tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 9, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
that does it for us. thanks for watching. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. if you think donald trump has patched things up with the gop, you better think again. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. voters go to the polls in west virginia in just a few hours and questions are swirling around trump's campaign. will the party be forced to follow his lead whether they like it or not? will trump's meetings thursday with ryan and senate gop leaders seal the deal or make matters worse? and will paul ryan back out of chairing the convention? meantime, the presumptive gop nominee taking aim at democrats' front-runner. >> she's playing the woman's card to the hilt. i mean i watched over the weekend. everything is about woman and donald trump raised his voice and, you know, it's all
nonsense. you know what, women understand it better than anybody. and watch how well i do with women when it counts, when the election comes. watch how well. >> i'm going to let him run his campaign however he chooses. i'm going to run my campaign. >> it is a very, very busy night tonight. we're going to begin with some breaking news. the newest web video from hillary clinton's super pac. s cnn chief political correspondent dana bash is here. trump has been scathing in his attacks against clinton, calling her an enabler. tonight a group called correct the record, a pro clinton super pac put out this web video. look at it. >> because nobody respects women more than donald trump. >> she came to my
wedding. she ate like a pig. seriously, the wedding cake was -- it was like missing in action. >> does she have a good body? no. does she have a fat ass,
absolutely. i just don't respect her as a journalist. i don't think she's very good. i think she's highly overrated. but when i came out, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. >> obviously it's great outer beauty. we could say politically correct that look doesn't matter, but the look obviously matters. like you wouldn't have your job if you weren't beautiful. >> donald trump knocking super model heidi klum in "the new york times," saying heidi klum, sadly she's no longer a 10. >> a person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10, okay? >> you know what, the women get it getter than we do, folks. all right? they get it better than we do. >> so you treat women with respect? >> i can't say that either. >> all right. good. >> dana, pretty devastating look at donald trump's own words. how do you think that's going to play? >> well, i think first of all,
about hillary clinton and the woman card, you want to talk about her being an enabler, well, we've got a whole bag of tricks basically at our disposal that we're going to keep throwing at you while they hope at least -- the super pac folks -- that clinton can talk about issues. i will also say as i toss it back to you, don, that the trump folks really believe that as trump continues to go with his gut on what will play, even with women in the general electorate, even with potential crossover voters from the democrats, independent women, that this is still something that will resonate despite his own history and his own words that he's had about women. >> dana bash with us responding to this devastating ad from hillary clinton's super pac. donald trump's own words on women. it's not so favorable to him. my question, how will republicans respond to this? >> well, it depends who it is.
the issue for donald trump is that he doesn't have the entirety of the republican party getting ready to gear up behind him because of what we have been talking about for several days now since he became the presumptive nominee. and that is that there's a big divide because so many republicans have thought these very things. again, the never-trump movement funded by republican donors put very similar ads up about donald trump. >> dana, is it fair to say the republican party is in the midst of a civil war because donald trump says he's not sure that the party has to be united. what's the latest on that? >> it's very fair. i mean there's no question it's going through a civil war. look, it has been going through a crisis of identity and a civil war of sorts for some time. but it is now that they have a general -- the people who are so
angry at washington, that they really can believe in and rely on in donald trump. and so that is absolutely what we're seeing. now, to your point earlier about how it's going to play, again the problem for trump is that he doesn't have all these people behind him. but the good thing for donald trump is that he does have these ardent supporters who are continuing to say that we're going to go to the mat with him no matter what because they just think washington is broken. and people here in washington, especially fellow republicans, just don't get it. and that is what we are continuing to see and we will see even and especially as we head into this big meeting this week, don, with republican leaders in the house now and the senate and donald trump. although i will make a prediction to you that they will all come out and it will sound like there's sort of a kumbaya moment. i really think so. >> at least it will sound that way on the surface. >> they've been laying the
ground work all day today. if you listen very closely to what they're both saying. it's not in anybody's interest to keep this going. but whether or not they can really come together and join forces and resources is another question. >> all right. dana bash, thank you very much for that and the breaking news, this new pro-hillary super pac. i want to bring in now political commentators kaleigh mcenany and angela rye. before i get you to respond, i want to play a portion of the ad, kayleigh, and then we'll talk about it. >> she came to my wedding. she ate
like a pig. seriously, the wedding cake was -- it was like missing in action. >> does she have a good body? no. does she have a fat ass? absolutely. >> i just don't have a respect for her as a journalist. i think she's highly overrated. but when i came out, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. >> so you treat women with respect? >> i can't say that either.
>> all right. >> the response? your response? the video shows donald trump's own words. is this fair game? >> this is definitely fair game. it's an effective ad. i do think he needs to have a mea culpa with women. that's going to say the statements i made are not acceptable. i don't stand by those. i don't like those. that's not the same person i am. that being said, i think the american people will forgive him. they forgave bill clinton when he was honest eventually with the american people. i think if he does that, the american people will forgive him. >> some of these statements, though, are recent. a couple of them are -- at least one in the short ad was from the show, when he said blood coming out of her whatever. some as recently
as august. some as recently as a couple weeks ago. these are not old from the '90s. >> the two statements, the one that you just referenced and the one saying she's an overrated journalist, it's not year he's referring to gender at all in
those sen air yocenarios. the statements from the '90s are different. i think he was a different person than he is now. >> you said it was bad. do you think it's devastate something. >> i don't think it's devastating. i think it's counterrebuttal, i think it's an effective line of attack, but it's not helpful, no. >> angela, what's your response to this ad? >> a couple things, one is and you've already addressed this. the statements are not from the 1990s. there's a clear connection between donald trump's words of yesterday and today. they're consistent. he is remarkably miz only nis tick and sexist, and i think he's been very clear that he continues to hold these crazy beliefs in the words he continues to use today with the hateful vitriol that he spews towards women. i know that now he says blood coming out of wherever, he meant to say nose. how convenient. i think the other thing that we can point to is what he said about a fellow candidate who was running. carly fiorina and her face. he talked about hillary clinton, the length of time that hillary clinton was in the bathroom as
disgusting. so there are things that we can point to that aren't in this ad and perhaps correct the record ran out of time when putting it together. but they can do a part two. >> do you agree? >> no, i don't agree because he attacked marco rubio's appearance. he attacked carly fiorina appearance. so he's clearly not saving his attacks just for women. the definition of sexism is saving them just for women. he's attacked men and women equally. i don't think he's the same person. but it is up to him to say i disown the statements from the '90s and explain that. >> do you think this changes his strategy. his unfafrls with women are high. do you think this will change his strategy? he's calling hillary clinton an enabler for her husband. some people think it's fair. some people think it's not because she didn't actually do it. it was her husband who had the infidelities. do you think this is going to change his strategy? >> i think in one regard. i think it is okay to say, look, this is coming from dump. i don't like this. i don't believe it. some people will never believe the things he says. here's what he can do, and this should change is say, high, i'm
going to get juanita broaddrick out here, i'm going to get kathleen willey get out here. if you let the women tell the story rather than donald trump tell the story, i think it adds a lot more credibility to that line of attack. >> it definitely shows where we're headed in this particular campaign. so, angela, is this -- do you think it's too late for a mea culpa now as kayleigh is saying, come out, clarify his remarks and saying the 90s stuff, i don't agree with that. do you think women will forgive and forget all the things he said about women or at least some of them? >> i think it's clear that there are some women who certainly will forgive him. you're sitting across from one right now and that's kayleigh. i don't know that that will work with the massive numbers of women who are not supporting donald trump. it certainly won't work for me or with me. there's nothing worse to me than blaming someone who was the victim of infidelity for that infidelity or for enabling it. i think there's nothing worse than, for example, today we talked a whole lot about hillary clinton's role in attacking these women where i know if i
were the woman in her shoes, i would have done far worse than what she did. all she said was, you know, she thought was someone was ridiculous. so i think that we really have to examine some of that. i also think that now that donald trump and his surrogates are attacking hillary clinton n and words that she used while she was a court appointed attorney for a client in the 70s, we have to look at some of the things he did in the '70s including the housing discrimination complaints that he succumbed to. i think we also have to look at fact that when mike tyson, who has now endorsed him, was accused of rape -- >> angela. >> go for it. >> i want to give her a chance to respond because i have to get to a break. >> here's the thing that i would question you on. it's one thing, of course everyone understands being cheated on. that's a horrible feeling and i completely empathize with women who have been cheated on. but it's a completely different scenario when you've been cheated on for two decades. you know about this, and yet you still try to discredit the victims. >> you're blaming the victim now. >> i'm blaming the bully. you're blaming the victim.
>> she's not a bully because she was cheated on, kayleigh. >> go please read what juan anyti -- >> you're throwing stones and you're living in a plexiglas house. there is a major problem here and you're going to have to confront it on your side too. >> when we come right back, a man who's got the ear of the conservative voters. what they're telling him about donald trump. we'll be right back. we're out ink.nk. not ink. getting ink doesn't have to be painful. staples just cut ink and toner prices. add in our 110% price match guarantee and our prices are unbeatable. staples. make more happen.
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because nobody respects women more than donald trump. >> she came to my wedding. she ate like a pig. seriously, the wedding cake was -- it was like missing in action. >>
does she have a good body? no. does she have a fat ass? >> that new web video hits donald trump pretty hard on women, but what will voters think. let's discuss with a man who has the ear of a lot of conservative voters, and that's talk show host dennis prager. dennis, good to have you on. thank you for coming in. >> good to be back. >> dennis, that video about women, you know, in support of hillary clinton is pretty shocking. you talk to listeners all the time, to a lot of people. how do you think they're going to receive this? >> well, it depends of course who you talk to. if you talk to hillary supporters, you'll get one
reaction. if you talk to trump supporters, you'll get another. i'm not a trump supporter. i'm not a hillary supporter. i have -- i opposed the trump nomination. now that he's nominated, if he indeed will be, then i feel i have no chase and i will probably vote for him. however, having said that, i'm no fan of is. nevertheless, the
man is an equal opportunity boor, b-o-o-r. he called marco rubio little marco. i mean insulting a man's height. i'm 6'4", so i don't take this personally, but shorter men do take it very seriously. that is what he does. i don't like that aspect of donald trump. but if women want to actually claim -- the feminism claim that women are equals, they have to take insults equally. all of >> so what do you think of the ad's offensiveness? >> i think it's minimal. i think it's minimal.
i actually think she has more to lose, and i think they will start dropping it. i think she has more to lose. if the women come out who charge hillary clinton with having mishandled them, who were victims -- alleged victims or real victims of her husband, i think she has much more to lose than to gain from this. >> more of an impact of a video that is put out online. so, dennis, let's talk now about the big picture. republican factions are tearing each other apart. where do you see this heading? >> yeah, that's a real good question. you mentioned earlier civil war, and as a republican i can say there is a sort of civil war. i hope it stops because i don't want four more years of a democrat in the white house, and i don't want a woman whom i consider dishonorable to be the president of the united states. by the way, i don't consider him terribly honorable either. but i just want to make an interesting point here, and that is there is a great deal of soul-searching on the right. we care deeply about the character of our nominees. but i see no soul-searching on
the left, none. i don't hear any democrats say, you know, voting for hillary clinton is not an honorable human being. you don't get any of that. >> have you heard some of the bernie supporters, dennis? >> yes, that's bernie supporters, not because of her character but because of her positions. there's a very big difference. there is lamentation on the part of the right about the character of donald trump. there's nothing on the left about the character of hillary clinton. >> is it more about the character of donald trump, though, because he doesn't really have a history or any, you know, a background or resume as a politician to have his issues really -- >> well, the issues of the character are even more pronounced then in the case of hillary clinton, who does have a track record. he's really a tab youla rasa. we really don't know. i admit that. that's part of what bothers me about him.
he is, policy-wise, rather opaque. i don't know how he stands on many issues. but hillary clinton, we do know about the e-mails. we do now about how she acted in the white house with the various scandals that took place there. we do know how she treated women. we do know she's the only person william sapphire, the late, great, pulitzer prize winning. he said she's a congenital liar. he had never used that phrase in his 50 years of his writing, he had never used that phrase about a public person. he said that about hillary clinton. >> donald trump is saying the party needs to fall in line with him. is it the burden of the party to unite around donald trump? >> that's a great question. in my opinion, it is his task now that he has won or ostensibly won, it is his task to unite the party. the party is just waiting -- they're like standing, begging, please just be decent to us.
just say okay, i want to join with you. and he doesn't. it's so odd to me. you know, the speaker of the house, paul ryan, everyone knows is such a good guy. even if you don't agree with him politically, everyone knows he's honorable. just treat him decently. just say, you know what, paul -- or not paul. you know what congressman or mr. speaker? i want to be with you and the republican party. >> yeah. >> that would work. >> that simple, right? just be the bigger -- >> that simple. >> take the high road. always take the high road. >> if you're the winner, take the high road. exactly. >> that's my motto. listen, over the past week, donald trump has really contradicted his earlier positions on taxes, on the minimum wage, and on debt. as a conservative, are you worried about what his positions would do to the economy? >> well, as any non-conservative economic positions worry me. so i have two choices.
she, i know, will expand the government, expand the debt. she will abolish fracking, which has been at the source of our -- to the extent that we've had an economic growth. this utterly safe way of getting energy, she is now opposed to solely because she had to meet bernie sanders' leftist supporters. so i now how devastating she'll be to the economy. i can't assume he'll be as bad. that's really what it comes down to. >> dennis, i have to go because i'm over time but this just popped into my head when i heard donald trump earlier and you're the perfect person to act if up can give me a short answer. he said that, you know, he's a republican. he's not a conservative. he said in other countries, there is a party for that. how does that hit you as a republican or conservative or whatever you consider yourself? >> well, i am a conservative, and it is troubling. nevertheless, in life, here's your short answer. in life, it is very rare that you have a choice between good and bad. it's usually bad and worse. >> dennis prager. thank you.
always a pleasure, sir. >> thank you. same here. just ahead, does donald trump have a strategy to rally the republican party, and could it work? we're going to talk about that. ♪ ♪ (laughing) there's nothing like making their day. except making sure their tomorrow is taken care of too. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can.
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she came to my wedding. she ate like a pig and -- seriously, the wedding cake was -- it was
like missing in x action? >> does she have a good body? no. does she have a fat ass? yes. >> i think she's highly overrated. but when i came out, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. >> so you treat women with respect? >> i can't say that either. >> all right. >> let's discuss now this new video. bob cusack is the editor in chief. jeff dewitt is state treasurer, a trump surrogate. and also amy holmes, and van jones. again, this video is from correct the record. it is a pro-clinton super pac. they put out this ad just a couple of hours ago. jeff, i'm going to go to you. do you think donald trump really
should be going after hillary clinton on the woman thing given what we just saw? >> well, you know, the way politics works and a long time politician like hillary clinton knows it best, is they dwight the public into segments and say we're going to try to win the women vote and this certain race vote and this and that. and donald trump is just
going out for all of america. and so, you know, he's not a practiced politician. he's a longtime appliesman. in the past he was an entertainer as we all know. he said some things in the course of his show that was meant to entertain. but at the same time, he is running to be the president of the united states, and i think he's doing a great job. he's going to bring a different approach to this. she's trying to divide america into these groups and we need someone like donald trump who is going to bring us together. >> van jones, go ahead. i know, listen, what you came on, honestly you walked in and you guys were talking. you said you were really concerned. is she right? she said you were really
concerned about the tenor of this campaign. >> i just feel so sad because here we go. i think the big fear was if you have a donald trump and you have a hillary clinton, you got people with a bunch of negatives and you're going to just drive each other's negatives higher and higher until finally there's some explosion and we all just perish. and that's what it feels like is happening. >> joe biden flies to the rescue. >> didn't you work in the white house? weren't you involved in campaigns? i mean come on. >> even deep inside, i think most americans hope that at some point it will turn into an episode of "the west wing." instead, we're going to be talking about big hands and little hands and whether or not monica lewinsky -- and i'm going to tell you right now, ordinary people in the country are hoping that somebody -- and i think hillary clinton is betting at some point we get back to the issues. >> do you agree with that? do you think that people are just -- they would rather hear about policy than what happens in the '80s and '90s and how he feels about women? do you agree with that? >> i do agree with that but i
think these attacks are fair game for both sides. unfortunately these attacks are in the gutter, but that's where both sides have been at different points in their lives. i think the attacks on donald trump are completely fair. he has said these things and he has attacked women in particular ways that attack female nem ninity, and i think that's something that voters will have to grapple with and that donald trump will have to answer. but looking at that attack, we saw a similar one during the republican primary by anti-trump super pac. >> you took the words right out of my mouth. that's when he went after ted cruz's wife. >> while i agree that the intention was to drive an intention between donald trump and female voters, i think it also speaks to character, and that's something that both donald trump and hillary clinton -- those are tough questions they're going to have to face. >> so, bob cusack, i wanted to ask you this. amy mentioned it because it happened during -- with the republicans, right? remember when he came out and he talked about -- or tweeted about heidi cruz and her looks and he said he did it because of the super pac ad. even though the super pac said
they had no connection with ted cruz, i'm wondering if he's going to directly connect this with hillary clinton even though it's a super pac and she's supposed to -- she has nothing to do with it. he's going to say, i said if she went to the gutter, i would go to the gutter, and now here we go. >> yeah, i think he is going to do that because these are clearly hillary clinton allies and by law they can't communicate. but when he talked about cruz, he said, listen, these guys know each other. he suggests they were breaking the law by communicating. i do think that people are going to get tired of this. i think he should be using -- donald trump should be using his family more, talking about the women that he hired as opposed to going after her so early because i do agree with van. this is going to get real tire som very quickly. it could be the nastiest election. then when you talk about a third party, the possibility of somebody getting in. wouldn't need a sugar daddy, would have to be financed. maybe that person gets a serious look. if this is going to be in the gutter for the next six, seven months. >> we showed the pro-clinton
super pac video. now let's show donald trump in his own words what he has to say about hillary clinton. >> nobody in this country and maybe in the history of the country politically was worse than bill clinton with women. he was a disaster. he was a disaster. i mean there's never been anybody like this, and she was a total enabler. she would go after these women and destroy their lives. she was an unbelievably nasty, mean, enabler. and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful. >> okay. so, jeff, he actually had the affairs. but he's connecting hillary clinton to it, saying she's an enabler, is this as far as the voters are concerned a distinction without a difference? >> boy, i'm not the right person to ask that question to. you know, i just know that we get through a primary.
the primaries, you see a lot more personal attacks because there's so few differences in the issues because you're on the same side of the aisle. i think this stuff is going to end quickly because when we get to the general -- and we're not there yet because the democrats still have to obviously get through and figure out exactly who the nominee is going to be. we all assume it's going to be hillary, but you never know. then the differences are so vast between their policies. i actually do think that this whole election is going to pivot, and it's going to be about the policies. >> where are the policy ads? when you said this is going to end quickly, everybody on this panel went like -- >> hallelujah. >> you know, these are two heavyweight fighters in the first round that are just getting in the ring and taking those little jabs. but i think they're both going to realize that's what really going to land are the heavy blows. that's going to come from policy. >> how wrong is -- >> quite frankly, donald trump has the right policies and hillary clinton is just an extension of obama, and a lot of people -- >> hang on. i got to get to a break. but how wrong is jeff dewitt
about this coming to an end quickly? and also stay with me because will house speaker paul ryan end up giving his support to donald trump? does trump even need it? we're going to talk about that next. don't go anywhere. ♪ [engine revs] ♪ ♪ [engine revving] the all-new audi a4 is here. they're lovin' their vegetables. this is huge news! it's all thanks to our birds eye chef's favorites side dishes perfectly sauced or seasoned. what are you..? shh! i'm live tweeting. oh, boy. birds eye. so veggie good.
we're back. guess what we're talking about? donald trump and the fractured republican party. back with me now, bob cusack, jeff dewit, amy holmes, and van jones. jeff, i hope you're sitting down for this. >> oh, boy. i can't wait, don. what are you going to surprise me with? >> is this going to stop soon as jeff dewit predicted? go. >> no! [ laughter ] >> why is he wrong? >> why he is wrong, if past is prologue, don, then this primary season we've seen that donald trump has relied on personal attack, personal invective to win the primary. when it comes to policy, it tends to be pretty thin on the ground. you have some slogans that have worked, that i think speak to deep concerns among voters and the american people. but he's even flip-flopping on some of those.
he said he would raise taxes on the rich. now he's saying the rich would pay less. so i'm not sure where this, you know, sort of meaty policy discussion is going to happen on the trump side. >> so, bob, to amy's point, are some of these things a distraction to get people not to talk about a tax plan or foreign policy and just talk about these things or this is just who he is? >> i think this is just who he is. he has been successful. who thought he would get the nomination? but the general election electorate is very different than the -- >> i did. >> -- than the primary caucus. >> is that proven? >> i can show you some tapes of me back from last summer, but that's okay. go on. >> i think that this is donald trump. this is who he is. we saw with his top adviser, paul manafort, trying to make him more, quote, presidential. and donald trump being more raucous than ever. >> right. >> that's what his supporters like. >> don't forget it was hillary's supporters that started it at
least today. >> right. >> and i think part of it is i think hillary supporters believe in strength as well. you actually have two candidates who their fundamental, deep value is strength. i want to be strong. as a woman, i don't want to be pushed around. as a white guy, i'm tired of us being pushed around. so there's this tendency to -- i think it's going to be a big tendency at least for the supporters to get in all kinds of fights about all kinds of minor things. but fundamentally the question is how are ordinary people going to be benefited by either one of these characters? and my big fear is the more you have this going on, the more people tune out who have real problems. that hurts everybody. >> my next question, let me ask you this. how much does this taint, if it does, hillary clinton even though it's a pro-clinton super pac and it's not her directly? because as van jones says, he's tired of it. people are tired of it. jeff dewit says they should talk about issues. is this ultimately a negative for hillary clinton in. >> don, historically what we
know, negative attack ads tend to drive up the negatives of both the attacker and the target. so, you know, this is something that could be risky for hillary clinton as well. but getting back to donald trump and whether or not he's going to, you know, campaign in a more substantive manner, remember this is the person who bragged that he didn't study for the debates, and he just sort of stood on stage and made faces and sneered and mocked his competitors. i don't know if that's going to -- >> he did more than that. >> i don't know if that's going to get him through the debates with hillary clinton. but on the reverse side, interestingly, ironically, when donald trump's numbers have gone up, it is when he has hit on a policy position that has really resonated. so when he said he was going to build that wall in terms of immigration reform, for a lot of americans who feel economically secure because of competition from illegal immigrants coming to the united states, that sent him to the front of the line with republicans. when he said he was going to keep muslims out of america, i don't happen to agree with that position, but again that's what
his poll numbers went up. i would advise donald trump to actually keep the personal attacks at a minimum and stick to the issues because so far the issues actually have been working for him. >> all right. jeff, also this might work for him and i wonder if you -- let's talk about donald trump's meeting with paul ryan on thursday. i'm wondering if you think that could work for him. what are the chances that donald trump comes out with an endorsement from the speaker? that would -- i think that would help him tremendously. >> it would hurt the speaker, but anyway. >> i think it would help the speaker as well. i think the speaker is overplaying his hand and he's misreading the public on what he should be doing. i think the speaker very much needs to get in line with where the rest of america is at and let's support our nominee and move forward. so, you know, going back to what amy just said, keep in mind that the first half of the day today, we were talking about trump's economic platform. that's what he was on tv talking about this morning. and that drove the news up until this video came out, you know, 45 minutes ago, and that changed. but that wasn't a donald trump video. that was a hit against donald
trump. i'll tell you as an elected official myself, the mistake that i think the hillary people are making on that is you have to put -- like you pointed out, the negatives go up for both candidates, the one that gets hit and the one that does the hitting. before you go right for the attack, you have to build up your bank, your positives in the bank and talk about yourself and your positives because anytime you do a hit, you take a negative hit on yourself as well. if you don't have any positives in the bank, that really hurts you. i think for hillary's people to be hitting so early, i think they're driving a bad narrative that's going to hurt their candidate. >> i just think that you said that -- i think speaker paul ryan is in a tough position. he has a vision for the republican party that's more of a jack kemp inclusive, everybody in party. it's the exact opposite of a donald trump. whatever he does tomorrow, i think he gets hurt, but i think for the long term, if he now embraces the kind of stuff you hear from donald trump, i don't know where he goes. i don't know where his party goes. >> is he like, hey, listen, i don't have to go to this
convention. >> exactly. >> am i disinvited? i feel so terrible. let me get out of here. >> i'm not feeling well. >> thanks everyone. when we come back, a lot of people were blindsided by the unconventional rise of donald trump. we're going to talk to the man who saw this coming a mile away. we're out ink.nk. not ink. getting ink doesn't have to be painful. staples just cut ink and toner prices.
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voters in west virginia and nebraska go to the polls in just a few hours. zru donald trump now the presumptive nominee, but was he inevitable? joining me now to discuss, ben howe, contributing editor of red state and norman orrinstein. author of "it's even worse than itgoodness, that's not a positive thing. norm, you say it's one thing to have a long-term outside of the party wing win a nomination, but it's another to have someone with no political experience
coming in and stealing the show. so how did we end up here? >> well, in a lot of ways we could see this coming over the last several years. in the book, tom mann -- and there's a new edition called it's even worse than it was, and the next one is going to be "run for your lives." we saw a republican party that was going off the rails. and we saw a group of leaders that had begun to promise people out there in the aftermath of the collapse and the bailout, all kinds of things that they weren't going to be able to deliver. bring barack obama to his knees, repeal obamacare, blow up government as we know it. and the opportunity for an outsider or insurgent was just very, very strong. going back a year ago, i saw every poll of republicans of whatever stripe showed 60% to 70% support for outsiders and insurgents. 20% for the establishment figures. and donald trump, it was pretty clear, was the strongest and
savviest, being able to tap into a lot of the angry populism out there and the distrust and distaste and dislike for the republican establishment leaders. >> okay. so then listen. you said run for your lives. that's the new edition, or that's what's coming out. >> let's hope that's not what's coming out. >> specifically, then, where is this anger coming from, norm? >> so a good part of it, i think, don, goes back to the economic collapse and the bailout. we always get peep yopulism, an brings with it nativism, protectionism, and some isolationism. >> which is what we're seeing. >> the anativism has a significant racial component to it. there are a lot of people who have stagnant wages, they've lost their homes. they see a country that is becoming by 2% every year a majority minority country. you put all of those discontents
together, and we're getting the kind of populism that less a ross perot emerge without some of that edge in 1992 that trump's been able to exploit much better. >> ben, to you now. you say, quote, donald trump is my fault as much as anyone else's. why do you say that? >> well, you know, for a very long time, just what he was just talking about. back in 2008 when tarp and the auto bailouts came out, a lot of people on the right were very upset. i remember very well when george bush said that he had to abandon the free market in order to save it. that was kind of a clarifying moment for me and i think for a lot of others. so there were conscientious people that came out that really did want to see a change in the way the government functioned. government spendsiing was too high. there was a desire for it to be less about democrats than republicans. there was an underlying element of people that were just angry and outraged and, i would say, in my opinion, a little less
rationale. they were always there but not necessarily leading the movement. i think 2011, 2012, my experience anyway, was when romney didn't win, a lot of conscientious people went home. i don't know if they gave up or thought it wasn't working. the people that were left were this outraged group. and certain websites that i've been critical of by a long time like breitbart news after andrew's death, i think channeled that anger and found a way to sort of profit off of it. they sold ideas about what they thought politicians should be able to do and then sold the outrage that they didn't do it. >> so they were doing -- they were exploiting people. so then what do you wish you had done differently? >> i wish i had called them out. i wish i had called the people out at these rallies. i wish that when i went to
rallies in 2010 and 2011 and i had conversations with people and i agreed with them on 70% of what we were talking about, when they said that 30% that made me cringe and i kept quiet, i shouldn't have. >> interesting. let's -- norm, do you agree with that? do you think that people should have done things differently, that people should have called out, you know, as he said some websites or some organizations exploiting people's anger? >> i do think that, don. but i also think there are a lot of other people who enabled much of this to take place. when tom and i first wrote our book and we basically said that the republican party had become an insurgent outlier, an awful lot of bloggers and other writers, conservatives sort of rallied behind the party. they said everything's just fine. it's the same as it was. and when we saw a pretty deliberate attempt to blow up the governing process, vote in unison against everything, make every victory look ugly, make
the whole government look so terrible, we had forces including many in the mainstream media who just shrugged at all of that. and you've got a lot of people out there now who say how could anything be worse than those idiots in washington, which becomes prime territory for a donald trump to emerge. >> yeah. to ben's point, he said they gave false expectations about what government -- >> yes. >> -- you know, could do, could accomplish. so my question is, you know, as you know, paul ryan made headlines last week when he said that he wasn't ready to support donald trump yet. he said he's hoping to get on board. why do you say that a party who calls paul ryan a rhino is symbolic of the entire problem? >> well, for me certainly, when you have the guy who is the most conservative speaker in the history of the house of representatives called out as a rhino, a republican in name only, not just because he said i'm not ready to support donald
trump, but also because he got behind a budget deal that raised the caps just enough that they could actually maybe pass some appropriations bills, and many in his own party are undercutting him on that basis. almost anybody who is trying to do something to govern now is going to be called out. and at some point we're going to have to have a reckoning and a party that is going to be a conservative party. it's going to be a party, i think, that ben ultimately is going to feel comfortable with. but if you're going to basically be contemp shoous of government and everybody in the opposition, including some in your own party, you're going to blow up. >> i got to run. thank you. we'll have you back. great conversation. thank you, ben. thank you, norm. see you next time. we'll be right back.
voters go to polls in west virginia in just a few hours as donald trump tries to clarify his take on taxes and debt. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. trump says he is the king of debt, and he has some surprising things to say about this country's $19 trillion debt. >> the united states government. first of all, you never have to default because you print the money, i hate to tell you. >> i'm going to ask the experts if that passes the truth test. plus, hand to hand combat in the gop has trump's race with hillary clinton heats up. and the justice departmen