tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 16, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
match-up like this. a billionaire reality tv star. a woman who has been preparing for this race for her entire adult life. but for the first time in modern history most americans don't like the front-runners. well, what would that mean for donald trump and hillary clinton in november if they get that far? and what about this shocking claim? trump tells cnn that he thinks a brokered convention would lead to riots. plus a potential presidential candidate. a president with an enemies list for journalists. where have we seen that before? lots going on tonight. luckily i've got a dream team here with me. can you believe it in i have cnn's gloria borger. i have dan rather, the host of access tv's the big interview. and i have douglas brinkley. his latest book is called "rightful heritage: franklin d. roosevelt and the land of america." i am really happy to have all of you here. thank you very much. a huge 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-u-g-e.
>> y-u-u-u-g-e. he has a total of 662 delegates. he still needs about 57% of the remaining delegates to get that magic number for the nomination, which is 1,237. is he likely to get them or is this going to be a contested convention, gloria? >> well, that's sort of hard to answer. if i had to bet right now i'd say it goes to a contested convention. i think he does need to win, you know, 50%, 60%. cruz needs to win 80%. and john kasich needs to win 104% to get to that number. >> is that possible? >> 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%? or 106%? >> i think it's 104, 106. over 100. >> i have to ask you this. we're down to three candidates now. who gets rubio's delegates? >> as many as there are, there are not that many. i think -- you don't know. you don't know. some people say 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 don't have a horse. because they don't like cruz. they're trying to embrace him but it's hard to hug somebody you loathe. so they don't have a horse and it's difficult to see where these delegates -- >> talking about they don't have a horse. have you seen anything like this? >> no. and neither has anybody else in my lifetime. there's never been a campaign like this. the closest we've come would be
1968 in which the democratic party was splitting itself apart and partly because of that they lost the election. also the '60s as we know was 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, like the one sitting at this table, can tell us whether in the history of the country we've had it. but the closest we've had to trump is a kind of combination george wallace and ross perot. perot a businessman. wallace appealing to blue-collar voters with more than a tinge of racism to it. but you mentioned something earlier, don, that really sort of surprises me. that is for a major presidential candidate to talk about in language that could incite riot is something completely new in american politics. this we've never had in our history. >> let's listen to that and then we'll continue this 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. you know, we have -- i'm representing a tremendous -- many, many millions of people. >> if anyone else had said that, because i think i said something to the effect to one of the surrogates on monday there will be a revoeltd, not meaning literally. but if anyone else had said that, do you think it would be considered inciting violence? >> i do. and i think it should be with donald trump. i'm not picking on trump. but this is something unprecedented. don, i covered the civil rights movement and a lot of the anti-war movement in the '60s, and i know firsthand what inflammatory language in a very tense situation can quickly erupt into violence. and we should, all of us, every party, all americans be very careful about tempting that again. and that's what's going on here. nate silver today, i give him
credit, he blamed to some extent those of us in the press and the media. and i do not exclude myself. citing the fact it was embarrassing, even cowardly that we weren't calling trump out and pressing him harder on this business. 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. i mean, all politicians, if you're a good politician you're good at pivoting. but he's very 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. i mean, 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. and it shocked people. herbert hoover's crowd back in
'32 the way he used radio. john f. kennedy's ability to communicate on the debates. trump's doing it with twitter and staying ahead of the reporters in some way. he's anticipating that 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's just trying to push the envelope. >> he knows what he's doing and he knows how to run the news cycle. because at 10:00 at night if you tweet something, you know, the morning shows are going to pick it up. >> but trump is calling in at 10:00 -- he called in to this program at 10:00 on a friday night when other candidates -- marco rubio did do it later but marco rubio wasn't calling in to this program at 10:00 at night 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 is doing. and that's a huge part of it. can i ask you about those images 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. you point out he's good at pivoting. but follow-up questions and follow-up to the follow-up questions. pressing him on, you know, what you said about this, mr. trump can be dangerous. have you thought about it? 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 both the old media, which is standard television. he understands that television time is every candidate's oxygen, just as it is every anchorman and correspondent's. that'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 said i'm not going to debate because he doesn't want to give kasich and cruz any oxygen. >> i hate to put you on the spot here but since i have you 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 as, well, if they try to take it away from me at a convention there could be riots. that's a paraphrase of what he said. 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 riot, it does have that potential. >> he's responsible for the tone. okay? he can't be responsible for somebody in the crowd who sucker punches somebody. he did say i'm looking into paying his legal fees, which is a problem. but he is as the candidate responsible for the tone at his
rallies. and we've played on cnn, and we have pressed him on cnn, but we have played clips -- >> throw a tomato at them, punch them in the face. >> those kinds of things. now he is i would argue likely to be the nominee of the republican party. there is 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 also i'm amazed how he beats up on the press, yet he's the great beneficiary of the press. reminds me, you know, spiro agnew used to call the media all these names. trump does that. he won florida and he was
ridiculing the press in the back of the room. so there's sort of a wallace thing going on, a spiro agnew thing. and then a nixon bit because i think he constantly -- if you hit that counterswing it's almost you feel that donald trump does, we're going to talk about, have an enemies list of some kind going on here. you punch him he'll triple-punch you back and it's intimidating people. >> what is it, wag the dog? let's continue this conversation. i need to take a break. so stick with me. when we come right back, donald trump and hillary clinton may be the least liked front-runners in years. so why are people voting for them? good question, huh?
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super tuesday in the primaries, we could be one step closer to a battle in november between donald trump and hillary clinton but it's not clear how that battle would play out at the ballot box. back with me now glorgia borger, dan rather and douglas brinkley. i want to tell the camera to come close. like i can't read those words. thank you very much. yeah. 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 democratic convention. you were roughed up, right? >> yes. it has that potential. keep in mind that in chicago you had chaos and yes, some violence inside the convention hall and then even more outside the convention hall. remember, we had gone through a period in which martin luther king had been assassinated. we'd had real race riots in the country. >> does this remind you at all -- >> 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 maybe take way from trump, quote unquote, and trump talks about a possible riot, that could lead to a situation where you have good television, if you want to call it that, a very contentious reporter's, journalist's dream of a convention but terrible for the party. that's what lost it for the democrats in 1968, among other things, were those scenes out of their convention. if you're a republican and want to beat hillary clinton, you have to think carefully, if we go into a convention and all hell breaks loose at a convention, our chance of defeating hillary clinton go down in direct proportion to how much chaos is seen on television. >> and just imagine what cleveland's going to be like. you're going to 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 interview these candidates. on friday i asked trump four different ways. when someone doesn't answer the question, i can't get out of this chair and go to to the tv screen into the camera and strangle him and say "answer my question!" or even if they're sitting across from you. what is the solution? at some point the onus is on the public to understand this person, maybe it's 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 have asked. okay? you can ask your question 50 different ways. >> as chris did this morning as well. we're journalists, we like to think we ask direct questions to elicit direct answers. that is not the case. you're laughing because it's true. get direct answers. we never get direct answers. trump likes to say he's not a politician, but if he's not he's a pretty smart one, whatever he is. will say what he wants to say. he'll turn it around to his voters, to his polls. >> to the media. >> to the media. and by the way, blaming the media is always a good throwback when you're a republican or a democrat, right? i mean, blame the media, nobody likes the media. >> it's interesting, when donald trump comes back at you, there's this interesting thing, let's just be honest about it, you don't have with any other candidate. if you're on and -- you said he'll punch you three times if you punch him, he'll punch you three times back. but then the ratings go up they
times when he's on. is that legitimate? >> people will channel surf the other -- oh, gosh. jeb bush. >> where is the line drawn, then? >> we've become a kind of 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 questions. 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 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 if 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 not worth anything, the republicans have a very good chance to win in november. they have an excellent chance to win this election coming out of a two-term democratic administration. and donald trump, he's smart. this guy, he's smart. whatever else you think about him, he is smart. and he is authentic. the donald trump you see is the donald trump that exists. >> but he should be building a coalition within his party now -- >> exactly. and if he's as smart as i think he is and if the better angels would -- >> i want to move on and talk about likability because if they're the nominees, if trump and clinton are the nominees, we can put this up, they may be the
least liked nominees of all time. cnn's most recent poll numbers showed hillary clinton is viewed unfavorably by 55% of voters while donald trump is viewed unfavorably by 60%. is that level of dislike unprecedented? >> yeah. i think 60% overall. but if you look at hillary clinton's favorability within the democratic party she's at 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 that he's carrying around with him. and like you said, don, can he really expand that in dan's 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 in answer to your question, though, don, i can't recall a campaign in which you had two candidates who at this stage of the campaign -- of course it can change -- were lower on the likability quotient. we've had campaigns where one candidate, his likability quotient was low. think back to nixon in 1972.
and goes on to win. but i can't remember a campaign where you had both leading candidates for each of the parties with as low a likability quotient as trump and hillary clinton now have. >> congress is at a low as well. their truthfulness. that's low as well. do they both neutralize and cancel out each other? >> hillary clinton has a big problem on truthfulness. and the way you know that is not just with republicans but it's within -- with democrats even in primaries that she wins. 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 stephen colbert has coined, even if he doesn't do that, even if he doesn't tell the truth, nobody cares. >> right. because you know what? 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 right now 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 out and cite it, donald trump tells it how it isn't, 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 moment? you're likeable enough. i think for democrats they feel she's likable enough. >> they like her. >> and i'm not sure -- i think it's -- 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. you know, where we have come. >> mitt romney was the guy who came out and gave the speech about -- >> i know. >> -- 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 putting on on the air. thank you very much, all of you. up next, this could be one of the nastiest campaigns in years, especially when it comes to television ads. see, i can read better. the camera's closer. but are they changing any minds? we'll take a look. ♪ ♪ he has a sharp wit. a winning smile.
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man 1: they got in through a vendor. man 1: do you know how many vendors have access to our systems? man 2: no. man 1: hundreds, if you don't count the freelancers. man 2: should i be worried? man 1: you are the ceo. it's not just security. it's defense. bae systems. tens of millions of dollars in negative ad buys couldn't take out billionaire donald trump last night. marco rubio and his allies spending $20 million on ads in the five super tuesday states. that's a lot of dough. that's twice as much as his gop rivals combined. donald trump spending less than 5 million and winning big. joining now is republican consultant margaret hoover and john brabender. good to have both of you on.
john, this kind of goes with the last segment that we had. i want to show you this and you can respond. donald trump was subjected to sustained negative advertising for the first time in his campaign, especially in florida. what did all of those ad buys do? 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's probably going to be the republican nominee. so i'm not even sure i understand why we're doing it. but the problem is it was targeting the wrong voters. i thought the ad itself, a lot of people saw it and said oh, my gosh, 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 saw that and said eh, that's donald trump. >> last night during his victory speech trump told a story about being embarrassed at a recent golf tournament. i want you to listen to this. >> i'm watching. we have television screens all over. and we're down at this gorgeous green at doral and everything's working beautifully. then a commercial comes on, the worst commercial. and i'm with these wonderful
people from cadillac and all these top executives. and i'm saying look over there, look, you don't want to watch this. isn't the grass beautiful? look. don't watch. and 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, like is happening right now in north korea with this u.v.a. student. and 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 how he's going to do that or why he's going to do that and what that all means. i think that's a squandered opportunity right now. >> margaret, i know you want to jump in but this will give you the perfect opportunity to do it because he got over his embarrassment apparently because his campaign posted this to instagram today. here it is. ♪ [ barking sounds ] [ laughter ] >> what do you think? >> i think donald trump is the punchline of that joke. i don't think hillary clinton is. it is sort of funny and lighthearted. and every candidate has inevitably these moments on the campaign trail where they do something that is repeated and they sort of probably at their own peril they did it. and everybody knew when hillary clinton barked that was going to be on a reel over and over again on the negative attacks. but it's so crazy to me that
donald trump is saying this, that at his press conference, his victory speech last night like oh, don't look at the screen, don't look at the screen. bays what 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. when it comes to the general election for him. by democrats, not just the republicans in this. the republicans are just seeding the ground for democrats, handing over the research files. we're going to see the negative women ads, the negative things he said about african-americans. the negative things he said about hiss paingz, the negative things about all the constituencies that 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? because you liked it at first, right? >> i'm not sure i ever liked it. look, i've made thousands of ads. and what i've learned is sometimes there's an ad that seems kind of cool and funny at about 11:00 at night after too much pizza and beer in an edit suite. by morning adults come in and say eh, we're not going to run that.
the problem with this ad is it looks like somebody as a challenger running for congress, not running for president. second of all, the strategy was smart. go after putin, go after isis, tie hillary into it. but do it in a more thoughtful way because, again, this is just another clue to people that, eh, i'm not sure that donald trump has the gravitas that i want. and i think they have an opportunity to show that he does and this ad doesn't help. >> and also it's out of context. this is from hillary clinton at the campaign rally in february. this is the original. >> one of my favorite, favorite political ads of all time was a radio ad, rural arkansas, where the announcer said, "wouldn't it be great if somebody running for office said something we could have an immediate reaction as to whether it was true or not? well, we've trained this dog, and the dog, if it's not true he's going to bark." i'm trying to figure out how we can do that with the republicans. you know?
we need to get that dog and follow them around and every time they say these things like oh, you know, the great recession was cause the by too much regulation. [ barking sounds ] you know? >> she's telling a story about an old radio ad that used the barking to indicate when politicians were lying. i mean, will other campaigns do this, put it out of context, do you think, margaret? >> yeah. of course. that's the whole point of political advertising. you're trying to paint a narrative with the other candidate's words. doesn't matter when they said those words. but to be fair here i don't think donald trump was trying to like put anything hillary clinton said in context. he was taking a picture of her barking and trying to demonstrate i think that she was fundamentally unserious enough or not strong enough to take on vladimir putin, which is frankly completely incongruous if you're donald trump in the first place. he's the one who likes putin. he likes authoritarian instincts as far as we know. this is what he's said to us. it did sort of 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. this would be like running against will ferrell or howard stern or somebody and going with all the same rules. i think what you have to do frankly is to go back and look at who his audience is first. i'll give you an example. 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 that donald trump has changed all those rules about a year ago. >> that's certainly true for the republican primary. and you know, that's largely over. i mean, the vote isn't done. the 1,237 hasn't been reached. but you know, we've sort of seen even the pedal coming off the gas a bit in the last week in
terms of the negative ads against donald trump. and frankly i think that's why he did so well in florida. but there's going to be totally different rules when it comes to the general election because the people that donald trump needs to win in the general election, the people that hillary clinton needs to win in the general election are different from the republican primaries. different negative ads and different attacks on donald trump will be more -- >> quickly, john, i've got to run. >> remember one thing, 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 what donald trump is doing is not just resonating with republicans. it is resonating with a lot of democrats as well. >> coming up -- thank you both, by the way. coming up, we're down to three candidates on the republican side. is donald trump unstoppable? well. and is he the new face of the gop, whether they like it or not? when you think about success, what does it look like? is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves?
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show show me more like this.ns. show me "previously watched." what's recommended for me. x1 makes it easy to find what blows you away. call or go onliand switch to x1. only with xfinity. another huge super tuesday for donald trump, but is he a lock for the nomination? and is he changing the gop forever? joining me now bob cusack, editor in chief of thehill.com. bob beckel, author of "i should be dead: my life surviving
politics, tv and addiction." and matt lewis author of "too dumb to fail." i asked, is he becoming the new face of the republican party, donald trump? and she said yes, he is. so matt, you first. donald trump is even closer to the nomination after big wins yesterday. you were hoping that the others could pull together to stop him. is he just unstoppable now, do you think? >> getting that way. john kasich, you know, helped out the never trump cause of course by winning ohio. the winner-take-all state with the 66 delegates. 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. so things could get hairy in cleveland. >> marco rubio suffered a humiliating defeat in his own home state of florida. in his speech he blamed establishment republicans for the fractures in the party. listen to this. >> in 2010 the tea party wave
carried me and others into office because not enough was happening and that tea party wave gave republicans a majority in the house. but nothing changed. in 2014 those same voters gave republicans a majority in the senate and still nothing changed. and i blame some of that on the conservative movement. a movement that is supposed to be about our principles and ideas. but i blame most of it on our accomplishment 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 throwers. >> bob cusack, is he right? a better question is is it too late? why didn't you say that earlier? >> yeah. and the establishment wanted rubio to win, and he was hoping that that would carry him to the nomination. that speech, some people called it gracious. but it was an attack on a
variety of people, whether that's donald trump or the establishment. and marco rubio, he outlasted jeb bush. he's got a bright political future. but it was a rough night. his strategy did not work. he was basically scared of the media for a while, did not converse with the media certainly not nearly as much as zonld trump. he changed his strategy, tried to out-trump trump. it didn't work. i think he'll be back on the political stage. but he had a rough night. no doubt about it. >> i'm so glad you said that. because you said he was afraid of the media for a while. i get kind of upset when people say donald trump gets so much attention from the media. why don't the other guys accept interviews? when they were in the race they just did not accept interviews. you would call donald trump's campaign and say can you do an interview, can you call in, sure. you would call someone else and they'd go, no, thank you. so why do you complain? go ahead, bob. >> listen -- >> bob cusack. >> i think you're right. if you're going to accept those interviews and then klain about how the media is dealing with
donald trump, fine. but we asked all the candidates for interviews. some of them said yes. some of them said no, we'll get back to you. jeb bush never sat down with us. neither did marco rubio. others like rand paul, trump, carson did. you can't complain if you're not going to play the game. >> does it strike you, bob beckel, as odd that the candidate who was supposed to be the savior of the establishment republicans in this election is trashing the establishment now? it's looking like maybe he didn't want to bite the hand that feeds him but that hand didn't necessarily save him so he's biting it. is this more about his political future? >> partially. i'm still trying to figure out who the republican establishment is. i keep hearing about this. as if there's some broker somewhere that can broker a convention. they don't have any brokers. they don't have anybody powerful enough to do that. the majority leader in the senate mitch mcconnell's not powerful enough to do it. 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 and jim mccarthy, those people, i was in chicago during that, it was ugly. and this thing, if they try to take this away from trump, if he crosses the 1,000 mark and he's within 200, at that point you're out of your mind to try to take it away from him. >> matt, i want to play this for you. this is glenn beck for john kasich. look. >> kasich, you -- i mean, excuse my language, but you son of a [ bleep ]. the republican -- 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 about him. it's all about him. >> glenn beck, matt, is a ted cruz supporter. right? but basically what you're saying is kasich, you're only in, it you're a spoiler, it's not going to happen. should kasich drop out? >> well, i think glenn beck's been known to engage in
hyperbole from time to time. i think -- and sometimes he gets a little emotional. look, i'm not convinced that finish if you want to stop donald trump, and i'm convinced that republicans need to stop donald trump because he tarnishes the brand in some very unseamly ways. but if you want to do it's 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. and if that's your goal, i think you can make a pretty 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. >> much more to discuss -- >> whichever one of those two emerge would be fine with us. >> we're going to discuss more. but i have to ask you, matt, when we come back, is you talk about marco rubio, why is he
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put him over the top? and what about his suggestion that they could riot if he is denied the nomination? back with me now to discuss, bob cusack, bob beckel and matt lewis. matt lewis, i want to follow up before the break. asked you - why weren't the republican establishment saying this before? marco rubio saying the establishment didn't listen to the voters. and all of a sudden you have this very populist person who was a former reality star. he is now listening to that part of the base. where have you bin? where have they been? >> look, i think it's very true that the republican party could have been more responsive to kind of working-class americans, the economic struggles 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 a lot of what trump is espousing. and if you actually want to grow the republican party in the future, if you want to attract
hispanics and women, you wouldn't do or say the things that trump is doing and saying. that is actually earning him some votes. so i understand what's going on. i think that rubio, this part of the speech, i like this speech overall. i think this part of the speech was discordant. it was emblematic of rubio's problem, he doesn't really know quite who he is. and i thought it was a bit of self-flagellation, that he had to sort of show that he's not part of the establishment, that he's going to attack them to prove that he's not one of them. well, guess what? he was attacked for being the establishment. maybe he should have just owned it at that point. >> so bob -- go ahead, bob beckel. >> it's interesting to me that most every political analyst, and i would include myself in that, who said there's 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 they didn't pay attention to demographics. now people are being hesitant about saying he can't win a general election. i'm here to tell you it's impossible. unless hillary clinton gets
indicted. he cannot win. the demographics are not there. let's keep in mind, he's winning a third of the republican primary and caucusgoers. say 40% now. and that's just not enough. you don't have enough -- you're not going to get enough angry white guys to come in and vote because you know, 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. so i would not underestimate -- >> that's fine. i'm telling you he's going to get crushed. >> okay. all right. i'm not betting on it. i'm just telling you, when people are driven by fear and driven by anger, they will go to the polls and vote. >> yeah. a small percentage of them. >> bob cusack, i have to say you heard what donald trump said earlier today to our chris cuomo on "new day" about the riots at the convention if he's not nominated. do you think that's a threat or prediction? >> well, i think he's putting a marker down. he's put a lot of markers down on the republican side. last summer he said listen, if the rnc, republican national committee, is not fair to me i might run as an independent, as the third party.
this time he's basically putting the marker down that if he -- 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" editorial that said listen, these are the rules, you've got to get to 1,237 and if you don't get to 1,237, well, then all bets are off and the party can do what it wants to do. of course that would be a very entertaining convention. >> i don't care what rule books you bring out-u go try to tell trump supporters on the floor about the rules in a "wall street journal" editorial and see what happens to you. >> so riots are markers? is that what you're saying? >> riots -- are you kidding me? they ought to bring the national guard in before the thing starts. you've seen these guys. with all due respect, these are not phi bet ta kappas here. these are guys who know how to fight and churn it up. if they try to take this away from him and cruz's 400 delegates back, it's going to be great from my standpoint but it's going to be just a disaster
from -- and who's going to do it? who in the establishment? who is the establishment that can sit in a room and say all right, let's take on trump? >> i think reince priebus could do it. maybe it's reince. maybe sean spicer. maybe it's paul ryan. maybe it's mitch mcconnell. >> you know, 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 big ascendant foreign policy crowd for years, and he's exactly the opposite of them. and they're going crazy. they're trying to lead the way -- by the way, tomorrow there's a meeting of conservatives in washington to try to stop trump. good luck. >> what happens if he gets elected and there's no -- there isn't a wall built and everybody doesn't get terrific jobs and there isn't as much winning, so much winning all over the place as he had promised? then what, matt?
>> well, then we have what happened when barack obama got elected. remember the hillary clinton campaign commercial, you know, the seas will heal themselves, the skies will -- you know, she was mocking this. i mean, the hope and change. that would lead -- if trump gets elected and doesn't fix things, we don't get tired of winning, it feeds the pessimism and the political apathy. so it's really -- you know, it's a mess right now. the problem for republicans is if donald trump is the nominee, republicans lose if he wins and they lose if he loses. >> then what? it becomes "american idol" for presidency and then we see simon cowell out there. >> i'll tell you, i'll be in the caribbean when that happens. >> i've got to go. look out, ryan seacrest, you could be hosting who is the next president. thank you, guys. when we come back, the male pundits who say hillary clinton should smile more. clinton supporters are definitely not smiling about
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uh, no thanks. i have x1 from xfinity so... don't fall for directv. xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. what's wrong with this picture? does hillary clinton need to smile more? this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. one tv host tweeting that clinton should smile following her super tuesday victories. but that's got a lot of people up in arms including samantha bee, who tweeted this. "is this any way to treat a presidential candidate?" plus the other thing people are talking about tonight. the people v.o.j. simpson. it is a hit series. is this hit series on fx taking liberties with the story of the trial of the century? i want to begin with the news in the battle for the supreme court. president barack obama setting up a