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Has GOP War Only Made Trump Stronger?; Capitol Hill Shooting; Ted Cruz Refuses to Say If He'll Support Trump as GOP Nominee; Trump Threatens Louisiana Lawsuit; Bill Bratton on Keeping Cities Safe. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 28, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT ANCHOR: It's getting even nastier as we count down to our CNN Republican Town Hall.
This is "CNN TONIGHT". I am Don Lemon.
Out on the campaign trail, everybody is talking about Donald Trump not so nicely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What the republicans have sewn with their extremist tactics, they are now reaping with Donald Trump's candidacy.
GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R-OH) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're America. We don't shrink from the world. We have to lead the world. That's who we are.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's easy to talk about making America great again. You can even print that on a baseball cap. But the real question is, do you understand the principles and values that made America great in the first place?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Has the GOP war on Trump only made him stronger and is there a disconnect between the powers to be and the rest of America?
Plus, New York's top cop on Capitol Hill -- on the Capitol Hill shooting, I should say, and the search for terror suspects in Brussels.
We've got a lot to get to and we'll get to all of it tonight. So, I want to begin those right away with CNN's chief political correspondent and that is Dana Bash. Dana, you've got some breaking news about the Kasich and Cruz campaign. What's going on?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the name of the game for both of those men is to try to keep Donald Trump from getting enough delegates along the way to get the nomination outright. And I am told by a top aide to John Kasich, Jeff -- excuse me, John Weaver, that they have been trying to work behind the scenes with Ted Cruz's campaign to do that, coordinate. Not only that, that Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee from 2012, reached
out to Jeff Rowe, who is the campaign manager for Ted Cruz, to try to get him to call the Kasich campaign. So, he was trying to be a behind- the-scenes broker to get these opponents to get together for their common enemy.
Here's the problem, though, Don. The Cruz campaign, they're not biting. They simply do not think it's worth it. They don't think it's in their interests and that it won't benefit them to work with John Kasich on any level. So right now, it's not going anywhere.
I talked to another republican source who is also trying to be a go- between. But so far, they're not biting. But the fact that this is an attempt just goes to show you how hard and how far -- another piece of evidence, I should say, of how far they are both willing to go to try to stop Donald Trump.
LEMON: Yes. The Cruz campaign views the Kasich campaign as a spoiler, right? Now, like why would they I work with them?
LEMON: So, Wisconsin, let's talk about Wisconsin now, Dana.
LEMON: Shaping up to be a bruising battle. How important is it to both republicans and democrats?
BASH: Very, very important. First, let's just start with republicans. What we were just talking about, Ted Cruz is hoping to win and win beg. They are 42 delegates in Wisconsin. The idea being that if he does that, it will make it very, very difficult.
Not impossible but very difficult for Donald Trump to get the 1,237 delegates he needs before the convention because there are only a few other winner-take-all states if you look through the rest of the calendar and Trump would really need to get all of those. So, that's why it's so, so critical on the republican side.
On the democratic side, it's really tight. You know, there aren't a lot of polls that show that either is -- either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is pulling ahead right now. The Clinton campaign remembers in the not too distant past, they got pretty surprised in Michigan when Bernie Sanders won there and the Sanders campaign, they are hoping for another one.
And again, the same goes for the Sanders campaign. They feel if they can win in a state like Wisconsin, where there are certainly a lot of college campuses, a lot of young people, the classic Bernie Sanders voters, then it will be harder for the Clinton campaign to try to put him in her rearview mirror.
LEMON: So Dana, you know, it's a dogfight out there for delegates. Donald Trump is threatening to sue over my my home state, over the primary in Louisiana. What's the latest on that. BASH: Can you believe, politics are crazy in Louisiana? I'm sure it
was never like that when you were growing up, Don.
LEMON: Shocking. No, never ever whoever heard of that. No.
BASH: Yes. It seems as though they might be backing down inside Trump world on a lawsuit but they are definitely not happy because politics is really down and dirty still when you're talking about these delegates and the voters are going out there. They are voting in each state.
But then there are a lot of complicated rules in how each state then takes the allocation of how each candidate does and turns them into delegates and what happened in Louisiana is the Trump campaign, they feel that they were not involved in a critical meeting that allocated Marco Rubio's delegates. Of course, he's not in the race anymore.
[22:05:00] And that, you know, that Cruz iced him out. Now the Cruz campaign said, look, we outmaneuvered you. This is how politics are. You know, get in the game. So, that's really what it's all about.
But it just underscores how every single delegate counts now and that is where another fight is being played really behind the scenes at all of these conventions and meetings going on within the states that have already voted and as to how the delegates are allocated.
LEMON: All right. Dana, I want you to stay with me because I know someone who is dying to get into this conversation. That Salem radio host, Hugh Hewitt, none other the Hugh Hewitt.
Hugh, hello to you. What do you make of Dana's news about the Kasich campaign trying to coordinate with Ted Cruz to defeat Trump.
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: I have heard it. Dana is the first to report it. And my hat is off to her. I'm not surprised she has the best sources. I also heard that Governor Romney was acting as a go between campaigns. And so, I confirm everything that Dana has reported.
I had heard it but wasn't willing to go with because I wanted from someone like Dana so I'm not surprised. Here's the other thing I heard today. This is the other thing I heard. Republicans who are not aligned with any camp are working overtime to make the convention boring by scheduling delegate debate calls in the afternoon and morning so that there are not nighttime riots and nighttime fights.
Because Donald Trump's not going to get to 1,237 and they don't think that Ted Cruz can get there on the second ballot, which means you've got to start balloting early or you'll have chaos.
So, I hate to tell me friends at CNN, it's going to be a dull Cleveland television set because the republicans don't want to fall to 1968 in Chicago situation.
LEMON: But we've got people like me, we've gone Anderson, we've got Wolf, we hot Jake, we have Hugh, we have Dana, and we've got a lot of people who we can, you know, fill in the gaps with. So it will be -- it's still going to be interesting.
I want to continue to ask you about Dana's reporting and what you have heard as well. Is it a mistake, do you think, Hugh, for Cruz to turn Kasich down? Why not cooperate with him?
HEWITT: First of all, John Kasich pulled off his radio advertising at Wisconsin today. And right now Ted Cruz doesn't have to cooperate with him in Wisconsin because Ted Cruz is going to win Wisconsin. And I'm pretty confident of that. I think Ted had a very good week running up.
He's got the same donor network. He's got the same activist network that Governor Walker did. And you'll see Walker endorse Ted Cruz this week. Where they are going to have to cooperate is in California.
Because on June 7th, there are 54 different elections out here, and whereas, Ted Cruz might be strong in a few Southern California districts, I would expect John Kasich to do better.
In some of the traditional and liberal republican districts up north, and they are not going to want to overlap or spend money beating up on each other. They want to get to Cleveland. They don't want Donald Trump to get to 1,237.
So, I expect that cooperation to develop if only implicitly. But Dana is right, that Jeff Rowe is no reason to play ball right now with John Weaver because Ted Cruz is going to win Wisconsin.
LEMON: Well, I asked Dana about Wisconsin and I want to ask you a little bit more about Wisconsin. You know Charlie Sykes, right? The popular radio host.
HEWITT: Oh, yes.
LEMON: So, he supports Ted Cruz. Let's listen and then we'll discuss here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO HOST: Last week you tweeted out a threat to spill the beans on the wife of Ted Cruz, Heidi Cruz. You followed it up by tweeting out a picture that insulted her looks. You know, wouldn't it be a good way to start off your Wisconsin campaign by saying that wives should be off limits and that you apologize for mocking her looks?
TRUMP: Well, by the way, I think it's true, actually, Charlie. But you know, if you remember, Melania my wife was a very, very big successful model. And she did a shoot, a cover shoot for GQ magazine and it was, you know, a little provocative. It was GQ but he was she was a model. But what they did and Ted Cruz knew totally about it. And he says he
didn't know about it. He totally knew about it. And they sent that out to the people of Salt Lake City or the people of Utah and it was, you know, with a very nasty statement on it.
So, he knew totally about that. If he didn't know about that it would be a whole different thing, but he totally knew about it. It will stand by people that he knows very well.
SYKES: Well, it was not Ted Cruz or his campaign. So, is this your standard...
TRUMP: No, no, I'm just talking, he knew, he knew these people.
SYKES: OK. But, so is this your standard that if a supporter of another candidate not the candidate himself does something that is despicable, that it's OK for you personally, a candidate for president of the United States, to behave in this same way? I mean, I expect that from a 12-year-old boy from a playground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: How does this, how do you this plays, Hugh in Wisconsin, does this helped or hurt in any of them, you know, talk -- discussing their wives, fighting over their wives?
HEWITT: Well, Charlie Sykes is the most influential talk show host in Wisconsin. And he's a consumate professional. And Donald Trump did very well in an interview for which he may not have been adequately prepared because Charlie is actually hash tag never Trump. I'm not, you know, Dana is not, we're not -- we're not never Trump people but Charlie Sykes is.
LEMON: But what about Wisconsin?
HEWITT: Donald Trump...
LEMON: How people are going to feel...
HEWITT: He will -- they are going to feel, they are going to follow Charlie Sykes a lot.
[22:10:00] That's why I think Ted Cruz is actually going to win. Because Scott Walker and Charlie Sykes, the conservative network in Wisconsin is deep. They have five elections over five years or three elections over three years, I can't quite remember what it is.
Every register voter is known, they're tabulated, they're cross-tabbed and the Cruz data machine minds them and turns them out and opinion makers like Charlie Sykes. I think Dana will agree make a big difference.
LEMON: Dana, go ahead.
BASH: Yes, I absolutely agree. I actually got to meet Sykes when I was -- way back when Scott Walker was a presidential candidate. Remember that?
BASH: And I did a profile on Walker because, you know, as you said, Hugh, Sykes kind of is the voice of the conservative movement, certainly on talk radio in Wisconsin. But I think more than them following Sykes, he knows the republican electorate and that they are not -- I mean, that's the point that he was making to Trump, that they are not into this name-calling thing and, you know, your wife is this and her face looks like, you know, that.
And it was pretty interesting to see Cruz himself after he really engaged and got into the mud and, you know, defended his wife and defended himself and so forth last week, reset today and he did it even on the stump but even more so in an interview with our colleague Sunlen Serfaty. And that doesn't seem to be like an accident. He feels like it's that...
LEMON: Can we play that, Dana? Can we play that and then you can talk about and here's this interview with Sunlen Serfaty.
BASH: Sure. Yes.
LEMON: Let me tell everyone what it's about. Ted Cruz denying some of the tabloid allegations of him cheating. He addressed them directly on Friday, saying that it was garbage a tabloid smear from a Trump campaign and then today, with Sunlen. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Last we talked on Friday, you said you were not in the habit of supporting someone who attacked your wife. Are you prepared to definitively say that you will not support Donald Trump if he becomes the nominee?
CRUZ: Well, as you rightly noted, I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family. Donald Trump is not going to be the nominee. We are going to beat him for this nomination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Dana, before you continue, though, I mean, we saw this with Marco Rubio just before he dropped out of the race. Is it getting harder, do you think, for Ted Cruz to hold to that pledge that they all signed to support the ultimate republican nominee?
BASH: Yes, of course. It's getting harder for him. It's getting harder for a lot of republicans in the hash tag never Trump movement.
However, you know, at the end of the day, they are all going to have to, you know, look into the mirror and look into their souls and figure out whether they prefer a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Obviously, more likely at this point, Hillary Clinton. And that's going to be the bottom line end of the story for a lot of them. Some will say, you know what, I'm just going to be neutral. I'm not going to say, which means effectively that they are, you know, not backing Donald Trump or maybe even privately voting for Hillary Clinton. Who knows?
But I do think that, you know, not on that particular answer but broadly, the fact that Cruz is trying to kind of pull back from the mud is, for a lot of reasons, one, it doesn't help him at all in general. But specifically in a place like Wisconsin, he doesn't want to sully things in a place where voters are just turned off by that, even more than other places.
LEMON: Unfortunately, we're out of time. But fortunately, it was a great conversation. I appreciate having you, especially Dana.
BASH: Thank you.
LEMON: Hugh, you know, you're OK. Thank you.
BASH: You have a Hugh and Dana reunion. You love that.
LEMON: I know. It's always a pleasure for both of you. Thank you very much.
HEWITT: Thank you.
LEMON: And don't forget, CNN's Wisconsin town hall it's tomorrow. Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump take questions from voters in a prime time event moderated by Anderson Cooper tomorrow night beginning at 8 Eastern, right here on CNN.
When we come right back, Donald Trump says he cherishes women but do they love him back or will women stop him in his tracks?
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: This election has gotten weird. Wait until you see how weird this is, OK? The GOP campaign is its full strange twist and turns and it just got stranger tonight, OK?
Here's Geraldo Rivera donning a wig on ABC's Dancing with the Stars playing Donald Trump in the Oval Office dancing with a woman who is pretending to be his wife, Melania Trump. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vladimir, hi. It's Donald. That was huge. It was huge. Hey, Vlad, can you hold on for a second? Melania.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I want to bring in Frank Rich now, writer-at-large for New York magazine. What is going on here?
FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE WRITER-AT-LARGE: You've got to.
LEMON: What is happening?
RICH: I think it's time for him to go back to Al Capone's Vault.
LEMON: Did you ever think you would see such a strange election cycle? What do you think of that?
RICH: It's like we're living in I don't know what. A banana republic. It's crazy. I mean, is he still on Fox? Can I ask that question?
LEMON: Yes, he is still. I think he's still on the air pretty sure.
RICH: Well, is that an in-kind contribution to Ted Cruz? I don't know.
LEMON: I think that Donald Trump would probably. I think he would get a kick out of it because he, you know, he likes attention, right?
RICH: He would redirect it. He want, you know, he would fault the impersonation.
LEMON: I have like to ask you the latest from the campaign trail now. Did you ever think that we'd be listening to two candidates running for president of the United States fighting over their wives?
RICH: Not -- not in our lifetime, no. It's incredible. And also the national enquirer is at the center of it and it just keeps going. And your earlier segment -- I mean, Trump is standing by whatever he's standing by on his tweets and Cruz is fascinating because he called Trump a sniveling coward for attacking his wife, yet, he doesn't have the guts to disown Trump as a potential nominee. That's sort of cowardice, too, isn't it?
LEMON: If you look at his -- if you look at the latest CNN poll, right, 73 percent of women where he stands with women, he's in unfavorable, he's viewed unfavorably by 73 percent of women. This is an opinion poll. Do you think this is his Achilles heel?
RICH: It could be. Of course, I'd like to know about the other 27 percent that have no problem with him. But yes, although, you know, I've learned one thing in this election cycle, we cannot predict anything.
So, yes, you'd think he antagonize women, Hispanics, African-Americans but we just don't really know what's going to happen.
[22:20:06] LEMON: Yes. Do you remember sitting here and having a conversation with me about taking Trump seriously and saying that he could potentially be the nominee? Do you remember that conversation?
RICH: I do remember it.
LEMON: Did you laugh at me?
RICH: No. I agreed with you.
LEMON: You did?
RICH: I always felt that he could be the nominee.
RICH: I never felt he could be elected president but now I'm beginning to worry about that.
LEMON: Yes. You have written about what you call Trump's fear mongering. You said we've had three big terror attacks, right, in the last than four months, Paris, with San Bernardino, and now Brussels. Do you think that this works in Donald Trump's favor? Does it play to his strong suit about being strong on terrorists?
RICH: I fear it may with some part of the, you know, electorate and I worry, as I think a lot of people do, they don't want to say it out loud if there were a big terrorist attack that was threatening to Americans near the election, would people be looking for a strong man in their panic and fear? No one behaves well when fear is the motivating factor.
LEMON: So, you've seen The New York Times, right, from yesterday?
LEMON: And also the Washington Post.
RICH: His interviews about foreign policy?
LEMON: About foreign policy. So, then question is, do you think that it's going to hurt him in the long run because he appears to have so little foreign policy knowledge or experience?
RICH: To people like us, certainly. And we've known that for a long time. But I think there is a group of people who likes Trump who feels we're sick of the experts, they've screwed everything up, they got us into Iraq. They've made the country a mess. I'm speaking for them, not myself.
And so, let's have someone who is a strong man, a gambler and is, you know, running it like "The Apprentice." It's shocking but some people are so fed up, they want that.
LEMON: You have an article out that in New York magazine where you write about the epic failure of the Republican Party, the establishment to take on Donald Trump seriously and to act to stop in.
And here's what you say. "Did the pillars of the establishment failed to turn back the Trump insurgency because they have no balls?" Your words not mine. "Because they have no credibility? Because they have too little support from voters in their own party? Because they don't even know who those voters are and how to speak their language. To some degree, all these explanations are true." So, what happened? How did this party, how did the party big wigs miss this Trump phenomenon?
RICH: Basically what I said I think that they are not in touch with their own voters. The fact is, that the establishment fielded three candidates. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio. They all went belly up. Why did they think that voters would want them? Why did they say Trump is trying to hijack the party when, in essence, the establishment is trying to hijack the party from the voters who prefer Trump or Cruz.
LEMON: Yes. A lot of people say that Trump nomination would be a disaster, that it would ruin the party that they can't support, you know, yet they are still going to support him as a nominee.
RICH: Is that the cognitive -- it makes absolutely no sense.
LEMON: Cognitive. What do you say, cognitive dissidence, right?
RICH: It makes absolutely no sense. If you feel that way, you should say right now, forget it. We're not going to stand by him and have the civil war right now. But they don't have the guts or the other word I used to do it.
LEMON: Yes. But on the other side, on the democratic side. Do you think that Bernie Sanders has a point? Because he's complaining a lot about -- he's been complaining, I should say, about the super delegates and in order for him really to have any sort of pathway to the nomination.
He's going to have to pull a Barack Obama, what he did in 2008 and sort of get some of those super delegates to come back over to him or to say, you know, maybe there's somebody else besides Hillary Clinton. Do you think he has a point? Is that a fair point?
RICH: I do. In fact, I'd say although Sanders and Trump are very, very different, they both have a point when they say the parties are anti-democratic and there's going to be some backdoor way to get super delegates or delegates that larger or whatever it is to go against the will of the voters.
LEMON: But not writers-at-large like Frank?
RICH: Oh, no, no. I'm clean.
LEMON: Thank you, Frank Rich. Always a pleasure. Good to see you.
Up next, Ted Cruz ramps up his harsh criticism of Donald Trump. Is he trying to claim the moral high ground over the frontrunner? We're going to see what he's saying now.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Ted Cruz won't say if he'll support Donald Trump as a GOP nominee. That's despite Trump's lead in delegates Cruz insists he's going to win the nomination. Joining me now to discuss, Sarah Huckabee Sanders senior adviser to
Donald Trump's campaign, and Ron Nehring, he's a California chairman for Senator Ted Cruz and Trent Duffy, National communication adviser for John Kasich.
It's good to have all of you here. Hey, Ron, I want to ask you about this. CNN has new reporting that the Kasich camp is trying to coordinate with your campaign to stop Trump from getting the delegates he needs to win the nomination. You have turned down. Why is that?
RON NEHRING, TED CRUZ'S NATIONAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, a few things on that. Number one, there is nothing to be gained by cooperating with a campaign that's going nowhere. You know, every -- you know, I love Trent. We run into each other at all of these debates. But he's got to have the toughest job in this campaign trying to spin that the Kasich campaign is really going anywhere.
You know, they lose election after election after election, even in the State of Arizona, he came in fourth in a three-person contest. That's a pretty hard thing to do. And you have, every time they lose they went on saying, no, no, no, it's going to be different now. We're going to cooperate or the map is going to get, you know, friendlier, you know, Lord knows what.
But at the end of the day, the Kasich campaign is going nowhere. I'm here in Los Angeles today. John Kasich will win zero delegates in the State of California. He's going to get wiped out in the State of Wisconsin. We're doing very well there. The latest poll has up by five. It's clear that the Kasich campaign is purely acting as a spoiler.
LEMON: So, Trent, then, why even reach out if you heard what he said, that he's viewing your campaign as a spoiler, why even reach out?
TRENT DUFFY, TED CRUZ'S NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER: Because the only way to hold Donald Trump under 1237 is for John Kasich to win the states of the northeast and the Midwest where he can win where Ted Cruz cannot. And that's just a fact of the matter. Ted Cruz won Maine. It's a caucus state. But in other northeast states he's been trounced.
And the only way that we're going to stop Trump, if we can stop Trump, is for John Kasich to compete in those states and to do well in those states where he can win.
[22:29:59] And the bottom line for the John Kasich campaign is, in response to Ron is, he's the only candidate that could beat Hillary Clinton.
DUFFY: He's up 11 over her in one of the polls and between five and six. Ted Cruz is even, if not down, they're negative. Cruz and Trump are negative are higher than shots seas of the lion.
DUFFY: When we get to the point where you need to pick a candidate that can win in the general election, we need to pick somebody who can be president on the first day. That's John Kasich.
LEMON: So, Sarah, they are fighting among themselves and they can, it doesn't even seem that they could come up with a strategy to stop your candidate. That's good news for you.
SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Absolutely. And I think the real thing is that I'm glad that they are fighting amongst each other because that allows us to focus on the real target, and that's Hillary Clinton.
Because at the end of the day, it's going to come down to people, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and these two guys, all their fighting is really not going to mean much and they are going to have wasted a lot of time and effort that they could have been putting into helping Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
And so, I think the sad thing is, that's where they are focusing their time. Well, we need to make sure we get a republican elected. The nominee is going to be Donald Trump so let's make sure we beat Hillary.
LEMON: All right. Some other new reporting we have today. This is from CNN Sunlen Serfaty. Ted Cruz spoke with her today about Donald Trump. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: From the beginning, our issues have been on focus and substance. When others go to the gutter, I have not responded in kind. Donald has shown a willingness from the very beginning of this campaign to traffic an insults and personal attacks, he's directed them at everybody else. He's directed them are family members and my wife. That has no business in politics. And I think people are tired of it.
These are serious times. Abroad we have the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Here at home, millions are hurting them. They want to see jobs coming back to America. They want to see wages coming back up again. Donald doesn't have the answers on any of those policies. So, what he does instead is goes to the gutter and engages in personal attacks and resorts to sleaze. I think people are tired of it. They don't care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ron, is your candidate Ted Cruz trying to move on and claim the moral high ground here?
NEHRING: Well, clearly Senator Cruz has the moral high ground because the only candidate, who, you know, seems to stay up late at night and tweet weird hate tweets at women he doesn't know is Donald Trump. And if that is an unbecoming of a presidential candidate, I don't know what is.
You know, look, Donald Trump has had a terrible seven days. I mean, really, really bad. You heard it in the recording of his editorial board interview with "The Washing Post where it was clear he has no idea what's happening in the world. He's nowhere near prepared to be commander-in-chief of the United States or Armed Forces, heaven forbid.
So, it started out with that, then it went on to his weird obsession with, you know, Senator Cruz's wife and his repeated, you know, tweets and attacking her, you know, publicly which is completely inappropriate. And then trying to, you know, move on from there and change the subject and try to pedal the sleazy story through the national enquirer.
NEHRING: You know, I don't know what is next, UFOs or something like that. But that's the type of -- fortunately, people are now starting to see what Donald Trump is really about and that's why dropping like a stone in the State of Wisconsin. We're in the lead there.
LEMON: Harsh words, Sarah.
NEHRING: Trump is, you know, step aside and we'd be up even more.
LEMON: How do you respond to that, Sarah, harsh words?
SANDERS: Of course it's harsh words. That's what happens when you're losing as you attack the guy in front. Donald Trump is winning so he's got a big target on his back. You know, you heard Ted Cruz say time and over and over again that people, Americans are tired of it.
What they're tired of is Washington politicians saying one thing in Mississippi and another thing in Manhattan. Something that Ted Cruz is guilty of time and time again.
This is a guy who acts like he's the 13th apostle but couldn't tell the truth if it hit him in the face. He's got a different story every day of the week and on every issue. He's been on all sides of everything.
You know, the crazy thing is he goes after Donald Trump for dirty tactics when his campaign is known to be one of the dirtiest in the business. If you don't believe me, just ask Ben Carson. I watched in witness what they did to him in Iowa. And for him to act like he's taking the moral high ground is frankly, it's just laughable.
LEMON: All right. Hold your thoughts, everyone. Stay with me. When we come right back, Donald Trump won the Louisiana primary. So, why is he threatening to sue?
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Things are getting pretty, pretty nasty between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz out on the campaign trail and now Trump is threatening to take their battle to court.
Back with me to discuss it, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Ron Nehring, and Trent Duffy. OK. Sarah, let's get to you first on this because I want to ask you about Donald Trump. Beat Ted Cruz in this Louisiana republican primary but Cruz may get as many as 10 more delegates and now Trump is threatening to sue?
And just to show how unfair and this is a tweet, is that how unfair republican primaries -- primary politics can be. "I won the state of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz. Lawsuit coming." That's what he tweets. Who exactly will he sue, Sarah?
HUCKABEE-SANDERS: You know, I think that's still being worked out but the bottom line here is what just how sad this is. It's politics as usual. If you're not part of the insider game and you're not the chosen one of the establishment, then they try to pick away votes one at a time, even after you win overwhelmingly win the popular vote with the American people. It's just sad that the dirty tricks that people will play and you've got this group of...
LEMON: So, Sarah, those delegates that were for other candidates...
HUCKABEE-SANDERS: ... establishment people that want to hand pick the candidates and hand pick the nominee and take that vote away from the American voters...
LEMON: So, those other candidates who are no longer in the race, should they just sit there and not go to either of the candidates? I think that's what the Cruz campaign is trying to do, is to get the delegates, you know, for the people who are not there.
HUCKABEE-SANDERS: I think that's what they are trying to tell you that they are doing but there's a lot more going on behind the scenes here. The same thing actually happened to my dad in 2008 in Louisiana. He beat John McCain and later down the line while he was still in the race, they backhand -- did backhand, backdoor deals and took those delegates away from...
LEMON: Your dad is Mike Huckabee, by the way, just so people know. Mike Huckabee who ran for president, anyway. Former Arkansas governor.
[22:39:58] LEMON: Yes. Really good guy. So, Trent, listen, Cruz and many of his supporters are calling for Kasich to drop out of the race accusing him of splitting the opposition to Trump.
I mean, it's really impossible for him to win enough delegates out right? How long will he stay in this race?
DUFFY: Well, he can stand as long as it takes to win the nomination. No candidate is going to get the 1237. If Senator Cruz is going to get the nomination, he needs everyone to stop Trump, including John Kasich. So, he's going to stay in it because he's caring about the future of the Republican Party and the United States of America. He's the best candidate that's ready to take the job on day one.
He continues to beat Hillary by 11 points in one of the latest polls and he is the most tested, the most proven executive in terms of job creation, national security and the kinds of things we need to do to get the country working again together.
All of these candidates are so divisive. Hillary, Trump, and Cruz, that none of them are going to bring the country together. And that's why, as this race continues, you have three more months and the more this mudslinging goes on, the more the name calling goes on, the more people are starting the late deciders are breaking more and more for John Kasich.
LEMON: Ron, well, I mean, more was said in that sigh than I think in a thousand words that you could have said. It was a sigh heard around the world. But the Cruz campaign has a whole team dedicated, Ron, to figuring out how to -- how to, you know, how to being part of the process where the final delegate allocation is decided. Is your team just simply outnumbering the Trump campaign on this particular issue?
NEHRING: Well, I think we have a very good campaign. And we're running for president of the United States. And here's what's going on. Number one, I think that Donald Trump would probably do a lot better in this race instead of staying up late at night, sending hate tweets to people on Twitter, he would bother reading the rules of the Republican Party and then wage his campaign accordingly.
And he's not bothering to do that. He says he hires, quote, "the best people," but they seem to be getting outmaneuvered left, right, and center. So, we hope he continues you know, doing what he's doing in that regard. We want everyone to come over to our team.
Senator Cruz has been adamant that he wants to unite the Republican Party. That's why we have people like Mark Levin. That's why we had people like Jeb Bush who has come on board. Carly Fiorina. We want everyone to come on board including delegates who might have been pledge to a different candidate before, we want them to come to our team so that we can win this nomination, so we can go up against Hillary Clinton in November and put a republican in the White House who will put conservative ideas into action.
As for what Trent has to say, he just said about five minutes ago, that John Kasich is the most electable, you know, he's the one who does the best. You're not the most electable if you've lost about 27 elections so far and Trent says that John is going to do great in the Midwest.
Well, the last time I checked, Wisconsin is pretty much in the Midwest and where is John Kasich going to come in in Wisconsin? He's not going to come in first, that's for sure. He's continuing to be a spoiler, that's for sure. But we've had a great week.
DUFFY: Not in Pennsylvania.
NEHRING: We've had a very good week. We're very happy about it.
DUFFY: Well, in Pennsylvania, a brand-new poll shows Kasich tied with Trump for first. That's a swing state. That he'd have to win in a general election and win into a primary. So, in very certain states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire, the states that decide a general election, John Kasich is the only one that can beat Hillary.
LEMON: All right. Well, thanks, everyone. We're going to hear from all of your candidates tomorrow. We're going to hear from Trump, we're going to hear from Kasich, we're going to hear from Cruz all tomorrow. Thank you very much.
Don't forget, CNN's Wisconsin GOP town hall all tomorrow. All the candidates are going to take your questions from voters in a primetime event moderated by Anderson Cooper, that's tomorrow night beginning at 8 Eastern right here on CNN.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have both used anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail. And when we come back, New York police commissioner tells me what he thinks of that.
WILLIAM J. BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: When an 8- year-old is feeling the rhetoric in a hyperbole from a presidential campaign in the United States of America, the fear that we are generating, something's wrong.
[22:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A lockdown on Capitol Hill to the manhunt for terror suspects in Brussels. My next guest knows what it takes to keep a big city safe.
Joining me now is New York City police commissioner William J. Bratton. Thanks for coming in, commissioner. It's a busy time for you, and especially today. Probably the White House and the U.S. capitol were on lockdown shots fired on Capitol Hill and someone was arrested at the White House.
Both incidents were quickly contained but people are understandably on edge after Brussels. What do you want people to know, commissioner?
BRATTON: The irony of those events at D.C. today, simultaneous with that we had an event up here at Times Square where a private security officer and his dog hit on a trash basket and so we had a shut down a portion of Times Square almost simultaneously with these events. Even as we were running a marked table top exercise at police headquarters about multiple events happening in New York City at the same time.
So, the events of what happened in Washington and New York today is reflective of the fact that the world we live in now is very different than the world we used to live in.
BRATTON: And it's going to stay that way.
LEMON: And because you were holding counterterrorism exercises today, simulating a suicide bomber, right, in New York City?
BRATTON: Actually what we were doing was emulating what we have seen in Paris and Brussels recently. So, we have the terrorist exercise it was four events happening simultaneously, Brooklyn and Manhattan with different scenarios, suicide vests, bomb, hostage taking, assault weapon attack. So, all of the things that have gone on over there the last several months, we were bringing to New York City today in this practice exercise.
LEMON: You've been watching the news. You're abreast of this. Donald Trump has been giving his opinion about safety here in the U.S. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't think America's a place safe for Americans, if you want to know the truth. We're allowing thousands of people to come in here. Nobody knows where they are from. Nobody knows who they are and they are coming in here by the thousands. And let me tell you something, we're going to have problems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Is America a safe place for Americans right now?
BRATTON: America is a very safe place, particularly compared to the rest of the world. But we have our incidents, as we know. We've had more our share of mass killings. Some committed by inspired terrorists with the vast majority committed by American citizens living here who have access to firearms.
[22:50:04] Blue Town (ph) was an example of that. All of those young children killed by an American citizen is an example. So, a bigger threat at the moment is from our own citizens than from those abroad. That may change over time as the world gets less stable.
But fortunately, that in this country, after 9/11, we put a lot of things into place, particularly in this city that I can speak to and Los Angeles where I was chief of police, to help protect against those types of events. So, we have a safer place in the sense that we are much more prepared than we would have been 15 years ago.
LEMON: Perhaps there is no better person to respond to some of the political rhetoric that's going around than you and you have not minced any words when it comes to Ted Cruz over his opinion about how to prevent terror here in the United States. This is what he said.
He said, "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." You came out strongly against those remarks this weekend. You wrote an op-ed in the New York daily news. You said, "when people call the police, we rush to help them. When people break the law, we move to arrest them. But, no, we do not single out any populace black, white, yellow, or brown for selective enforcement."
"We do not patrol and secure neighborhoods based on selective enforcement because of race or religion, nor will we use the police and an occupying force to intimidate a populace or a religion to a peace, the provocative -- the provocative chatter of politicians seeking to exploit fear."
When that patrolling was happening, it didn't yield any information, did it, when you're patrolling when NYPD was patrolling certain neighborhoods based on, you know, whether or not they were Muslims?
BRATTON: There was lawsuit filed against the New York City Police Department in reference to what you're referring to which was the demographic unit. The chief of intelligence for the New York City Police Department at that time, who is still the chief of intelligence for the New York City Police Department now during my time, testified that unit did not develop one actionable piece of intelligence during the whole time of its existence.
So this hyperbole, this rhetoric, this fairytale about the effectiveness of this unit, the unit was not an investigatory entity as far as I understand it. And so, its value didn't run its course. And indeed by the time I took over as commissioner in 2014, my predecessor who had created the unit, Commissioner Kelly, had reduced it from 14 detectives down to 2.
So, if the entity was so valuable if it was so useful, 2 out of 1,000 detectives we have, or 1,000 personnel in that kind of counterterrorism unit, evidently it wasn't generating much value. We didn't think it was generating any so we did away with it.
LEMON: What if your responses has been touting the number of Muslim officers that you have in the NYPD? What is the relationship now between the Muslim community and NYPD?
BRATTON: That's a great question, Don. Because the 900 plus officers we have, I also have several other thousands other Muslim employees, including many of my school safety division, many in my traffic division, many civilian employees spread throughout the department.
We have about 800,000 Muslims who live in the city out of a population of 8 million. So, 1 out there will be 10 people in the city is a Muslim. If we have good relations with that community, that's where we're going to get our intelligence, that's where we're going to get our information.
If that community is fearful of us, if they feel that we're harassing them, then that community is not going to work with us. So, isn't it better to have 800,000 people who are here because they want to be, many of them fled oppression in their native lands to come here like so many immigrants, they know what it's like to live under tyranny and oppression. So, they are going to work, going to work with us better if we attempt to develop relationships with them.
LEMON: Commissioner, when you hear comments like that from Cruz or Trump, does that make your job harder?
BRATTON: It does. Unfortunately, that all political campaigns have hyperbole, rhetoric. But in all discretion words hurt. Words do hurt. I referenced earlier today in press availability that whenever we went to our favorite restaurants last night and our favorite waiter is a Muslim from Morocco, American citizen, he's here with his family.
And talking about all of this churning of anti-Muslim sentiment, not focusing on the radical Islamic among that billion plus population, but in general, it's just highlighting that Muslims are somebody to be feared.
His daughter made a comment to him in the words to the effect of, something that affect her, "daddy, why do they hate us so much?" Well, when an 8-year-old is feeling the rhetoric and hyperbole from a presidential campaign in the United States of America, the fear that we're generating, something's wrong.
[22:55:03] Something's wrong that that's not what this country is all about. We are a country of a simulation. We will go after as we do after very aggressively in the NYPD. Those among any population who commit crimes or seek to commit acts of terrorism but we're not going to paint with the broad brush.
We're going to be basically be very detailed on who we go after with reasonable suspicion, with probable cause and it's just -- it's sad with everything going on in the world today that we've been reduced to this, to name calling. It's not what we are about.
LEMON: I can't believe it sometimes when I'm sitting here reporting it.
BRATTON: We all shake our heads, unfortunately.
BRATTON: And it's -- they are all well-intentioned. Every one of these candidates is well-intentioned. They all love this country. But, unfortunately, in the heat of the debate, in the continuing debate, we're losing something and it's -- what I worry about from my profession's standpoint is getting caught in the middle with the anger that's being turned up and the idea of turning one group against the other and we have seen that, done that.
I've been in the business for 45 years. I've seen the turmoil of the '60s, the '70s, the turmoil of the '90s. I've seen what it's like when our population is turned against another. I don't want to go back to that.
LEMON: Thank you, commissioner.
BRATTON: Good to be with you.
LEMON: I appreciate it. Thank you. We'll be right back.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We are counting down to CNN's GOP town hall in Wisconsin.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Our town hall is just hours away.