tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 5, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
i'm vern, the orange money retirement rabbit from voya. orange money represents the money you put away for retirement. over time, your money could multiply. hello, all of you. get organized at voya.com. happening now, pivotal primary. will voters in wisconsin make swiss cheese out of donald trump's plans? will it make hillary clinton feel the bern? or put out this fire? it's up for grabs? first exit polling came out. crunching numbers to see who turned out today and what moved them to vote the way they did. what's next? bernie sanders says if he wins tonight and then in new york, he'll be the next president of the united states mapping out each candidate's path to the nomination and beyond. how it all might change after tonight. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm wolf blitzer, and you're in "the situation room."
>> today, only one primary but for donald trump, ted cruz, john kasich, hillary clinton, and bernie sanders this really is super tuesday. truly matters to each of them. for some, it could make all of the difference in the world. wisconsin where a lot of republicans are hoping to stop their own front-runner from getting the nomination. it's where he could practically sew it all up. bernie sanders and his supporters believe they could turn the momentum into the makes of a rolling rout all in the spotlight now. there's the back room planning for contested republican convention and a clinton/sanders slugfest shaping up in new york. covering it all, team of correspondents across the map and the best experts in the lex business. first, jim acosta covering the trump campaign. what is the latest? >> reporter: wolf, donald trump is back in new york right now, but speaks volumes he does not have an election watch party
scheduled. he has not done that often. but a come from behind victory for trump in wisconsin would have a dramatic impact on the race. bolster his calls on john kasich to drop out. trump advisers are shying away from making predictions. saying as much earlier today. but it's clear who trump will blame if he loses in wisconsin, and that is john kasich. trump says kasich is staying in the race to play the role of the spoiler. ted cruz, by the way, he's poise dodd something he hasn't done often, beat trump in a primary. all about delegates and if trump loses big in wisconsin, wolf, this race is all about certain to go to the end to california. i talked to a prominent operative in the never trump movement today, he said if trump is forced to fight this out at the convention, the party will not give him the nomination. we should point out, in the coming days, hearing from the trump campaign, planning a series of policy speeches for the gop front-runner. >> donald trump released a plan
outlining how he intends to make mexico pay for the border wall. what more can you tell us about this plan? >> reporter: that's right. speaking of one of donald trump's policies, this was trump's answer to his critics he lay out a plan to force mexico pay for the wall on the border, this is trump saying his administration would start a diplomatic fight with mexico and demand they pay $8 billion to $10 billion to build the wall or risk losing out on $24 in remittances or money transfers sent from mexicans living in the united states back to relatives in mexico. trump would go after visas used by mexican business travelers. president obama today slammed all of this saying the trump plan would result in click shockwaves throughout mexico and send a flood of immigrants into the u.s. he called this plan half-baked. hope hicks says the plan speaks
for itself. >> ted cruz went into the day leading in many polls, bearing endorsement of wisconsin's governor, the state's leading comfort talk radio hosts. sunlen serfaty covering the campaign and joining us from milwaukee. how's the cruz campaign feeling going into tonight? >> reporter: cruz campaign officials telling me they feel strong going into tonight and certainly everything that they've been doing and everything that they've been saying has been of all about projecting confidence. senator cruz not shy of making predictions, not downplaying expectations, saying he believes he will win here in wisconsin tonight. and notably, senator cruz making this larger argument about what a potential win here in wisconsin would mean going forward. in a radio interview him saying it not just about the 42 delegates that he could potentially collect tonight it's about the broader implications. he said that this race will have national repercussions that will send a powerful impact for the states that are coming up in the
calendar. so, of course, it seems like he's trying to really hype this moment, turning it into something of a tipping point. of course, wolf, that strategy carries a lot of risk, weight to it, because that means he must win here in wisconsin. >> certainly does. thank you. john kasich, who has been taking heat from both trump and cruz, like to get out of the race or as trump would p it, get the hell out, his words. governor kasich told anderson, he's not going anywhere. he did, however, head back to ohio to prep for the state of the state address. he is the sitting governor. phil mattingly covering his campaign from new york, where the governor is hoping to shock the field a couple of weeks from tonight. kasich can't reach that magic number of delegates needed to win the delegation anymore. how does that affect his ground game in the final push for wisconsin. >> ache azerbaijan sexacerbates. it's with donors. he fines people that like him, like his message, but just can't
see how he can actually get through the nomination. the kasich team is honest about the pathway forward. doesn't mean getting to 1,237 to secure the nomination, it means getting to cleveland and an open convention. what they want out of tonight is one congressional district win, three delegates here, six at the most and move on, as you said to new york and pennsylvania, getting back up to the east coast where they feel like the governor is on better, more solid ground for his message and his type of conservatism. >> both trump and cruz called for kasich to drop out. how is the campaign responding. >> they've rejected that outright. some level they like it. it has energized the candidate. you've seen it, john kasich in some ways relishing the opportunity to punch back at donald trump and at ted cruz. i think one of the interesting components here is this, the campaign john kasich specifically has complained over and over again, they haven't gotten attention to get his
message out. these attacks coming from donald trump, who has ignored john kasich the vast majority of the campaign elevate john kasich to a level where everybody's paying attention. if their candidate has an opportunity to get the mess amount out, he'll rise in the polls. they're waiting for that to happen. >> thank you, phil mattingly reporting. let's bring in the panel. cnn commentator sally kohn, cnn political contributor, michael nutter, anchor john king, gloria borger, jeffrey lord, amanda carpenter, kevin madden, mary katharine ham. and, jerry mathers, as always, the beaver. gloria, what are you expecting? >> i'm still trying to get over
the beaver there. i think that -- >> gee, wally. >> -- okay, we can go through the whole cast if you want. look, cruz needs to win wisconsin tonight and the margin of victory matters for him, right? ted cruz, if he can win in wisconsin, he's not on, you know, terra firma there, it's not his natural habitat, it's not hugely evangelical. if cruz can win here, people will say, he staked a claim somewhere we didn't think he could do it. for trump, i think everyone knew trump was going to have some trouble heading into wisconsin. but everybody thought he might get about the pollsters around 35%, something like that. if he does, if he holds to that and does better, even a little bit worse, you could say all of his problems over the last couple of weeks were a temporary speed bump and he could survive it, and he could move on to states that are friendlier to
him, states like new york, for example. and you know, in the northeast and mid-atlantic. so, you know, for each of them, they have kind of something to prove here. i do believe that cruz has more to prove and i also, since this is a hybrid state, you know, trump can pick up a few delegates even if he doesn't win the majority. >> john, is there a danger in overestimating what a trump second place finish would mean? >> yes. yes. a danger in trying to project, look, donald trump surprised us repeatedly in the race. this is his greatest test, some of the wounds are self-inflected, a lot of money. spent against him, a consistent campaign against him. this is the biggest test he's faced in the campaign. candidates lose stated, it happens. what happens after that? one, can cruz not only win, but shut trump out? >> right. >> maybe kasich wins. if cruz can get all 42, that's good for cruz. the question is in the test, we've talked about, can cruz
consistently perform? not just perform in one state and have a good week, but consistently perform and say with a straight face, i am the alternative. number two, we go into trump's fire wall state. there's a loss in wisconsin open a trap door and he falls in new york and falls below 50% and new york is a battleground, or was de lose in wisconsin, go home, wins and says i may not get to 1,237 but i'm way ahead of everybody else when we get to convention time. >> let's go over to the republicans first. sense we're focusing on cruz and trump and kasich but we haven't mentioned kasich, which is telling. jeffrey lord, what do you are make of what donald trump needs to do assuming he's not going to get first place. >> if he loses, he can go on. he'll go on to the fire wall states, he'll go on to new york. i live in pennsylvania, he's doing very well in pennsylvania. kasich thing is interesting. john kasich is from person person originally, western pennsylvania and he may well do some damage to ted cruz in there, the kind of damage that
cruz can't make up to overtake donald trump in pennsylvania. so i think whatever happens here margin plays a role. as gloria said if this is ten-toiten ten-point loss for donald trump, he'll go on. do you see trump's campaign making adjustments based on the week that many pundits believe had? talk about policy positions, statements. >> i think the policy positions were already forthcoming regardless. i think he's walked back some of this, he said if he had to do it over, he wouldn't do the heidi cruz thing. i think, his family's talk to him. he believes in being, as we all know, aggressive to win this and talk about being presidential. his point is, presidents get to be presidential, presidential candidates who act presidential think thomas e. dewey don't win the presidency.
>> amanda, your old boss, ted cruz. >> operation dozen matter. donald trump has gotten so far based on strength of his personality, we're seeing that he's boxed in by than trump's campaign has put him in bad situations past couple of weeks. why was he talking to chris matthews about abortion? why was he doing an interview with maureen dowd about previous escapades? these are bad decisions. donald trump needs a better campaign around him. i don't think he can continue to coast on his personality. you see cruz relying on his strong campaign staff, picking up delegates in unexpected places, competing well in wisconsin. trump, starting to see him wobble. stories about how his campaign staff is in disarray and that's problematic, going into new york and states that should be good for him. >> are you saying cruz is not relying on his personality? >> donald trump is relying on policy, as jeffrey said.
>> look at what he's doing in wisconsin. he's very competitive. that was not a good state because scott walker gave him an endorsement. it's a big deal. >> who was wisconsin supposed to be good for? people say wisconsin wasn't supposed to be good for donald trump, ted cruz. >> odd thing is it ought to be better for john kasich. but that's one of the stories. i expect ted cruz to win and to win big. and the idea that ted cruz would win in a state that is not full of evangelicals, more of a suburban republican along the line of paul ryan, that's a very big surprise. i think what a big ted cruz win tonight would say that there has been a shift in this electorate now. ted cruz has shown an ability to potentially unify the electorate. i think john kasich were a surprise with a second place or close third it might tell us there is a big of shift going on inside the republican party. it will be hard to try to transfer that to big changes in
places like new york, new jersey, connecticut on the calendar. but we'll have seen, you know, limitations of donald trump's candidacy. >> we certainly haven't heard john kasich talking big about doing well in wisconsin. he's focused on -- he was in new york yesterday. >> i always argue that john kasich is always the big winner it doesn't matter if you lose, you're winning. he's just going to march right on. here what happens i think is interesting about the margin and the fact this is not a terribly friendly place for cruz, necessarily, it may signal that voters, in places like new york, pennsylvania, are warming to this elect ability argument, looking around and going, this is the guy who has a shot and he's not normally my kind of guy but maybe i'll go there because i don't see kasich has a path and kasich is not arguing he has a path. that makes a difference moving forward to the states. >> john, any evidence? >> cruz doesn't have a path either. >> right. >> cruz's hope you're the guy who gets hot in the end and get to open convention and delegates say this is the guy who stopped
trump and plurality or the delegates at convention don't want trump, this is the guy who stopped him and he had momentum at the end, we owe it to him. >> the issue is he's not -- less plausible to that guy. >> kasich almost wishes he had not run and he was the republican governor of ohio when the convention came to ohio looking for a candidate. but he is running now. he has to try to keep himself viable. >> one of the things here, trump and cruz decidedly now, it's clear, the republican party wants an anti-establishment. when you add two folks together i don't see any path for anybody other than one of those. >> one interesting thing in the last few days, and these guys know these people better than i do, republicans -- there was a split in the republican party two weeks ago about should we just deal with it, trump's our nominee, whether holding your nose or whatever, hug the bowl, try to get through the rodeo. now after the abortion comments,
nukes in europe at the town hall with you, nukes in asia, republicans have said, if he's at 1236 we're going to stop him. >> we've got to pause it here. we only have nine more hours, not a lot of time, stay with us. wolf has breaking news. first indication of who's turning out today and what is motivating, the first exit poll results. later a democratic race closer than anything folks expected. my bladder leakage made me feel like i couldn't be the father that i wanted to be. my kids see me as this rock of the family and a part of me felt like i became less of that hero to them but with depend, i have none of those concerns anymore.
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initial indications of voters in wisconsin. >> one of the important things is when did people make up their mind about the election? you heard john king talk about the controversial statements donald trump has been making. among wisconsin republican voters who went to the polls today, and these are early numbers, 33% say they decided within the last week. 67% said they decided before that, so the bulk of voters decided before a lot of the controversy that was surrounding donald trump's comments. wolf, we took a look at party ideas. u. s and williams is an open primary. take a look at this. 6% of voters in the republican primary are democrats. don't worry. they're just playing in the republican primary. 65% of voters today were republican, 29% were independent. when we compared this to 2012, it is about the same of independent turnout in the
primary but uptick among traditional republican voters. that is alittle bit higher of republican turnout inside the republican primary. if i were in the cruz camp i'd be thinking, if donald trump does better with independent voters we do better with rock, solid, reliable party party line voters. if that poll of voters increased, i'd be feeling good about that. >> kasich would do well with rock solid republicans, too. >> yes. >> thank you, david chalian. >> more to talk about with the panel. in past races we've seen when it's folks who have made up their mind earlier that usually seems to favor donald trump and there does seem to be a sort of whether it's in the pundit class or folks who are against trump, gleefulness over the last couple of days the tide was turning against donald trump but there's not been any hard evidence of that. >> no, one state alone, if he loses, will not prove that.
it will prove that he's being tested, challenged, it will prove his math even as the front-runner getting to the magic number of 1,237 would be more difficult. donald trump today, 56% of the remaining delegates before the convention to arrive in cleveland at 1,237. he's the only candidate with a chance. even that's hard. he can till do it conceivably if he gets shut out tonight or handful of delegates tonight, that makes his math more difficult. it doesn't mean he's done. it means you've stopped him in one state but you have to do it again. the map is moving to a place where on paper you think it more for donald trump. >> new york, new jersey, connecticut, maryland, pennsylvania, rhode island, moving to the northeast and the mid-atlantic where nothing against ted cruz but he's from texas a tea party evangelical guy. wow would not associate texas tea party evangelical with the states in the region i mentioned. it doesn't mean he can't compete but it starts as more trump territory than cruz territory.
>> mayor nutter, the guy on the plane said, it seems like the tide's turning against donald trump. i said how many times in the campaign have you said that? he was like, you know what, you're right, eight or nine times and i've been wrong every time. >> we didn't know there was going to be tide with donald trump, three months, four months, have fun, he goes away a race among the 16 people that started out on the other side. every time he has been either underestimated or miscalculated, we in this world, are, you know, regular citizens. so, tonight is tonight. we'll see what happens. there have been predictions already that senator cruz should do very, very well and everyone pivots quite frankly to super nyc and atlantic tuesday with pennsylvania, maryland, connecticut, rhode island and delaware. >> sally, doesn't tonight matter? >> yes, it matters on the republican side. look, it going to be incredible important on the democratic
side. first, interesting to see where bernie gets his votes, whichever way it turns out. i argue whether bernie comes out a little ahead, hillary comes out a little ahead, the fact that bernie closes the margin win way or another, in new york, is important. we have to remember, hillary clinton is not the democratic nominee. she is -- keeps being called the front-runner but she's a front-runner but at this point front-runner should be consolidating support. she seems to be losing support, gaining ground, gaining support and still wins in polling matchups with donald trump. so that's something we'll be paying a lot of attention to. >> someone who has run for office, when you have more votes than anyone else you're usually considered the front-runner. when you have more delegates than anyone else, you're the front-runner. her margin is 240, she'll get what she gets he'll get what he
gets. >> isn't that 2012, more votes, front-runner, winning is winning. >> fact, matter. >> it will go up, it will go down and it's over. >> i'm saying maybe we should call her the front crawler. she's not at this point in the race where you think she could be in consolidating the base of supporters and regaining momentum. >> for sanders supporters western states have gone for sanders, again, if he has very good night tonight it does create if she's the front runner she's not doing -- >> it's math. it's about the math. because democrats are democratic. >> yes, even super pac. >> and proportionate, if sanders had a big win it might -- she -- he might narrow the lead like 20 or so. >> but john king, the sanders
point, dup super delegates can split. >> assume cruz wins. can he use it as a springboard to bow into donald trump's backyard and a region that's donald trump and win again? you can't stop him unless you keep beating limb. wisconsins enough. can sanders win and use it as a springboard to go into new york and beat hillary clinton. bernie sanders won every democratic primary left, 55-45, by ten, which he's unlikely to do, a lot of states including new york where hillary clinton is favored, even if he ran the board by ten points he'd trail her in delegates. she would not have enough to clinch. >> we've got to take a break. 8 1/2 more hours. more to talk about. hearing from the panel, hillary clinton, bernie sanders looking to next big races. the latest from the campaign trail. i want each of you to grab a 2x8 and cut it.
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we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. even as wisconsin voters are ledding to the polls, candidates are looking ahead to the next crucial races. for bernie sanders, that means wyoming, which holds caucuses saturday. senator sanders racked up most wins in caucus states, and he's hoping to do the same thing in wyoming. brianna keilar is following the sanders campaign. senator sanders appearing at university of wyoming, hoping to appeal to younger wyoming voters. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's right. he'll be welcomed by the crowd, wolf, five hours plus before set to speak here at university of wyoming. and interestingly, stone's throw
from the cheney international center here. people lining up, ready to go in. expecting a big crowd here. wyoming is a place that favors bernie sanders. he's banking on young people and the fact that the electorate is wider than the general democratic electorate. on the wisconsin night, he might want to be in the badger state, savoring a potential victory there, he's here in wyoming, 14 delegates at stake to wisconsin's 86, but he'll be trying to create this image of momentum if he does well in with wisconsin he'll say here i am in wyoming. >> he would have to win, though, by a huge margin tonight and going forward in order to get to that magic number at the convention. >> reporter: he would. let just put superdelegates aside. you talked to bernie sanders supporters, wolf, they know what superdelegates are, they know the breakdown between superdelegates and pledge
delegate's trailing hillary clinton by over 250 delegates. what you need to pull off in wisconsin is something akin to what barack obama did in 2008, he beat hillary clinton by 17 points. then he would need to use that to create momentum, which he's trying to do to move on to bigger states, pennsylvania, new york, still beat hillary clinton by several points. it a very difficult feat but one that bernie sanders thinks he'll be able to achieve. >> thanks for the caucus there. next krurl state, primary, would be new york, two weeks from today. both candidates have deep ties in new york, bernie sanders born in brooklyn, hillary clinton lives there. she's held one of its u.s. senate seats for eight years. mrs. clinton has been concentrating on new york over the past couple of days. she's in brooklyn tonight. jeff zeleny's on the scene for us. two weeks until the new york primary. lots of delegates at stake
there. what's hillary clinton's message on this day as she campaigns in new york. ? >> reporter: wolf, new york pri primary has the biggest trove of delegate, second only to california which comes up in june. that's why secretary clinton was here. she just wrapped applause i town meeting, talking about gun violence and other issues. but, wolf, this is not exactly a tough campaign day for her. the focus on the matter at hand, focusing more on donald trump. she took a crack at him. she said he should get one of his many towers and see the diversity and prejudice is no the a value of new york. beside that, she did not talk about many rivals. a couple of small digs at bernie sanders. the clinton campaign is trying to get through election nights. as brianna said so well, she has a big lead in pledge delegates, so hard for bernie sanders to catch up. she's not having any campaign events tonight.
she'll be at a fund-raiser instead. >> gearing up for new york. jeff zeleny, thank you. cnn will host the next democratic debate april 14th, 9:00 eastern. hillary clinton, bernie sanders, facing off in brooklyn five days before new york's critical primary. moderator wolf blitzer. tonight, delegates up for grabs in wisconsin. how a win or loss could shift the balance. i love to take pictures that engage people and to connect us with the wonderment of nature. with the tiger image, the saliva coming off and you got this turning. that's why i need this kind of resolution and computing power. being able to use a pen like this
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polls in wisconsin will be open for a few more hours. 42 delegates up for grabs in the republican contest, 86 delegates up for grabs in the democratic contest. it much too early to know how many the candidates will take home. it is safe to say, though, the outcome of wisconsin's primaries will change the math to some degree in both races. john king over at magic wall with me right now. the republicans, who want to stop trump tonight, they clearly believe wisconsin could be critical. >> they do. they think it crucial, crucial. start where we are. donald trump needs 56% of the remaining delegates. 56% of the remaining delegates to get here to the magic number of 1,237. he has a big lead, he is at 740. what the stop trump forces are hoping for, they want ted cruz to win. they hope he wins all 427 a scenario cruz gets some, kasich wins some, shutting trump out is
critical for the stop trump forces. then, what happens then, cruz gets victory, narrows the gap a bit. what they hope is we come into new york a winner take all state, if you get above 50% statewi statewide. what they're hoping is that donald trump's poll numbers come down and even if he wins he gets about half 0 the delegates here. give this so john kasich, ted cruz in third. flip that. but what the stop trump forces hope for, shut him out here, cut his delegate take out of new york maybe to half, less than half if they can. if this happens, at that point, donald trump would need 61%. if he stumbles here, even if he loses delegates, that's what the stop trump forces are hoping for. almost guaranteed an open, contested convention. >> what happens if trump wins. >> that would take a lot of steam out of the stop trump movement. assume donald trump does surprise us, comes in first, ted cruz comes in second, kasich
shut out. cruz gets some delegates but donald trump turns wisconsin his way and hopes he gets a big boost into. new york, new york wins it all, it conceivablconceivable. donald trump is hoping to get all or most. that played out, huge win in new york after a surprise win in wisconsin, donald trump could cut his math. the stop trump forces think it's critical to them. if trump can pull out a sprays, hold new york, different math. >> anderson. >> thanks very much. jeffly lord, to john's point, it's important how many times counted out and underestimated. >> this has been going on from the get-go. this is something i felt strongly about right from the get-go, he was being totally underestimated here. he had a lot to say, it jived with the sentiment of what the country was when you talked to
regular folks, not political pundits. >> you think whatever damage was done last week is not lasting? >> that's right. that's right. he will go on. what this remains me, the obama/clinton struggle for the reagan/bush struggle that wept on until may or june. june 7th the last of the primaries. this can go on for a while. but he has cap ability of winning this. >> do you think it's being overplayed or there was a turning point? >> i do think so. i want to focus on the durability of donald trump. i think there's lessons for other candidates to learn, though i disagree with what donald trump does. he makes himself available to the media. for so long, conservatives everybody liberal media, we'll ignore it. donald trump owns it. he will say controversial things. he doesn't back down. he has total confidence. usually in total control.
i think other candidates they want to compete on the national scale, they need to look what at donald trump has done, be willing to talk about anything at any time. when you encounter adversity, own it, continue. >> the flip side of that is, something we saw last week, which is perhaps at times overconfident about his ability to talk to anyone. >> yeah. >> chris matthews, or maureen dowd, maybe those were interviews he should have thought twice about or somebody in his circle said, do you need do this. they clearly loves the limelight, being discussed. >> he takes it too far. but there's a happy medium, you prepare to go into interviews, you know if you're going to sit down with chris matthews in wisconsin, if he's a democrat, you're going to get asked about abortion. that's where meeting of the minds has to come together. you need to talk to staff, let people prepare you. like donald trump, don't be afraid to go in and say what you
think. >> you have had conversations separately with carly fiorina and with ted cruz, in which they'd complained about all of the attention and you pointed out, we keep coming to you, you keep saying -- >> we put out ini have takings ted cruz, through the campaign and didn't get a response or never got him on the program. >> i will say one more point, i would like to see donald trump and ted cruz debate again. this united states one drn -- >> i think ted cruz would like. >> not on the crazy scanded stuff, nato, there are substantive things for them to district attorney bait. it's going to ab-i great debate. >> we extent that invitation. >> for some of the mistakes made in wisconsin, perhaps changing voters' minds, because they are systemic issues there's a reason in the exit polling more republicans are out. maybe ted cruz has a ground game that's working. he decided donald trump decided
to go after wisconsin's governor who has good numbers, that was not a great move. he decides to go down the wrong path on oorrganize or several wrong paths and joins women in condemnation of him. these will affect a general election campaign on their face and perhaps people are looking at that. >> talking about the ground game of donald trump from the beginning, from iowa, from new hampshire days. we saw in louisiana, donald trump won in the popular vote. ted cruz basically outmaneuvered his campaign on the ground, got more delegates. out of that donald trump talked about suing, said it was unfair, although those are the rules. can he get a better ground game or is that dive and cast. >> that's one of the problems donald trump is going to have, trying to shift towards being more conventional candidate. i think donald trump, the businessman, allege the businessmanning has been able to purchase things.
you can't purchase an organization. >> you can purchase delegates. >> you can work delegates one by one in a personal way. >> good way of putting that. >> i think that the cruz campaigns and kasich folks are doing a better job of he reaching out to folks and using resisting organizations to do that. >> new exit polling. we'll check in with the polling station in brook field wisconsin a big day in the badger state.
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room." political director, david chalian, the team is crunching the numbers. >> we're looking at the democratic side of the wisconsin primary today. the key factor the race has played in the democrat ic race, we've seen it again. voters heading to the polls voting in the democratic primary in wisconsin, 84% white, 9% black, 2% latino. that 84%, only four states have had a larger white population than that thus far. iowa, new hampshire, massachusetts, and vermont. so this is a big white turnout, which has meant good news for bernie sanders in a lot of these previous contests. he clearly didn't win all of those, but he tends to do better when turnout among white voters is much larger like it is here in wisconsin. we also took a look at party i.d. like on the republican side. remember, it's an open primary. 72% say they are democrats. 2% say they are republicans.
25% of voters voting in the democratic primary today call themselves independent. so we saw a larger turnout, a slightly larger turnout among independents on the republican side. remember, it was 29% independents there. here it's 25%. that 72% democratic number is the one to watch because that is going to be key if hillary clinton is going to be able to make this a fight with bernie sanders. >> interesting numbers. i know you're getting some more. stand by. david chalian helping us. let's check in at one of the polling stations in brookfield, wisconsin, west of milwaukee. cnn's jason carroll is on the scene for us. higher voter turnout than expected, is that what it looks like? >> reporter: without question, wolf. you can take a look for yourself. the line is still out the door here. we just gotten a recent count, 1,800 people have walked through those doors so far to cast their vote. the trump campaign saying they feel as low a higher voter turnout will weigh in their favor. i've spoken to a number of voters coming in here, one an 89-year-old veteran who said he initially was going to support
trump but he now feels as though he's carrying too much baggage. also spoke to another woman who says she initially was going to vote for trump. she, too, went to cruz simply because she says she did not like the way trump tried to articulate his position on abortion. trump saying earlier today he's going to pull out a surprise here in the state. he was also saying it over the weekend. despite the fact that most recent polling still shows cruz ahead. wolf? >> all right. jason, thank you. we have much more in the next hour. the latest exit polling numbers coming in, much more with our panel. plus, donald trump says he wants to build a wall and mexico is going to pay for that. now he's detailing exactly how he wants to accomplish that, a plan president obama is calling impractical. much more of what the president said. we'll also speak to a senior adviser to donald trump. we'll be right back. ♪ melodic music throughout
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happening now, state of denial. will wisconsin be the place where donald trump hits the wall or will voters there help him all but sew up the republican mom nation? > bla nomination? >> we'll map out the possibilities and look at how each candidate plans to prevail. >> an exit interview, what our newest batch of exit polling says about the race tonight. >> we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're just a few hours away from learning how much history the voters of wisconsin have made today. with ted cruz leading going in,
will he now get the 42 delegates he needs to complicate the math and slow the momentum that donald trump has enjoyed so far? or will donald trump come away with a fresh boost? and over on the democratic side, can bernie sanders achieve the first of two key victories that he says will propel him straight to the white house? or will the hillary clinton forces hold him off tonight? we're about to find out. a very big night. starting with cnn's sunlen serfaty. >> based on the enthusiasm, how do you think we're going to do in wisconsin? >> great. [ cheering ] >> i think we're going to do real well. >> reporter: donald trump today saying don't count him out in the battle for wisconsin. >> i hear the polls are busy, huh? >> they are busy. >> we could have a big surprise tonight, folks. big surprise. >> reporter: while ted cruz casts the badger state primary as a potential tipping point in the race. >> if we end up with a win tonight, it is going to have national repercussions not just for the 42 delegates at stake here in wisconsin, but i believe
it is going to powerfully impact the states to come. >> reporter: a cruz win in wisconsin could embolden the stop trump forces delivering a blow to the gop front-runner's march toward the nomination. and increasing the odds of a contested convention in cleveland in july. trump is not shying away from the importance of the moment. >> it's impossible. almost impossible for ted cruz to win. so he would have to get it at the convention which i think would be highly unlikely. so he can't win. >> reporter: trump's wife melania joining him before today's primary trying to blunt some of the criticism of the front-runner that has turned off so many women voters according to polls. >> no matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal. >> reporter: trump also detailing how he will deliver on one of his biggest campaign promises, getting mexico to pay for a wall along the southern border. among the steps outlined in a campaign memo, threatening to
bar mexican immigrants in the u.s. from wiring money to relatives in mexico. president obama today rejecting trump's approach. >> the notion that we're going to track every western union, you know, bit of money that's being sent to mexico, you know, good luck with that. >> reporter: taking aim not only at trump, but also at cruz. >> it's not just mr. trump's proposals. i mean, you're also hearing concerns about mr. cruz's proposals which in some ways are just as draconian. >> reporter: on the democratic side, hillary clinton and bernie sanders are also locked in a tight battle in wisconsin. >> in national poll after national poll, we beat donald trump by huge margins. huge margins. >> reporter: as sanders talks about his momentum, clinton is touting her advantage when it comes to the math. >> but i have 2.5 million more votes than he does. i have a very significant lead
in delegates which is what eventually decides who the nominee is. >> sunlen is joining us now live from milwaukee. sunlen, if cruz does end up taking wisconsin, what does the path forward look like for donald trump? is it still possible for him to get the number of delegates he needs to secure the nomination? >> reporter: it is still possible, wolf, that donald trump would get to 1,237 but it is extremely difficult and made much more so if cruz wins here in wisconsin. if you look at some of the states that are coming up for donald trump, there are some states that are more favorable for him coming up, of course his home state of new york, also maryland, connecticut, rhode island, delaware. those states playing to his advantage, but a win here in wisconsin for ted cruz really sets up this scenario for donald trump where there's absolutely no wiggle room, put simply, absolutely no room for error for donald trump and that's why when we talk about the importance of the results here in wisconsin,
it's not just about winning this particular state and picking up those delegates, potentially it sets up a much more likely path toward a contested convention. wolf? >> all right. sunlen, thank you. let's go to a polling place in green bay, wisconsin, right now cnn's chris fraetz is on the scene there. chris, what's the turnout been like where you are? >> reporter: hey, wolf. i tell you, in those closing days we heard bernie sanders and hillary clinton making the argument if turnout was high they think they could do well. i can tell you at least where we are in green bay, i have good news for the campaign. turnout is very high. in fact, we're looking at about 800 people who have com through the doors already, that's of the 1,600 registered to vote. we're seeing a 50% turnout rate. the officials tell me that's very, very high. people have been streaming in since 7:00 a.m. today. it's been steady all day long. they think they'll have hundreds more come through before the polls close at 8:00, wolf. >> 8:00 central time. 9:00 eastern. so they got three more hours to vote. who are they voting for, what
are you hearing over there? >> reporter: yeah, wolf. we're not getting a breakdown of democrats and republicans. we won't get that until the polls do close, but anecdotedly as i talked to voters today, it seemed to follow the trend lines of the polls. a lot of registered republicans voting for ted cruz, a lot of registered democrats voting for bernie sanders. of course, also trump and hillary clinton support mixed in. also some surprises. i talked to a couple who was registered republican and the wife voted for ted cruz but the husband voted for bernie sanders because they were a never-trump couple. so lots of surprises out there tonight as well. and of course, bernie sanders, you know, trying to really close that gap and run up the score on hillary clinton, get as many of those 86 delegates as he can and that might depend on the margin he can get with independents because he polls so well with independents compared to hillary clinton so if we see later on tonight that they're coming out for bernie sanders, we may expect that he has a very good night indeed, wolf.
>> all right, chris frates reporting for us from green bay, wisconsin. >> back with us here on the panel this hour, michael nutter, john king, gloria borger, political commentator, jeffrey lord, amanda carpenter, mary katherine ham. let's talk about the democratic side. you and i were talking during one of the breaks about decision at some point that bernie sanders likely has to make right now based on the matt. >> if things continue going the way they're going, he wins some states, secretary clinton wins some states, the margin stays about the same or grows or shri shrinks, but there's still a pretty decent margin. at some point in time, if that's senator sanders' situation, he has to decide, what am i doing next, where is this going? i might not be able to win. do i continue to attack hillary clinton? giving more ammunition to the republicans. how do i, when we get to the convention, in philadelphia, we're very proud to host it, how do i bring it all together, how do i keep the supporters? so if i keep, you know,
hammering and hammering and hammering, how do i at some point in time bring it all together? is his campaign really about him as a candidate and this movement or is it about electing a democrat as president of the united states of america? that's a decision that he'll have to make. there comes a point where you know as a candidate whether you're going to withn or not. >> sally, i can't tell by your wry smile or vigorously shaking your head no, what's your position on this? >> well, look, first of all, it's fascinating to me that this is sort of hillary is the presumptive kind of let's -- the exit strategy for bernie conversation happens, meanwhile in a similar situation on the republican side, we're not necessarily having that conversation. sort of how can cruz hang on, what's his strategy to win at the convention? so that's note number one. but note number two, we don't have to choose between electing a democratic primary candidate who is strong and represents the full spectrum of the party and continuing the bernie momentum, the movement that i think goes long beyond this election.
and the fact of the matter is, without a doubt, first of all, there are people in the democratic party who wanted a coronation who specifically wanted -- we wouldn't be talking about hillary right now if she didn't have contender, number one. number two, imagine, for instance, now is it because of bernie? i happen to think it is. imagine she hasn't come out against the trans-pacific partnership deal and then, god forbid, facing a primary -- or facing a general election against donald trump, she'd be slaughtered because that is such a motivating issue with both sides of the aisle. she's a better candidate. bernie's still in the race, let's not count this out yet. >> i'm not suggesting that the senator do anything different other than at some point in time you have to decide, can i win, should i continue to attack my fellow candidate? am i trying to win or trying to destroy -- >> do you agree with his premise that attacking hillary clinton -- >> i don't, sorry. >> -- damages her? >> first of all, i don't think he's attacking hillary clinton. i think he's attractiacking her
positions. contrast that to the other side of the aisle where you see the real personal in the gutter mud slinging nastiness. bernie sanders to the extent that i won't even use the word attack, he's critiquing and challenging hillary clinton on her positions. he has, in fact, affirmatively said he won't take on the e-mail issues, any of the quote/unquote scandals. he's talking about substance and he should be because not only is that important to the entire process, it's important to his voters. >> let's talk about history. does a race like this do damage? >> it didn't in 2008. hillary clinton stayed in this race until june if i recall. >> absolutely. >> people were telling her get out, you're not going to be -- you know, you're not going to beat barack obama. >> she went after obama on a personal level. >> and she didn't get out and barack obama ended up becoming the next president of the united states. >> with her support. >> with her support. i think a lot depends what happens, bernie sanders goes
through june, doesn't become the nominee, it doesn't go to the convention. how does he embrace hillary clinton? how do they move forward together against a republican candidate? i mean, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of stuff that has to go on. >> i think he -- look, i think if he get there, he will, but what i think is very important is to not get there too fast in our conversation. and frankly, there is a legion. this is going to shape not just democratic party politics but american politics for the next generation. these young folks in particular who've come out who believe in what bernie sanders is saying and who believe in the idea that the regular folks can challenge the political establishment and if we start telling them right now, thanks, you're done, we've already -- this is already sealed up, then that does irreparable harm. >> they both have big decisions to make. they're not going to be made today. wisconsin is today and bernie sanders may win wisconsin today then we'll go on to new york. these decisions may not be made up until just before or at the convention. hillary clinton has unique insights as to what bernie
sanders is going through because he went through it, herself. you can tell bernie sanders is under her skin. she needs to be big. to sally's point, she needs to be big about how she handles this because she needs the voters and wants that energy wants senator sanders if she is the nominee on the trail for her in november. he also needs to think about if it ends up that way where she's the nominee, he needs to think, "a," what is his future, he's not -- no offense, he's not in his 30s. is he going to run for president again? does he want to lead a movement? he needs to think this through, too. we're not at that point. he still thinks -- it's a small narrow window but he still thinks there's a small possibility he can take control of this race, up and until then, let them go. >> anderson, my only point was we are where we are, soon will be the 19th, the 26th, april is done. and we'll go down the line. but it's something to think about. >> at the end of the month, you call it atlantic day, i call it judgment. i do think in both races we're going to wake up that wednesday
morning and we're going to know. do we have an open republican convention, and has hillary clinton start to stretch it out to the point -- >> when did you say -- >> the 28th. >> the end of this month? >> 26th. >> both cases -- >> what i think it underscores on both sides is that both front-runners at the moment are subject to this delicate dance that they're going to have to do to keep people in the tent, and the interesting thing is both front-runners, donald trump more than hillary clinton, but they're clodhoppers, they're not waltzers. these are not people who are light on their feet and with their touch, so it will be interesting to watch them try to execute that if that's where we go. >> one of the things, we talked about this before, it applies both to the democrats and the republicans, these differences are going to take shape in platform fights. i understand that when you get past the platform fights, not many people pay attention to the platform, but for that two-week period, generally there's a week before where you do the platform thing and then the convention, itself, these things can be furious efforts on the part of,
for instance, bernie sanders' people to push particular issues to drive hillary clinton in a certain direction. certainly on the republican side, i mean, i can imagine there will be plenty of people saying, you know, we're really not going to put this thing about the wall in the platform. and you will have tremendous fights over this. so these things are camouflaged at the moment underneath all of the permsonality business but this is going to happen i think. >> if there's something that's remarkable, bernie sanders is performing somewhat of a service to hillary clinton. hillary clinton has said i've been able to endure politics for a long time. she plays victim well. for someone who has endured so much criticism over the years, she hasn't handled the attacks well. whoever the republican nominee is, donald trump more than ted cruz, she's going to get devastating attacks on issues far beyond tpp and every issue of her record. if she doesn't find a way to handle it now against bernie sanders, well, get ready for october. >> we got chilly over here.
-- >> she's proven that she's battle tough. i think she's not been playing a victim, she has been a victim of serious republican attacks for more than two decades. >> she still doesn't -- >> candidates, you have a good day, have a bad day, somebody's on your nerves, you're not thinking about them anymore. i think there's a lot going on behind the scenes away from what the voters are doing, delegates, et cetera, et cetera. when mary katherine talks about the dance, whether you're waltzing or doing something else, i mean, it's -- we're in that zone where you really start to think about this thing is going to collapse. it's going to go very quickly. >> no, let's also just be clear, look, i support bernie sanders' positions more than i support hillary's, but hillary's best quality, and i think the american people by in large see this, is you can picture here as president more so than maybe anyone else running. and drup donald trump on the ot hand, uyou want to talk about playing a victim, here's a guy
running against political correctness and the idea there's an unfair playing field and he's constantly whining he's not being treated fairly and then -- >> gloria anyone we got to go. >> if bernie's tone is an issue, i think that's a problem for her going forward. >> you can see, i want to say to john's point, bgs bernie sander getting under her skin. the other day she almost pulled a bob dole where he said stop lying about my record. hillary said that about bernie sanders. so they are. look, you devited every waking and sleeping moment to this presidential race. you understand why people don't want to get out of the race. >> sure. >> they think there's a -- >> it's not just the candidates, it's their campaigns as well. they've been working on this -- >> and, you know, so let's just chill a little and give these people a chance to finish what they started. >> perfect time to take a break so we can chill. plenty more to talk about including more exit polling information about some of the ho hot-button issue jeffrey lord mentioned on trade. and later the melania effort, her impact or potential impact on the campaign trail.
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our breaking news. new exit polling on issues that donald trump has been making headlines on, stirring up a storm over. our political director david chalian has been going through the latest batch of numbers. what else are you picking up? is. >> we took a look at these issues in both parties and seen this economic populism playing out. we're seeing it play out a bit more on the republican side than the democrat inside. take a look at this. views about trade. do you think trade with other countries will create jobs here? 33% of republicans say, yes, it will create jobs here. 54% of republicans say it takes jobs away from the u.s. look at the democrats. a similar trend. 38% of democrats in the wisconsin primary say it creates jobs here but 45% say it takes
away u.s. jobs so that populist stream, wolf, coursing through both parties. >> what are the exit polls showing on u.s. role in foreign affairs? >> two different stories from each party. take a look at this among republicans voting in the wisconsin primary today. in world affairs, should the u.s. be more active? 48% of republicans voting today want a more active role, more intervention. 29% less active. 29% the same. that's a different story on the democratic side. look here. 26% of democrats say they want a more active united states on the world stage. 34% say less active. 38% about the same. >> democrats a little more isolationist in this poll. anderson, back to you. >> john, what do you make about the exit polls? >> the trade issue has been part of trump's success. he started with i'm going to build a wall. he made his mark early on with immigration.
he expanded his appeal by talking about the unfairness of trade. it's fascinating to see. it's the challenge for the republican establishment. it's the party of free trade. traditionally has been the party of free trade. yet you saw there a majority of the republicans voting today in wisconsin, which is both a manufacturing and farm state. a lot of times in farm states, a lot of export-driven economy, you see a more favorable view. a majority of republicans are saying these trade deals are bad for america is a huge challenge, no matter how this republican race turns out. when you're talking about running a platform. because the establishment is at odds especially with blue-collar voters. >> certainly john kasich. >> he's the only republican who's been more free trade and it's not helping him. honestly. i mean, he won his home state of ohio, but on this trade issue, he's really out of sync with the republican party where it is now. and in synch with the establishment which has written a lot of these -- a lot of these
trade pacts. >> yet it plays to donald trump who has been -- this has been a cornerstone of his campaign from the beginning. >> right. right. i mean, one of the things i think has been so interesting about the trump campaign, he's taken about, what, 50, 70 years of american history and said, o okay, we now need to stop and change and reconsider trade, nato, our relation -- nuclear weapons, all of this kind of thing. he's opened up discussions. i think a lot of people are uncomfortable with some of these discussions frankly. particularly the trade issue as we say. the republican party, decades, i mean, like a century ago, was more or less where donald trump is today. but they changed and they did become very much of a free trading party, but now that question is open again because you can see that the blue-collar folks out there saying our jobs are going south here and you're not helping us. >> to have president obama come out today talking against donald trump's policies overseas, and ted cruz as well, maybe to a little lesser extent but also,
does it help trump? i mean, on a day like this? >> i think it does. i think it does. i mean, first of all, republicans are very critical of president obama. exactly in terms of his foreign policy experience. they're saying, well, you know, you're criticizing donald trump, saying this is stupid or this is a problem, et cetera. where are we in iraq? where are we in libya? i mean, you've been in charge of this. where are we on benghazi in they'll run through a whole litany of things. frankly that's the kind of thing. i mean, help him. please, do more of this, mr. president, because this happens. >> it's interesting because i think donald trump is always vulnerable, any time he's forced to deal with the specifics on policy but when president obama wades into the fight and he is the one that offers the contrast to donald trump, that really does excite a lot of base republican voters. particularly those that are most animated about the last eight years being a total disconnect between the concerns that so many americans have about what's going wrong in washington and
the country being taken in the wrong direction. so donald -- so when president obama engages with donald trump, i think it serves to help him. ted cruz, john kasich, would love to have criticism from president obama right now. in order to buoy their candidacies. >> but clearly president obama plans to be a strong voice during this campaign in the general election against whoever the nominee is in the republican party, particularly donald trump. >> anderson, to some extent, i mean, you can not like the messenger but listen to the message, what was the message today? we're going to track people who are sending money to mexico primarily through western union. i have no idea how you do that. the president of the united states of america said that's wacky or that's crazy or good luck with that or -- i mean, these ideas make no sense whatsoever. so democrat, republican, indent dependent, no matter, whatever,
the president of the united states of america just said this idea is crazy. listen to that message. >> also, you know, look, like him or don't like him, first of all, this race has made his popularity increase, so that says he's doing something right by speaking up. i also think the person who actually is in the white house saying, hey, by the way, america, whatever side you're on, this is what leadership looks like. it looks like having measured opinions, and being reasonable and respectful and it looks like upholding our best values and standing in the face of people who even may feel anxious about the way the country is changing and saying we can do better than that as opposed to saying, yeah, let's demonize muslims, let's pass anti-gay laws, let's bully on -- >> i think he -- >> that's an important position for a president to take. >> i agree his popularity has increased, i think it has to do more with the fact he's out of the political arena and probably of all the players right now the most apolitical which is interesting. i think when he wades into it like this, it really becomes less about the specifics of the message and more about the
messenger and happens to energize republican voters. >> i think, you know, not to get too machiavellian about it, i think the president knows it energizes republican voters. >> exactly the wrong kind of republican voter. >> i wouldn't -- >> right? >> you think he's trying to encourage that donald trump is the nominee? >> totally. if the democrats -- if you look at the matchups, again, i think don't underestimate donald trump. we always keep saying that. be careful what you wish for. i think the president gets that. andmy and may be trying to do that. >> remember the history, donald trump the birther movement, barack obama, not exactly buddies. >> it's very "house of cards." i think you've been watching "house of cards." >> sorry i pushed gloria in front of the train. >> we got to take a quick break. if you watch "house of cards," it would make sense if you did. more with the panel ahead. plus we'll hear from a senior trump adviser about what mayor nutter was talking about, paying
for the wall, and hear president obama's reaction coming up as we count down to poll closing time in wisconsin. right under this tree. ♪ (man) some things are worth holding onto. they're hugging the tree. (man) that's why we got a subaru. or was it that tree? (man) the twenty-sixteen subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. what's going on here? i'm val, the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. we're putting away acorns. you know, to show the importance of saving for the future. so you're sort of like a spokes person? more of a spokes metaphor. get organized at voya.com. everhas a number.olicy but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. for those who've served
ban undocumented immigrants from sending money back home to mexico if the mexicans don't pay for that wall. president obama was asked about trump's plan today. he called it impractical and not thought through. and also said there's a problem with other notions coming from the republican campaigns to succeed him. >> i am getting questions constantly from foreign leaders about some of the suggestions that are being made. i do have to emphasize that it's not just mr. trump's proposals. i mean, you're also hearing concerns about mr. cruz's proposals which in some ways are just as draconian when it comes to immigration, for example. people expect the president of the united states and the elected officials in this country to treat these problems seriously. they don't expect half-baked notions coming out of the white house. we can't afford that. >> joining us now from new york,
steven miller, senior adviser to donald trump. steven, thanks for joining us. all right. you just heard the president call donald trump's plan to compel mexico to pay for a wall half-baked. how do you respond? >> well, i think it's good evidence that the president has spent too much time in recent years with very rich special interests and not enough time with working americans. i can assure you the perspective of an unemployed construction worker who hasn't had a job in four, eight years on enforcing immigration laws is quite a bit digit than the president's. >> donald trump cites -- he insists of the $25 billion annually sent back to mexico by mexicans living abroad, he says the majority -- this is donald trump -- says the majority of that money comes from illegal aliens, his words. how do you arrive at that conclusion? because the government accountability office says it's difficult to track exactly how much money is being sent back to mexico by undocumented workers here in the united states. >> first of all, regardless of
the exact share, it would be more than enough to pay for the wall, but one way that you know that, of course, is just logic. if you have an illegal immigrant in the united states, the odds that they have family members back at home are much greater because under our chain migration green card system, if you're here illegally, you can petition to bring your relatives in and that's one of the reasons why immigration has been so large. >> the president also makes the point, a lot of other critics of donald trump, make the point if you were to do this, it would put enormous strain on families rather than costing the mexican government money, it would intensify the drive to convince mexicans to cross that border into the united states. there would be even more undocumented immigrants in the united states. your response? >> well, i don't want to be in politic, but i will say it strikes me as one of the most ignorant things the president has ever said. let's be very clear on this point. several decades of open-borders policies with mexico have primarily helped two groups in mexico. drug cartels that are
terrorizing the country, and corrupt politicians that have refused to implement social reforms, political reforms, economic reforms. if we continue the same policy of illegal immigration, mexico is going to stay poor forever. the only path to prosperity for mexico is to create the conditions where the mexican government has to produce stable conditions for their own people, not to rely on taking jobs and wages from americans and shipping them back home. >> as you know, critics say the release of these new details, this memo published today on the same day of the wi we primary, they say it's a diversionary tactic by the trump campaign which is worried about how well you will do in wisconsin tonight. your reaction? >> the only thing that this memo is diverting from is the focus of other campaigns on pointless issues and redirecting attention to the real concerns of the american people, jobs, wages and immigration is an issue we will always be happy to focus on. >> a lot of people have been asking for details of this
proposed wall that the u.s. would build the wall, mexico would pay for the wall. going back to when he announced back in june. so why was the decision made to release this document today? >> well, actually in our original immigration policy paper released this summer, we mentioned a few different ideas that are in this memo. we talked about remittences, talked about visa fees, talked about trade tariffs, we talked about canceling visas if necessary. there's been plan a plan owlll implement those things. >> wisconsin is an important state. the polls are going to close in a few hours. donald trump, your boss, is predicting a big surprise. so here's the question. do you think you will win? >> i'm not prepared to make any predictions but i do want to make a very important point which is that wisconsin is not a winner-take-all state so we can continue to add to our delegate march to, 1,237 by winning 1, 2
districts, whatever it may be. it's not a winner take all. we continue to get closer to 1,237 only if we pick up 1 or 2 districts. >> two weeks, new york, a lot of delegates at stake, donald trump's home state as well. steven miller, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> we're going to have much more with our panel coming up including their thoughts about melania trump on the campaign trail. the latest from wisconsin. the polls will be closing shortly. much more of our special coverage coming up.
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the polls won't close in wisconsin until a little bit more than two hours from now, but as we've been talking about, whether donald trump wins or loses tonight, it will be seen as a measure of his momentum. last night on the eve of the voting, melania trump did something unusual, she gave a short speech at a rally. mrs. trump has been pretty low profile out there on the campaign trail, rarely speaking publicly, so was last night's speech an attempt at damage control after a rough week for her husband? here's randi kaye. >> she will make an unbelievable first lady. so i'd like to introduce why move, melania. come. >> hello. >> reporter: dressed in a short pastel dress, melania trump spoke from notes her husband later told the crowd she
prepared on her own. >> it is wonderful -- thank you. we love you, too. >> reporter: it's all part of a plan, perhaps, to help women warm up to her husband. the latest cnn poll shows 73% of all women have a negative view of mr. trump. >> i'm very proud of him. he's hard worker. he's kind. he has a great heart. he's tough. he's smart. >> reporter: donald trump didn't help himself with women in recent weeks between his comments on abortion -- >> there has to be some form of punishment. >> reporter: -- and his retweet of this unflattering photo of heidi cruz in response to someone posting a nude photo of melania. he later apologized for posting it. >> when you attack him, he will punch back ten times harder. [ cheers and applause ] >> trump! trump! trump!
>> no matter who you are, a man or a woman -- >> reporter: even though melania never wanted her husband to run for president, she's saying all the right things to help him win the white house. >> if you elect him to be your president, he will fight for you and for our country. he will work for you and with you. and together, we will make america strong and great again. thank you. >> reporter: even her husband seemed impressed. >> i want to thank melania for that. that was very special. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> our panel, does she really help him, you think, amanda, out on the campaign trail? >> i found the whole thing very awkward. she's beautiful. i don't think she's relatable. i think if i were going to sit down and have lunch with her, i have no idea what we'd talk about. she lives in the lap of luxury. she's married to donald trump. you know, i can't imagine what her life is like.
so it's nice that she's getting out there potentially getting comfortable, but i have no connection to her. >> jeffrey? >> you know what she reminds me of, and i want to brace my democratic friends before i say this. >> uh-oh. >> yeah. >> but she reminds me of jacque kennedy in 1960 who was very much like this, was very shy, not the jacque kennedy we got to know later but she was very shy, very reluctant, she didn't like to be out on the campaign trail. there were all kinds of rumors about exactly the kind of thing amanda was talking about, how much money to which she apparently -- i couldn't spend that much money on a wardrobe unless i wore mink underwear. she was a hit. she was a hit. as we know, later on she became this legend, but in the beginning, she was very reluctant. she was a reluctant wife. she didn't like to be out there. i think melania trump will catch on. >> i would definitely disagree with that. i think, you know, i think, you know, jacque kennedy the way she reinforced what everybody liked about john f. kennedy, young,
youth, vigor, the newness. i don't think that melania trump does that. i don't think she does any harm, which is also important. >> right. >> but i think the damage is so done, is so deep seeded with donald trump and women that there's very little she can do to reverse that profile. >> do you think he brought her out too late? would it have helped early on? >> well, i think this was -- she's been out before, she's done a couple interview s where she handled herself very well. people may not have found her very relatable but found her likable. and this i don't think you can say because she's been out earlier was a nod to the fact he had a very rough week the last two weeks. but the idea that it's going to change anything, i would disagree with. >> melania trump is in trump's words, tremendous. she's classy. and this is too much work for one woman. to make up what he has done with women. i mean, it's just -- it can't be done. ivanka, i would say, is a more telling figure. she of course, just had a baby.
congratulations. probably not out on the trail doing that work. she has a way of connecting with people in a surprising way that might be interesting. >> do you think that's a language issue? i mean, obviously melania is not originally from the united states. she does have an accent. ivanka trump, you know, may be more versed in the issues, may -- so far she seems unwilling to kind of wade in in kind of policy ways. >> i think ivanka and the boys, eric and donald, as somebody noted at the town hall, said, you know, they seem to handle themselves really well in public and sort of -- not cross the same lines that you cross, do you ever think about taking advice from them? he said, they're pretty bad behind the scenes sometimes, too. maybe he should take lessons from his kids. they seem to know how to hold it in when he doesn't. >> when it comes to melania, donald trump is stereotype, he is a sexist. to put out your model wife as the one who's defending you reinforces a bad feeling women have about him. when i look at donald trump, i said early on the most important
thing to him in life are that men are wealthy and women are pretty. she reinforces that stereotype that has always existed for donald trump. >> i don't know. give her a break. you know, honestly, she's trying to defend her husband. >> husband. right. >> he's had a bad time. with women over the last couple -- so you bring >> and, you know, barack obama did it with michelle obama at the last convention. that's what spouses do. they're the character witness. so she's not -- >> like the nonpartisan feminist for a minute. if maybe she was american-born, we wouldn't of having this. but could she be intelligent and relatable. it's sort of beyond the pale. >> a radio host in wisconsin explains what republicans in his state unique, and why he thinks
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>> reporter: i don't know if it's a big wave, but there's still a line. all of those who get in line before 8:00, will have an opportunity to vote. the lasttime we talked, it was 1,800, it's now 2,100 who have walked through the door. trump thinks a big turnout work in his favor. but the female voters tell us not happy with what he had to say on the issue of abortion last week. instead of going to trump, they have switched to cruz. that's just anecdotal. we'll have to see how it works out here tonight. >> jason, thank you. one of several conservative radio talk show hosts lending their voice to the stop trump movement. dan o'donnell at wisn. dan, thank you so much for joining us. the anti-trump movement in wisconsin has been a consistent drum beat. especially among some of your conservative radio talk show colleagues, including yourself.
why do you think it's caught on so well? >> well, because wisconsin has essentially been fighting this same fight for the better part of five years, starting in 2011, with governor walker's par gaining reforms. that galvanized conservatives straight through to the recall election against him which he won in 2012. then, of course, he had to run for reelection in 2014. that is sort of brought conservatives together. and when trump, as soon as he landed in wisconsin said, walker shouldn't have reformed collective bargaining and should have instead raised taxes. that raised a whole lot of red flags among wisconsin's conservatives. >> what you're saying is the trump attacks on scott walker, the governor, has hurt him in wisconsin? >> oh, yes, absolutely. and as your reporter, jason, noted among women in wisconsin, republican women, conservative women, trump is extremely unpopular amongst the general
population. 77% of wisconsin's women have a negative view of donald trump that's clearly been hurting him, as he has been campaigning here. in fact, last night at a big rally at a theater in downtown milwaukee, it was only half full. and this is a guy who's used to packing stadiums full of supporters. >> that's a good point. you also say that the state of wisconsin is different than a lot of other states. the people there in your words are remarkably good at spotting phony conservativism. here's the question. is donald trump a phony conservative in your mind? >> well, yes. absolutely he is. he proposed raising taxes just a week ago. he has proposed the expansive use of eminent domain, for what government believes would give it more tax revenue. those are fundamentally
anti-conservative views. so yes, i do believe donald trump is a phony conservative. >> what do you think's going to happen tonight? how's trump going to do, how's cruz going to to, what about kasich? >> if i had to guess, the marquette university law school poll has been remarkably accurate in the past. in fact, ever since it was formed in 2012, it has been by far the gold standard of polling here. they have it cruz 40%, trump 30%, kasich 21%. i think it's probably going to be somewhere near that. >> we'll see soon enough. dan o'donnell from wisn in milwaukee. all right, dan, thanks very much for joining us. take a look at this. we'll show you live pictures of polling sites coming in from wisconsin right now. they still have two hours to go. and to vote on the democratic and republican side. we're watching it obviously very, very closely. anderson and i will be back with
our special coverage. that's coming up in one hour, 8:00 p.m. eastern. in the meantime, erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. of. next, breaking news, polls closing in less than two hours in the crucial state of wisconsin tonight. could the results be a game changer. it's neck and neck for clinton and sanders. could the vermont senator pull off another upset. how donald trump plans to pay for his border wall. new details from the campaign tonight. will it work. will it work. let's go "outfront." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> it is a crucial primary tonight. we're counting down the polls about to close in the state of wisconsin. we do have right now the first toit pol results just coming in