tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN March 30, 2016 10:00pm-11:31pm PDT
outcry about criminalizing abortion and penalizing women who obtain them. the campaign trying to throw them down the memory hole just a few hours after. we're expected to be joined by hillary clinton, but first the latest from jim acosta who is in washington. take us through what happened today. the original comments from trump and the campaign kind of walking it back. >> reporter: anderson, donald trump adopted a very extreme position on abortion today only to walk it back just hours later. his comments came during an interview with msnbc earlier today when he said women who undergo abortions should be punished if the procedure were ever made illegal. and here's how he put it earlier today. >> should the woman be punished for having an abortion? >> look -- >> this is not something you can dodge. if you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under the law. should abortion be punished? >> well, people in certain parts
of the republican party and conservative republicans would say, yes, they should be punished. >> what about you? >> i would say that it's a very serious problem, and it's a problem we have to decide on. it's very -- >> you are for banning it? >> are you going to say put them in jail? the answer is that there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? >> yes. >> ten years? >> that i don't know. >> why? you take positions on everything else. >> i do take positions on everything else. it's a very complicated position. >> now at first to try to clean up those remarks his campaign put out a statement saying the matter should be left up to the states. then not too long after that, trump did a complete 180 releasing a statement saying it would be the doctors who would be punished, not women. now here's that statement. we can put that up. it says, quote, if congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal in the federal courts upheld this legislation or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any
other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. trump goes on to say the woman is a victim in this case, as is the life in her womb. my position, according to trump, has not changed. like ronald reagan, i am pro-life with exceptions but the damage may already be done. not only did trump's rivals slam his remarks on abortion saying you shouldn't punish women who undergo this procedure. he united both sides of this very hot button issue, both sides basically condemning donald trump on this issue earlier today. >> senator cruz came out pretty quickly as well. >> that's right. he did. and that's who donald trump has to worry about here in wisconsin. ted cruz is fairly far ahead of donald trump in the polls right now. there's another poll that came out today that showed ted cruz ahead by double digits. and ted cruz is leading among those christian conservatives very key in this state. this is a very big state when it comes to conservative catholic voters and cruz put out a
statement saying donald trump has demonstrated he has not seriously thought through these issues. that's essentially echoing what many anti-abortion rights activists were saying in their statements earlier today. so a very big gaffe for donald trump. not one that we see very often in that he actually reversed himself on that gaffe. usually he sticks to his guns, stands has ground and doesn't budge any further. that's not what we saw earlier. >> reversed himself and yet said he's not reversing himself, he doesn't change his position. karen tumulty with "the washington post," kristen soltis anderson, a republican pollster and columnist from the washington examiner. she's not my long lost cousin. and david gerson is here as well. karen, does this impact donald trump? his campaign quickly did try to come out with this same essentially trying to clarify what donald trump's position is.
>> donald trump supporters are so loyal to donald trump. it's hard to imagine somebody who was thinking about voting for him and has now decided they're not going to because of this. but it does, i think -- i think ted cruz was right. it shows he's not thought through the issue and abortion is such a mine field that he ended up sounding like the way pro-choice people caricature pro-life people. he found himself really twisted into a difficult spot. >> there's been this proliferation of issues that touch on women in many different ways. you have the heidi cruz retweet. you have this question on abortion. and you -- >> corey lewandowski. >> corey lewandowski. if you put them all together, the question is whether you reach a critical mass. when you have people undecided, and there are people who are
undecided, who would vote for cruz as opposed to trump. and i think that's what you're seeing in the polls in wisconsin. his gender numbers have flipped. >> karen, you wrote an article about corey lewandowski. does trump benefit? trump has tried to turn this into, i'm the kind of guy who stands by people. i'm a stand-up person and stand by my people. does that, you think, benefit him? >> i think that he and corey lewandowski have had a bond. they are essentially, you know, kindred spirits politically. and corey lewandowski has been very, very loyal to donald trump. and donald trump is going to be loyal to him. i really don't think there's a political calculation going on. but you do see him now turning it into a character issue. >> but he does have a gender gap issue. you see it in the wisconsin poll. and the release of that video is damning for lewandowski's case.
he says originally, i never touched her. when you hear donald trump talk about the nuanced issues in foreign policy, you can -- i'm not saying forgive him but you can understand why his language isn't right. he's new to politics. but as someone who was a democrat, then became an independent, now says he's a republican, there's a basic card you get. if you change your position on abortion, you have to know what to say. how do you define amnesty? what are your views on things? >> you think trump wants to continue talking about corey lewandowski rather than policy? >> i think this is his comfort zone, talking about controversy. talking about polling. this is a guy, i don't think, wants to talk about the federal reserve or education policy. wouldn't imagine that to be the case. i think he wants this. i think the most interesting response from the debate, the town hall last night, was him saying, i didn't start it.
he really believes that if he's counterpunching, he can do anything. any misogyny, any cruelty, any crudity. i think that's going to catch up with him eventually because that's not true with a national electorate eventually. this is a man who views masculinity, part of his definition of masculinity is bullying women. and i eventually think that women are not going to find that attractive. >> we saw a reversal of position on the abortion issue today, or reversal of his earlier comments at a town hall today. last night there were a number of contradictory statements. i want to play some of what we saw in realtime working through some issues. let's watch. >> it's been a u.s. policy for decades to prevent japan from getting nuclear weapons. >> that may be policy, but -- >> south korea as well. >> maybe it's going to have to be time to change. you have pakistan has it, china has it. so many other countries -- >> so some proliferation is okay? >> no, i hate proliferation.
wouldn't you rather have japan have nuclear weapons when north korea has nuclear weapons? >> you are saying you don't want more nuclear weapons in the world but you are okay with japan and south korea -- >> i don't want more nuclear weapons. >> in terms of federal government role, you say security and health care and education should be provided by the federal government. >> those are two of the things. >> aren't you against the federal government's involvement in education? don't you want it to devolve to state? >> i want it to go to state. i apologize to my wife for not being presidential on occasion. she's always saying, darling, be more presidential. >> she's told me she's talked to you about that. >> she thinks i'm very presidential. >> kristen, it's interesting to see him. i don't know if it's just he hasn't talked about these issues a lot, hasn't given a lot of thought to them or isn't a professional politician. he does work through this in front of everybody. >> this excuse that donald trump is not as well spoken because he's not a professional politician is just that. it's an excuse. his probably isn't that he says
um too much or looks nervous on the stump. his problem is that the answer to things he's making up on the fly that are not necessarily rooted in having studied the issues thoroughly, having a deep reservoir of experience on most of these issues. and that's really reflected. what's challenging for his opponents is none of this seems to matter to donald trump's supporters. there's a new poll experiment where they tested a variety of different things trump has said. when you tell them trump has said them his supporters will go from not supporting it to supporting it just because donald trump said it. he's got a license to say any range of statements and many of his supporters continue to stick by him. is that enough voters to get him wisconsin, states like california? enough delegates to get to the convention? and is it enough to get him a general election? that remains to be seen. >> jeffrey, are you concerned about wisconsin, about sort of a tide turning?
>> no. i mean, he may have a problem in wisconsin, but i do think the onward march continues. there's an underlying factor here that i think we're not taking any account. all of us here speak political language. the language of the political class if you will. most americans do not. and they are stick of it. and they view our world that i certainly have freely inhabited as elitist, as viewing average americans with contempt. they listen to donald trump and see somebody they believe is on their side. so when you get the kind of thoughts we're all having here, they look at this and roll their eyes and say, there they go again. >> right. >> but i do think there's a phenomenon with donald trump that i've never seen with any other politician. when you talk to somebody who supports them, they'll say i support him because he says what i think and then you ask that same person about some outrageous comment and they'll say, well, he didn't mean that.
>> they'll make excuses. >> it is the ability to sort of -- he's got this ability to sort of make people comfortable with those two simultaneous contradictory ideas. and i have never seen that before in a politician. >> but donald trump's problem is that he has not, at this point in the race, where he's the clear front-runner, has not been able to consolidate his support the way a usual front-runner would consolidate his support at this point in the race. and that's because of what melania keeps talking about, i guess, to donald trump, which is the sort of presidential issue. and the commander in chief issue. and i think voters maybe in the state of wisconsin as you go down the line, maybe more questions are being raised. i don't know the answer to that because donald trump supporters are so solid, as karen is pointing out, so solid and so in his camp, that they are not going to be persuaded against him. >> is the march continuing?
i don't know if we know. wisconsin has a big say in that. he need 55.3% of the remaining delegates. if he gets shut out of wisconsin and if ted cruz wins by ten points. and then it's by congressional district. if he gets shut out, he'll need 58%. every time he loses that's number gets greater and the probability of an open convention gets greater. >> you've heard newt gingrich, he's pretty favorable and ann coulter of all people, complaining he can't make the shift or pivot to become more presidential. he's mental actually, ann coulter said. that's a fairly big switch. he can't make that transition. he is who he is. and i don't think we're going to see people who expect a different donald trump are going to be perpetually disappointed. >> it's always about him. look at hillary clinton. she's already pivoted and running ads against donald trump.
donald trump isn't doing anything about her. he's caught in his own scandals and even he probably thinks that's a good thing when everyone else around him sees that's bad. >> hold this thought. we'll pick it up after the break and talk about more of the headlines from our 360 town hall. and speaking to hillary clinton. she joins us shortly as well with her reaction to trump's abortion controversy. more on that and what karen tumulty has been reporting on the corey lewandowski controversy. and later, wisconsin and the democrats and the new poll which shows bernie sanders in the lead. wrely on the us postal service? because when they ship with us, 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.
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so much of what the political world is buzzing about comes from our 360 republican town hall last night in milwaukee. all three candidates backing out of their signed pledge to support whoever wins the nomination to some probing questions from the voters. before we go any further, here are some of the key moments. >> if donald trump is the gop nominee, would you support him? >> donald is not going to be the gop nominee. we're going to beat him. >> he doesn't have to support me. i'm not asking for support. >> do you plan -- >> i want the people's support. >> do you continue to pledge whoever the republican nominee is? >> no, i don't anymore. >> you don't? you aren't ironclad standing by the initial pledge to support whoever the nominee is? >> all of us shouldn't have answered that question. it was the first debate and what the heck. >> after saying you were going to spill the beans about heidi cruz you retweeted an unflattering picture next to your wife.
>> you are 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. >> i didn't start it. no, it's not. >> the argument of -- >> you would say that. that's the problem with our country. >> every parent knows the kid who says he started it. >> in your opinion, what are the top three functions of the united states government. >> the greatest function of all is security for our nation. i would also say health care, education. i would say the top three are security, security, security. nato is obsolete. >> donald trump says nato is obsolete. is it? >> of course it's not. that's absurd. >> what it means is that we target the enemy. there's a difference between islam and islamism. >> you did talk about patrolling muslim neighborhoods -- >> sure. >> and a lot of folks, you kept saying that worked in new york
but they made the police stop that. new york police have pushed back on that. chief bratton said that's complete bunk. >> if you want to stop radical islamic terrorism, the answer isn't to go hang out in random neighborhoods. it's instead to focus on neighborhoods where radicalization is a risk. >> do you trust muslims in america? >> many of them i do and some of them, i guess we don't. >> we'll have a religious test on who comes in the country. are you a muslim? come on, anderson. that's not going to work. >> quite a night. quite a conversation starter. back wither panel. it is interesting, john, to see donald trump reverse himself or have contradictory statements about nuclear proliferation. he's against nuclear proliferation, but for japan, south korea, developing nuclear weapons, which is against longstanding u.s. policy.
>> longstanding u.s. policy and the deals of the security arrangements. the u.s. will take care of that. is he right to say we had this conversation when he made the comment on the remaining five about nato. did the other countries put up their fair share? it's been a conversation since the berlin wall came down, which is what are their roles? i think some of the criticism is unfair. some of these other issues it's just clear he's not briefed on what current u.s. policy is or if you want to change -- if you go back and read the conversation last night in "the new york times" and interview on foreign policy, i think any political consultant would tell you or any leadership school would teach you if you want to change so much, you better lead the people and give them an idea. he just says these things and in so many of them are just outside of the box that sometimes you just get dizzy trying to read them all. >> one of the things that makes him unique.
i enjoy talking to him. i like interviewing him because you can ask him things that another politician, a practiced politician would not answer or, at least would not sort of think out loud in front of other people. >> and he does answer. and i completely give him credit for that. i think the issue is that sometimes it's a stream of consciousness answer. and on the issue of the top three, you know, the top three things the government should do, security, of course, but then naming health care and education are not exactly conservative orthodoxy. >> and against his own policies. he want it to go to the states. >> common core, big issue. obamacare, big issue. not the role of the government. when given a chance and to say this should devolve to the states. oh, yeah, i would take it to the states. so it's kind of like he's thinking as he goes along and while on the one hand you say, at least he's honest, on the one hand you think a presidential candidate who wants to take the country somewhere ought to have thought these things through
before. >> the concern among people who do not support donald trump as president, the entire world hangs on your words and the words affect financial markets. the words you use affect, you know, countries around the world. and so as president, would he be more measured? can he be more measured? jeffrey, you've worked in the white house. can he be more measured in the use of his language? >> if you look at the aipac speech. you can agree or disagree with the substance of it. i thought that was a very presidential -- >> he was reading off a teleprompter. to. >> to the point exactly, he's learning as he goes. he's never done this in his life. this is clearly what's resonating with people out there. so, sure. i think he can. i have to say, every one of these candidates has become better at this. even the professionals who have been running. as we've gone along here. he has vastly improved as he's gone along. >> a good speech writer.
>> he's had two big interviews now with "the washington post" editorial board and "the new york times" supporters. he's proposing massive changes in american security policy based on epic endurance. this is someone who, where i have a friend who is a teacher at stanford university says, this is how a freshman sounds when they haven't done their reading, or their homework. he wants to blow up our alliance system. blow up the world trading order. blow up the anti-proliferation order. if you're going to do these things, these massive things, you need to know what you're talking about. he just doesn't display that kind of knowledge that would be the foundation for charges that large. >> were you surprises to hear all the candidates on the stage last night say that whole pledge of supporting whoever the nominee is is null and void? >> it doesn't surprise me. in large part because i always felt it was silly in the first place to expect that donald trump was going to. if they treat me fairly, i'll
never run as a third party candidate. that was always a very interesting clause there. whether it's that statement or the i promise i'll endorse the republican nominee, i always felt that was a little silly. it was waiting for the moment people would break away from it. we've gotten to a point where it's not just donald trump differs from the other folks on the stage on one or two policy or stylistic issues. the sorts of issue he's disagrees with not only members of his own party but the electorate at large are serious issues of national security. and that's the thing the president has most control over. domestic policy you have to go through congress and put together a consensus. >> kristen, i'm sorry. >> this is why the pledge is so inconsequential. what is more important? keeping a silly promise you made to the rnc or potentially backing someone who poses such a massive threat to our government? >> except this is, once again, proof the rnc's only gun that
they have backfires because they came up with that pledge to essentially mix my metaphors, put handcuffs on donald trump and keep him in the tent and now it's all the other guys trying to take those handcuffs off. secretary hillary clinton shortly ahead. also donald trump standing by his campaign manager. what do we know about his campaign manager? the battery charges not corey lewandowski's first brush. ♪ he has a sharp wit. a winning smile. and no chance of getting an athletic scholarship. and that is why you invest. the best returns aren't just measured in dollars.
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welcome back. we're just make something final technical arrangements to speak with candidate hillary clinton. let's check in with john king while we do that. what are you looking at? >> i'll give you some democratic numbers. in wisconsin right now, bernie sanders comes out of the weekend with some momentum. he's won five out of the last six. the marquette poll shows senator sanders with a slight lead, 49% to 45%. that's within the poll's margin of error. you could call this a statistical tie. there have been questions about how hard hillary clinton is willing to fight for wisconsin. she was in new york state today focusing on the state where she was senator, the state she always home although she is heading back there for the weekend. very interesting. a fight for momentum. the delegate math still favors hillary clinton. if bernie sanders can win wisconsin, it will give him a bit of a boost in the democratic race. >> in new york they're committing resources and money there, the clinton campaign,
they probably would have liked to commit elsewhere. >> that's probably true. one other thing from this wisconsin poll, she goes back this weekend. bernie sanders is now making the case, and he's going to new york as well. he'll fight for new york. he'd like to debate there, too. bernie sanders in wisconsin can make the case that he's the more electable democrat in the fall. look at these numbers versus donald trump, bernie is up 19 points. verse u.s. cruz in wisconsin, up 13 points. versus john kasich, a statistical tie but plus two. 19, 13 and 2. look at hillary clinton. she beats donald trump by two but is in a tie with cruz and loses to kasich. hillary clinton, who came into this race saying i'm much more electable than bernie sanders, it's late march, again, senator sanders has not faced the national scrutiny secretary clinton has. at the moment she's weaker against cruz and trump and
kasich in wisconsin. >> that's one of the things the clinton campaign has been saying. not only has he not faced national scrutiny but there haven't been large organizations donating resources, money running negative ads against him which the clinton campaign would point out they have against secretary clinton. >> she's been on the national stage longer. she is well known to voters. republicans have been helping republican-funded superpacs have been spending attack ads against her and senator sanders has not been vetted over the years as secretary clinton has been. those are all fair points. sometimes politics is won in the moment. and he gets a lot of spice and joys in rallies when he incites numbers like this. remember when i came into this race how far behind i was. at the moment he can make the case he's stronger. >> joining us by phone is the democratic front-runner, form secretary of state, hillary clinton. thanks for being with us. you expressed outrage after donald trump's initial comments on abortion today.
he put out a statement saying if federal or state laws were changed to make them illegal, the woman would be considered the victim. the person who performed the abortion would be held liable. what do you make of that distinction? >> not very much. this is about whether abortion is legal and whether women make our own health care choice. it's very clear that donald trump wants to repeal that fundamental right, just like all the other republican candidates. and when he was asked whether women should be punished, he said yes. and that is absolutely unacceptable. it is outrageous. >> do you think he simply misspoke or do you think he hadn't really looked at the issue and that's what he actually believes? >> well, let's be clear. all of the republican candidates want to make abortion illegal. john kasich has defunded planned parenthood in ohio. ted cruz opposes abortion in all
cases with no exception for rape and incest. they all want to dictate a woman's reproductive health care decisions. so, you know, the choice is really clear. the republicans all line up together. now maybe they aren't quite as open about it as donald trump was earlier today, but they all have the same position. and if you make abortion a crime, you make it illegal, then you make women and doctors criminals. >> one of the big pushbacks from republicans has been against the suggestion that the gop is engaged in some sort of war on women, which is a phrase that democrats have used against them. do you intend to double down on that argument? will you use this new controversy about trump, his statements, to criticize the republican field more broadly? >> well, i think it's a real reminder of the stakes in this election. and i think women and men, in
fact, all americans, need to pay attention to this as well as a lot of the other claims that the republicans have been making. why is it, i ask myself, republican candidates want limited government except when it comes to intruding on women's health. women should be free to make the very personal decisions for ourselves, and, you know, people better stand up and protect that right and all our other rights before the republicans do more to erode them and take them away. >> you are aware i'm sure of the controversy surrounding donald trump's campaign manager corey lewandowski. when you see that video, is that part of the narrative against women? do you think this says something? because even some of his challengers on the republican side have tried to link this to his leadership, to what it says about his campaign. >> well, i think it is clear that, as i've said numerous
times in the past, he has been provoking actions by his followers and those who attend his big events. he's been inciting aggressive behavior. he's been applauding violence. he, you know, said he would pay the legal fees of the man at his rally who punched the protester who was on his way out. you go through the last months and there's just a lot of evidence. his behavior has been inciting violence. >> you are obviously trying to fend off a primary challenge from senator sanders. you have this new ad up in new york that clearly takes aim at donald trump, criticizing him for his views on immigration, violence at some of the rallies. that would seem to indicate you believe, obviously, he'll be the person you're going to be running against. you obviously will be the nominee. how much do you want to pivot
toward donald trump now in this campaign, even though you're still facing a tough battle from senator sanders? >> look, i'm going to keep focused on the primary. i'm going to go after every vote in every contest that i can possibly earn. but i also think it's important not to stand silent when republican candidates say some of the offensive and dangerous things they've been talking about, whether it's barring all muslims from coming to our country or racially profiling muslim neighborhoods in our country, or, in this case, taking a shot at women's rights in a way that is really troubling. so i don't think we should allow those kinds of comments to go
unanswered. and you know, anderson, it struck me that all of this turmoil in the republican party about who is their nominee, no other republican candidate really took on donald trump because they fundamentally agree with him. and the issues that he is hitting upon. and i think this latest incident demonstrates that. and i just want americans to understand what the stakes are and to be really alert to what the consequences of this election could be. >> just a final question. you're in new york campaigning. a new poll out in wisconsin shows senator sanders leading you 49% to 45% in wisconsin, within the margin of error. are you at all concerned about how wisconsin may turn out for you? even though the delegate math is in your favor that senator
sanders could have a resurgence that takes this all the way to the convention. >> i'm going to fight hard in wisconsin. i'll be going back there over the weekend. it is within the margin of error. we're going to, you know, do everything we can to do well there. but i know we've got a lot of contests ahead of us. i feel good about where i am. i've gotten more votes than anybody. 9 million votes. a million more than donald trump. 2.5 million more than bernie sanders. i have a significant lead in delegates, pledged delegates, which is actually more than senator obama ever had over me in the '08 election. i'm looking forward to the upcoming election, the primaries that we'll be competing in. and i feel very good about my chances to obtain the
nomination. but as i say, i'm going to run my campaign. i'm going to do everything i can to draw the contrast between me and senator sanders. but i'm proud of the campaign that is being run on the democratic side. yes, we have -- in a campaign, you should point those out. we share a lot of the same goals. but we have different ideas about how to, you know, get there and how to help people get real results in their lives. but compared to the republicans nominating process, a real, i think, tribute to the democratic party for the kind of election we are running against each other. >> secretary clinton, thank you for talking with us tonight. we'll be back in a moment with reaction from the panel.
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a moment ago, democratic front-runner hillary clinton made her thoughts plain on what donald trump said today about abortion and how the other republican candidates have dealt with the trump phenomenon. back with our panel. secretary clinton sees an opportunity here to make as much hay as possible about donald trump's abortion. >> she's going to make it -- one of two things will happen. donald trump will win the nomination and she'll run against him or donald trump will not win the nomination and she'll make whoever wins the
nomination has donald trump and run against that. >> clearly trying to paint donald trump to represent the entire gop. >> she took on john kasich. >> saying they are all the same. >> this all gets to the part of the problem here. a lot of people in the base of the republican party have. they think their nominee, mitt romney, et cetera, don't fight back. most certainly, donald trump fights back. that's one of the things they like about him. that's what would be so interesting in a campaign against him. >> the other candidates didn't go after trump early on because they all essentially agree with donald trump. on many issues they do not agree with donald trump and there were other reasons they didn't -- >> she's doing what donald trump should be doing now as a long standing front-runner in the republican party. she's running against the republican party. the republicans haven't figured out how to run against the democrats. i'm noticing how free she was in that interview. she did a phoner for a primetime cable show to capitalize on news of the day.
this is hillary clinton giving lightning speed compared to maybe a few months ago where she was still uncomfortable. she's capitalizing on donald trump's mistake so quickly. this is a good preview of how formidable she'll be. >> let's play briefly what she -- some of her -- what she just said before the break. >> this is about whether abortion is legal and whether women make our own health care choices. it's very clear that donald trump wants to repeal that fundamental right. just like all the other republican candidates. and when he was asked whether women should be punished, he said yes. and that is absolutely unacceptable. it is outrageous. no other republican candidate really took on donald trump because they fundamentally agree with him. and the issues that he is hitting upon.
and i think this latest incident demonstrates that. >> it's also interesting, kristen, she's clearly pivoting away from the individual comments of donald trump about women should be held responsible, should be punished, and his backtracking on that. and basically enlarging it out to the issue of abortion in america and keeping abortion legal in america which is a much broader issue and one that probably has more resonance beyond just today's news cycle and trump's comments. >> for the last couple of years, democrats have started to believe in the culture wars, this is an issue trending their way. if you look at polling, america is more divided than that. it's not a clear slam dunk issue for the democrats. you have a lot of republicans running for re-election in the senate in blue states. states like new hampshire and ohio, wisconsin. places where the democrats believe that not only do the demographics of a presidential year favor them but if they really push on some of these divisive issues and link
republican candidates, in my view, unfairly, to the rhetoric of donald trump, not only can hillary clinton win the white house but pick up a significant number of houses in the senate. >> if you have a trump/hillary clinton race, there will be a lot of groups in the republican coalition that are loosely attached to the republican side. including some that are concerned about social justice and may not have completely pro-choice views. they have been pushed away from the democratic party in recent elections. you used to have governor casey of pennsylvania and others who were pro-life democrats. there was some voice for those views in that party. if they could re-establish that, i think they could mix up politics in a way that would be very favorable to the democratic party. >> thanks on the panel. conservative talk radio in wisconsin is buzzing. i'll talk with someone from the #nevertrump movement who interviewed trump just a few days ago.
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task on issues a few days ago. really fascinating interview you did with donald trump. ted cruz has a ten points lead. what do you think is behind that because last month trump was leading in the state. >> if you look at the numbers, his numbers are solid. donald trump has been about 30%, which means 70% of the republicans have been anti-trump. what's happening is that the field has been narrowed and it's now coalescing around ted cruz. that's the interesting point is that voters in wisconsin are sal engaged. now they're made the decision that they're willing to get behind the one candidate who can beat him. i think that the margin may be ev even greater next tuesday.
>> do you think he has a problem with women voters and how do his comments today about abortion play with women. >> we have a tradition here in wisconsin of civility. he is deeply under water with women. in south eastern wisconsin where most of the votes are going to be cast, has a 24% approval rating. that is being driven by conservative women in part who are -- they are repelled about his attitude toward women. i have to give you a shout out on his juvenile response. it's about time that people begin to point out that a man who wants to be president of the united states is so juvenile. >> i was reading a transcript of
the interview you did today because you pointed that out first. i think you said it was a 12-year-old's comments. it was the same kind of point. you say something really interesting and i was thinking about this last night during this town hall, the decency and the kind of civility, just in that audience last night i was struck by is that a hallmark that you find in wisconsin because i was really struck by just how gracious the audience members were with the candidates, with me and with everybody. >> it's very much a part. we're not minnesota nice necessarily and it doesn't mean twha we're not strong. at one time i said on my show that scott walker should be more like chris christie. i regret that now. in his book scott walker
explained why i was wrong and why that wouldn't play in wisconsin. people like paul ryan and scott walker and other leaders here in wisconsin always try to have a certain level of decorum. so there's a real jar when someone like trump comes in. that's why i asked are you going to start being gracious and what struck me was he is never going to apologize and listening to your interview last night he's not going to apologize or change his message after it turns out to be embarrassing. here is a man that wants to be president of the united states playground bully.ound like a - trust me, voters in wisconsin who are very engaged have been paying attention to this for a long time which is why he's under water and why he's going to lose next week. >> charlie sykes, it's good to have you on. thanks very much.
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there has never been a candidate like donald trump. listen to this. >> do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle? >> the answer is there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? >> yeah, there has to be some form. >> this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. since donald trump said that, he put out a statement it's doctors that should be punished, not women. his supporters say he's telling it like it is. is the gop front-runner making it up as he goes along. here is exactly what donald trump said to msnbc tonight about abortion. >> this is not something you can dodge. if you say abortion is crime or is murder, should women be punished?
>> people in certain parts of the republican party would say yes. >> how about you? >> i would say it's a very serious problem. >> you say you want to ban it. how do you ban abortion? how do you actually do it in. >> you'll go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places -- >> yeah. >> but you have to ban it. >> you ban it. they go to somebody who flunked out of medical school. >> do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principal? >> the answer is there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? >> yes. >> what kind of punishment is this. >> i don't know. >> he says women who have abortions should be subjected to some form of punishment and they puts out a statement saying this: "if congress were to pass
legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld the legislation or any state with permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. like ronald reagan, i am pro life without exception. >> how listen to what he said about nato last night. >> let me tell you, nato is obsolete. it is many countries, it doesn't cover terrorism. it covers the soviet union, which is no longer in existence. and the other thing that's bad about nato, we're paying too much. >> way too far for a lot of people, including one republican congressman. >> for donald trump to say this
blew me away. i had to confirm it for myself because i couldn't believe it. it's one thing to say the allies need to spend more on defense but at a time when you have russia tearing up ukraine, occupying a third of georgia, really from the latvia, estonia, lithuania countries, this is not a time to send a message we need to back out of nato. >> and what about nuclear weapon? >> you have no problem with japan and north korea having nuclear weapons? >> at some point we have to say we're better off if -- >> south korea? >> absolutely. >> you'd be fine with them having nuclear weapons? >> not nuclear weapons. they have to pay us or protect themselves. >> if you say it's fine to japan and saudi arabia says we want them, too. >> can i be honest with you?
it's going to happen anyway. it's only a question of time. they're going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely. >> experts absolutely blasting trump on that. listen to what one of them says to our own pamela brown. >> every president has tried to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. no exception. >> good evening, gloria. there's only one way to describe mr. trump's comments on abortion. it's a bombshell. should be we surprised when he's made seemingly outlandish statements on issues before is this. >> people who support donald trump aren't supporting him because they believe in him. they're supporting him because they believe he is strong, number one.
number two, donald trump clearly and you saw in the town hall last night and i think you saw in that clip on msnbc, there is a sort of stream of consciousness when it comes to policy on donald trump. his view on abortion, he say now that he is pro-life. he said it's the deeply held beliefs of some conservatives that the woman should be punished. that is not the case. conservatives believe that the woman should not be punished, they believe the doctor should be punished. it kind of ironic here. i think donald trump was trying to appeal to conservatives in the party who are pro-life and he ended up alienating they within a nano second they were out there with press releases saying this is not what we believe.
>> does this validate the base saying donald trump isn't a real republican, he doesn't know what the platform is. >> no. donald trump sat down with chris matthews. in her 25 years of public life, hillary clinton has never sat down with anyone half as liberal as donald trump is. >> hugh, this is not about hillary clinton. >> no, but it's about the campaign. >> we're going to talk about that. >> i am. >> that's my next question. can we keep it about donald trump? >> i am. >> it doesn't bolster the republican side of the party -- >> hugh, let's stick to donald trump and then we'll get to the hillary clinton part it have? >> don, you can't separate donald from hillary clinton. >> hugh, donald trump's comments
are donald trump east comments. hillary clinton's comments are hillary clinton's comments. >> so you don't believe it bolsters -- >> that is unfair to donald trump. >> that's not unfair to donald trump. >> hugh, i'm not going to that. >> the idea that a presidential campaign can be reduced to sound bites on an issue as important as pro life -- i've been pro life my entire life. and the idea that the debate can be reduced to this issue without bringing up the fact that -- >> i'm going to bring up hillary clinton. you're moving ahead in the textbook. i wanted your response on donald trump. >> it goes this way. hillary clinton is playing this like a violin because the media abets her in doing so. >> hillary clinton is playing this like a violin because
donald trump made the statement. the conservatives were the ones who jumped on it before hillary clinton and you're bringing hillary clinton into it. why can't you stick to the conservative side and then we'll get to hillary clinton? >> don, i'm going to stand my ground here. i'm not going to be pushed around on this because the answer is hillary. donald trump hurt himself last night because he showed in a debate with hillary clinton he's not as prepared as other candidates to answer either liberal media advocates like chris matthews or even nonpartisan advocates like you. he doesn't have the practice. hillary jumped on him like that even though she's never gone in harm's way of a serious question. does the conservative base then say, hmm, even if i like donald trump he's going to get ground up because hillary will hit him every time he makes a statement? >> so donald trump's comments are hillary clinton's fault? >> i think hugh is right in the
sense that hillary clinton has pivoted smartly, i think, to the general election. and she spoke with anderson cooper tonight about this and said that, you know, all republicans agree with donald trump. and she is trying to lump every republican in with donald trump on every single issue, not just simply this particular issue. and i think if i were a democratic candidate running for office, i would take advantage of it, too. the problem the republican party has right now is they've got three people running and they're in a very divisive battle and they can't take aim at the democrats right now because they're in a circular firing squad. >> let's listen to what hillary clinton said when she called into anderson cooper about the abortion comment. >> the choice is really clear.
the republicans all line up together. now, maybe they aren't quite as open about it as donald trump was earlier today, but they all have the same position. if you make abortion a crime, you make it illegal, then you make women and doctors criminals. >> there up go, gloria. >> the two other republican candidates came out very quickly and disagreed with donald trump on the question whether women should be punished. so if that's hillary clinton is referring to, then she's not right. the other candidates are pro-life. and she is correct on that. but the republican candidates have not had any problem in disagreeing with donald trump on this question or on other questions such as nato, which is a clip you ran earlier. i think john kasich said that trump was absurd on that.
i'm not sure if that's the direct quote from our town hall. but republican candidates aren't lining up behind donald trump on issue after issue. is there the first person i saw that came out with statement was ted cruz. it says once again donald trump has demonstrated he hasn't seriously thought through the issue and he'll say anything just to get attention on the important issue of the sanctity of life. being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child, it's also about the mother and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life. of course we shouldn't be talking about punishing women. we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift that they have to bring life into the world. hugh, he's saying the same thing that hillary clinton is say, that donald trump has given ammunition to the republicans in his party who do not like him and to hillary clinton, to the democratic side. that's my point here.
but he is responsible for his own statements. ted cruz is not responsible for his statements. and hillary clinton is not responsible for donald trump's statements. >> she is responsible for misrepresenting the pro-life movement. it's simply a fabrication and a lie to say everyone agrees with donald trump before he walked his statement back. can you go to the archbishop of philadelphia, there is not one that will agree with what donald trump said last night, which is why he walked it back. hillary clinton called into anderson, lied about what -- she won't even debate bernie sanders. while the national media is dumping down on donald trump, they won't even address hillary clinton. >> does he fundamentally not understand what pro-life is about because he was originally
pro-choice? >> he does not fundamentally understand yet how aggressively left wing the national news media is and how someone like chris matthews, who is very practiced and very skilled will use opportunities like that not in good faith to explore what he in good faith believes but to embarrass and taunt him and hillary is smart enough never to go near someone who is skilled enough to ask her, for example, you called on corey lewandowski to resign, are you going to call on huma abedin to resign? >> when i get to hillary clinton, if i feel that question is warranted, i will ask her that. mr. trump said controversial statements about nuclear weapons. >> i would never take any of my cards off the table. >> how about europe? >> i won't take my cards off -- >> you might use nuclear weapons
in europe? >> no. i'm just saying -- >> i'm just saying. are you going to use it in europe? >> i'm not taking any cards off the table. >> the sane people hear you and the insane people are not affected by your statements. >> i think they're more affected than you might think. >> okay, your call. >> does he know enough about the issue to be president or is this another clever question by chris matthews, who is trying to trip him up? >> absolutely in the latter category. go ahead, gloria. i'm sorry. >> journalists have different styles. chris was very aggressive in questioning him. i think anderson was aggressive as well. as people begin to look at a candidate like donald trump, here talks about how he's against nuclear proliferation but he wanted japan and south korea to potentially have a nuke, right? and i think that people are
starting to raise questions about whether these ideas are thought through, whether donald trump needs to sort of huddle with some senior policy advisers and try and talk about the policy that he think he's believes because they're very complex and he hasn't been on this stage before and, you know, as people start to make a decision about commander in chief, they start raising these kind of questions as you go into the later primaries. and i think one of the reasons that donald trump has not been able to consolidate his support the way you see a front-runner of his status, and he is a clear front-runner, consolidate support towards later primaries is because there are these lingering questions about what he believes and what he knows. and i think the commander in chief question is a very big
question out there. >> thank you, hugh, thank you, gloria. see you next time. >> coming up, will this latest controversy change anybody's mind or their vote for that matter? at mfs investment management, we believe in the power of active management. by debating our research to find the best investments. by looking at global and local insights to benefit from different points of view. and by consistently breaking apart risk to focus on long-term value. we actively manage with expertise and conviction. so you can invest with more certainty. mfs. that's the power of active management.
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people on both sides of the abortion debate are up in arms about his comments about punishing women who have illegal abortions, even though he walked that back. >> kellyanne conway is from the super pac supporting ted cruz. kayleigh mcenany, i want to start with you. >> should the woman be punished for having an abortion. if you say abortion is a crime or is murder, you have to deal with it under the law. should abortion be punished? >> people in certain parts of the republican party or conservative parts would say yes, they should be punished. >> how about you? >> i would say it's a very serious problem and it's a problem we have to decide on. >> you're for banning it.
>> are you going to say put them in jail? >> the answer is there has to be some form of punishment. >> ten minutes or ten years? >> i don't know. >> you take positions on everything else. >> i do take positions on everything else. it's a ve complicated position. >> so donald trump clarifying saying it's the doctor that should be punished. did he mean what he said at 3 3:00 or a couple of hours later? which one does he believe? >> when you are on tv for hours and hours on end, you will say things, will you make mistakes. get what, we're all fallible, we're human beings. but the reaction on the part of the media any time he stumbles and furthermore the specific effort on the part of chris matthews to get him to say something wrong, he asked the question four or five times
until he got donald trump to say what he wanted. that is how you get card board cookie cutter candidates like hillary clinton, who refuse and stonewall media for the first five months of her campaign granting just two national television interviews, that is what makes a cardboard candidate, who makes the media who is going to vociferously come after you. i think that needs to change or you're going to get candidates who are afraid to come on national television. >> margaret, you've been on national television a lot. sometimes you can't get out from your own words if you come on and you're tired. i will give her that. that's a fair response. >> kayleigh understands the first amendment. we have a free press for a reason. you need a free and vigorous and thoughtful and dogged press to go after candidates for
transparency. that's what the whole point is. how else do we hold our elected leaders accountable if there is not transparency. if you're not a sophisticated candidate and you can't answer questions from the press, maybe you shouldn't be able to be president of the state. you have to be able to take on chris matthews. he's a strong man, donald trump. he should be able to take on chris matthews. >> and nobody is going to throw any candidate soft balls. >> look at anderson cooper. he was tough but never rude. if you want to be commander in chief, president of the free world, you're going to be asked tough questions. those pro-life causes don't need four, five times to get it right. they need one time to get it right. if you're a pro-lifer, there are two victims, the woman and her unborn child. they are of a single mind. and many of them feel that their
work over many decades was upended. it's disingenuous to say this is how they all feel. let's be honest, kayleigh. mr. trump has gotten $2 billion worth of free media questions. if you live by the media questions, sometimes up have to die by the media questions and today is just not a good day for the home team. >> sometimes you have to remove the pro-choices and hillary can now demagogue the issue telling people that not only do republicans want to force you into a dark alley, but they also want to put vulnerable women in jail, too. so this is the point i was trying to make with hugh. has he handed hillary clinton a gift here?
are we going to start seeing this in ads now? >> absolutely. look, liberals and democrats want nothing more than to run this war on women campaign. we've seen this a couple of election cycles now. donald trump has handed hillary clinton a cudgel. it's so obvious, it's exactly what any smart politician would do. kudos to hillary in terms of -- i think it's despicable in terms of the demagoguery, but in terms of being an aggressive politician in terms of calling in, that's what you do. donald trump is not ready for primetime. he's a smart guy, a quick guy,
hasn't how the through these issues. he's susceptible to this. there's going to be collateral damage in hurts the cause of the pro-life movement and it's going to hurt other candidate, too. >> it's not just the media, it not just hillary clinton, it not just democrats, republicans are going at him, too. this is from the party of ted cruz "don't overthink it: trump doesn't understand the pro-life position. >> if the bulls eye wasn't on donald trump, we would be talking about cruz's proposal to send patrols into muslim neighborhoods. cruz is putting his target on trump. but he needs to be careful. if trump was out of this, the media target would be on cruz. so i wish he would be on one team on this issue rather than
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