tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 17, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
joining me is maeve reston and phillip bump. donald trump can get to that number of 1,237 delegates. california is key. can he win california? >> he can but if you win california, you only get 13 delegates. it's going to be fought up and down the state in each of three congressional districts. he has to win seven more congress an districts, could be any more in the state, could be a late night watching returns. >> so he can but it going to be tough? >> it's going to be tough no matter what. >> religious leaders and conservatives gathered to plot a strategy to stop donald trump. what's the most realistic path in your mind? >> i think the question here is
whether or not donald trump can win this outright, as we all were just saying, whether ted cruz still can. he's got a very tough path to did that. it is looking increasingly more and more like we are going to so a contested convention because you have all of this anti-trump money consolidating with the ads that we saw before super tuesday earlier this week and now the conservative gathering that you're talking about, eric eriksson, formerly of red state.com, meeting with conservatives today, putting together a call for a unity ticket. there's discussion about whether that would look like ted cruz and john kasich. it's not clear exactly what. the fact that you have this republican establishment and these very passionate donors pouring this money into an anti-trump efforts and conservative activists coming in from the other side, i think it will make it a very interesting couple of months.
but, you know, it's very possible that we could end up having this be fought out in california as phillip was just talking about. how amazing is that that we're talking about going all the way to california? >> everyone thought it would, over by now, right? >> yeah. >> marco rubio says he is not interested in being vice president, but that would be one way to start consolidating support. could he change his mind or possibly endorse cruz, phillip? >> he could. there's been some rumblings he may endorse cruise. i don't know that marco rubio has a lot of value at this point. he just got clobbered in his own state. i think his base of support has already gone to a non-trump candidate anyway today. >> did you see lindsay graham today? was it shock for you to see him
endorse ted cruz in. >> if we're talking about how marco rubio doesn't have a lot of support to give, graham has endorsed two losers in a row, jeb bush and himself. >> i would disagree with that. i do think that marco rubio in some of the earlier contests did scoop up a fair number of delegates. i think that what would be important here is if he does end up leaning towards cruz, that may be an endorsement in the offing there, whether or not there were a lot of people who were still undecided in the states to come were kind of thinking about trump but then starting to get cold feet about trump, whether an endorsement more marco rubio behind ted cruz could make those people start second guessing their dee signatures.
that was the whole goal of the anti-trump money was to not necessarily knock out donald trump by last tuesday night but continually freeze that group in the middle of the republican party that is not sure about him yet. those voters who think he's amusing but don't feel strongly about him one way or another. and the goal was to continue kind of flattening out his delegate count so you could take it to a contested convention. it you have people like rubio and cruz coming together, you very well could bring a lot of those voters who are starting to look at trump as more of a threat, who would not be good for the country and the white house. >> that whole squeezing out thing, i was watching on tuesday. i was like, well, that didn't work. does it seem to be working? either of you. >> think about the amount of time that all of these donors is been putting this money into defining trump, though. the thing that's so amazing is that the republican establishment did not see this
coming last fall, did not plot a strategy about what his biggest donors were. getting through march 15th, if they could just do a little more time, they could define donald trump on his bankruptcies, his business dealings, trying to cast him as the corporate titan who worked the system at the cost of the little guy. i don't know honestly whether or not we've seen enough of that money sinking in yet. i think that it really could be a factor the further on and on you go. can you look at what happened to mitt romney, for example, in 2012. it took a little bit of time to define him. >> he's not mitt romney. this is not 2012. this is a whole different thing. >> but -- >> i'm sit heariting here wonde where have these people been? i've been sitting here at this
anchor desk watching and all of a sudden people are like, oh, my god, what happened? >> he'll say something crazy and he start losing votes and contests. donald trump has already been defined. i'm a winner, everybody lies about me all the time. when people from the establishment put up ads saying donald trump is bad, he already defined himself. >> thank you, guys. some jewish leaders are planning to protest donald trump's speech monday to the israel's political affairs committee. rabi rabbi, how are you doing? you're planning to boycott trump's speech on monday.
why? go. >> we're doing something more complicated that that. we're simply say we go support ath apac, we want to discourage more aggressive responses that our jews are planning. apac has a right to invite donald trump has an they have every other candidate, they are hospitable to trump, but we are not hospitable to his message. >> mr. trump has said many things that people find offensive, right? they say his words offend him. but he's clearly said he supports israel and says he will support israel. what offends you about his views? >> how much time do we have here? he has said hateful and demeaning things about women,
mexicans, and he has mischievously suggested there will be physical violence at the convention if he is denied the nomination. he has made statements he wants to weakenen our libel laws. one aspect of zionism is to stand up for jewish values. we're not seeing that in donald trump. >> do you think he's anti-semitic? >> absolutely not. he has daughter that has converted to judaism. he has jewish friends. he grew up with jews. i think he's just insensitive. he has captured the imagination of people who are bona fide
hatersb haters, but this is a larger conversation about the fact that he's anti-semitic. we have think more broadly than that. >> when you said he's attracted the attention of hateful people, he's refused to immediately disavow the kkk, he said he didn't quite hear it and he disavowed david duke. some people have accused him to cozying up to racists. do you believe that? >> he's either cozying up to them or he's not vociferouslyy fusing their support. i want donald trump to say at apac, i do not want the support of these bigots. i reject their support, i doen' want them to vote for me. i know it's a pipe dream. >> a gentleman on the program said why not be dismissive of one of the persons who was the
head of the kkk. >> at a certain point we become defined by who our friends are. it would take great moral courage for donald trump to say even if this costs me the election, i don't want their support. and he hasn't said it. >> the comparison to hitler, not here but from other people, is that going too far? >> i think it's offensive. i don't think donald trump is hitler. i think what he is is an interesting amalgamation of huey long and father coughlin, the anti-semitic leader with a sprinkling of mussolini. >> do you think he has the experience to be president? >> absolutely not. he doesn't have the experience. he doesn't have the temperament.
i want my kids in religious school and wand my children and grandchildren to say this is the president of the united states and i want to behave like that and speak like that. is there is there anything that he could say at this point that could gain your support? >> there's nothing he can say that will gain my support. >> there's something he can say that will gain my respect. >> and what is? >> to vociferously refuse and reject the support of racists and bigots, to clarify what he means when he says he'll be neutral on israel and apologize for the way he has comported himself. that is the mark of a religious man. any religious person should able do that. that would gain my respect. maybe not my vote with you bu it would gain mile-per-hour respy . >> reverend salkin, thank you for coming on.
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free trade, husband ais alienat china and mexico would make his election a disruptive force. >> i think it's actually pretty accurate in this sense. trump is in some way as kind of stealth candidate. almost everything he says he's going to do as president isn't going to happen. we're not going to build a wall, we're not going to it key port 12 million people, the u.s. is not going to go around and carpet bomb civilians. so you ask yourself what is he going to do? it's almost clear, you want to know what's plan b because plan a is all this emotional red meat that isn't actually going to happen. part of what's going on here is the world which looks to america for certainty, for surety, for a certain sense of continuity is wondering what the hell is going
on? what should we expect with this knew n new guy? >> so you mean mexico is not going to pay for a wall? >> literally everything he says he's going to did we know with absolute certainty is not going to happen. he's not going to put a 45% tariff on china, they'll sue us and the world trade organization will collapse. and donald trump knows that. >> today the russians said this ad about donald trump released yesterday, demonized vladimir putin. trump has spoken positive about putin in the past but he has upset the russians with this ad. >> so far russia is the one country where trump has gotten very good poliublicity.
russian is a totally controlled state-run media and putin had said very nice things about him. he called him the bright and talented man, he called him like the absolute leader or something like it. in these places you can't tell much about popular picking. you're watching what the kremlin picked. >> in this one they're not so happy because it doesn't p put putin in a positive light? >> they're using trump as the case study for why china doesn't need to become democratic. >> the former first lady laura bush doesn't usually speak about politics. but she spoke to "usa today." here's when she said.
>> if donald trump is the republican nominee, are you going to vote for him? >> susan, i'm not going to answer. don't ask that. >> yet in your book it's clear that you don't think islam hates america, that you don't think all muslims should be banned from entering the united states. is there a point where you would feel compelled to come off the sidelines to speak against. >> this is what i want american to remember, what our real values are. one of the very first things, one of the reasons we're a country is because we believed in freedom of religion. >> is that gentle criticism, you think, from the former first lady? >> i think it's gentle criticism. i think it should be stronger criticism. if the republican party believes it is a party based on a certain set of ideas and ronald reagan has essentially tried to remake the republican party and his ideas were free markets and free trade, less government, a certain social conservatism on
issues like abortion, free, open attitude toward immigration, expansionist view of america, spreading our values around the world. trump descends from almost every one of those things. ronald reagan as political career began on entitlement reform. the speech that launched reagan's career was medicare reform, essentially an attack on medicare. trump is essentially against almost every one of the core republican party's beliefs. >> he compares himself to ronald reagan, though. >> because he doesn't know history. but the odd thing is when are republicans going to say this guy is an interloper and, most importantly, we will not vote for him? if you just keep up with this gentle criticism, it hasn't worked so far and i don't think it's dpgoing to work. >> the establishment has said -- >> there is one senator who has said he will not vote for trump.
all the others say things but when asked, marco rubio says he's a con man but i'll vote for him. what kind of criticism is that? >> you know, it true. how can you say we don't want him, we had the stop trump movement in our party yet still i'm going to vote for him. it doesn't make sense. >> this guy is advocating torture, calling for a collective punishment of all muslims, calling for collective punishment of mexicans, he's going to tear up the foundations of the ideas that we think this party and in some cases this country is based on. with you you know what, if he becomes our nominee, i'll campaign for him. >> one thing, but he does speak for a lot of americans. aren't those the sent mebts about many americans? he's gotten a lot of americans riled up. >> look, we all have within us
fears and anxieties, our darker feelings, and these are uncertain times. the question as a politician is you can choose do you want to bring out people's worst sides, do you want to bring out their fears, anxieties and focus them on hating other people saying your life is in trouble and it's because of mexicans, it's because of muslims, it's because of the chinese or do you want to draw the better angels of our personality? that's a choice every leader faces and we see what choice trump has made. >> the biggest fear for a lot of people is that he will have the nuclear code, access to the nuclear code and he hasn't released any information on a foreign policy adviser. here's what he said just yesterday in an interview. >> i'm speaking with myself, number one, because i have a very good brain and i've said a lot of things. so i know what i'm doing. and i listen to a lot of people. >> he has brought up richard
haas. you know him well. he's on the council of foreign relations. he's met with trump. he hasn't really talked about anyone else. does this concern you he's really not saying who advises him on foreign policy? >> richard haas -- look, of course it's troubling because part of what's going on here is sort of the confine the conventions of politics, having actual policy proposals, having list of advisers, all of this is done to reassure people that there are plans in place. and that's partly to come back to what you were asking at the beginning. a. >> even the plan on muslims, we
are going to have a on muslims until we figure out what the hell is going on. what kind of plan is that for a president? >> or people like rich a haas saying they're going o work with him? >> i think you'll have to watch my program on sunday. >> appreciate it. will donald trump be able to do anything of the things he promises?
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donald trump's foreign policy positions under a microscope tonight and some people don't like what they see. i want to dig in a little bit deeper. jeffrey lord, thanks for coming back. you just heard in the last segment from a fareed zakari said. what do you think of that? >> president obama promised the oceans would be lowered and all of this kind of thing. hello, it hasn't happened. can you keep your doctor, if you
want your doctor, all that sort of thing. let me say one thing to fareed and to you. i see today in terms of foreign policy that donald trump has asked senator jeff sessions, who has agreed to be his foreign policy adviser here to put together a foreign policy team for him, senator sessions has served in the u.s. senate for quite a long time, he's been on the armed services committee -- >> has he agreed? >> yes, he has. yes, he has. and he is busily at work as i understand it this minute. and i've tried to indicate this before, that when presidential candidates get to the point where they're sort of on the verge of a nomination, they begin to take on a team of the institution of the presidency itself. that is in fact what's happening to donald trump. i know of another prominent
american in another field who has been approached by donald trump himself to discuss policy issues. so this is happening. >> i want to get buck sexton on this. do you believe with fareed that none of what donald trump says is going to get accomplished is going to be get accomplished? >> a lot of it is bluster, to get the base or in this case the trump base, its own political entity fired up. you can look at it as empty or a blank canvas. he made those talks about air strikes and he also said we don't want to get bogged down in the middle east. >> he has advocated for the use of torture methods again
terrorists, seize syria's oil. it's helpful the rhetoric. is it helpful to our overall middle east policy and counterterrorism efforts? you should know. >> it's not helpful as somebody hopes that cruz somehow pulls off actually getting ahead of donald trump. i'm in kind of an odd position here. his rhetoric as a presidential candidate rhetoric, it can't be taken as world policy. he doesn't have any actual power. a lot of what he does is sort of performance art. he's going off the cuff at the press conferences. he says things some people love and some people think are totally crazy. if he did take up the job, he'd have to face the realities of a very complicated, very dangerous world. he's a smart enough guy that he would know that we can't nuke
sweden because they look at us strangely. >> over 1 h00 experts have sign a petition saying trump's views on global affairs would be a threat to our national security. they say mr. trump's own statements lead us to conclude that as president he would use the authority of his office to act in ways to make america less safe and which would diminish our standing in the world." >> if these experts in office were so right, why is our standing in the world so low? a terrorist by the name of osama bin laden when he also deservedly lost his life. it's one of the few things that
president obama did right but they also killed his family. are they suggesting that president obama is a war criminal? i'd love to hear the explanation for this. >> you say our standing in the world is so low but if you look at the polls, it shows our standing in the world now is higher than when george bush was in office because we are no longer in two wars. point.l, that's a very good as you know, i worked for ronald reagan. and ronald reagan had the unfortunate experience, which he learned from, of having the -- you know, he sent american troops on a peacekeeping mission to lebanon where 243 were killed which b by a suicide bomber. he said you believe in peace threw strength but you don't run every troop you have.
so, don, my friend, you do have a poiuntpoint. >> i never would have guessed that you worked for ronald reagan. considering he's over your right shoulder. how could i have guessed that? so listen, donald trump is co constantly talking about deals. these kind of negotiations are so complex. >> there's a saying in the state department that presidents come and go but the department is forever. a lot of foreign policy is essentially on auto pilot. the president is not getting involved in the day to day of the latest trade agreement or democratization project and every project in southeast area or subsahara africa. a lot of them have political
appointees at the top. there's only so much the president himself is taking on. people concerned about donald trump's rhetoric, it's too early for them to say he's going o destroy the world. he's just a candidate for the office of the presidency. >> jeffrey, you are a conservative and u said some pretty damning things about donald trump. >> i have indeed. >> and you're going to vote for him if he is indeed the nominee? >> i'm hope beinging i can star never hillary campaign. weep should be talking about how libya is a failed state now, which was the centerpiece of her tenure as secretary of state, hillary clinton with all this foreign policy experience, what is all her accomplishment? silen silence. >> for you it's who you hate
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president barack obama has not officially endorsed a candidate for president but he's gearing up to be active in the game. hillary rosen and van jones, hello to both of you. >> the white house press secretary john earnest said the president did not explicitly back clinton or call for sanders to exit the race but rather called for democrats to be mindful of the general election as they continue through a competitive primary process so should it surprise anyone given president obama and secretary clinton's history that he might lean her way, hillary?
>> no, and he's probably remembering back in 2008 right around this time during the primary when his lead was actually quite a bit less than hillary clinton's lead is over bernie sanders, where he and his team were really pushing hillary out of the race aggressively. so maybe it's a little bit of guilty payback here. you know, i think hillary clinton is being pretty respectful of senator sanders and the camp is not pushing sanders one way or another. but i think this thing about the president is that he's just itching to go after donald trump, he's itching for this general election fight and i think he wants to get onw with it. >> do you agree with that, van? >> i remember in 2008 there were a lot of supporters telling hillary clinton get out, get out, get out. now president obama said give her time, let her make her
decision. so i do think that is good counsel right now with bernie sanders. give him time. first of all, we're only halfway through. he has some very good states ahead of him. he's going to do very well -- he's going to go on a winning streak. now the reality is these are small states. he's got a lot of supporters out there who have not had a chance to vote. it would be very, very bad for anybody to tell him sit down, shut up, get in line prematurely. he might want to consider directing less hostile fire at clinton, more at trump. he might want to did a rebalancing here but i think who should stay in and keep that energy level high. >> the upcoming states if you put the map up on tuesday, they do boast demographics much more favorable for sanders. do you think he has a chance, hillary? >> you know, i don't think he's going to be the nominee. >> do you think he should drop
out? >> no, i agree with van and i think senator can't is doing exactly what we're saying. i think she is giving him face and importantly her supporters are giving her space, which was my point about 2008 it was not the case. i do think, though, despite some demographics on paper looking good for sanders in these upcoming states, democratic momentum is starting to take some hold. and i think that many voters in those states are going to want to see the focus on trump, are not going to want to see the eventual nominee get beaten up more by democrats. so i do think that momentum will work against him, even if some of the demographics work for him. >> i've been saying for a while, van, hillary clinton is already shifting her tone, her message is towards the general. she rarely mentions bernie sanders -- >> i thinks that smart. >> that's something people on
the right said donald trump should do as well. hillary clinton is playing large ball. donald trump is playing small ball. if he would just focus and move forward without looking in the rear view mirror, talking about rubio, and other candidates. hillary clinton is moving forward, she's in her rear view mirror everybody else. she tops from 51 to 38%. how worried are you about this matchup in. >> i am very much worried. i'm so glad you mentioned it, first of all, hillery rosen is correct in saying president obama is itching to get out there because 51 to 38 is not that impressive. hillary clinton was up over bernie sanders, he was like 2% or negative 3 -- bernie sanders wasn't. heard of. >> and lots of people have underestimate donald trump. >> the only guy i know who has not under estimated donald trump is a guy with a tv show named
don lemon. everybody else said he was a joke. here in the house of don, i want to say you were right, we were wrong but the democrats are now dock the same thing the republicans did. the democrats sat here and say it can't happen, it can't happen. it did happen! >> what should they do then? what should they do in. >> first of all, african-americans, 70% of african-americanst don't like donald trump. that means 30% do. it he gets 15% of the black vote, he's president. so democrats need to get serious about making sure that we define donald trump to the base in a way that he can't cross back over. and i am afraid that there are some people taking him too lightly in the democratic party. >> i'll give you the haas word. i think the challenge for democrats is how do you change up the strategy in a way republicans weren't able to. that's where i think the president comes in handy. he does have sort of a
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ask your doctor if non-prescription ibgard is right for you. ibgard calms the angry gut. available at cvs and walgreens. president obama arrives in havana sunday on his historic first visit to cuba. but bill weir travels ahead of the president for the premier of his show "the wonder list." take a look. >> it looks like a trendy boutique you might see in soho, melrose district of los angeles and right across the street you have people raising chickens on their balcony. ♪ ♪ how is life in havana these
days? >> it's really hard, man. >> it's hard? >> yeah. some people think change, the future. i hope so. >> you hope so? you don't think so? >> maybe change for business, for the government. but for the people? i don't know. >> joining me now, mr. bill weir, the most of -- i can't wait to go -- of "the wonder list." >> you got go. >> the new season starts on sunday. what do you this i? >> it blew my mind in a dozen different ways. >> really? >> we're cold war kids, right? we remember cuban missile crisis, bay of pigs. you can now scuba dive in the bay of pigs. air bnb is spreading, you can have air conditioning, but what blew my mind is, a, just how broken the country is. the old cars are charming, the '57 chevys are charming, the '57
water and power -- >> the one behind you -- >> that's a 59 fuchsia -- what's interesting about these car is they keep them together with basically duct tape and spit. they have to make due. but the people who keep grandpa's car running make $40 an hour and the people of cuba make $20 a month. >> he doesn't think it's going to be great for the average cuban. are they leery of americans? >> very much so. i went thinking they can't wait until the castros kick and they'll turn this place into a playground once again. but many aren't so sure they want the whole capitalist package, the consumerist idea of america. they know the need gates are
opening. how is this for perspective. cuba and florida, same size geographically. cuba gets 2 million visitors per year, florida got 100 million. it's not going to turn overnight. s -- the infrastructure is shocked. they don't have enough to take 4 million or 8 million new tourists, to handle it. the tourists who go down there, if you go down, and i think everybody should because it's amazing, you kind of have to go in with the mindset of let's let the cubans decide their fate for a change. >> so everyone tells you that you have the best job in television. >> i hear that.
>> what's your favorite part? >> of the sea, in general? >> or cuba in general. >> my favorite part is when the seat belt sign goes off in a place i've never been. i'm trying to figure out how these people have set up their society, why it's different from ours. i come away knowing as human we have so much more in common than we do differently. that's why i kind of love that this season is airing in this heated tooth and claw political season. one our a week we can come up for air and look at the world with more curiosity than suspicion. >> are they watch being the election it there? >> they're watching the television everywhere. >> i go to a 200-year-old farm house, a woman asks me, what's the story with donald trump? is he for real? >> i thought you were going to say don lemon. >> that wouldn't have surprised me either. >> next time take me.
>> come along, man. you got it carry a tripod. >> i'm ready. >> that's it for us tonight. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night. "ac360" starts right now. hey america, still not sure whether to stay or go? ♪ when it's go, the new choice privileges gets you there faster. and now, stay two times and you can earn a free night.
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we begin with growing signs of a gop freak-out over donald trump. breaking news in what was the unprecedented effort by leading republicans to keep their primary front-runner from winning the nomination. that battle expanded to include conservatives gathering in washington to plot a trump takedown. but a ted cruz/john kasich unity ticket, a contested convention and of drafting paul ryan to replace him. there was that and also this. republican lawmakers who openly deeply and comprehensively detest senator cruz are now beginning to endorse him. dana bash has the latest on all of that. she joins us now. let's talk about this closed door conservative meeting today. >> i just got off the phone with somebody who was part of that meeting. there were about 30 people there. these were leaders in the conservative movement both on the social conservative side and the fiscally conservative side. and the discussion was, as you said