Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Kasich Cancels News Conference After Trump Wins Indiana, Cruz Drops Out; Sanders Vows to Fight On as Clinton Turns towards Trump; Some Republicans Vow to Vote Clinton, Not Trump. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired May 4, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:31:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So it's May 4th. Happy May 4th, known to some as "Star Wars" day. As in may the fourth be with you.
Today, there is one candidate honoring the day. John Kasich is sending this out with the title, "In the Not So Distant Future." Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So that was, you know, the Kasich empire striking back this morning, but just moments ago, we learned that John Kasich cancelled a schedule news conference in Virginia that was supposed to be like right now. He's going to make a statement in Columbus, Ohio, at 5:00 p.m. What does that mean?
Let's discuss what it means going forward, a big development in the race. Joining us is Joseph Boreli, co-chair for Donald Trump's New York campaign, city councilman; also CNN political commentator, Margaret Hoover; Alex Burns, national political reporter for "The New York Times"; and CNN political commentator, Doug Heye.
Alex Burns, despite the flash "Star Wars" joke the Kasich campaign made, they cancelled an event this morning and they have one scheduled for 5:00 p.m. in Columbus. Is this it?
ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Do you think he's going to evacuate in his moment of triumph here?
BERMAN: Well done. Well done.
BOLDUAN: I don't get it. I need Cliff Notes, quick!
BURNS: Even nerdier than yesterday. Look, the path for John Kasich has been virtually impossible to draw
for months now, that even when he won his lone state, his home state of Ohio, his only victory in the campaign. You know, his strategists expected a bounce. They expected some kind of path to verge in other Midwestern states like Wisconsin and the northeast and places like New York. That didn't happen. The appetite for his candidacy has never been there. If he bows to that reality today, a lot of Republicans would say it's about time.
BOLDUAN: But it wasn't there yesterday either. So you know what has changed for John Kasich? He lost his alliance partner?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He wasn't there for Ted Cruz yesterday until it was. I think reality is setting in. The candidates can make a quick, sophisticated decision. Frankly, when you're toward the end, you have to think about your future and how you handle your exit says so much about who you are as a person and whether you have a political future.
BERMAN: Doug Heye, the candidates are not the only ones making a decision. There's an entire Stop Trump movement. You invented the #neverTrump, as far as we know. What happens to these people who want to stop Donald Trump in the primaries? Do you stick it through to the general election?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: John, let me correct you. I'm not digitally savvy enough to create a hashtag. Let's be clear about that. But I talked to folks in California who are keyed up to get involved in stopping Donald Trump in individual congressional districts, targeting congressional districts for John Kasich. We don't know if that's going happen. I can tell you we talked about a lot of folks who are voting for Hillary Clinton who are Republicans. John Weaver -- excuse me, not Jeff Weaver, but John Salter said so. I'll never vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I have a tough decision to make in the fall. But I know where I won't go, at least this fall.
BOLDUAN: Doug laying down his marker.
But, Joseph, what do you say to the Doug Heyes and Mark Salters who are angry and they're going the other way?
JOSEPH BORELI, NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN & CO-CHAIR, NEW YORK CITY DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Donald Trump has taken positions a lot of Republicans would like to have more conservative, myself included, on a couple of issues. But let's take a step back. You know, these movements, you know, stop certain people have occurred in the middle of divisive primary races. If you look back to 2008, with Hillary Clinton getting the, you know, running in Indiana, you see the same things happening. I think over half of Democrats said they were not going to vote for Barack Obama in the general election. A full third of them said they would support John McCain.
BORELI: We know it's going to evaporate over time. [11:35:08] HOOVER: Guys, can I say something?
This is not about positions Donald Trump has taken. This is about a fact that Donald Trump is not a Republican. Forget the fact he's not a conservative. He doesn't represent any of the things a Republican had been running on for the last 30 years. How do Republicans who identify with the Republican Party, who identify with, you know, not isolationism going to vote for somebody who categorically opposite of the principles they stand for?
BORELI: Nobody is fighting Ted Cruz that he's a conservative of the year. But his major mistake in the campaign, not only Indiana but a lot of places, he spent so much time talking about the social issues like transgender bathrooms. This is not something --
HOOVER: That, I agree with.
BORELI: But it's not on the minds of most Republican voters.
HEYE: Yeah, you know, I think we saw a powerful moment on CNN yesterday when Jake Tapper demolished Donald Trump's line now about Lee Harvey Oswald and Ted Cruz's father. As we're pivoting to a general election campaign, what was Donald Trump talking about this morning on TV? Not about creating jobs, not about anything proactive for America but Lee Harvey Oswald and Ted Cruz's father. That scares so many Republicans. We see so many off base, terrible things to be talking about that aren't true that benefit no American voter.
BOLDUAN: I asked -- we asked Barry Bennett this, and they need Ted Cruz and they want Ted Cruz, to win the general. Do you think you need Ted Cruz to win?
BORELI: Yeah, I think conservatives and moderate Republicans alike have to come together and support the presumptive or the Republican nominee.
BOLDUAN: What is he doing pushing the Lee Harvey Oswald thing?
BORELI: It was an article in the paper. I have no idea what went through his mind.
BORELI: Look, it's something he was actually asked about. He brought it up in the original interview. Regardless of that, the party has to come together otherwise they're going to face eight or four more years of Hillary Clinton. She has, in my opinion, the tougher position. Her favorables are five points behind Donald Trump. Donald Trump has to prove he's substantive. She has to prove she's not Hillary Clinton. BOLDUAN: Let me say --
BERMAN: We're talking about the Democratic race in a second. We have to head there now.
Thank you so much for being with us.
One programming note, Donald Trump, who everyone here will agree, is the presumptive nominee, he will join the presumptive awesomeness of Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room" at 5:00 eastern.
Plus, Hillary Clinton doing her first interview since losing Indiana to Bernie Sanders. Anderson Cooper will speak to Hillary Clinton at 2:00 p.m. eastern live. Only right here on CNN.
BOLDUAN: Some top conservatives are vowing not to vote for Donald Trump. They'll now vote for Hillary Clinton in the wake of Trump's new presumptive status. Coming up, one of those people who is essentially burning their Republican card. He's joining us live to discuss.
BERMAN: Plus, Bernie Sanders with the win in Indiana, does he have a path forward? What does his candidacy now mean for Clinton? What does it mean for the general election?
[11:42:31] BOLDUAN: Welcome back, everybody. Update to our viewers, we were waiting for a John Kasich event to take place at Dulles Airport in Virginia, but since, moments ago, his campaign sent out information they cancelled that event and John Kasich will be making a statement in Columbus, Ohio, at 5:00 p.m. eastern. We don't know what he'll be saying in Ohio in his home state at 5:00 p.m. eastern, but it has a lot of people wondering.
BERMAN: Indeed, it does.
Shifting to the Democrats now. Bernie Sanders, everyone knows at this point, he won Indiana, beating Hillary by five points. You also know, everyone saying it doesn't really change the math.
Let's bring in Alex Burns, again, national political report, "The New York Times"; CNN political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, Angela Rye; and Van Jones, CNN political commentator.
Thank you all for being with us.
Alex, let's play our favorite game. Hillary Clinton woke up this morning saying --
BURNS: Well, that was annoying. (LAUGHTER)
BOLDUAN: Not expecting that one.
BURNS: She lost Indiana and didn't lose it by a narrow margin. It wasn't a matter of 800 votes in one county. I think it was a clear signal from the Democratic base that they're not necessarily bitterly opposed to her. Most of people in Indiana exit polls say they expect her to be the nominee. But they're not ready to just clear the path for her. They want to keep watching her sweat and work for it.
BOLDUAN: Van, what do you say to the folks --
BOLDUAN: What do you say, Van Jones, every time Bernie Sanders wins a state? He won another state last night. Everyone in the next breath is pooh-poohing it saying it doesn't change anything.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Democrats should say that less. I think this movement around Bernie Sanders is a very important development in American politics. A lot of young people, who are for the first time getting involved, this is their first campaign. Most of us have been doing this for a long time. In is their first campaign. They believe in this guy. They're working very hard. Then they do their very, very best and then we turn around and go who cares. I think that's bad. It's not 2008. 2008 the rebels in the party won around Obama then the establishment was wise enough to come around. This time, the rebels are going to probably lose, and if we don't show them the proper respect, they don't have to come around. They can stay home, vote for the Green Party, some might vote for Donald Trump. Not that many but some. I think we need to be more celebratory of this flowering of democracy on people.
[11:45:07] BERMAN: You know, respect and celebration aside, Angela, you're not affiliated with either campaign now. You know, is there a point -- there's no more republican race, really. Donald Trump, we're saying, is a presumptive nominee. There's still a Democratic race. At what point the fact there's still a race hurt the ultimate Democratic nominee. It looks like it will be Hillary Clinton. At what point is it now harming her electability?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think it will harm her electability. I think Hillary Clinton has been in whatever road she's been on. I don't think she can be harmed by Bernie Sanders remaining in the race. I think it will only sharpen her for what we know will be a brutal general election. What I do get concerned about is us not realizing what is really happening. Bernie Sanders last week laid off more than 200 people. He's downsizing because he knows what is legitimately happening. I think the good thing for him is once again polls were wrong and he did win a state. He won Indiana. What he says is I have the opportunity and the right to continue to be able to shape the Democratic agenda. There are clearly at least 45 percent of us that think -- or I guess for him it would be 45 percent of y'all because he's an independent, who think like us. And I have a right to stay to the end. BOLDUAN: She talked about Hillary Clinton has been vetted for years. You know someone who is clearly going to be vetted and quickly coming up, would be whoever is her running mate. How do you think it matters as to who she picks to what folks vote, what they say? I get a sense it matters a lot to what you think, Van.
JONES: Yeah, I mean, first of all, this is one of those things where because both front runners have such strong unfavorables, who they pick as a V.P. is going to be a big signal about what they think their weaknesses are geographically or demographically. It's a big signal how they want you to know how they're going to govern. People say Hillary Clinton needs to get a moderate. If she does that, she's going have problems, you know, if she goes with a Tim Cain that's going to be hard for African-Americans. On the other hand, she might want to grab a Latino. But at the same time, you know, frankly, unless she nominates Sheriff Joe, the Latinos are coming out for her to stop Donald Trump. She has tricky math to figure out. I'm curious to see what she's going to do.
BURNS: I think it's going to be especially for Hillary Clinton a hugely revealing choice. Donald Trump has done some of his thinking out loud about what he would like to see in a running mate. Help him with the legislative process in Washington. That's out there. I think that -- and to contradict van a little bit. She enters as an overwhelming favorite. I think she has enormous latitude to choose sort of the running mate of her, you know, the best suits the governing style she wants to have. We're going to see. I think if she chooses somebody to reassure the left, I think that will say a lot how she's going to behave in office. If she chooses somebody to move to the center, I think we can interpret this as more than routine political ploy the way choosing a running mate is.
BOLDUAN: Van Jones' support is on the line. He's about to go Green Party.
RYE: Elizabeth Warren was running on Twitter last night.
JONES: What did you say? What did you say?
RYE: I said Elizabeth Warren was running on Twitter last night. She had a series of tweets like, "Don't forget about me! I'm still here."
JONES: Hey, I tell you, there are people -- if you live in California, like I do, you can vote wherever you want. You have the bluest state and the reddest state. If she comes with the wrong person, I could vote Green Party. Wouldn't hurt her a bit, to make me feel better.
BOLDUAN: We care about you.
BERMAN: Thank you so much, Van, Alex, Angela. Thank you so much.
BERMAN: Some conservatives not saying they want to feel better at all, vowing to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. Coming up, we're going to speak to one of these people, someone who is Never Trump and means it.
[11:53:20] BOLDUAN: So with Ted Cruz out, the Stop Trump movement may be going down in flames. Sort of like these voter registration cards some Republicans on social media last night, torching their cards, saying they're now done with the Republican party now that Trump is the presumptive nominee.
BERMAN: Joining us is Ben Howe, who was a Republican until at least a few hours ago, I think, not sure any more, and he is a contributing editor at redstate.com.
Ben, you've been very active on the Twitter over the last 24 hours. Among other things, you have tweeted, "I'm with her." Meaning, I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton. You, Ben Howe, is this in fact your position? Are you really going to vote for Hillary Clinton?
BEN HOWE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, REDSTATE.COM: Well, first of all, I'm definitely going to be supporting everything that she does. I'm going to be trying to make sure that Donald Trump is defeated. I'm going to be writing articles about what Donald Trump is doing, and trying to expose him as best I can. I think that if it came down to it in my state, which is South Carolina, and it was a competitive state, I would definitely pull the lever for her. Which is not the greatest feeling in the world for me, but I think it's more important that we Stop Trump from getting in office.
BOLDUAN: You can almost feel the pain and strain in your voice and you're saying it.
We had a Trump supporter on, Councilman Joseph Boreli, he's with the Trump campaign in New York. He said --
HOWE: With a very different tone.
BOLDUAN: All of them with a very different tone today.
He said he thinks it's just going to take time and the party will unite and everyone in time will heal these wounds. Do you think you'll come around?
[11:55:03] HOWE: I think they're talking about 2012. They can't possibly be talking about 2016. Because in 2016, what happened is we brought a liberal in. We gave him a huge platform where he insulted everything we've ever stood for, insulted most of our voters, insulted all of the other candidates, showed he's willing to lie at any moment, blatantly, and made clear that if he is elected, he'll be worse for the party than anything that has happened in its history.
BERMAN: So you're OK with this helping a Democrat? A lot of people say, oh, you're just electing Hillary.
HOWE: There's no doubt that what I'm doing is elect Hillary. A lot of people say Never Trump and Never Hillary. You can't be both. If you help one, you're hurting the other. That's how it works.
BOLDUAN: You've made that decision.
Ben Howe, thank you so much.
BERMAN: Would like to talk to you again soon.
BERMAN: Thank you so much for being with us.
HOWE: Thank you.
BERMAN: A lot coming up on CNN. Wolf Blitzer speaks to Donald Trump in "The Situation Room," Anderson Cooper, speaking to Hillary Clinton.
BERMAN: A lot more around the corner. Stay with us.