tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN March 19, 2016 11:00am-11:31am PDT
1,000 people who started this march in columbus circle, maybe between 7750 and 1000 people. it's unclear how many made that trip and i do have to say, it seems it was one or two people who really started to pick fights with the police, but at this point, there are certainly quite a few who have taken this uncertain route. >> okay. >> to trump tower. >> good job. be careful out there. sara ganim, thank you for that report there, and the 5 56th/madison location. >> reporter: we are getting here to trump tower. arriving right now. >> okay. >> reporter: this is where the crowd is arrive, and the plan here was also, again, to stay out of the street. the police told us they would not be closing down the street today for this protest. they wanted people to peacefully protest on the sidewalk. but take a look around.
that is clearly not happening. >> all right. okay. we're going to keep our eye on this. in fact, sara ganim, squeeze te shot, keep it in the shot as we continue the conversation about what's transpiring there in new york at the same time watching developments in arizona just outside of phoenix where a number of people have gathered in demonstration of donald trump's soon arrival there in phoenix. so to the right of your screen you're seeing the earlier images where roughly 50 people, according to the sheriff's deputies opposite blocked a major thoroughfare, blocking the passage for many motorists to get to a donald trump rally that's expected to take place at any moment now, and then on the left of your screen you're seeing anti-trump demonstrators described by our sara ganim there in midtown manhattan outside of trump towers where people are gathering right
there. so i have a few people with me, i believe, both in front of the camera and perhaps even on the phone. mike shields is in washington, d.c. politics reporter jeremy diamond is also with us out of phoenix, arizona. mike shields, formerly chief of staff of the republican party. when you see this transpire, earlier you and i spoke and it was ahead of these demonstrations. instead we were talking about a large number of people who had gathered in phoenix, arizona, in anticipation for the donald trump rally, and that many people who were also blocking some of the roadways. what's your reaction now to what is happening here? how do you assess all of this? >> first of all, god bless the law enforcement officers that put themselves into harm's way and really tried to walk this balance between letting americans exercise their right to free speech, but stopping them from doing it in that way that's not lawful. if they tell them not in the street because they want other americans to have their rights to pass through new york city
peacefully, then they've got to stay off the streets, and i think not allowing that, the temperature to rise and turn into something violent is really, really, a difficult task for law enforcement and everyone should appreciate in both arizona and new york how law enforcement handle these things to let people protest and keep it peaceful. what you're also seeing here is on the left, a professionalization of protesting. this is what they do. and what we can't do as republicans is see the high ground they'll come and demonstrate in a way that does incite a problem and make us look bad because it's a problem they incited. if we're not inciting problems on our side, clearly they're causing the problems, but our side has to take the high road. don't have our people involved in this and clearly identify it is these folks professionalized protestors doing it. unfortunately what we've seen in recent rallies is that our side mixes it up and that does their job for them.
that's exactly what they want to happen. that want to start these protest, and have them escalate into something else so we get dragged into it. today is a perfect example why republicans no ed to sit back, let these professional protestors do what they're doing, have their voice heard. that's fine, but don't engage them in a way that escalates things into something that can turn into something bad. >> also with us, trump supporter jeremy lord. >> jeffrey. >> i'm sorry. jeffrey lord. i'm sorry. thinking of jeremy diamond. sorry about that. >> that's okay. >> right. as you look at these images, right here, how much -- how much do you extrapolate here and you heard mike shields say, it's time for the republican party to kind of sit back and let, you know, people do what they're doing, demonstrate here. how do you see this? what should the response be from the party and from donald trump? >> first of all, i want to -- i'm a first amendment freak, if you will, and they have an
salute first amendment right to protest. that said, i'm also a child of the 1960s, and this is the american left at work. this has, in essence, nothing to do with donald trump. she ju he is just the excuse of the moment. they were doing this with hubert humphrey on the convention and on the campaign trail. >> nothing to do with donald trump when you hear people shout be trump's name? other images of people holding up signs? >> sure. absolutely. i've seen the left do this at columbia university decades ago. they did it at my own college, franklin and marshall college over the war at kent state. this is what occupy wall street does in today's world. i've seen them shut down black lives matter, people shut down bernie sanders one of his rallies. the subject always changes. the subject is always convenient. what i'm talking about here what i call the violent left in action. and they are always there, and
they will pick on somebody, today it's donald trump. yesterday was occupy wall street, as it were. so this is what they do and now are doing it to donald trump. >> is this a setback for donald trump's campaign, jeffrey? >> no. and the -- ironic thing is, all of these '60s protests led to the election in 1968 of richard nixon. who was, you know, flatly opposed to all of this, and quite vividly so. it led to the election of ronald reagan as governor of california in 1966 when all this turmoil was on california campuses. the kind of thing exactly that will help donald trump. if their objective is to harm him politically, all they're doing is helping him. >> jeremy diamond is also with us out of phoenix, he is at that rally to get underway at any moment there in the fountain hills area of phoenix, and so jeremy, how much do the supporters there know about the
gathering of anti-trump protestors, you know, on the road leading into that rally, and now what's also trn pyanspi in new york? >> unless you're checking twitter or watching the news you don't have the a sense of that at all. thousands of trump supporters are gathered here. very little protestors within our field of vision here. certainly trump supporters waiting for donald trump anxi s anxiously. standing out, some, in the sun for hours and are certainly ready for this to get underway. >> a very jovial kind of setting there. are you hearing from even donald trump's people? whether there is any -- i guess an adjustment in how he will arrive, or whether he will still arrive? >> we haven't heard any of that yet. they usually don't discuss security matters like that. certainly protests aren't anything unusual at a trump rally and not for the trump campaign. they are now used to dealing with these types of protests
whether blocking a roadway or outside of the venue or if it's inside the venue. there is always a possibility you have protestors infiltrating the venue without showing they are protestors and then demonstrating, interrupting trump in the middle of his speech. we've seen that happen dozens of times in the last couple of weeks with trump being interrupted at least a dozen times in single rallies. so certainly something that the campaign is used to and are prepared for it. they have private security as well who do help with escorting and ejecting protestors from inside the venue and getting them outside. there are prepared for any eventualities over here. >> and the jeffrey, we had sheriff, maricopa county sheriff joe arpaio on with us less than 30 minutes or so ago, and he's going to be introducing donald trump at that fountain hills rally and he said he wants people to be able to enjoy a peaceful, safe rally. at the same time he says he doesn't want to stand in the way
of people's right to protest, but his paramount concern is safety for donald trump. do you suppose his rally takes on a totally different tone when you have sheriff arpaio, who will be introducing him? they've been seen prior, in other events, but today when you have this kind of sentiment, you know, kind of -- you know, from arizona to now new york? does it translate any differently now? >> no. you know -- i mean, fredricka, sheriff arpaio has first amendment rights too. everybody in america has first amendment rights. it doesn't make any difference what side of the political fence you are on. so his right to speak shouldn't be limited or quote/unquote toned down because he believes a, b or c. i would apply the same to anybody on the left. you have a right to stand up and make a speech, certainly at a rally, an organized rally. i just think, again, any of
these protests particularly if they turn violent are only going to help donald trump. >> and, mike, do these protests in any way detract from donald trump's message, in your view? >> i don't think they detract from his message. just to piggyback on what jeffrey was saying i agree, this goes back to the wto riots, occupy wall street, the same crowd of people. but we as republicans lend credibility to them if we lean in and start fighting back, using words from the podium saying, i like to punch that guy in the face. that's when we do their work for them and exactly what they want us to do. they want to show up, try to start a fight and the blame us for it. republicans usually have a tradition -- the american people see this for what it is. if they see protestors going and starting something because they come from a deeply left position and trying to use this as an excuse, they can see through that. a protestors showing up against a candidate that's real and the candidate's leaning into it, fighting back, saying you know,
using words to incite his own supporters to fight back, then i think they can see that for what it is, too. all of these things are actually an turnt for donald trump to show some leadership. it he's going to be the nominee of the party, that's in question, but if he is he has to show leadership, bring people together, heal the country, lead a party and a nation in troubled times. all of these rallies where there are protestors, what are the word coming out? the stance we're taking to take the high road and she we can bring people together? >> all right. mike, jeremy, and jeffrey, thanks to all of you. police, stick around. we're going to take a short break and keep eyes on arizona as well as new york. these demonstrations taking place. as it pertains to donald trump and his candidacy. meantime, the democratic and republican candidates all making their casance to voters on the same night, same network. the final five candidates monday 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. and we'll be right back.
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all right. welcome back. we're watching a couple of heated moments right now on the campaign trail in arizona. we saw a blockade of sorts by what sheriffs deputies are calling anti-trump demonstrators trying to keep hundreds if not thousands of people who are trying to turn out for a donald trump rally to begin at any moment now. it's an 15 minutes late based on its earlier schedule, and, also,
in new york, a number of what are being called anti-trump demonstrators who have been walking through midtown manhattan, all converged right outside trump towers. a few protestors were pepper sprayed. we continue to watch developments on both ends, and i want to welcome back a panel joining me on what this all means for the campaign trail. mike shields, formerly a chief of staff of the rnc with me from washington, d.c. cnn politics reporter jeremy diamond, who is in meengs,phoen arizona, in the crowd at the rally about to get underway at any moments. chris frates and jeffrey lord, a trump supporter, all joining us now trying to assess what's taking place just a couple days ahead of arizona primaries, and caucuses in utah and now we're looking at what is transpiring in arizona as well as in new york. all right. so let's pick up where we left off. mike shields, you said that, you
know, the republican party and namely donald trump will have to show leadership in a moment like this. at any moment, perhaps, he will come to the podium. there he will be introduced by the maricopa county sheriff, joe arpaio. he'll be introducing him, but, mike, elaborate a little further on how you see the responsibility will fall on donald trump to try to show some leadership, in a moment like this, contentious moments, in arizona as well as new york, and also be that person, if he becomes the nominee, he would have to try to heal a party and perhaps even a nation to some extent? >> yes. first of all, like i said, what you say from the podium at times like these martytters and we've heard things that don't calm things down. let's start there. whoever the nominee, whether it's ted cruz, donald trump,
john kasich, anybody that comes out of the convention as the nominee, you'll have a party you need to heal because they're split. it's donald trump, if he doesn't get the nomination, has a huge number of supporters that backed him through this that will be upset. if he gets it, a large number of people that haven't been supporting donald trump and that are going to be upset. coming out of that you need to show leadership and bring people together. in'ship ways that's what happens after every presidential contest. there's a fractious fight. this one, particularly difficult and i think will go through june before we have an idea or all the way to the convention. june, 303 delegates assigned. a really big chunk at the veriened of the primary process. we may not know then, until then or even after then who the nominee is. coming out of a convention where the nominee may be chosen by the delegates at the convention, that's a situation no many of these folks faced before and requires real leadership. someone who can bring people together, demonstrate i want
everyone on the same team, to work together moving forward. every step of the way going through the primary process are opportunities to demonstrate i can be that candidate, heal the party, bring people together. >> so, jeffrey, how can donald trump be a unifier when you have demonstrations like we're seeing today? protests that are seemingly picking up pace as it pertains to him and his candidacy? >> two aspects of unifying here. i mean, one, and i know that this is already begun behind the scenes. donald trump is meeting with various conservative leaders, you know, in private, having conversations, reaching out to people. so that aspect of this has already begun. but in terms of the protestors, i mean, we need to be quite candid here. these folks are not going to be -- you know, they're not going to be unified, quote/unquote. they oppose donald trump. they oppose the republican party, they oppose a, b, c, et cetera. they're going to keep these
protests up and if experience is a guide, they will keep doing this all the way through the election cycle and well on, if donald trump is elected president they'll teep doikeep doing it, on into the inauguration and on into his first term. i don't expect that part of it to change because they're not about unification. they are about disruption. that is their thing. >> how do you see this as potentially serving donald trump? >> well, because there's a backlash. richard nixon in 1969 after he was elected, not quite a year, about a year after he was elected, gave a speech that was on vietnam but that is the speech in which he referred to the great silent majority. and that became sort of a staple of his administration. an appeal to the folks as he described it, in essence, i'm paraphrasing but i remember i was a college student at the time, and i was protesting the vietnam war on occasion. and i remember at the time he was appealing to people like my
parents who were not in the streets, who very much opposed violence, who were disturbed to see their son and others in all of these open protests, and he was quite successful politically in doing so. so i see donald trump in somewhat that same position. >> interesting. stephanie elam is in the thick of it all in fountain hills, arizona, where what was described earlier as about 50 demonstrators blocking the road there, who then started walking towards the rally. so describe where you are and what are you seeing? >> reporter: hi, spreafred. we're seeing state route 47. it's backed up because where the protestors were at the intersection of shea and 167. one of the only ways to get into fountain hills where donald trump is speaking right now, but what we've seen is that people pulled over to the side of the
road. parked their cars further up. it took time to get around because we had to do a u-turn to k come back. they parked cars on the side of the road and saw people walking. almost three miles from where they have left their cars to the dnd r donald trump rally. parked on the side of the road. police officers told us what they plan on doing now is towing those cars on the side of the road. some of these people who parked out here and have walked the three miles -- >> oh, boy. >> reporter: have to come back, and find their cars are not here. it is also 90 degrees i should point out in the arizona sun. we've seen the police have come in, shut down the intersection, not anyone turn to head to that rally. we understand things are progressing as usual but a lot of the people out here protesting continued to march on foot to then protest at the rally, fred. >> what are the protestors saying? >> reporter: a lot of it is about -- a lot of the signs you
see is about equality. people talking about that humans should be treated like humans. seens lines like that. people faking fun of donald trump, and talking about education, what helps the country, not voting for a president. a lot of that. for the most part, people at the rally a lot of people complainicomplain ing about donald trump held up signs, heard boos but rather tame from what we saw so far. >> stephanie elam, keep us posted and chris frates, help us digest what is happening and how it may be folded into the monday night cnn event five, all five candidates, democrats, republicans, who will have to make their appeals and answer to voters. >> well, that's right. this is going to be a huge event right before the primary, fred. and interesting to watch is the two different approaches from republicans and democrats in
arizona. you have donald trump who's going to be in arizona with sheriff joe arpaio. very tough on illegal immigrants. in fact, jane sanders, bernie sanders wife, go to sheriff arpaio's tent city, questioning and criticizing him about the conditions. about why people are kept outside, and kept, you know, in what are pretty poor conditions there. so you know, that is kind of the split we have in arizona. remember, 30% of the population in arizona is hispanic, and you have bernie sanders and hillary clinton really trying to play to that base. they're competing for those voters, and trying to make sure that they win the big prize of 75 delegates on tuesday night. meanwhile, you have donald trump talking about building a wall, about being tougher on immigration, and you have these protests, and what's fascinating, we just heard from bernie sanders who did an event along the arizona/mexico border and basically was making the point and taking shots at donald trump.
ecertainly s essentially saying, look, we don't need a wall or barbed wire. interesting to watch. >> fred, because he is hitting donald trump and making the case that trump is wrong here. hillary clinton calling in to a radio show earlier this week saying, like, i think we've done a good job securing the border. i think, you know, when i was in the senate i voted for that. you have these two different dynamics playing out here in the west where immigration and hispanics are 0 huge part of the voting block. a place republicans, remember, four years ago said we need to do better with hispanics. reach out to hispanics, part of the reason people are wrenching their hands in the gop establishment. a great question to ask, is, how do you reach out to these hispanic voters and what is the importance, because these protest, as jeffrey lord pointed out, fred, aren't going away. >> jeremy diamond, hopefully you're still with us, you're in the thick of it at that scheduled rally.
it's late, right? by about 25 minutes. it was supposed to start at the top of the hour. sheriff joe arpaio to introduce donald trump. what is the crowd saying about this delay? what do they know? >> reporter: so far people are anxiously waiting around. stephanie pointed out, it is 90 degrees here. the crowd has repeatedly been told to stay hydrated as they continue to wait for donald trump but it's not uncommon for donald trump to start a little late. certainly people hoping he starts soon, though. as far as protests, you can't see any of that standing where we are but, of course, people would be prepared, the campaign would be prepared to deal with protestors in the event they break out here in the midst of the rally. >> all right. jarm jeremy, thank you so much. stay with me. a short break for now and continue to watch developments there in new york as well as arizona, and at any moment, donald trump event, beginning there. lots of supporters but there's also protests. we'll be right back. lte cov.
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