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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 1, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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thanks for joining us. anderson starts now. >> good evening. thanks for joining us. we begin with breaking news. donald trump has spoken out again on abortion. if the republican party already had heartburn over him being the standard bearer and spokesman in november, then this could make it a bleeding ulcer. there's that story and going into a crucial primary in wisconsin on tuesday, there's this. a true dilemma for some in the party. fear he'll secure enough delegates to become the nominee and fear he'll fall just short and become as "the new york times" headline put it a zombie candidate damaged but unstoppable. dana bash is covering all the angles for us, including the
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breaking news. let's start with the latest abortion comments. >> and that is the breaking news. donald trump is trying again tonight to clarify his position on abortion but in trying to do so, he seems to have left more unanswered questions because at the end of a very long answer you'll hear in a second, on cbs tonight, he said the laws are set, and i think we have to leave it that way, speaking of abortion. here's what he said. >> the laws are set now on abortion. and that's the way they're going to remain until they're changed. >> because you had told bloomberg in january that's you believed abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy. >> i first of all would have liked to have seen this be a state -- i would have preferred states rights. i think it would have been better if it were up to the states. but right now the laws are set, and that's the way the laws are. >> you have a feeling they should change? you've talked everything from libel to torture. anything you'd want to change on
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abortion? >> at this moment, the laws are set and we have to leave it that way. >> i reached out to trump's campaign aides to get a handle on what exactly donald trump meant when he said it looks like we have to leave it that way. it sounded to me like he was trying to suggest that the st e states can't change the law because federal law prohibits that's from happening but he left the impression he wants to keep abortion legal by saying the laws are set and we have to leave it that way. we're waiting to hear from his campaign but it's a fitting way to end perhaps a rough week. when all else fails for donald trump, he tries to change the subject. like he did today. >> ted cruz was my roommate. i did not like him at all in college. >> reporter: slamming ted cruz in a new instagram video after one of the billionaire front-runner's worst weeks since the campaign began, causing a bipartisan firestorm with these comments when asked if women
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should be punish forward vang abortion if it became illegal. >> the answer is there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? >> yes, there has to be some form. >> that trump recanted within hours and later added this. >> this was a long convoluted subject. >> reporter: he has not taken back what he said at cnn's town hall advocating for more nuclear weapons in asia. >> at some point, we have to say, you know what? we're better off if japan protects itself against this maniac in north korea. >> reporter: now trump is refusing to rule the out using nuclear weapons in europe. >> europe is a big place. the last person to use nuclear would be donald trump. that's the way i feel. i think it is a horrible thing. the thought of it is horrible. but i don't want to take anything off the table. >> reporter: trump's rivals continue to blast him. >> nominating donald trump could be a train wreck. and that's not fair to the train wrecks. >> the problem for him with town
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halls, he has to actually answer questions in a specific way. >> reporter: kasich also went after ted cruz for having a thin leadership record. >> his record is shutting down the record and making everybody he works with upset. >> reporter: as trump sees his unfavorable ratings rise and support among women fall, he's quick to point out he is still the front-runner by a long shot, and even if he arrives at the gop convention in july without winning the nomination, if he's close, it should be him. >> i would think whoever has that kind of an advantage should get it. >> reporter: but the first time politician is also learning that seizing the republican nomination takes more than just winning contests. it takes winning over delegates in some states where rules vary. sources tell cnn that educating trump about the complicated delegate process was the subject of trump's meeting this week with republican party chair reince priebus at rnc headquarters in washington. >> very actually terrific meeting, i think. it's really a unity meeting.
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>> reporter: cnn is told priebus used the meeting to ask trump to ease up on trashing the rnc as trump did at this week's cnn town hall. >> i've been treated very unfairly. >> unfairly by who? >> i think by basically the rnc, the republican party. >> i am told that reince priebus warned trump about those comments he made to you, about disparaging the rnc because he said it makes it difficult for him for donors and activists and for the party apparatus to come together around trump even and especially if he is the nominee. anderson? >> dana bash, busy day. president obama made news moments ago weigh income on trump and the state of the campaign. we'll talk about that and more with our chief national correspondent, john king, gloria borger, also trump supporter kayleigh mcenany, former george w. bush speech writer michael gerson and political commentator and clinton superpa c coordinatr
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paul begala. he's maybe been the ringmaster of one or two of these. these comments on abortion. how do you see them? has he switched? has he misspoken? >> i think maybe all the above, honestly. he's kind of in a rabbit hole here. and the first part of his statement to john dickerson which we've been parsing is that the laws are set until they change. the second time he came back and answered it, he said the laws are set, and i think we have to leave it that way. if you look further on at the clip cbs released, he was asked whether he thinks abortion is murder, and he said he didn't want to say, and then at the end of the interview, john dickerson said to him, do you disagree with that proposition? he said, no, i don't disagree. this will give more fodder to
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ted cruz to say that donald trump doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to the issue of life. he doesn't understand it. he hasn't thought deeply about it. and if he can't answer this question, clearly and definitively, this election is about appointing a justice to the supreme court who will move one way on abortion if you are a republican. if he can't talk about it definitively, he doesn't feel deeply about it and it will raise questions about what he really believes. >> trump, we haven't heard him come out and say what he meant or if he's going to clarify. but he could easily say, look, when i was first asked this i said this is the way the laws are, until they are changed. but again, it does leave it open. >> his first time running for office. give him some grace. he's been running for eight or nine months. this is the presidency of the united states. and he's running as a republican as a guy who used to say he leaned democrat and then went independent.
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there are some issues you simply have to have an answer. this issue is a major policy issue -- >> particularly when you always already have famously switched your -- >> switched your position. very pro-choice to now he says pro-life. >> this is a big policy issue to a lot of conservatives in the republican party. it also happens to be a huge moral issue on which you can change your mind. george w. bush changed his position and was vice president and president of the united states. mitt romney changed his position and was governor of massachusetts and republican nominee for president. they could explain their position and why they change. donald trump in the course of, what, 72 hours here, three or four days, i don't know what his position is. he's running for president of the united states. frankly, sometimes we have to try to be careful. it's just inexcusable. he's cand daidate for president the united states. >> donald trump didn't change his position tonight. the laws are set. roe v. wade says it's a violation of a woman's due process rights -- >> but he told bloomberg a few
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months ago he thinks they should be changed. >> because he wants to appoint justices to overturn roe v. wade. it's inaccurate to say the laws are not set. it would be a violation of the constitution to say otherwise. one of the most irresponsible statements made in this campaign that basically said the opposite which you're hoping donald trump to say that he can change the laws no matter what the supreme court said is when ted cruz encouraged states to openly rebel against the decision. that's the most irresponsible thing i've heard. for you to advocate for donald trump to say he can change the laws against the will -- >> i didn't say that. what i said is at this point in a campaign when he's asked these questions, he should give the same answer every time on an issue that is critically important to a lot of voters in his primary. >> he has given the same answer. >> he has not given the same answer. he changed his answer about should women be punished three times in three hours. >> that is the one point you are
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right. he made a blunder there. that's correct. but it's a logically consistent position to say the laws by definition cannot be changed because you'd be violating the constitution. however, he wants to appoint justices to overturn -- >> michael gerson, is this just kind of an interpretation of words? >> it's an important issue of substance. but republicans responding to this are concerned about his political skills. this is an obvious question that he should have been able to deal with. >> particularly after the last 72 hours. >> it's like failing politics 101. and leaving many to say this is our inevitable candidate? this is the political skills of the man we're headed into the convention with? it's been a blow to his inevitability. he's taking huge blows to his electability in recent polls as well. this is a terrible period of time. >> are you encouraging him to say what cruz said is stage to rebel against the supreme court. >> the problem is -- >> the supreme court sets the
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law of the land. same-sex marriage is the law of the land. abortion is the law of the land. states cannot rebel. they speak and speak with one voice. >> the problem is he once supported partial-birth abortion and then became very conservative and he can't explain either position. it is like he's trying to get to some political place. not reason from first principles. not talk about the role of law. the law of morality. the role of religion. he's incapable of making those arguments. i think that's what people are concerned about. >> paul begala, you seem to be enjoying this? >> i don't want to interrupt. if donald trump would let kayleigh script him, he'd be in a lot better shape. he was not going back to law school or asked the explanatory case. what is case law on abortion. what should the laws on abortion be? he's been all over the map on that. the problem with that is a central part of his appeal, you talk to trump supporters, they all tell you this. he tells it like it is.
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well, he's telling it four, five different ways. for the first time, he looks like a typical politician, and it's not his normal, you know, verbal inkont nance where he just -- he need trump adult diapers for his mouth. this time what he's done in the past, attacking senator mccain, attacking megyn kelly and the disabled reporter for "the new york times," he's doubled down. and a lot of his supporters like that because it's not politically correct, and he tells it like it is. now he's waffling all over the place. it's a -- >> had he said these are the laws as of now, i would -- i would certainly hope to be able to change them. if we get supreme court nominees that i'll be able to pick, that's why this race is so important. that would have been a response that would have been in line with not only the law but his position. he didn't say that, though, kayleigh. >> here's the thing. he said repeatedly he wants conservative justices to make changes. what everyone on the panel is advocating for him to do is throw red meat to a conservative base which is what ted cruz did
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and it's irresponsible to tell states to rebel against the supreme court. it would be irresponsible to gain political points if donald trump says, yes, i'm going to change the laws. i don't care what the supreme ku court says. >> let's just talk about wt donald trump said tonight. it's not about ted cruz. it's about donald trump. and i think at this point in the presidential campaign as john was talking about is that voters demand a certain amount of clarity from their candidates. and the problem for donald trump is, and you used the word, paul, waffling. one word we've never used about donald trump is waffling. >> there is no waffling. donald trump is always straight ahead, tell it like it is and all the rest. on this particular issue for whatever reason, and i have no idea what it is, that it's something he hasn't internalized, obviously, and
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it's something he is uncomfortable talking about. when you watch the cbs interview and he's asked about whether abortion is murder, he's clearly uncomfortable with the question. so it's an issue that he has difficulty -- >> there's a banner that says trump again changes position on abortion. is that fair to say, or do we know? >> it's a great question and we should see the entire interview on cbs to be fair to john dickerson and donald trump. it's not my job to give candidates advice but having covered eight presidential campaigns, on this issue, 99.9% of the candidates know what to say on this issue. i ask people questions all the time. a lot of times politicians don't answer the question and say what they want to say. on an issue as sensitive as abortion. it's republican 101. how your going to answer abortion, talk about taxes. there's just four or five things on the index card of being a
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serious republican candidate for office that you need to have an answer on. and, look, the fact he's different is part of ha peel. the fact he's outside of ordoxy is part of ha peel. on this particular issue, especially after he had the misstep the other day, you'd think the next time it came up he'd say, john, you asked me this. here's what i want to say. >> he said point blank in this interview, abortion is murder. he is pro-life. he said that. he's being very -- >> he didn't say that. he actually didn't say it's murder. he didn't want to say it -- >> he didn't want to say it because there are some in the media who are foaming at the mouths to get him to say anything wrong to stumble because they want to spin donald trump as being out of touch or out of place. >> in the interview he said he didn't disagree with that statement. john dickerson said -- but you don't disagree with that proposition that it's murder. what proposition, that abortion is murder? more breaking news. donald trump weighing in. the headline just hitting on a
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potential third party run. we'll talk more about that and what he said with our panel shortly. also john king as we walk and talk through exactly how a three-way contested convention might unfold if donald trump comes close but still falls short of the delegates. and hillary clinton's temper flares. we'll look at what that was about and how it's playing out on the campaign trail. they think that it's sad. i think it's important for everyone to know that there is so much more to memory support than the stigmas you hearabout. that these residents still have lives and their lives still matter and that they are still living their lives. that they're not locked away and that they still have a lot to live for, you know, that they have people that care about them and they have people that love them and i love them, so their lives still matter.
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points in the latest polls there. there's a possibility his win in south carolina could be challenged. reports that since he's gone back on his pledge to support any eventual nominee, which he made at the town hall we did earlier this week, the 50 delegates there could be up for grabs again. all this could be adding up to an interesting convention in july. tom foreman has more. >> reporter: there's a reason they call it a floor fight. if nobody gets to that magic number of delegates out there before the convention begins. this is the delegate count. you can see where they are. we've been inching closer to that possibility. donald trump really has the only real big shot at it right now. but look. if we get to the convention and he doesn't have that number, and even if the floor is filled with people who are waving his signs and he doesn't get that number on the first vote, then all bets are off because then many of these delegates will become unbound. meaning they can show their true colors. you may find some waving trump
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signs are now waving cruz signs or maybe they are waving kasich signs or maybe for someone else altogether. and with each vote after that, more of them become unbound. there are a lot of different state rules and rules written for the convention right before it starts. it may not be clear who all is coming free at which moment but those candidates will be twisting every arm they can and trying to massage the rules and push the referees everywhere they can to get people into their camp. >> tom, despite all that, the party might be expect tot respect the voters back home. the results of the contested conventions usually mirror the popular vote, and how long do they last? >> excellent questions. there have been so few of these we don't know the answer. in 1952, dwight eisenhower came in and had only about a quarter of the vote on the republican side. he was actually trailing. yet all sorts of rang lang going
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on, delegate stealing and he came out as the nominee and eventually the president. back in 1932, franklin delano roosevelt faced a real challenge because his party had a rule that said you needed two-thirds to get the nomination. took him four ballots before he was able to pull that off. and back in 1880 on the republican side, this was amazing. there were several candidates at the top duking it out going back and forth vote after vote and james garfield who wasn't on anyone's radar until the end arises, gets the most and becomes the nominee ending the longest convention in republican party history. there's a reason they don't want this to happen. look at these numbers from the pew research center. on the republican side if the nominee is chosen on the first ballot, 64% of the time that person will win the presidency. second ballot or later, it drops to 50%. those numbers are even worse on the democratic side.
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>> tom, thanks very much. joining me is national republican consultant, katon dawson. matt moore. and with us cnn "inside politics" anchor john king. matt, what is going on in south carolina now that donald trump and the other candidates have opted out of that pledge to support whomever the republican nominee is? >> well, i love hearing the history of these conventions throughout the past 150 years or so. what's hand in the past week, questions have been raised here in south carolina about the pledge that all candidates in south carolina and presidential candidates signed when they signed up tor to be a candidate. this open convention has raised a lot of open questions about the delegate rules and about what it means to get there to that floor fight. this will probably continue as we head into the summer. >> matt, as party chairman, you are remaining neutral. are you personally disappointed that the candidates have backed
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away from the pledge? it was a big deal at the time. >> i am, of course. i want all these candidates to eventually support the party's nominee. the rnc and national party have an arsenal of data and digital analytics to offer the eventual nominee. it really hurts the effort. it hurts the team to hear this talk. >> katon, you've never shied away from telling us what's you think of donald trump or anyone else for that matter. he was the winner of the south carolina primary. shouldn't he get those delegates? >> there are going to be 50 delegates. most likely they'll stick with donald trump. in my conversation with some delegates that could be picked in our state convention and that's coming up. and the pool of delegates, all over the country, varies. but a lot of these people that are going to be able to be delegates hadn't been picked yet, and donald trump wasn't even on the horizon when they signed up to go to a national convention. with the candidates all saying they're maybe not going to support anybody, donald trump
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one more time winding into it by saying he might do a third party run to pull the republican party back in line, as he says it, or as he sees it. but one thing i can tell you, the reagan/ford '76 convention was a pretty good brawl. you get the chance to empower delegates, which is going to be less than 1% of the republican party heading to cleveland and tell them they have a choice of going to 26 cocktail parties or a floor fight, you can look for a really, really good floor fight. republicans in general normally don't vote in a primary for who they think is going to be the best general election candidate. let me tell you about the people going to a convention. they're going to look at the poll numbers and watch the news. if they see we don't have a chance for the number one vote counter getting in that doesn't have the number -- if he has the number, he'll be the nominee. right now he has a pretty bad april coming his way. >> the whole process leading up
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to the convention is complicated. is there a possibleities ility cascade effect? >> anything is possible. i would say the republican convention theme song is going to be "send lawyers, guns and money" but the secret service has already said you can't have guns. what could happen in an open convention would be chaotic. the republican national committee would have to write new rules for its convention and every one of the state delegations and the five or six territories sending delegations. write their own rules about what the state party rules mean. 57 different variations of state and territory rules. then whatever rules they try to write at the convention if they can coming up with a consensus on that. the point about what those 50 south carolina delegates do is critical. the first ballot number for donald trump will tell you a lot about his strength. if those 50 or half of those 50 decide never mind. trump broke his pledge. we're not with him. and trump's number falls lower,
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that decreases the likelihood he's the nominee. if he has a strong first ballot number and can hold most of it on the second ballot, it's hard to take tarks way. we're not really bound, even delegates who come and the state party thinks they're bound and start to say forget about it, nobody knows. you talk to the state chairs. you have one current, one former here tonight. they are talking to their lawyers and people about how are we going to manage this now and try to hold it together at the convention. and nobody is quite sure. >> it's going to be fascinating. john, matt, katon. if there's a floor fight, i'm hiding behind you. >> all hell is going to break loose, anderson, and it's going to be good to cover. >> we love having you on, katon. up next, our panel weighs in on the report. trump once again talking about a third party run. details ahead. so when your symptoms start...
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together, we're building a better california. welcome back. big night of breaking news. donald trump telling fox news he's no longer ruling out a third party run in november. >> are you ruling out running as an independent third party candidate? are you ruling that out? >> look, i'm by far -- it's not that simple.
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i'm by far the front-runner as a republican. i want to run as a republican. i will beat hillary clinton. >> if you don't get the nomination? >> we'll have to see how i was treated. very simple. >> so there was that which came shortly after another potential bombshell. his new remarks on abortion. during a sit-down interview with cbs news' john dickerson. >> the laws are set now on abortion. that's the way they'll remain until they're changed. >> you said you wanted -- you told bloomberg that you believed abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy. where yould you -- >> personally, i would have liked to see this be a states rights. i think it would have been better if it were up to the states. but right now the laws are set and that's the way the laws are. >> you have a feeling how they should change? there are a lot of laws you think should change, everything from libel to torture. >> at this moment the laws are set and i think we have to leave
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it that way. >> moments ago, trump campaign spokeswoman hope hicks put out the following statement. mr. trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must say that way now until he's president. then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. there is nothing new or different here. interesting, kayleigh. that's essentially what you were saying he was saying. >> there are two points here that are important. number one, the law at the moment, and donald trump said at the moment is settled. and that is accurate. number two, you can appoint conservative justices if you want to change the law. two important points. and donald trump has said that since may 3rd, 2011, when he became pro life and said i'd appoint conservative justices. he's consistently made those two points. >> he did not obviously in this interview make the point about judicial appointments. michael gerson, what do you make of the new statement that just came out? >> i think they are trying to
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clean up the mess. but this is symptomatic. it's not an exception. this is a man who has impulses and instincts when he's interviewed. he doesn't make arguments. and on a question like this, people want to hear that you've struggled through it. that you've looked at it from all sides. that you have thought what your own views are. and he doesn't give any evidence of that on an important question. he could just shut it down and say nothing. that may be a better alternative. but what he's doing now you can see him in his mind figuring out where he should be politically. and i think that's a mistake on this issue. >> on the program last night, hillary clinton call in. first time at least on my program she's done that. >> longtime listener. first time caller? >> exactly. but it was interesting to see. clearly she views donald trump's recent xhoecomments on abortion an opportunity, and she was moving away from the details of
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what he said about punishing a woman because he had reversed himself on that, put out a follow-up statement. but just to his position on abortion in general and linking his thoughts to the gop in total. >> i think especially because the republicans seem unwilling to confirm judge garland, the president's nominee to replace scalia on the court. abortion and other social issues will be big, big issues. hillary is telegraphing. she's very comfortable with that. 20 or 30 years ooh those were loser issues for democrats. hillary seems to be leaning into this. she talks about these issues with real confidence. she has thought it through. respect for the other side but knows where she stands. she is pro-choice, period. if ted cruz is the nominee you'll have a similar conversation. cruz such more set in his position, but it is a tiny minority position which is outlawing abortion, even if a woman gets raped. >> he wants the states to rebel against the state court. >> he does play around with
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nullification. >> that's wrong. that's wrong. >> but trump had the opportunity, and again, we haven't seen the whole interview. we don't know what the entire interview says. he had the entire interview to talk about the supreme court which is the key issue in this election, obviously. swing vote up for grabs. and he didn't. and it just exhibits -- at least in this -- and just in watching trump and i'm certainly not a shrink and don't ever want to be one but on this issue he gets in own head a little bit because he's just not as clear about it as he is on, say, the wall or china or trade. and when you are trying to talk to a certain group of voters in the republican party who have as michael was saying deeply held views on this, you have to explain to them why you are with them. and this just doesn't do it. >> he's benefited immensely as we've said and given him credit for by being the most accessible candidate to the news media. he's benefited dramatically in
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the campaign because he gets to set the agenda, change the conversation when he thinks it's in his best interest. we were at this moment of inflection. can he recover from it? all candidates fall down and stumble. can he recover from it. there is this conversation. we're talking about the abortion issue. the president of the united states. the incumbent president of the united states. he doesn't understand foreign policy and nuclear issues. is donald trump ready for primetime? is he ready for the presidency conversation that's happening? and it's happening at a critical moment. if you are going to stop him, you have wisconsin, new york and the states that follow. that is your chance to stop him. otherwise, if donald trump gets his momentum back and starts winning again, maybe there's an open convention but he's still going to get there with such a huge delegate lead that it's going to be tough to take it away. >> what do you make of him with chris wallace not necessarily ruling out a third party run? >> an interesting thing when you are trying to get republicans to be loyal to you at a republican convention to win the nomination. it's a really interesting n
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counterintuitive thing to say if i don't like the way you treat me, i may have a third party win that probably guarantees the democrats win the white house. but that's donald trump's instincts and impulse. that's not a logical political consultant would say, even if you think that and plan that, don't talk about it. >> that gets you in trouble in south carolina. >> i've noticed in interviews and chris wallace's interview is another example. maybe it's only on topics where he hasn't thought it through, but he is highly suggestible. if the interviewer says, you know, it's chris wallace who brought up the idea of a third party run. >> to trump's credit, he answers the question. as opposed to saying, chris, i'm running as a republican right now. ask me that question in cleveland. i'm not touching it. right now i'm running as a republican. conversation is over. instead, he answers. >> i doubt donald trump would have brought up the idea of a third party run in that interview, but when chris wallace brings it up, it puts it
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in his mind and he starts to answer. i don't want to get to analysis-y on him. that's not a word. >> when the interviewer asks him a question it's almost like a ping-pong match between donald trump and the interviewer. he could benefit from stepping back, taking a breath. we see president obama pause, reflect, answer, pause again in the middle of his answer. donald trump could benefit from -- >> i don't think it's baiting. it's asking a question. at this point in the presidential rairx the questions are going to get more direct and more pointed because he's in a nomination fight with two other guys. and so that's what dickerson was doing and wallace. and on running as a third party candidate, that's where he was on day one, right? >> if you don't want a president meeting with world leaders and because the other world leader suggests something the president sort of goes for it. >> i think this san absolutely crucial juncture for trump.
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he's shown electoral strength, surprising electoral strength. now he needs to show he can fully inhabit the role of president of the united states. and there's a transition there. in every campaign, someone eventually comes up with a candidate and says all these strengths and skills that brought you to this point are not enough to take you over the finish line. you are going to need to be the president before you are elected president. you need to be imaginable in that job. and that's what has not happened in the last few weeks. donald trump is not imaginable as president of the united states. >> and yet, his, according to reports this week, his campaign manager when he took over, corey lewandowski wrote on a white board. he wrote let trump be trump. and it has worked like nothing we've ever seen. >> it's worked until now. it won't work for the next step. >> i think you're right, but i just don't think you're going to turn donald trump into somebody who looks presidential. >> these people want donald
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trump to be trump. >> i don't think donald trump wants to be somebody else. >> he needs to grow. he still needs to grow in the republican race. if he gets the nomination, he's going to have to grow more. it's not just keeping his supporters. how do you keep what you've got and get some more. >> i want to thank our panel. a lot of new information coming in just over the last half hour. coming up, the nice factor in wisconsin. it's a state that prides itself on friendliness and civility. donald trump is trailing in that state. gary tuchman talks to people there. make sure it's an intelligent one. the all-new audi a4, with available virtual cockpit. went to ancestry, i put in the names of my grandparents first. i got a leaf right away. a leaf is a hint that is connected to each person in your family tree. i learned that my ten times great grandmother is george washington's aunt.
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tonight's breaking news, donald trump saying he's not ruling out a third party run and weighing in on abortion. all this just four days out from wisconsin's primary. the latest polls show trump trailing ted cruz. his blunt still is not what wisconsinites are perhaps used to. gary tuchman reports. >> wisconsin nice. >> wisconsin nice. >> oh, wisconsin nice. absolutely. >> reporter: wisconsin nice. words the people of t state try and live by. >> he would be one hell of a
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lousy president that i can tell you. >> reporter: and partly because of that motto, this presidential campaign has rubbed a lot of folks here the wrong way. may explain why a certain guy who is new york brash isn't polling so well here. what do you think of all the bickering and insults and name calling between the candidates during this campaign? >> i try not to pay much attention to it. if a commercial comes on and it's from a superpac, i generally change the channel. >> reporter: why do wisconsinites have this nice reputation? >> maybe it's the cheese. and we drink more brandy than any other state in the union. >> reporter: there might be some other reasons. keep in mind one of the state's nicknames is america's dairyland. a pastural, peaceful sounding name many try to live up to. >> the affect we've been brought up with. we grew up with parents that taught us good ethsices, and we work hard. the farm background here in
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wisconsin, i think all contributes to that. ♪ >> reporter: this drive-in in oshkosh has been around since 1948. there's a sign outside that's says a friendly place. and inside it feels exactly that. friendly. lunch and ice cream sodas served at the counter. and food delivered to your car by roller-skating car hops. being polite, being nice has been good for business says arty davis who bought the drive-in just over 60 years popping she says the customers are just as nice. >> why is that? >> i don't know. they're just nice. >> reporter: but her husband steve who has worked here 39 years knows the answer. >> it's part of their upbringing. basically pretty humble people and hard working people, and they are taught to respect other people and be civil and get along with each other. >> reporter: and that's why diners at the counter say, too. >> everybody just seems, you
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know, to like each other, respect each other and look out for each other. >> reporter: what's been made very clear to us in our travels around the state is that wisconsinites, when it comes to politics, are very tired of the bull. sorry, cows. wisconsin nice is not just a motto. it's a lifestyle that many here are grateful for like the roller-skating server i worked to keep up with. >> are the customers here nice? >> oh, yeah, of course. >> reporter: how do they tip? >> very well. >> what percentage? >> 20% to 25%. >> that is nice. >> yeah. >> reporter: all the people i talked to say they will vote. they are too nice not to. speaking of nice people, there are about 750 republicans in this room behind me in milwaukee. this is the largest republican party function in the state of wisconsin each year. it's a fish fry and they've invited all three republican presidential candidates. right now former wisconsin governor tommy thompson is speaking. kasich and cruz will be speaking shortly.
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donald trump is not here but an emissary of his will be here, governor sarah palin. >> did you just happen to have roller-skates with you? >> i bring them with me wherever i go, anderson. >> no doubt. gary, thanks very much. when we come back, things get tense on the democratic side. accusations of lying, demands for an apology. the latest between hillary clinton and brs next. i take these out... put in dr. scholl's active series insoles. they help reduce wear and tear on my legs,
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strategist paul begala. he may not be smiling over the growing tension on his side of the primary. hillary clinton owes his campaign an apology. jeff zeleny has the story and the back story. >> reporter: hillary clinton just can't shake bernie sanders. >> this is really personal for me. >> reporter: their democratic fight isn't winding down but ramping up. and expanding to new fronts. >> secretary clinton -- >> reporter: sanders and his supporters keeping alive their criticism of clinton receiving contributions from the oil and gas industry. this confrontation with a climate change activist going viral. >> -- i am so sick of the sanders campaign lying about me. i'm sick of it. >> reporter: the outburst offers a fresh window into a rising frustration with sanders. the clinton campaign accepts money from lobbyists who work
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for oil and gas companies, not the gas companies themselves. sanders calls it a distinction without a difference. >> if people receive money from lobbyists of the industry, i think you are receiving money from the industry. these are not just a little workermen. these are lobbyists who represent the oil and gas industry. >> reporter: today in new york, clinton struck back saying sanders isn't pro-business. >> i just go crazy when i hear senator sanders and the tea party republicans railing against the export/import bank like it's some sort of evil, you know, presence. >> reporter: the democratic rivals are also tangling over abortion. clinton accusing sanders of not properly denouncing donald trump's assertion that women who have abortions should be punished. >> senator sanders agreed that donald trump's comments were shameful, but then he said they were a distraction from, and i quote, a serious discussion about the serious issues facing america. >> reporter: sanders cried foul. >> what secretary clinton did is
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take things out of context. i'm 100% pro-choice. >> reporter: the root of the tension is the length of the race. the clinton campaign once assuming the race would be all but over by now as the campaign manager robby mook noted two months ago. writing the nomination will likely be won in march, not february. sanders has an edge in wisconsin and is fighting hard on clinton's turf in new york. he drew 18,000 supporters last night to a rally in the bronx. >> my father came to this country at the age of 17 from poland without a nickel in his pocket. >> reporter: sanders is well behind in the delegate race. but money is keeping him in the game. his campaign says it raised $44 million in march. fortifying it for the final two months of the long democratic primary. >> let's take this fight to the white house. thank you all. but for bernie sanders to take this to the white house, he
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needs to keep winning, and winning big. his first target is wisconsin. he's camping out there all weekend long. a top clinton adviser told me they believe wisconsin is basically out of reach. that's why they are focusing so much on new york. but judging by the size of last night's crowd in the bronx for sanders, that popular streak in new york is alive and well and the clinton campaign is taking new york seriously. they know a loss there would up end this race like nothing else could. anderson? >> jeff zeleny, thanks very much. we'll be right back. hey pal? you ready? can you pick me up at 6:30? ah... (boy) i'm here! i'm here! (cop) too late. i was gone for five minutes!
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that does it forrous this friday night. time for cnn tonight with don lemon. this is cnn breaking news. >> four days to the primary and the gop is throwing what it calls wisconsin's largest fish fry, apparently having bigger fish to fry himself, donald trump is sending his star surrogate sarah palin. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the republican front-runner taking it from all sides. barack obama says this about trump's statement on foreign policy. >> the person who made the statements doesn't know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the korean peninsula or theor