tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 16, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
[ whispering ] >> you want to win, you know what you do? yell. in fact, this phone isn't even plugged in. >> i'm smiling. we see you at midnight eastern for another edition of "360." "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. >> if there is one thing we know about this campaign, is that the conventional wisdom is usually wrong but this may be the biggest surprise of them all. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. america has never seen a matchup like this, a billionaire reality tv star, a woman who has been preparing for this race her entire adult life but most americans doesn't like the front-runners. >> what would that mean for donald trump and hillary clinton if they get that far?
trump telling cnn he thinks a brokered convention with lead to riots. and a president with an enemy list for journalist. where have we soon that before? i have a dream team here with me, gloria borger, douglas heritage. i'm really happy to have all of you here. thank you very pap hunk night, as they say for donald trump last night, i've heard that so much in the past 24 hours. >> how do you spell that? y y-u-g-e. >> is he likely to get the del bats or is it going to be a
contested convention? >> well, i'd say right now it goss a contested convention. i think he does need to win 50%, 60% of cruz needs to win 80% and john cakasich needs to win 104%o get to that number. a little difficult for him. so what you see now is sort of a cruz-kasich tag team in the establishment, they'd like them to tag team trump to take away delegates from him. but who knows whether they would or whether that would benefit trump in the long term. all it means is that the votes get split and as we head into these future contests, you know, the red states look better for cruz, the blue states look better for trump and some for kasich. so it's up in the air. >> did you say 104%? >> i think it's 104, 106. over 100. >> so we're down to three candidates now. who gets rubio's delegates? >> as many as there are, there
are not that many. you don't know. some people save rubio. i mean, some people say kasich, sorry. some people say cruz. it's very difficult to say because the establishment, by the way, hasn't figured out a horse, right? >> they don't have a horse. >> they doesn't have a horse because they don't like cruz. they're trialing to embrace him but it's hard to hug somebody you loath. so they don't have a horse and it's difficult to see where these delegates -- >> talk about this they doesn't ha -- don't have a horse sp. have you seen anything like this? >> no. the closest is 1968. the 60s is a time of tumult and some violence in the country. but i wouldn't want to draw too close a parallel but that's the closest we've had. not in my lifetime have we had any candidate approaching donald trump.
now, some historian, hike the o -- like the one sitting at this table can tell us the history that we've had. ross perot was a businessman. wallace -- you mentioned something earlier that surprises me n me. that is for a major presidential candidate to talk about something to incite riot is completely new. >> let's listen to that and we'll continue the discussion. here it is. . >> if we're 100 short and we're at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400 because we're way ahead of everybody, i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think it would be -- i think you'd have riots. i think you'd have riots. i'm representing a tremendous -- many.
millions of people. >> if anyone else had said that because i think i said something to the effect of one of the surrogates on sunday, there will be a revolt, not meaning literally. if anyone else said that, do you think it would be inciting violence? >> i do and i think it should be with donald trump. i'm not picking trump but this is unprecedented. i covered the civil rights movement and i know firsthand what inflammatory language in a very tense situation can quickly erupt into violence beep should all of us, every party, all americans, be very careful of tempting that again. and it was said today that we were calling trump out and pressing him harder. this can be very dangerous. i would hope that donald trump would reassess himself. >> it does appear, even when you
question donald trump, he's very good at pivoting. all politician, if you're a good politician, you're good at pivoting. he's also very good at changing the subject. the minute we press him on one thing, something else comes up in the news. what happened to tax returns? do you understand what i'm saying? >> donald trump is a master at that. he pioneered using twitter, which gets him that ability to every second be on top of his game. when you look at presidential history, people that can control the media often win. f.d.r. did it using radio. it shocked herbert hoover's crowd the way he used radio, john f. kennedy as ability to communicate on the debate. trump's doing it with twitter and staying ahead of the reporters in some way. he's anticipating he needed to lay that marker down about i will riot, we will riot. don't just say if you try to deny me of this. >> he knows what he's doing and
he knows how to run the news cycle. at 10:00 at night if you tweet something, the morning shows are going to pick it up, it's going to -- >> but trump called in to this program at 10:00 on a friday night when other candidates -- marco rubio did call in at 10:00 at night but not when he was really in the race. nobody else but donald trump. they say, hey, you guys don't give us as much coverage. well, you don't accept interviews as much as donald trump. can i ask you about the interviews on friday night, mr. rather. they were very disturbing to a lot of people and especially african-americans. at least those i have spoken to. why hasn't that affected the race at all or his support at all? >> again, i come back, one, very few in the press, very few have called him on it. pointed out he's good at pivoting but follow-up questions, and follow up to the follow up, pressing him on what you have said about this, mr.
trump, can be dangerous. i think we have a lot to answer for. but donald trump understands that it isn't just twitter and the new media. he's using old media, standard television. he understands television time is every man's oxygen. he seeks to have all the oxygen for himself and squeeze off the oxygen for his opponents. that's the reason he isn't debating on the proposed debates next week. he didn't want to give kasich and cruz any oxygen. >> i hate to put you on the spot here and you've covered this so much, why do you -- why do you think that he can sort of pivot so much when it comes to those things and not get any -- do you think that he is responsible in some ways for the violence happening at his rally? >> i wouldn't go that far. i'm not prepared to go that far.
i do think it has that potential when he says such things if they try to take it away from me at the convention, there could be riots. i don't think it's reached the point where you can directly say he is responsible for the violence. what you can say is if he continues to say things like he said to "cnn tonight" about riots, it has that potential. >> he's responsible for the tone. he can't be responsible for somebody in the crowd who sucker punches somebody. he is at a candidate responsible for the tone at his rallies. we played on cnn and we have pressed him on it. now he i would argue is likely to be the nominee of the republican party. there's a responsibility that comes with that when you're running for president. maybe he's learning this and maybe he's not, i don't know.
but there is a responsibility and there is a presidential tone that people expect, i believe, and i could be wrong, at a certain point in a campaign. and we'll have to see if that matters at all. >> i agree completely. and i think dan mentioned george wallace. wallace used to be inflammatory in front of his crowds, giving them red meat like that. and i'm amazed how he beats up on the press, yet hooe's the grt beneficiary of the press. spiro agnew use to call the president all these names. there's sort of a wallace thing going on, a spiro agnew thing and then a nixon bit. it's almost that you think that donald trump does have an enemies list of some kind going on here. you punch him, he'll triple
we're back now. with their big victories on super tuesday in the primaries, we could be one step closer to a about thele in november between donald trump and hillary clinton but it's not clear how that battle would play out at the ballot box. i can't read those words, thank you. thank you very. my age is showing. i want to talk about the likability factor in just a moment. i also want to discuss, does this remind you any way of '68? you guys brought this up in the break, '68, the chicago convention. you were roughed up, right? >> yes. it has that potential. in chicago you had chaos and some violence inside the convention hall and even more outside the convention hall. we had gone through a period in which martin luther king had been assassinated, we had real race riots in the country. bobby kennedy was assassinated.
here's the point. the republican convention in miami beach also had some violence surrounding it, but nothing compared to the democratic convention. the '68 democratic convention where, yes, i was roughed up inside and there was violence inside and outside can be instructive for this year. when people talk about a brokered convention and a convention really taking away from trump, quote unquote, and trum talks about also a riot that, could lead to a situation where you have good television, a very contentious reporter's journalist's dream of a convention but terrible for a party. that's what lost it for the democrats in 1968, among other things, were the scenes out of their convention. if you're a republican and want to beat hillary clinton, you have to think if we go into a convention and all hell breaks loose, our chances to beat hillary clinton go down in direct proportion to the case on on television.
>> and imagine you'll have the pro-trump zealots there and you'll have groups like black lives matter and latino activist groups and everybody converging on cleveland to protest. you could have hundreds of thousands of people protesting the very specter that donald trump is the republican nominee. >> and that's just the establishment. >> yeah. because the occupation wall street we've had and all these movements but i think with the internet with enough time with a set date, i think you're going to have mass grass roots organizers coming to protest trump. >> can i ask you about someone we have to sit down and it view these candidates. on friday i asked trump four different ways. when someone doesn't answer the question, i can't get out of the chair and go to to the tv screen and strangle him and say, "answer my question!"
the onus is on the public to say donald trump is not answering the question. >> you're not new to this. you know candidates answer the question they want to answer, not necessarily the question you ask. they can answer the question 50 different way. we're journalists, we like to think we ask direct questions to get direct answers. we never get direct answers. trump likes to say he's not a politics but he's a pretty smart one, whatever he is. he'll say what he wants to say. he'll turn it around to his voters, to the media. and blaming the media is always a good throwback when you're a republican or a democrat. i mean, blame the media, nobody likes the media. >> it's interesting, when donald trump come back at you, there's this interesting thing, let's just be honest about it, you don't have it with any other
candidate. if you're on, you said he'll punch you three times back if you punch him but then the ratings go up three times. where is the line drawn? >> we've become a jerry springer political mayhem going on right now. it's about entertainment, circus environment. everybody is so hyper about being entertained, young people that, if they can't watch public policy discourse in this country anymore. they need action, flying -- >> that's what he comes from. >> our job is to ask the question. if the viewer believes the candidate is not answering it, they're going to make that decision. i think the candidate, donald trump, as you were saying shows up or he talks to journalists and i think that the other candidates, and i may have be saying this because i'm a journalist and i want all the candidates to talk to us, but there's a lesson here is that you want to get your point
across, get your point across. >> don, you mentioned earlier pivoting. and donald trump has an opportunity in my opinion right now to pivot he's leading, he's going to go to the convention in my opinion with the most delegates, perhaps not 1,237 to win. he has an opportunity now to pivot his own campaign into more leadership, less inflammatory language. forget talking about riots. take the high road now. listen, i'm prepared for leadership. because in my opinion, which is worth anything, the republicans have a very good chance to win in november. they have an excellent chance to win coming out of a two-term democratic administration. donald trump, this guy, whatever else you think about him, he's smart. he is authentic. the donald trump you see is the donald trump that exists. >> but he should be building a
coalition in his party. >> if he's as smart as i think he is -- >> i want to move on and talk about if trump and clinton are the nominees, they may be the least liked nominees of all time. poll numbers show hillary clinton is viewed unfavorable by 55% of voters, while donald trump is viewed as unfavorable by 60%. >> if you look at hillary clinton's favorable within the democratic party, she's 80% favorable within the democratic party. donald trump is not at that number but there have been so many candidates. so she's well liked within her party. he's brought huge numbers of new voters into his party. so within their bases, they're doing just fine. the question is where are those independent voters going to go? and what we've seen with donald trump, by the way, is in these primaries that are open where people can cross over, he
attracts independent voters to vote for him. >> and where are all these people who like them, where are they coming from? why are they vote are for him? >> we mentioned 1968. nobody really liked nixon a whole lot but he kind of was the default guy. nobody really liked hubert humphrey. people were about bobby kennedy and they he was killed. trump has the charisma but he's got just such a tight fist of a base at that he's carrying around with him. can he really expand that? dan is saying this is the moment to pivot. i think it is, but he's stuck with that wall. he's stuck with building that wall and deportation and you've listened to so many of his speeches. that's the applause line. that's what makes -- >> i think, don, i can't recall a campaign where you had two
candidates who at this stage in the campaign who were lowerer in the likability quotient and goes on to win. i can't remember where you had both leading candidates of each of the party with as low a likability quotient as trump and hillary clinton now have. >> what's low as well is their truthfulness. do they both neutralize and cancel out each other? >> and hillary clinton, even in primaries that she win, she still has a large problem on that. >> but before you continue, even when donald trump doesn't tell the truth, even when you go from a group that is nonpartisan, that does a truthfulness test of what he said, a truthiness, as steven colbert has coined,
nobody cares. >> because they believe he tells it like it is. that's a question we ask in every exit poll and he does very well on that judgment and people want that because they feel particularly republican voters feel betrayed by the republican establishment. they're angry and they believe they haven't been told the truth. they believe they've been lied to and they're done with it. the one thing they believe about donald trump is that he tells them the truth. they believe that. so that goes a long way in politics these days. >> we'll see as the campaign goes along. because if he gets the nomination, which he's highly favored to do, there will be people who say he tells it the way it isn't. investigative reporters and others will lay it out that donald trump tells it how it isn't and this is how it is not and lay that out. that makes him vulnerable. >> and hillary clinton, as barack obama said, is likable enough. remember that? i think for democrats they feel
she's likable enough. >> they like her. >> people do like -- want to see her. she gets boring when she speaks. >> how benign does this seem now when you think about it, binders full of women? it's not even a big deal, 47%, not a big deal where we have come. >> mitt romney was the guy who came out and gave the speech about -- >> i know. >> about donald trump saying to the republican base, how can you do this? you know, how can you do this? >> you guys truly are my dream team. this is a show i like on the air. thank you very much. up next, this could be one. nastiest campaigns in year -- see i can read better, the camera is closer -- but are they changing any minds? we'll take a look.
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night. donald trump spending less than 5 million and winning big. joining now is republican consultant margaret hoover and john braybender. john, this kind of goes with the last segment that we had. donald trump was subjected to sustained negative advertising for the first time in his campaign, especially in florida. what did all of those ad buy does? did they stop him at all? nothing, right? >> i don't think they did anything, frankly. i don't think they moved numbers. it was a lot of money against who is probably going to be the republican nominee. the problem is it was targeting the wrong voters. the ad itself, a lot of people saw it and said i could never vote for that guy. but they are people who are already not voting for him. as far as his own supporters, they say it and said, eh, it's donald trump. >> trump told a story about being embarrassed at a recent
golf tournament. watch this. >> we have televisions all over, we're down at dooral and these beautiful greens. and a commercial comes on, the worst commercial and i'm there with these top executives and i'm saying look over there, isn't the grass beautiful? look, don't watch. they came in waves, one after another after another. >> what's he saying there, john? >> i think he doesn't like the fact that he is being attacked. but i will tell you, he's creating the problem somewhat himself. your earlier guest said something i thought was very important. it is time for him to pivot, give a more visionary message and he just is not doing that. i think that he has an opportunity to expand his base a little bit and i just think that i would like to see something more substantive, something more visionary, something more hopeful. there's a lot of people who are
tired of america getting sand kicked in their face all over the world, hike is happening right now in north korea with this u.v.a. student. that's what they like about donald trump. they think he's going to fight back and make america great again, but he's not telling them house of representatives he how he's going to do that or why he's going to
do that. >> he got over the embarrassment because apparently his campaign posted this today to instagram. here it is. [ barking ] >> what do you think? >> i think donald trump is the punch line of that joke. i don't think donald trump is. it is sort of funny and light hearted and every candidate has inevitably these moments on the
campaign where they do something that is repeated and everybody knew when hillary clinton barked, that was going to be on a reel over and over again on the negative attacks. we all know there is not one barking thing for donald trump. there are 20, 30, 40 equivalent barking moments of donald trump that are going to be blasted all over the airwaves. the republicans are seeding the grand for democrats, handing over the oppo research files, we're going to see the negative things he said about african-americans, about all the constituencies he's going to have to carve into a little bit if he's going to win. >> john, why did you change your mind on this ad? you liked it at first, right? >> i'm not sure i ever liked it. i've made thousands of ads. i learned that sometimes there's
an ad that seems kind of cool and funny at 11:00 at night after pizza and beer in an edit suite. it looks like a challenge for somebody running for congress, not for president. do it in a more thoughtful way. again, this is just another clue to people that i'm not sure that donald trump has the gravitas that i want. >> and also it's out of context in is from hillary clinton at the campaign rally in february. >> one of my favorite ads of all time in rural arkansas said wouldn't it be great if somebody running for officers said
something that we could tell whether it was true or not. we need to get that dog and follow the republicans around and every time they say these things, oh, the great recession was caused by too much regulation -- [ barking ] >> will other campaigns put this out of target? >> that's the part of political advertising. you're trying to paint a narrative with the other candidate's words. doesn't matter when they said those words. i don't think donald trump was trying to put anything she said in context. i think she was trying to paint a picture she wasn't strong
enough to take on putin. it did fall on deaf ears, the whole message. >> how does one effectively take on donald trump, john? >> well, that's the problem. they're all trying to do it like a typical candidate. i mean, this would be like running against will ferrell or howard stearn or somebody and going with the same rules. i think when you have to did frankly is go back and look at who his audience is first. the one thing i'm surprised more people haven't brought up is donald trump talking about how he thinks wages are too high. to me that's probably a more relevant issue to most of his supporters than him making mockery of hillary clinton or women criticizing him for sometimes the language, inappropriate language he uses. i think they're trying to play by rules not understanding donald trump changed all those rules about a year ago. >> that's certainly true for the
republican primary. that's largely over. the vote isn't done, the 1,237 haven't been reached. we've seen the pedal coming off the gas in the last week. the people that donald trump need to win and hillary clinton need to win are different. different negative ads -- >> quickly, john. >> in pennsylvania we found out this week that something like 48,000 democrats have switched parties to vote in the republican primary in pennsylvania so they can vote for donald trump. clearly donald trump is not just resonating with republicans. it is resonating with a lot of democrats as well. >> coming up, we're down to three candidates on the republican side. is donald trump unstoppable? and is he the new face of the
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forever? joining me now john cusack, bob beckel, and nat lewis, the a author of too dumb to fail." i said is he the face of the new republican party now, donald trump and she said yes, he is. matt, you first. donald trump is even closer to the nomination today after big wins on yesterday. you were hoping the others could pull together to stop him. is he just unstoppable now, you think? >> getting that way. john kasich, you know, helped out the never trump calls by winning ohio, the winner take all state with the 66 delegates. so that helps. i think it's going to be very close. trump could get the 1,237 delegates he needs or there could be a convention fight, in which case he threatens there may be a riot if he's deprived the nomination. things hairy in
cleveland. >> listen to marco rubio. >> in 2010 the tea party wave carried me and others into office because not enough was happening and that gave republicans a majority in the house. but nothing changed in in 2014 those same voters gave republicans a majority in the senate and still nothing changed. i blame some of that on the confident movement, a movement that is supposed to be about our principles and ideas, but i blame most of it on our political establishment. a political establishment that for far too long has looked down at conservatives, looked down at conservatives as simple-minded people, looked down at conservatives as simply bomb throws are. >> bob cusack, is he right? is it too late?
why didn't you say that earlier? >> the establishment wanted rubio to win. that speech, some called it gracious but it was an attack on a variety of people, whether it's the establishment or donald trump. he had a rough night. his strat egy did not work. he was scared of the media for a while. he changed his strategy, tried to outtrump trump. it didn't work. i think he'll be back on the political stage. he'll be back. >> i was so glad you said that. you said he was afraid of the media for a while. people say donald trump gets so much media. why didn't the other candidates accept interviews? you would call donald trump's campaign and say can he do an
interview and they'd go, "sure." you'd call the others and they'd say, "no thank you." >> if you're going to accept those interviews and then complain how the media is dealing with donald trump, fine. we asked all the candidates for interviews. some of them said yes. some said, no, we'll get back to you. jeb bush never sat down with, neither did marco rubio. others did. you can't complain if you're not going to play the game. >> did it strike you as odd, bob beckel, that maybe he doesn't want to buy the hand that feeds him and now he's biting it? is this more about his political future? >> partially but i'm still trying to figure out who the republican establishment is. i keep hearing about this as if there's some broker out there to
broker a convention. they don't have anybody powerful enough to do that. but this looks to me very much like what happened to the democrats in '68 when the establishment shoved hubert humphrey down the throats of the democrats, the anti-war movement, bobby kennedy, mccarthy, i was in chicago during that, it was ugly. if trump crosses the thousand mark and he's within 200, at that point you're out of your mind to try to take it away from him. >> matt, this is glen beck for john kasich. look. >> kasich, i mean, excuse my language, but you son of a [ bleep ]. the republic is at stake. >> i know. >> this is not like a normal race. the republic is at stake. >> and instead it's all about him. >> it's all about him. >> glen beck, matt, is a ted cruz supporter, right?
but basically what he's saying is kasich, you're only in it, you're a spoiler, it's not going to happen. should kasich drop out? >> glen beck has been known to engage in hyperbole from time to time. sometimes it gets a little emotional. look, i'm not convinced that -- if you want to stop donald trump and i'm convinced that republicans need to stop donald trump because he tarnishes the brand and in some very unseemly ways, but if you want to do it, i think the best way to do it is don't think about ted cruz somehow beating him before a convention. that's very implausible. i think more likely is you just try to stop donald trump from getting the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination. if that's your goal, i think can you make a compelling argument that republicans are better off with john kasich in. i'm not sure a one-on-one race with cruz is the way to go if you want to start trump. >> which ever one of those two
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nothing donald trump says or does seems to bother his loyal voters, but are there enough of them to put him over the top? what about his suggestion they could riot if he's denied the nomination. matt lewis, i want to follow up with a question i asked you before the break. so why weren't the republican establishment saying this before? marco rubio saying the establishment didn't listen to the voters. all of a sudden you have this very populist person, a former reality store, is now listening to that part of the base. where have they been? >> well, i think it's very true that the republican party could have probably been more responsive to kind of working class americans, the economic struggles that they're going through, but i have to say a lot of what donald trump is saying or doing to appeal to them is bad. it's bad public policy, number one.
protectionism. if you're a conservative you wouldn't by definition believe in what a lot of what trump is espousing. and if you want to grow the republican party in the future. if you want to attract hispanics and women, you wouldn't do and say the things that trump is doing. rubio, i felt this part of the speech was discordent, it was emblematic of rubio's problem. he doesn't really know quite who he is. i thought it was a bit of self-flagellation, he's going to attack them to prove he's not well, get what, he was attacked for being the establishment. maybe he should are just owned it at that point. >> go ahead, bob beckel. >> it's interesting to me that almost every political analyst and i include myself in that who said there was no chance that trump could possibly get this nomination, so people laid off the guy for a long time as he
was beginning to win and didn't pay attention to demographics. now people are being hesitant to say he can't win the general election. i'm here to tell you it's impossible unless hillary clinton gets indicted. he's winning a third of the republican primary and caucus goers. say 40% now. that's just not enough. you're not going to get enough angry white guys to come in and vote. 80% of the voters were white two cycles ago. now it's going to be closer to 70. >> bob, nothing fuels people like anger and fear. >> that's fine. let's you and i put it down. i'm telling you, he's going to get crushed. >> i'm not betting. i'm just telling you when people are driven by fear and anger, they will go to the polls and vote. >> a small percentage of them. >> you heard what donald trump said about riots if he's not
nominated. is that a prediction? >> he said if the rnc is not fair to me, i right run as an independent, a third party. this time he's putting the marker do you if they try to take this nomination from him, well, then, there's going to be a lot of people that are upset and that is going to happen. at the same time there was a wall street journal editor iial that said these are the rules, you've got to get to 1,237, all bets are off and the party can do what it's going to do. >> you're going to try to tell trump supporters on the floor about rules and the wall street journal reporting, good luck. >> so riots are markers? >> riots? are you kidding me? they ought to bring the national guard in before the thing starts. these are not phi beta kappas
here. if they try to take it away from him, it's going to be great from my standpoint. and who is going to did it? who is the establishment that can sit in the room and say we're going to take on trump. >> i think reince priebus can do it. >> that was awfully nice of you. >> maybe sean spicer, maybe paul ryan, maybe mitch mcconnell. >> you must have been up late last night. there's no power brokers left. it just doesn't exist. and donald trump has redefined that party in a way they don't want to be redefined. think about the neocons. they were the ascendent foreign policy party for years. there's a meeting in washington to try to stop trump. >> what happens if he gets
elected and there isn't a wall built and everybody didn't get terrific jobs and there isn't so much winning all over the place as people have promised. then what, matt? >> we have what happened when barack obama got elected. remember the hillary clinton commercial, the seas will heal themselves, the skies will clear. she was mocking this, the hope and change. that would lead -- if trump gets elected and doesn't fix things, we don't get tired of winning and feeds the pessimism and political apathy. really, it's a mess right now. i think that the problem for republicans is if donald trump is the nominee, republicans lose if he wins and they lose if he loses. >> so then what? it becomes american idol for presidency and we see simon cowell up there -- >> i'll be in the caribbean when that happens. >> i got it go.