounds like limited government. It sounds like a government that is monstrously out of control.
This is what I think Paul Ryan signaled to conservatives though. He mentioned the issue of abortion twice. I think that was very significant. I think what a lot of conservatives are starting to say is if Donald Trump will give us some kind of reassurance on the Supreme Court and socially conservative justices, we will overlook other things. And I think signaled that.
MCENANY: But he -- that's the thing. Donald Trump was the first candidate to name his Supreme Court nominees, he mentioned Bill Pryor, who is one of the most firmest pro-life justice other there who is been criticize for being so pro-life. He has.
And that's something that we have Donald Trump supporters sit here and we're like, what are you waiting for? This is what he's name, this is what he said. We know who he's going to support to the Supreme Court. He's named them.
[22:54:59] BEINART: Yes. If he's changed his mind on so many different things, that I think some people might want him to say it again. I mean, I'm pro-choice but I'm saying this is what I think anti-abortion the service want.
LEMON: So, the folks who are who don't want Donald Trump, who don't support Donald Trump, and I'm talking about conservatives here or republicans, and what are they most afraid of him if he is elected?
BEINART: I think there's a real split between conservative righters who are not getting on the band wagon and republican politicians who are moving towards getting behind Donald Trump because their voters support Donald Trump and they can't be out of step with those people.
I think what the conservative writers and thinkers and many of you have on your show, I mean, you have them often on your show, what they think is that Donald Trump doesn't -- he's not informed enough to be president, he's not a man of decent character and he doesn't have a fundamental respect for our constitutional order. I think they're right.
LEMON: But there are some that say that doesn't matter, I'm going to vote for him anyways which is very interesting, which is what the speaker is saying and a number just like Lindsey Graham or what have you.
Thank you very much. I appreciate both of you.
Coming up, what a long, strange trip it has been. This has been a campaign like no other. And we've heard some strange things about the candidate. But one of them is being called a zombie, a zombie candidate. I'm going to tell you who when we come right back.
[22:59:55] LEMON: What the butler said and a zombie running for president?
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Bernie Sanders says this about his campaign and his opponent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I'm not here to say that Hillary Clinton can't defeat Donald Trump. I absolutely believe that she can. But I believe quite honestly that Bernie Sanders is the stronger candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)