tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 29, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you it is breaking news. sparks right fly at our republican town hall in milwaukee. we are just one week away from republican primaries. ted cruz, donald trump and john kasich trying to make their case to the voters. my dream team, douglas brinkley, "rightful heritage, franklin d. roosevelt and the land of
america," political commentator kayleigh leigh, bob beckel, and political commentator buck sexton and amy holmes. a very lovely team. what's your reaction? >> we've seen the tenor of this race continue to deteriorate. there's no pretense anymore. you now basically have all the candidates walking away from the pledge, the pledge to support whoever is the gop nominee. i think ted cruz notably has the one who was in the best decision to deny trump the nomination is saying he'd be a disaster if he got the nomination, he would hand it to hillary clinton.
>> did anybody come out ahead? >> i think cruz made a pretty strong conservative pitch, particularly in a state he's in a good position to win, or at least to win the most delegates in. that will be important if he's going to put an important stumbling block in front of trump. >> so the new guy stole my news about trump. the new guy making news today. >> do you continue to pledge whoever the republican nominee is? >> no, i don't anymore. >> you don't? >> no. >> you won't promise to support the republican nominee. >> he was essentially saying the same thing. let me tell you, he doesn't have to support me. i have tremendous support from the people. >> so the pledge you took is null and void, the idea of supporting whoever the republican nominee is, you will no longer guarantee you will support the republican nominee. >> i've been treated very
unfairly. cruz people. i've been treated very unfairly. >> by who? >> the rnc, the republican party, the establishment. i watched him tonight with you and i watched how tormented he was when you asked him that question. i don't want to have him torment, i don't want to have him tormented. let me tell you i don't want his support, i don't need his support, i want him to be comfortable. if he wants to support me, that would be wonderful because i think i'm going to win. i watched him skirt around like any politician would, skirt around the issue. >> that's a big deal at the beginning of the campaign. is he going to sign it? really was he going to sign it? he just renounced that saying he was not going to sign it. is that news to, kayleigh? >> no, because it's where we are now. for ted cruz to outpace them and get to a majority, he would have to win 87% of the delegates
going forward. that's a tremendous task, especially as we go into new jersey and noew york, states te cruz is not poised to do well in. you have guys like mitt romney plotting to put someone like paul ryan in or you have guys plotting to put ted cruz in, even though donald trump is poised to go in with more delegates. i think when you consider that, that this is going to be taken from him, i think he's exactly right. i'm not going to support a nominee if it's not myself if i go in with the most delegates. >> literal smoke-filled back rooms. >> the rules have to be respected across the board. if someone gets the 1,237, you're the nominee. if you don't get there, the rules of the nomination kick in.
if in the future he is able to beat trump in head-to-head competitions, then cruz can be the nominee. nothing is being stolen from him. there's some artificiali iaity the rnc setting the rules of the game. >> he keeps saying he's a reconciler. that's not the definition of reconciliation, is it? >> not in my book, no. if donald trump wins in wisconsini wisconsin, he'll get the majority of the delegates. he loses to cruz, it's math. >> if he wins, it's smoke-filled back rooms -- >> who are these power brokers?
i remember when there used to be power brokers. have you to go kiss them -- >> kiss the rings so to speak. >> yes. they don't exist anymore. >> if this delegate becomes contested. scott walker endorsing ted cruz today. it's not so important as the election happening a week from now but the signal to the party inside that's if there is a round two vote at the republican convention, if trump were to win wisconsin, they could abandon trump and vote for ted cruz. >> we see battles that are ugly and get mean. this is different. you're going to want some consolidation. the front-runner has very high negatives. so does the democratic front-runner. what you're seeing is a real shot across the bow. i think trump is in a tough position to con sell da--
consolidate. >> trump, would he then launch an independent or third-party campaign. >> and if anybody has seen the back smoke filled back rooms, it would be douglas brinkley. >> remember everyone was afraid donald trump would be the third party guy and it was about getting trump to agree to the pledge. i was surprised even kasich at the edge said no pledge for me either. it makes reince priebus look a little foolish in history, at that that whole pledge thing is meting down a melting down of the whole thing. >> you're not ironclad standing by the initial pledge to support whoever the nominee is? >> quite frankly, none of us should have answered that. but it was the first debate and sometimes you you answer
questions you ought to say i ought not answer that. i have to see with what's happening. if the nominee is somebody i think is hurting the country and dividing the country, i can't stand behind them. >> more evidence that the country is not unified. >> we saw their strategies for wisconsin tonight. donald trump jumped immediately on the fact that cruz misspoke and said he was from florida at one point, are you from texas or canada? later on trump went on that his name is raphael cruz from canada or something else. you saw cruz in the audience with heidi. i think cruz sees his wife was a huge asset trying to attract women on his side and build momentum over that mistake that
trump made over -- >> i don't mean this to come off as sexist. i saw heidi cruz in the audience and i went what a beautiful woman, what a lovely woman. i didn't understand this whole thing. >> the two kids, ted cruz has a 5-year-old and 7-year-old. at the very end trump said i better stop retweeting a little. i thought there was an early opportunity for trump to have healed that situation with cruz that was lost. >> we may be overstating the demise of the pledge, by wait. they can repledge the pledge as soon as it's clear. right now in this moment of time -- >> this moment of unraveling. >> an hour or two ago. >> let's listen to ted cruz's answer on that question. >> i'm not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my family. i think that is going beyond the line. i think our wives, i think our
kids should be off limits. they don't belong in the attacks. [ applause ] listen, i'm not an easy person to tick off, but when you go after my wife, when you go after my daughters, that does it. and i think i want this race to stay focused on policy and issues and solutions to the real problems facing america. that's where i'm going to stay focused. but if other candidates don't, i think that's beyond the pale. and i think nominated donald trump would be an absolute train wreck. i think it would hand the general election to hillary clinton. poll after poll after poll shows donald trump losing 10, 11, 12 points or more. i don't want to see the white house given over to hillary clinton. >> okay, so donald trump would be a train wreck but he's still going to support him as a nominee. i wonder if he wants to change his answer now after listening to kasich and donald trump. go ahead. >> perhaps but i want to get back to the original sound bite.
i thought this was a great moment for ted cruz. what did wisconsin voters learn about him? they learned he was a proud c christian, about his background and about his mother. donald trump spent the first 20 minutes defending a campaign manager putting his hand on a female reporter and then defending his own remark about ted cruz's wife. when you draw that contrast and over half of republican women in a recent poll said they could not imagine voting for donald trump, tonight was not a good night for donald trump. >> and ted cruz i thought it was a very personal moment when he talked about the drug abuse in his family and the family member who had died from a drug overdues. >> the place where ted cruz has the most trouble has been in authenticity. they hear him and say it sounds
fake, a little staged and too preachy. tonight he broke through that with the story about his sister. we know he has the substance and the policy. everybody knows he's really smart. he's not no substance, no policy. >> anderson was asking very fair questions and he came off in a very petulant, angry manner in the beginning. when asked if he would support the eventual nominee, he didn't answer the question. it happened when anderson asked about the efficacy of patrolling islamic neighborhoods. contrast that to donald trump who said point blank i'm not going o support the nominee at this point. >> i was thinking of connection to voters and house of representatives he goes back and forth with anderson is sort of a separate issue. >> one of the worst moments for cruz when they asked him what mistakes do you make in life?
he couldn't think of one thing he's ever done wrong except i'm hard charging and -- >> nobody has an answer to that question. >> it's one of those answers -- >> if you have one fault, what is it? >> i work so hard that i forget to cash my paycheck. i want you guys to listen to donald trump on the attack on cruz's wife. here he is. >> you retweeted an unflattering picture of her next to a picture of your wife. >> i thought it was a nice picture of heidi. i thought it was fine. >> come on! you're running for president of the united states. >> i didn't start it. with all due respect, that's the argument of a 5-year-old. the argument of a 5-year-old is he started it. >> you would say that. >> every parent in the country knows that. excuse me. exactly that thinking is the
problem. >> he didn't send it out. a super pac sent it out. >> it was a picture taken by one of the most famous photographers in the world. it was for "gq." they were romney's people. >> do you have proof he sent it out? >> everybody knows he sent it out. he knew people in the super pac. >> at first he blamed ted cruz and then he blamed mitt romney. >> first of all, ted cruz had nothing to do with the photo. it he did, he would be violating federal election law. it came from a pac, it wasn't from ted cruz. [ laughter ]
>> you think that ted cruz would risk that for this? we're not talking about bags of cash. >> this does expose i think a fundamental flaw. one thing you've seen in this ridiculous discourse this week is that trump is getting under cruz's skin. this is what trump has done. he's eviscerated other candidates by going -- his strength is the personal, the kind of gutter. whether he had nothing to do with it or not, i understand the rules with super pacs. cruz come fruld have come out a denounced the super pac. >> if he spent all his time keefe announcing super pacs. he looked completely preposterous saying he started it first. anderson is absolutely right. >> anderson had the sound bite of the night. that's the argument of a 5-year-old. >> speaking of, they're talking to me in my ear. you got to take a break.
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haul tonight. with me tonight is my dream team. bob, anderson asked ted cruz about the trump campaign manager, about corey lewandowski, who was arrested today for allegedly man handling a reporter. let's listen to what he said. >> if he was your campaign manager, would you ask him to resign? >> of course. it shouldn't be complicated that members of a campaign staff should not be physically assaulting the press. that shouldn't be a complicated decision. >> he says he's innocent of all the charges. you believe it was assault? >> he's just been charged. the reporter alleged she's been physically assaulted. i think it's consistent with the pattern of the trump campaign. >> you think it says something about the campaign? >> the trump campaign has been built on attacks and insults. i think there is no place in politics for insults, for personal attacks, for going to the gutter and there should be
no place for physical violence either. >> bob beckel, is this is a weak spot for donald trump? >> no, no. first ladies and wives of the candidates have been beat up since the beginning of time. they're going to be a big part of this campaign -- >> no, i'm talking about corey lewandowski, the campaign manager. >> if you believe the video, and it hard not to believe a video, right, don? it's pretty clear he did. >> there's the video right there. according to donald trump, it no big deal, they're downplaying it, she should be stronger. go ahead. >> i thought trump handled that fairly well. he's talking about loyalty of defending his guy. was he going to fire the campaign manager for what incident? so he doubled down, tripled do you on it like trump did. it will be headline news tomorrow but i think in about three days it will kind of taper
away. i don't think it that big of a story in the end. >> here's donald trump's response. >> will he continue as your campaign manager? >> yes, he will. speaking of something else, i watched ted cruz. his home state is not florida. it may be texas, it may be canada. to the best of my knowledge, it's texas. i'm surprised you didn't correct him actually. >> let me ask but your campaign manager. corey lewandowski said i never met this person, i never touched this person. whether or not you think it was battery or not -- >> i don't know what touch means. do you mind if i read you her statement? everybody dumps people when there's like a sign of political
incorrectness. i'm just going to read, if i can find it -- >> she said she was almost knocked off balance. >> she says she was almost knocked off balance. you want to read it or you want me to do it? you're a professional announcer, why don't you read it? the bottom part. that's an exact quote from her prior to seeing the cameras. now she's she says i better change my story -- >> i was just jolted backwards, someone grabbed me tightly and yanked me down and i was able to maintain my balance. campaign managers aren't supposed to forcibly throw reporters to the ground. >> i'm a loyal person people going to loyal to wisconsin. we have to tell it like it is. it would be so easy for me to terminate this man, ruin his life, ruin his family, he's got four beautiful children in new hampshire, ruin his whole everything and say you're fired. >> all of that is true. it would be awful. does it matter if he in fact
assaulted someone? here's when her response was on may 10th. she said -- excuse me, march 10th. she said trump acknowledged the question but before he could answer, i was jolted backwards, someone had grabbed me tight live by the arm and yanked me down. i almost fell to the ground but i was able to maintain my balance. nonetheless, i was shaken. is there anything different in the video than what she said? >> we can try to litigate this case right here and now on cnn. i don't think that's really the point. the point is donald trump has in his employ a campaign manager who is being charged of battering a reporter. he was knocked off message. when you're spending your time defending your campaign manager about a court case which is apparently going to keep moving forward because the campaign manager says he's pleading not guilty, that's drip, drip,
drip -- >> he was loyal and that's what the american people respect. he was driven off message by this but nonetheless, where every other politician would have dropped their operative, he was loyal to him. if any one of us on this stage had a close family member or close person, would you go to that person and you would ask them did do you this? he asked the secret service, he asked corey lewandowski, they said, no, he didn't do this and he stood up for the guy and he was loyal to him from day one. i respect that. he put loyalty before politics. >> -- told the "daily beast" today that he has -- >> we go dzhokhar tsarnaev the benefit of innocent before proven guilty.
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john kasich, ted cruz, donald trump taking questions from voters at town hall tonight in milwaukee. back with me now is my political dream team. david, you wanted to say about corey lewandowski. >> this is not about the legal aspect of this case, wherever that goes. it's certainly a distraction. if you're the trump team, what are you doing? why are you leaning into this? you've already got the problem at your rallies where you have violence. you have a candidate who talks about his desire to punch protesters in the face. so what are we learning about the leadership style of donald trump as a potential president? what are we learning about the people he surrounds himself with? what are we learning about the way he respond it criticism or adversity. he had more detail about whether there were adequate print markings on this reporter's arms and doesn't know the basic fact
that nato has been fighting terrorists in afghanistan for the past decade. why does he want anyone working with him putting his hands on a reporter? >> this is detrimental to his own self-interest but he's standing up for him because he's making the point i don't want someone's life to be ruined. >> you just made the point as a legal matter this is highly defendable. >> no, i'm making the point that in the court of public opinion today, someone says you're guilty of punching a reporter, whatever it was, he fires him and for the rest of his life he's known as the guy who punched -- >> i don't think anyone is saying they're guilty. they're saying that he put his hands on a reporter. and usually people who work for campaign don't put their hands on reporters. isn't that the bottom line?
>> it's not a good or defensible move. from a purely political perspective and while i agree it's purely presidential, some of them have started to -- not backing down, taking anything on on right in the chin is trump's brand. >> couldn't you be loyal to him and say, look, he's my guy, i'm not going to rush to judgment on this thing but we certainly don't want any reporters covering us, we don't want anybody to get hurt in all this, we're looking into all of this. >> he should have said apologize right away, don't be a jerk. >> she was called delusional. to your point you saw one of the voters in the audience ask mr. trump why can't you be more like your son? this is an issue of temperament.
why can't you be a little more mellow? >> i want to move on and talk about foreign policy. anderson asked trump about nuclear weapons in the world and who should have them. take a listen. >> at some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if japan protects itself against this maniac in north korea, we're better off if south korea -- >> saudi arabia have nuclear weapons? >> absolutely. >> you'd be fine with them having nuclear weapons? >> no, they have to protect them services or pave uy us. >> if you let japan get nuclear weapons -- >> it going to happen already. you have so many country, china, pakistan, russia, you have so many countries right now that have them. now, wouldn't you rather in a
certain sense have japan have nuclear weapons when north korea has nuclear weapons? and they absolutely have them. they have no carrier system yet but they will very soon. wouldn't you have japan perhaps -- they're over there, they're very fearful of north korea. >> you're saying you don't want more nuclear weapons in the world but you're okay with japan and -- >> when i hear obama get up and say the biggest threat to the world today is global warming. the only global warming i'm worried about is nuclear global warming. that's the single biggest threat. >> what do you think of that answer? >> i thought it was trump's worst moment of the night. he doesn't come off as commander in chief. the idea that we're just going to start opening nuke shops in japan and north korea, nuclear proliferation at the same time we're saying we don't want
nuclear proliferation. that's what scares people about donald trump. and i thought overall he had a good night. talking about nato being obsolete and it doesn't have enough specifics to it. it's very radical and i think it's frightening people. >> it's radical but there are people throughout listening to what trump has to say about this. i don't find myself defending trump very often. but the fact is we have 40,000 troops in japan, we have 50,000 in south korea. they're the ones that would be right in harm's way. i think a lot of people are saying why? why are we doing this? it's been 70 years since the end of the second world war. he may be hitting a marker here that a lot of people in wisconsin would think is the right thing. >> did we forget about the nuclear meltdown in japan? now we're going to encourage more nuclear for japan? if you're going to did that, i don't think you can destroy --
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with you the u.s. state department has an official list of 59 foreign terrorist groups that the u.s. sees at terrorists and the muslim brotherhood is not on that list, never has been. mr. cruz wants to be the president of the united states, that's the state department. his statement is false. >> donald trump admitted that he is not entirely self-funding his campaign, but he trivialized the idea of any outside money. listen. >> i'm in for about $35 million right now. you take the small loan, the people that send $17.50 -- >> but you solicit on your web site. >> no, i sell hats and -- >> but you solicit on your web site. >> it's peanuts. >> the federal election commission says he has $9.5
million, about a quarter of his funding. maybe that's not to him. i've had peanuts before, they don't cost that much. his statement was false. and john kasich cut right to the chase. he said if republicans want to win in november, they have to look closely at his campaign. >> in virtually every poll, i'm the only one beating hillary clinton. >> in the past two weeks, there have been six national polls that say he would defeat clinton by 4 to 11 points, that's better than cruz or trump does. however, however, to even get the nomination for his party, he has to rely on a contested convention at this point and a lot can change before the general election. but a we will say for now his claim about this is true. you can find out a whole lot more don, about all the things that our crack reality check
team has done, go to cnn.com/reality check. very well done, tom foreman. we always look forward to you. back with my political dream track. donald trump was the win are of the political facts liar of the year award. they say the only real contenders were trump's states so they lumped all of trump's lies into one big trophy but he's still the front-runner. does the truth even matter anymore? >> of course it matters. it always matters. a lot of trump's appeal is a lot about attitude over the truth in some cases or hard core topolic positions. in a lot of elections it's more true than not. but part of what trump is dealing with is in a still crowded field of three, he is
not yet a majority candidate this deep into the cycle, he's still a front-runner but he's got a lot of liabilities on his side and they seem to be gathering, not diminishing as he goes along, which i think becomes a real problem. it's why a guy like ted cruz -- cruz doesn't have a lot of room here. he either says the guy who is a front-runner is a fraud or he says we got to unite against him because he can't win. >> but donald trump is not the only one accused of duzys. just look at the fact check, cruz has some his. he's wrong, trump is not self-funding his campaign. so does the truth really matter in this campaign? >> as liberals used to like to say, there is the larger truth and in trump's defense -- >> depends on your definition of truth, is that what you're saying?
>> in donald trump's defense, he is hitting upon some big truths. while his answer to nuclear proliferation was incoherent, what is consistent is he says the united states is getting the bad end of the deal, the bad end of the stick. a lot of voters agree with that. trump speaks very clearly to those issues. >> but the thing about trump is that he does capture a certain breed of voter out there that really does -- is sort of isolationist, it is very, very committed to the idea of doing away with the idea of trade agreements. they think -- it may not be the case -- they think they're taking their jobs away. trade, immigration and the wall. >> immigration is the one that
launched him in the stratosphere and it's why someone like john kasich, despite all of polls you can show has absolutely no shot. he's too close to hillary, bernie and too close to the rest of the democratic party on the one issue that has been so difficult for the rest of the candidates on the gop side to catch up with trump on and that's immigration. >> this is a new cbs news/"new york times" poll. 70% of "new york times" voters think kasich is honest and trustwort trustworthy, compared to 54% of trump and 53% for cruz. kasich looks like the adult in the room. >> what's striking about immigration, what launched trump is his position on immigration. you look at the exit polling and you see in some cases a majority of the republican electorate favoring some path thereway to l
status for immigrants. there's that inconsistency in terms of the electorate. the trustworthy issue will be an issue for trump and it's certainly an issue for hillary clinton on the democratic side as well. they both have these problems we're going to see magnified at times. kasich may be seen as above the fray. >> no one -- pardon me, bob. no one has really looked at his record yet. they haven't had to. kasich has been getting essentially a free ride because no one has been taking him seriously. that will probably continue because he's not going to win the nomination. >> everyone's gotten a free pass. how much scrutiny has been given to hillary clinton and the statements she's made in her e-mails which have been incredibly inconsistent. >> i think a fair amount of
scrutiny -- >> we never talked about that here on this show. >> just raise your hand, have you ever apologized to anyone? >> of course. are you human? >> have the candidates ever apologized? we'll see. coming up. don't go anywhere. with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in buffalo, where the largest solar gigafactory in the western hemisphere will soon energize the world. and in syracuse, where imagination is in production. let us help grow your company's tomorrow - today - at business.ny.gov
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and we're back talking about tonight's cnn gop presidential town hall. anderson asked trump when was the last time he apologized for something. >> what was the last time you apologized for something? >> oh, wow. no, i do -- can i think? i do believe in apologizing if you're wrong. if you're not wrong, i don't believe in apologizing. for instance, we started this with corey, my campaign manager, will you apologize? i said apologize for what? i see the tape. i'd love to apologize. it would be so much easier. apologize, corey, you're fired -- >> but you can't think of a specific example ever? >> i apologized to my another years ago for using foul
language. i apologize to my wife for not being more presidential on occasion. she's always saying "darling be more presidential." >> see said she talked to you about that. >> she does. she thinks i'm very presidential. >> she didn't like you reusing the word -- a dirty word or bad word i guess that someone in your audience shouted out and you repeated that. >> that was just a repeat and that didn't work out so well but that didn't count. >> what is it with you with repeats and retweets? >> my biggest problem is when i repeat and retweet things. >> then why not learn from your
behavior and stop doing that? >> you will say if you hurt other people, i apologize if i hurt your feelings. >> i apologize if you think i was wrong. >> it's not the same thing, maybe you didn't think you did anything wrong but just to keep the peace and because you care about someone, you apologize. is there a lesson in humility for trump here? >> no, i -- i think it was an interesting contrast to cruz who was asked what his greatest failure was and instead of naming something, he launched into memorizing the constitution and -- >> it took him ten years. >> one man's megalomaniac is
another man's -- >> i think any of us when asked that question, particularly in a public forum -- my wife said if you're asked that question, i have many flaws, i've made many mistakes, i think i'll talk about it privately and not in front of everyone. >> being in alcoholics anonymous for over 20 years, i've apologized to people i've harmed north of 200. it made me feel good but i don't think that's necessary for the president of the united states. we didn't pay attention to kasich in the show tonight. he holds the balance in wisconsin. every vote he gets will be a vote away from cruz. if trump wins, you're going to say that kasich was the one who got in the middle of it. >> there's a lot of energy to try to help cruz win wisconsin. i think he's got do that there.
if trump wins it, it's very hard. >> the irony is, the tea party favorite, the anti-establishment is asking them to make him the winner. >> we'll be right back. their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you
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republican presidential town hall you can see the whole thing starting in about ten seconds. >> that's exactly what i'm going to do. and good evening from milwaukee. exactly one week before wisconsin's presidential primary in the middle of a history-making race for the republican nomination. >> tonight, three republican presidential candidates face the voters. two of them facing off like never seen before. >> lyin' ted cruz. >> you're a sniveling coward. >> donald trump, ted cruz. for them, it's personal. with their spouses in the middle of the fight. >> leave heidi the hell alone. >> they're defending their wives and trying to win over a party that's skeptical of both and could be planning for a contested convention. >> we've always been the little engine that can. >> ohio winner john kasich trying to play spoiler. he can't win enough delegates to win outright, but he can see himself winning in a contested co