Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
360 GOP Town Hall: The Kasich Family Minutes Away; Sanders Steps Up; Attacks Against Clinton; Clinton Vs. Trump; Clinton Vs. Trump In New York; Trump On Clinton: "Whole Life Has Been A Big, Fat, Beautiful Lie". Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 11, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:16] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
As you can see, we have something special for you tonight. A "360" town hall, the first of three this week. Governor John Kasich, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and their families as well. We hope it gives you, the voters a chance to see a difference side of each candidates. Tonight, the Kasich family, talking to voters her with the New York primary just around the corner. That is coming up at the top of the hour. Wednesday night is Ted Cruz. And tomorrow night is Donald Trump and his family. He is speaking tonight in Albany. He and Senator Cruz escalating their war over delegates and a system that Donald Trump is now calling rigged.
The latest on all of that from CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a crooked system, folks. It is a crooked system.
SUNLEN SERFATY, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outraged over being outmaneuvered, Donald Trump is going on the offensive.
TRUMP: We have got a corrupt system. It's not right. We're supposed to be a democracy. We're supposed to be -- we're supposed to be you vote and the vote means something.
SERFATY: As Trump rails against the GOP delegate selection process, Ted Cruz's campaign is demonstrating its organizational strength.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The latest thing he seized upon is when people vote against him, they are stealing the election. It's a really odd notion. What is this democracy of which you speak?
SERFATY: Cruz's campaign winning a clean sweep in Colorado this weekend picking up all 34 of the delegates at stake in the state. But Trump is crying foul.
TRUMP: What they're trying to do is subvert the movement with crooked shenanigans, all right. And we are just not going to let it happen. We are not going to let it happen.
SERFATY: Trump's new convention manager taking his criticism of the Cruz's operation one step farther.
PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN CONVENTION MANAGER: You go to these county conventions and you see the tactic, gestapo tactics. We are going to be filing several protests because the reality is they are not playing by the rules.
SERFATY: The Trump camp gave no specifics or evidence about what those tactics might be. Though Trump tweeted Sunday quote "I win a state in votes and then get non-representative delegates because they are offered all sorts of goodies by Cruz campaign. Bad system."
And the Cruz campaign is firing back rejecting those charges as just sour grapes adding quote "we are winning because we put in the hard work to build a superior organization."
This as the Texas senator is no longer downplaying the chances that the race will be settled at the convention this July.
CRUZ: The odd of going to a contested convention in July are much, much greater.
SERFATY: Cruz now openly admitting a contested convention could be his best shot at winning the nomination.
CRUZ: In that scenario, I think we will go in with an overwhelming advantage. I believe the first ballot will be the highest vote total Donald Trump receives, and on a subsequent ballot, we're going to win the nomination and earn a majority.
SERFATY: Meantime, the "Boston Globe" launching an attack on the GOP front-runner publishing a satirical front page in the opinion section of its Sunday edition warning readers about the deeply troubling risk of a Trump presidency.
TRUMP: I couldn't care less.
TRUMP: Trump brushing it off and blasting the newspaper.
TRUMP: They made up the whole front page is a make believe story which is really no difference from the whole paper for the whole thing. I mean, the whole thing is made up.
COOPER: Sunlen Serfaty joins us from Irvine in Southern California (INAUDIBLE) conservative Orange County.
SO what is the latest in the fight for delegate between Cruz and Trump?
SERFATY: Well, it is interesting, Anderson. You know, as Ted Cruz really today is trying to capitalize on this moment, as we have seen Donald Trump really blasting and criticizing the Republican nominating process, calling it as you saw there corrupt and crooked, we see Ted Cruz on the other hand really trying to boast of its organizational muscle of his campaign, you know, talking about how his campaign is able to maneuver the complicated delegate rules with ease as they have seen -- as we saw over the weekend in Colorado. His campaign scooping up all of the delegates there. We saw Cruz lay into Donald Trump there. And we really did hear Cruz laying to Donald Trump over this today.
Tonight he has started the hashtag online on his official twitter account with #whiningisn'twinning in reference to Donald Trump. And really going after him in a series of comments today, including this latest on a radio interview tonight. Him saying the reason why Donald Trump is screaming about this election being stolen from him. Ted Cruz says that's because Donald Trump is angry because people are just not voting for him.
So certainly this is a new front as this potentially inches toward a contested convention.
COOPER: Sunlen Serfaty. Sunlen, thank you.
More on the Cruz/Trump delegate war. How it's playing out so far and what might happen down the road. Joining us now is CNN chief national correspondent and "INSIDE POLITICS" anchor John King to run it all down by the numbers.
All right. So let's talk about the numbers. Obviously, we saw Trump reacting angrily to the Colorado delegate results complaining the system is rigged. Explain what happened.
[20:05:14] JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's rigged, Anderson, if by you mean -- by following the rules that have been posted the Colorado party website for anyone to see for months, by then it's rigged.
Look. Donald Trump simply got outhustled, the man who says he hires the best people, have people on the ground in Colorado who frankly didn't know what they were doing. And the result is Ted Cruz gets 30- plus delegates at the Colorado series of convention steps. And Donald Trump just plagued by bad organization.
Ted Cruz as far as we can tell broke no rules. He just worked the system very well. Donald Trump had people on hand who made a number of mistakes. Ted Cruz gets 30-plus delegates.
And Anderson, look for this to continue this weekend. Wyoming does pretty much the same thing. Slightly different rules but a party convention and caucus system. Fourteen delegates up this week. And Ted Cruz has heavenly favored again because the Trump team on the ground. It is not viewed. It is up to the task.
What is that mean? It means Ted Cruz has narrowed somewhat Donald Trump's delegate lead as we go through the primaries and caucuses. Like Bernie Sanders, relatively small wins. Not enough to overwhelm the math on primary caucus day, but if we get to a contested convention, which does seem likely. Remember that, every 30, 20, 10, every one might count, Anderson.
COOPER: There are also other examples of Trump losing ground even in places where he won big. I mean, we are talking Louisiana, for one.
KING: For one. I'm going to show you eight states right here. There are actually more. But I will show you eight states right now. Indiana hasn't voted yet but they are starting to go through the delegate process. Donald Trump is behind.
In many of these other states, Donald Trump not only won but won big, Anderson. But he is losing now in the second, third and fourth steps of the process. Very much like Ron Paul did in 2012. These people, the Cruz people now mastering the system.
So what's happening? Let me give you just one example. Look there in Virginia. Donald Trump won the ninth congressional district down here in Coal County. Donald Trump won it huge. He won some in the counties in this district by 55, 56 percent. So he gets three delegates for that one county. And this is happening in a lot of places. He will get those three delegates. They will go to the convention and they must vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot. But two of those three delegates are Cruz loyalists, Anderson. And this is what's happening in state after state in district after district. Yes, all these Trump delegates must vote for him on the first ballot. But if he doesn't get there on the first ballot, then they become free agents and many of them are aligned with Cruz. So this is why Donald Trump's forces, even though they won't say it publicly, they understand that first ballot could be everything.
COOPER: So John, just basically, the Trump is ahead in the total delegate count. Some of those delegates are essentially not really Trump supporters. They just maybe will have to vote for Trump at the first round but it gets to a second round they can switch to Cruz or Kasich.
KING: Right. So let me show you how this might work out. I have to shift maps to do it. But if you look at where we are now and let me go back and reset this and come back to where we are today, right. And Come back to right where we are today, Donald Trump with his lead. Assume Donald Trump does very well, wins New York big, wins throughout here big. Ted Cruz does well in the west. Here's a good scenario of a strong Donald Trump finish. He's at 1204, Anderson, with a very, very strong finish. Most think he can't do that well.
But let's say it is 1204. Well, could have used 20 out of Colorado or could use eight or 10 out of Wyoming, could you? Those plus a couple of more, we get you to the finish line. But assume instead that Donald Trump comes in a little bit weaker in the end. Let's even give him California but by a margin where he is splitting some of the delegates with others.
Imagine Donald Trump at 1129. You need 1237 to win. So he is 100- plus short there, right. So let's assume he gets 1129 on the first ballot then those two in Virginia, couple from South Carolina, some from Louisiana, some from Tennessee. They bolt on the second ballot. If Donald Trump's number on the second ballot comes back here and Ted Cruz comes up here, I don't know any Republicans who don't think at that point it's game over for Donald Trump. The question is can Cruz keep building or then do they go to wild cards? But if Donald Trump falls significantly after ballot one there's nobody I know who thinks he can rebound.
COOPER: That's fascinating to see how you break it down like that.
John, stick around. I want to bring in the rest of the panel. CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, also our political commentators Tara Setmayer and Ana Navarro. Tara is a former communication director for Republican congressman Ted Robacher. Ana is a Republican strategist. And joining us from Houston, Cruz communications director Alice Stewart.
So Kayleigh, Trump playing foul. Cruz campaign says essentially he is whining. Aren't these the rules? Shouldn't - they are on the Web site. Everybody knows what the rules are.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, here is an important thing to note that I haven't heard mentioned thus far. On August 25th, the Colorado GOP made a decision to disenfranchise one million voters in Colorado. They were supposed to have a presidential preference poll. But rather than doing that, they said no, no, no. We know better than our voters and we think that we can choose the best nominee. They took the ability of the people away from them to vote and said we know better than them because they chose Rick Santorum and that was a bad choice. That is completely wrong. That is not what we do in a democracy. Trump is exactly right to say this is rigged.
COOPER: OK. August to September, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April. That was eight months ago. Donald Trump, these organizational genius, the business, you know, poobah (ph) who hires the best people, you know, makes the best deals, he's getting outfoxed on the ground by Ted Cruz of all like politician.
[20:10:14] MCENANY: Because far be it for Donald Trump to think that the will of the people is what matters. That is what should matter.
COOPER: You are telling me Donald Trump who spent his life playing the game and playing all sides to the game and giving money to all these politicians on all sides because that's the way this game is played, doesn't know how to play this game?
MCENANY: I'm telling you. Trump came in never having run for office in his life and has complete dominated this math. He won every state in the southeast where Ted Cruz should have won. He is winning tremendously in the northeast.
COOPER: But that's not the way the game works.
MCENANY: That's the way that Donald Trump has done. He is coming and he will make it to 1237 long before the first ballot. COOPER: Alice, let me bring you in here. Trump's campaign
accusations about gestapo tactics, the system is rigged. And you guys, are essentially, you know, handing out fancy dinners and promising trips and all lots of goodies to some of these delegates. What about it?
ALICE STEWART, COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR, CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Well, let me say this, Anderson. I was there in Colorado on Saturday. And it was a tremendous crowd. People eating hot dogs and popcorn. And let me show you the gestapo tactics we're talking about here.
These are moms, dads, little kids in their scout uniforms waving flags and signs. These are supposedly gestapo tactics. These rules were set in place as you said back in August of last year. If you had a problem with them, you should have spoken up then. But then again, we are talking about a candidate who can't even get his own kids to register to vote for him in New York.
So these rules have been laid out for several months. Never had a problem with them before. And the fact is he simply got outmaneuvered. We have a better candidate and we have a stronger message. We have superior ground game but most importantly, we have volunteers and supporters throughout these states specifically in Colorado most recently who are committed and determined and have worked really hard to get people out to stand behind Ted Cruz. And this was the fourth of the last four contests. We are talking about Colorado, we have Wisconsin, North Dakota and Utah.
COOPER: Let me bring in the panel, Alice.
STEWART: We've done better.
COOPER: Gloria, I mean, it does raise questions about Donald Trump's organizational ability at the very least about the kind of people he is hiring.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look. I think Donald Trump has waged an air war in this campaign. And he has done that really well. And he is inspired millions of people who support him. But running for president is a serious enterprise that requires organization and understanding what the task at hand is.
COOPER: Big rallies aren't enough?
BORGER: Big rallies aren't enough. And you know, we talk about New Hampshire is retail politics. Well, when you talk about delegate selection, that's really retail politics. That's door to door politics. And that's where the Trump campaign is falling short. There are different parts of each campaign. And this is just another part of it. And I think going in, the Trump organization should have known what they were going to confront in a close race.
COOPER: I got to ask Tara. I mean, is there a -- has there been a Trump campaign organization? I mean, there's been big rallies we have seen. His is obviously mobilized a lot of vote, you know. He does a lot of interviews, but the actual organization, where is it? TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, clearly, it's been
nothing but cosmetic campaign is what I call it because you see all the big rallies and he gins people up. You know, that's easy to do. Fly in on your private jet, have a rally and fly out.
But it's tough work running for president. It's tough work being the president. You have to fight for that office all the way until you raise your right hand. And it's clear that Donald Trump, this is a pattern of his. He has done it in his business practices. He has done it for decades when he gets bored with it or doesn't feel though he is winning, then he cuts and runs.
You know, this is - you play to win. You don't play to whine. And that is what Donald Trump has done. It's clear his organization wasn't there. It's been hollow. I mean, the Ted Cruz campaign, Colorado is a perfect example. The Ted Cruz campaign has been on the ground there for eight months. And what's going on in Colorado was grassroots. It starts with the local conventions and local people. So it is unfair to say that it was some establishment steal.
COOPER: Trump or whoever was in his campaign, whoever it is, didn't know how the system worked or didn't give it enough attention thinking their way was kind of reaching -- reshaping the way politics can be played.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's a very complex system. People need to understand that different states have different rules. Some states are primaries. Some are caucuses. Some are state conventions. These rules are set by the states, by the state parties. So you really have to know what each state is requiring.
COOPER: Or hire people who know.
NAVARRO: You have to know the deadline. You have to know how to work that system. It takes time. It takes resources. I think to Donald Trump's credit, he has gone very far based on his persona. But there comes a moment where it requires more than persona. And this notion that's Ted Cruz is the Oprah of the Republican Party and gives away a car to everybody in the audience is just crazy.
I mean, Ted Cruz is running against a billionaire. If anybody is in a position to give away stuff, to give away rides on helicopters, to give away visits to Mar-a-Lago, to give away stuff, it's Donald Trump. And you know, it is funny because when he wins, he's got no problem with whatever the rules may be in the state. When he loses he becomes the little boy who cries foul.
[20:15:13] COOPER: Kayleigh?
MCENANY: But here is a thing. Do we want someone -- do the voters, and I think the voters have been very clear on this, want someone who knows how to navigate the establishment rules or do they want someone setting out to change the establishment rules? And that's Donald Trump. And by the way, in poll after poll we see that voters have said, every poll, the polls in New York today, that's polls in Wisconsin, the national poll, that voters say whoever gets the most of the popular votes should be the nominee.
COOPER: But you're asking what voters want. Isn't the whole rationale for Donald Trump among many of the supporters, that voters want the guy who is going to hire the smartest people in the room? Doesn't matter their --
MCENANY: Name for me another candidate who has built a $10 billion business. Not single man on the --.
COOPER: Well, I don't care about the business. I'm looking for another candidate, Ted Cruz, who has built an organization that is outfoxing your candidate.
MCENANY: But name for me another candidate who has dominated an entire region and no one else has won in that state. And by the way, the conversation will likely be all for nil when Donald Trump wins on the first ballot.
NAVARRO: Name me another candidate who offend other prisoners of war. Name me another candidate --
COOPER: Let's not go down that road.
BORGER: Here are the rules. These are the rules of the game right now. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game, OK. And Donald Trump finds himself in a situation where he doesn't like the rules. But now is not the time to change them. Now is the time to try and win within the rules.
MCENANY: Except the problem with that argument is that the RNC consistently changes the rules.
BORGER: Not these rules.
SETMAYER: And then Colorado decided to have --
SETMAYER: No. The states decide in a presidential nomination, the constitution article 2 gives that power to the states. So if Donald Trump has a problem with it, then I guess we should revamp the constitution.
MCENANY: But if you know the constitution, it doesn't do, you know, representative democracy. It doesn't disenfranchise is million voters.
COOPER: OK. Let's just take a pause on this. We are going to take a quick breath. We are going to have our own rules. We have to take a break. Plenty more to talk about. We get ready for the first of three Republican town halls right here tonight featuring the candidates and their families. Up first in this election cycle, we are going to talk to governor
Kasich tonight, Donald Trump tomorrow and Ted Cruz on Wednesday. Great opportunity for voters to see how three potential presidents balance campaign, country and family. Voters here in New York, Republicans, are going to be asking questions to the Kasich family as we have said take it off tonight at 9:00 eastern.
A bit later this hour, though, the Democrats gearing up for the New York primary. Bernie Sanders speaking right now in Buffalo. New polling, new verbal shots at one another and, of course, the Bill Clinton factor still being asked about the confrontation with protesters and still making headlines.
[20:21:31] COOPER: Donald Trump as we mentioned just wrapping up a rally tonight in New York's capital Albany as we have been talking about it. He and his campaign have been on the war path lately over delegate selection. Just moments ago, he fired another verbal rocket over the outcome in Colorado.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a fix! Because we thought we were having an election, and a number of months ago, they decided to do it by, you know what, right? Right. They said we'll do it by delegate. They said they're going to do it by delegate. Isn't that nice? And the delegates were all there, all waiting and the head guy, in fact, one of them tweeted out today or said today by mistake and then they withdrew it, something to the fact of, look, never Trump. If I go to the voters of Colorado, we win Colorado. So it's a crooked, crooked system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back now with our panel.
Kayleigh, "USA Today" just published an article. They did an interview with Trump. And in it, he was asked when he's going to start acting more presidential. And he said quote "the time is going to be soon." He's still tweeting up a storm. He is now, you know, calling the system rigged. Do you actually believe that there is going to be some shift in Donald Trump acting quote/unquote "presidential?"
MCENANY: I think so. They have mentioned the campaign has that there are going to be a number of policy speeches. I think that is much media, his APAC speech. It was a resounding success. People said he was going to get booed. That rabbis are going to walk out. Rather than getting booed, he got standing ovations. So that Donald Trump that walked into APAC, a hostile or purportedly a hostile environment, and got standing ovation, that's the Donald Trump I think we are going to see in a series of policy speeches to come.
COOPER: Alice, are you holding your breath on a presidential Donald Trump suddenly appearing on the campaign trail or are you preparing for that? STEWART: I don't see it happening. I mean, he is going to be who he
has been from the very beginning. And look. For him to continue to whine because he's not winning is a pattern. He's been doing that ever since he started losing traction and he has lost the last four contests and continues to insult the competition and degrade the process. And that's not very presidential. And that's what we are hearing from people across the country. He's not focusing on the issues. Ted Cruz has momentum and he is focusing on the issues, offering solutions and reminding people what he's done in Washington, standing up to the Washington cartel, fighting against --
COOPER: Alice, it seems like your candidate, Ted Cruz, after insulting New York, calling, you know, talking about New York values in an earlier debate has basically now abandoned campaigning in New York. He is focusing on elsewhere, in particular on California and looking kind of ahead of New York. Are you essentially kind of giving up on New York?
STEWART: No, actually it's to remind everyone he was simply using Donald Trump's own words about New York when he talked about New York values which are reflective of the liberal leaders in New York City is what he was exactly referring to. And once again, these are Donald Trump's own words.
Now, we will be back in New York later this week and look forward to campaigning throughout the state. And he likes visiting with the people there because they, too, have conservative values that they resonate with Ted Cruz on and they oar we have tremendous crowds. We had great crowds today out in California. We also rolled out a list of 50 Republican elected officials in California that have endorsed ted and we continue to see this momentum throughout the last several states and expect to do so moving forward. Because ted Cruz is offering a positive message and Donald Trump is doing nothing but insulting and whining.
[20:25:02] COOPER: All right. Gloria, what do you make of what we are seeing in New York? I mean, with Kasich now in second place. Donald Trump is expected to do very well here. But I mean, when you look, there's a lot of places where Cruz or Kasich could get delegates that Donald Trump is not going to be able to get.
BORGER: Well, look. I think, you know, in New York, it's not natural terrain for Cruz. I think he added fuel to the fire that was already here against him because of a New York values line which Trump has naturally sort of played up. I think that Kasich appeals to the moderate Republicans, you know, in this state.
I think the thing that's amazing to me, though, about Cruz, but so interesting is that now he's got -- he's putting out establishment Republicans who are supporting him when, in fact, he talks about the Washington cartel and the surrender caucus in Washington.
COOPER: Well, there's not a lot of folks who actually in the Senate who are actually endorsing him.
BORGER: Right. COOPER: His old colleagues.
BORGER: Exactly. But suddenly we are saying he is the candidate of the establishment when in fact, if there's any candidate of the establishment I think it would probably be the person that we are going to hear from later tonight, John Kasich. But Cruz is running this -- it's sort of interesting for me to hear it because I spent years in Washington hearing people whisper how much --
COOPER: Ana, is it too late for Donald Trump to hire people to fight these delegate battles state by state?
NAVARRO: Frankly, he has got no choice. He's got to do it. I think hiring Paul Manafort was a good start for him as somebody that's a seasoned veteran. If he is going to continue this race, if he's going to continue this contest, he has got to play by the rules that are established. He has got to understand that it's not a crooked system. It's a quirky system. It's a difficult system. But that is the system you've got to --
COOPER: And also, Tara, for someone that believes in states' rights and you know letting the states make decision, a lot of these decisions are made by the state.
SETMAYER: All of these decision are made at the state level. Just with the point I made in the last segment, this is the way it's been for a long time. I mean, even in New York. If he doesn't get over 50 percent, I think it will be because he didn't have organization to know that you have to switch your residency back in October. His own kids couldn't do it because they didn't know the rules. And you have to be responsible if you want to be part of the process. And Donald Trump is being irresponsible and blaming everyone else.
COOPER: We are going to have more with our panel ahead.
Just about 35 minutes, John Kasich and his family will join me for a town hall. I'll ask questions. Also voters in New York will.
Up next the Democrats. Bernie Sanders going after not only Hillary Clinton saying he has doubts about her judgment but also Bill Clinton and what he's been saying on the campaign trail.
[20:31:32] COOPER: And welcome back. Our town hall with Governor John Kasich and his family begins in about a half hour with the Kasichs taking questions from votes as well as from me.
Over the Democratic side, just three day before their CNN debate, Bernie Sanders is ratcheting up some attacks from Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. The former president, still dealing with fallout from his confrontation with protesters last week. Well more on that in a moment. Today Secretary Clinton slams Senator Sanders on foreign policy and one of his core issues dealing with the banks.
He hit back just moments ago in a rally in Buffalo, on the money she's made, giving speeches to Wall Street companies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I figure if she gets $250,000 for her speech, it must be a brilliant earth-shattering speech. It must be a speech written in Shakespearean prose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny joins me now. Jeff, that's a line he's actually used before. I don't know if he's been using it in the interim but he's certainly bringing it back.
Tonight Bill Clinton made some remarks last week. Raised a lot of eyebrows defending his 1994 Crime Bill to a group of Black Lives Matter protesters. What did he say about that today?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yeah Anderson, over the weekend Bernie Sanders called on the president to apologize and take back his words. And the president didn't quite do that today. He said the crime bill overdid it but he apologized a bit but spent more time defending Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: The only thing I wish I'd said is first of all, yes, there are too many people in jail. Yes, a small percentage of them are in federal prison, and yet -- and Hillary was the first person in this campaign in either party to say we should reduce the prison population but we can't let people out without education, training and guaranteeing that they won't be denied the right to a job or they get ask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So Anderson, the more he talks about this, though, probably not great for the campaign. African American voters so sensitive to this issue here. He would like to move on to other things.
COOPER: Jeff, Sanders is continuing to amplify his attacks on Hillary Clinton. What's the latest on that?
ZELENY: Anderson, just today alone it was on Wall Street and the banks. It was on fracking. It was on, you know, the fact that she's bought and paid for here. So, a very aggressive final eight-day stretch here. The reason of course is this big prize of delegates here.
And, yes, the Clinton campaign is up by 14 points in one poll, 12 points in the different poll, but both sides believe it's closer than that. That's why the next week here is very critical. The Clintons are fighting so hard for this. You're going to see both of them out this entire week to try and close down this Sanders surge here in New York.
COOPER: Yeah, and now a critical can debate is going to takes place Thursday here in New York. Wolf Blitzer is going to be moderating. Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much.
Back now with CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, joining the conversation as well political strategist and Bernie Sanders surrogate Jonathan Tasini. He challenged Clinton for her Senate seat in the Democratic primary in New York in 2006. Also, CNN political contributor and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who supports Hillary Clinton.
Jonathan, let's look at the latest polling numbers for Bernie Sanders. Let's put those on the screen. Here in New York, you got Sanders trailing Clinton by 12 percentage points. Started the ratcheting up the rhetoric hitting her as we said in everything from her speeches to fracking, do you think it's going to make up the difference?
JONATHAN TASINI, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, let's see what we -- one of thing that's been true throughout this election is that Bernie does very well as the -- we get closer to Election Day.
[20:35:06] If you remember in Nevada he was down 25 points five weeks out. Essentially end up winning. It will end up getting more delegates at the end of the day. And that's been true in every election. And I think going to the debate in the last few days, is amazing energy. I mean thousands of people are gathering in halls all across the state, volunteering, wanting to knock on doors. And that's going to make the difference, the ground game.
And I think it's true -- I think the Clinton campaign is right that the margin is much closer. We'll see -- it will be all about turn out.
COOPER: Mayor Nutter, are you concerned? I mean this is Secretary Clinton's adopted home state. She represented this state in the Senate.
MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: She represented state in the Senate. The senator was born there. This is going to be a close race. There's no question about it. And the numbers will shift from day-to-day. And the candidates are, you know, in fact, going at it.
COOPER: Do you continue to be concerned as a Clinton supporter by some of the language Bernie Sanders is using?
NUTTER: Well it's clear that the senator is, as you said, ratcheting things up. I mean he is pretty much hitting Secretary Clinton with everything soon to be possibly the kitchen sink. So he is really going at her very, very hard. She's strong. She's still standing tall.
But, you know, it starts to move more in the realm of personal, way away from policy, and the things that the Senator had been talking about and has now shifted in these more desperate times to the more personal.
COOPER: Well, Gloria, before we come back to Jonathan, I mean, you know, Clinton has certainly tried to focus or wanted, it seems, to focus on Trump as much as possible. GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
COOPER: But is finding herself having to, you know, continue to engage with Bernie Sanders is the strong shown.
BORGER: Right. Look she'd like to focus on Donald Trump all the time. She's done an ad about Donald Trump because nothing so mobilizes Democrats like Donald Trump.
But she's in a race and this is her adopted home state. And she's got to do well in New York, and I think the margin matters ...
BORGER: ... because just psychologically, even if she were to win but if she were to win by a small margin, you know, Democrats proportion delegates, so, you know, if it's close. I think it could be a problem for her. And I think that Sanders sometimes gets out ahead of himself. When he said Clinton wasn't qualified to be president, he had to pull that back. He had to pull that back and say she didn't have the judgment to be president but to say Hillary Clinton is not qualified ...
COOPER: Would that in state anything?
TASINI: No, what I think he meant and he clarified this and it's a fair debate is about judgment. She voted for the Iraq war. He opposed it. She has been for the death penalty, he's oppose it. He's been for every bad trade deal that is shift American jobs broad since NAFTA, the exception of CAFTA. Bernie is opposed those things. He is for breaking up the big banks. She's a washing corporate money in Wall Street money. And it's now been by the way 66 days that Hillary Clinton still has not released those transcripts from Goldman Sachs. Let's release those transcripts and look at them and then ...
COOPER: She said she'll do it when everybody else releases theirs?
TASINI: Bernie has said, here are my speeches. He has no speeches. He has not spoken to Wall Street, he doesn't get that money, but I will ...
TASINI: ... say -- but its true, I will ...
NUTTER: That's basically as you see in him, the senator said what he said. He walked it back because he was getting slammed for questioning the qualifications of Hillary Clinton.
TASINI: No, I think he meant the judgment. It's the judgment.
COOPER: Do you believe Hillary Clinton is qualified? NUTTER: I can pull it up if you want, he questioned ...
TASINI: I believed that ...
NUTTER: Have a obligations.
TASINI: To your question, both of the candidates have resumes. And we can judge those, base on their experience.
COOPER: Exactly, do you believe she's qualified?
TASINI: She's qualified to run for president, just like it ...
COOPER: You know, have to run as she qualified to be president?
TASINI: Oh, well that was back to what Bernie is saying about judgment.
TASINI: I do think it is important ...
COOPER: I'm not hearing a yes or no.
TASINI: You'll know
NUTTER: It's because Senator Sanders is perfect. He's never had to take anything back. He's never had a ...
TASINI: Bernie wants the debate to be about what her judgment is. She voted for the Iraq war. He opposed it. That something he feels strongly is not good for someone ...
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. If you are interested in seeing how this confrontation plays out as the primary gets even closer, be sure to watch our CNN Democratic debate, as I said moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Thursday, 9:00 p.m. eastern, right here on CNN. We're going to take a quick break.
When we come back, Hillary Clinton setting her sights on Donald Trump with a new ad in New York highlighting some of his most inflammatory statements about women, illegal immigrants, Muslims. And just tonight Donald Trump hit back calling Clinton's whole life a lie.
More on that, ahead.
[20:43:22] COOPER: As we heard before the break, the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is heating up ahead of the CNN debate in Brooklyn just three days away. But Secretary Hillary Clinton also has eyeing the long game and has released an ad in New York with who man that takes Donald Trump to task for some of what he has said in the past. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says we should punish women who have abortions.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: There has to be some form of punishment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That Mexicans who come to America are rapists.
TRUMP: The rapists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that we should ban Muslims from coming here at all.
TRUMP: Total and complete shutdown.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump says we can solve America's problems by turning against each other. It's wrong and goes against everything New York and America stand for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With so much at stake, she's the one tough enough to stop Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, this should come as no surprise. Donald Trump is hitting back. Here's for an example of what he said at an event in Albany just a short time age regarding Secretary Clinton's e-mails.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Everybody knows that she is guilty as hell, OK? Everybody.
Her whole life has been a big, fat, beautiful lie. It's been a terrible, terrible lie. Everything about her is a lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: With me again Kayleigh McEnany, Michael Nutter, and Gloria Borger. Is that presidential to say her entire life has been a big, fat beautiful lie?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean I would argue he's responding to an ad that to me was unpresidential, because Secretary Clinton is a lawyer, she understands the nuisance, but she also understand how to oversimplify or simplify something in a way that is untruthful.
All of those three things cited in the ad from the abortion comment that he came out and clarified within the hour to the Mexican comment, he never called all Mexicans rapists that just a flat out falsehood. He called a certain group being sent by the Mexican government. And likewise with regards to Muslim comment, he never proposed banning an entire group eternally. He proposed banning not citizens.
[20:45:16] So all of those are lies, that she put forward ... COOPER: Although ...
MCENANY: ... so he resound incline.
COOPER: The technically, there's never been any evidence the Mexican government is sending criminals and rapers across the border. Trump says that but there's no actual evidence of that. Michael Nutter is that below the belt?
NUTTER: Well, they are all accurate statements that were obviously, you know, filmed somewhere and played out in public. I have everyone of those either press conferences or rallies or whatever the case may be. So he said it, it's add up an ad, I mean but I mean he has to control his own language. But to say that about Hillary Rodham Clinton is absolutely below the belt. It is not presidential.
I mean, he just needs to get control of himself and his language and his demeanor toward people in general and especially women.
BORGER: You know, Hillary Clinton's ad was all about showing that she is tough and tough enough to take on Donald Trump and that she can do it. And what Trump was all about was letting Republican voters know that this is the way he will take on Hillary Clinton. That he will take her on directly.
BORGER: That he will talk about things nobody else will talk about and to his base, and that is the people he's going after now in the state of New York, to his base, that's really great. And they will come out and vote for him because of that, because she mobilizes Republican voters just like he mobilizes Democratic voters. So they're each doing it for different reasons. At this particular point in the campaign and it will work for each one of them.
MCENANY: Gloria's right to say that's the message he was sending undoubtedly, because here's a thing a lot of Republican voters are very upset with John McCain, and were upset with Mitt Romney. They feel like they chose not to go after Barack Obama hard enough and forcefully enough. So I do agree that Donald Trump was sending a message. I am going to go after Hillary Clinton on the e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, on the myriad of scandals that have rocked her husband's -- her husband's presidency and her tenure as Secretary of State.
COOPER: Is he weakened by the fact he has donated money to Hillary Clinton over the years and was apparently friends with her?
MCENANY: I don't think so, because we have arguably the greatest Republican hero Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat, was one lying with the opposite party and he made a 180 change. And here he is a great hailed president by both parties. So I don't think so.
COOPER: Yeah, but there -- is there a difference between having donated relatively recently to Secretary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and now running for president as a Republican? Ronald Reagan had a conversion long before he became president of the United States.
MCENANY: Well, I think that Donald Trump had given a more forcible argument for why he did those things, because he was a businessman and many businessmen donate to both parties. They don't want to take sides. They are running a $10 billion business. They're not there to make political statements. So I would argue that, actually spring the argument.
BORGER: But this goes back to the playing the game argument we were having earlier in the show. The question about Donald Trump knew how to play the political game and did very well at it and donated to Democrats, right?
So in terms of getting delegates, this is another political game and he doesn't seem to be excelling at it. So either you can organize and know how to play the game or you don't. And is running for president, a serious proposition as getting a business deal done and giving money to political candidates to try and buy access and influence?
COOPER: You know, Senator Cruz is arguing he's a consistent conservative and that he, you know, has core principles he stands by. There's not willing to compromise on. And Donald Trump is essentially arguing the complete opposite that, you know, when I'm in business I do whatever it takes in order to help my own personal business and line my pockets and benefit my family and myself.
NUTTER: He plays the game, he plays both sides. I mean, you know, in the one here he wants to be the outside person. At the same time, you know, playing the inside game with the money and will say anything and do anything and then try to re-explain it later on to suit his purposes at that time.
MCENANY: But I think he's played the outside game from the very beginning. He came into the Republican Party and said I don't care what the party says, I don't care what people expect of me. I'm going to say things the media is going to characterize as politically incorrect. I'm going to say things that are going to anger the RNC. He came in and he tore up the system and that's what the Republican orders ...
NUTTER: Or just say things that are incorrect having nothing to do with politics.
MCENANY: I think everybody ...
NUTTER: He will insult anybody for his own purposes.
COOPER: We got to take another break. Gloria Borger, thank you. Mayor Michael Nutter, Kayleigh McEnany, thanks.
And as we mentioned, we are now just moments away from the first of three special hours here at "360", over the next three nights we're going to be bring you three difference GOP town halls. The candidates and their families. Tonight, is the Kasichs, and right after the break some insight on the first family of Ohio. We'll see how the governor met Mrs. Kasich and meet their twin daughters as well. When we continue.
[20:53:37] COOPER: All right. We are just minutes from the first of three AC360 Republican town halls. No shouting, just voters asking questions that matter. Tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday, we've added something extra, joining the candidates, members of their families starting tonight with the Kasichs.
Here's 360's Randi Kaye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN KASICH, JOHN KASICH'S WIFE: Who gets up, eats breakfast and goes to run for president. Doesn't happen, so it's a little surreal but like I said, I'm very proud of him.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Karen Kasich just moments after her husband, Ohio Governor Kasich, announced his bid for the White House. Ever since then she's been his partner on the campaign trail, often with the couple's twin girls in tow. The whole family joined CNN's Dana Bash for an interview on Kasich's campaign bus.
K. KASICH: I don't get too much into details. I have told him to act like the grownup in the room.
KAYE: Do you see that (ph) he would feel bad sometime?
K. KASICH: It's been awhile. He's doing very well.
EMMA KASICH, JOHN KASICH'S DAUGHTER: I think it's a fun experience. We spoke at the last town hall meeting ...
KAYE: So, did you like that?
E. KASICH: ... only for like 10 seconds.
KAYE: Karen met her future husband when she was just out of college. It was her first job for Ohio State University, photographing high- profile people around town, including John Kasich who was a Congressman at the time. How they met and fell in love is one of her favorite stories to tell on the campaign trail.
K. KASICH: Then he asked me out to lunch and it kind of surprised me. And I called my mother and I said, "Mom, this congressman just asked me out to lunch".
[20:55:05] And she said, "Oh, my goodness. You don't know a thing about current affairs. You need to go get Newsweek magazine right away what will you talk to him about."
KAYE: They must have found something to talk about because after eight years of dating, they got married in 1997. Governor Kasich often calls her his light and his anchor.
JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: From the very tips of my toes to the top of my head, I just love my wife so much.
KAYE: Three years later, they had their twins who are now 16.
J. KASICH: This is my daughter Reese, OK? This is my daughter Emma.
KAYE: Over Christmas, Emma and Reese took over their dad's Instagram account, posting pictures about their experience on the trail, inside a New Hampshire TV studio, dropping off donations for a New Hampshire town hall and, of course, endless selfies.
Before the girls came along, Karen had a career of her own in health care advertising. She stopped working when they were 2. She is still an avid runner and self-described fitness freak. These days, though, her main focus is helping her husband reach the Oval Office.
He's a man of great experience, and I think that experience is what this country needs right now.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that's does it for this hour. Up next the 360 Republican town hall with Governor John Kasich and his family, stay with us.