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Clinton Says She Has Deeper NY Ties Than Sanders; Sandy Hook Family Demands Apology from Sanders. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 7, 2016 - 06:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Question: When does drawing contrast on policy become just criticism of the other side? Answer: Right now.

Sanders coming out and saying Secretary Clinton not qualified to be President. Clinton's campaign calling that attack irresponsible and making then making the same claim about him.

More importantly, we are getting to see Secretary Clinton changing the game for herself, stepping up her confidence in a new strategy, despite the Wisconsin loss.

Here's more of our conversation with Secretary Clinton.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I think that Senator Sanders had a good night last night, and I congratulated him. But if you look at the numbers, I'm still considerably ahead in both the popular vote, and most importantly, the delegate count.

So I'm feeling very good about where we are and we're excited to be campaigning in New York and then it'll be on to Pennsylvania and other states.

CUOMO: Now, when you say, yes, we will reach the number before the convention, do you think that that will mean that you'll need super delegates? Because the Sanders campaign essentially says that's dirty pool. The super delegates are an artificial help to you.

CLINTON: Well, you know, he knew what the rules were when he decided to run for President. But most importantly, I think we will reach whatever number is required. We are going to continue to acquire delegates and add to our total.

I have more delegates than he does in a broader margin than President Obama had over me at this time in 2008. So I think we're doing well.

But what's really important, Chris, is we stay focused on the issues. We've tried to run an issue-oriented campaign. But we have some serious differences. We're going to be exploring those, whether it's how Dodd-Frank actually works. If you're concerned about income and equality and holding the banks accountable, you have to know how it works and what you have to do to make it work. And I have the best plan to add to that.

When it comes to guns, we have a serious difference. And I was appalled that Senator Sanders said that he, you know, really didn't see any reason for the parents of children massacred at Sandy Hook in Connecticut to be able to try to sue the gun maker. I just absolutely disagree.

And so there's a lot we're going to keep talking about, and I think that's what the election should be focused on.

CUOMO: Understood. I want to ask you about both of the issues you just articulated. But with Wisconsin in the rear view mirror, there are some edgudancies (ph) of process to take a look at.

You just mentioned the difference between 2008, your last presidential run, and now in terms of delegate spread. There has been a notion from your supporters that it's about time for Sanders to drop out. You say the fact that he's not being pressured shows somewhat of a double standard. I heard you say that this morning. And I want to test that a little bit.

Yes, you dropped out in June. It's not June yet, so that's one difference. But a bigger difference is that it does appear by most metrics that Bernie Sanders has a lot of momentum, almost making him more like Obama than like Hillary Clinton in 2008. So is really asking him to drop out now, given all the excitement that's surrounding him, a really fair comparison?

CLINTON: Well, of course, I'm not asking him to. I wouldn't ask him to, and my campaign is not asking him to. But if you go back and look at 2008, I had a string of great victories in the spring. I won New York. I won Pennsylvania. We were really on a very good winning streak, however, I did not end up with more delegates.

I actually, by some measures, ended up with more popular vote, but it's delegates that count. And so I think let's keep focused on what the facts are here.

I have a really considerable lead in the popular vote, and I have a considerable lead in the delegates. But again, you know, we're going to take our various cases to the states that are coming up. We're going to be making those vigorously. I'm sure that the Senator will, and I know I will, and we're going to be drawing contrasts.

You're going to be hosting a debate on the 14th, which I'm really looking forward to. So I think we still have some good ground to cover, and I think it's great to have a contested Democratic primary, because it brings more people into the process.

When I dropped out at the end of our primary in 2008, I immediately urged all of my supporters to support then Senator Obama. I not only endorsed him, I nominated him at the convention and worked really hard. So I'm --

CUOMO: Remember well --

CLINTON: -- looking to unify the Democratic party when the process is over.

CUOMO: Do you expect the same from Senator Sanders the way that you dealt with the situation in 2008? Do you think he'll do the same?

CLINTON: Well, I would certainly hope so, because the most important goal of this primary process is nominating a Democratic candidate who will defeat the Republicans in the general election. And, you know, both of us share a lot of the same goals, and the Republicans are diametrically opposed to what we believe.

So I would certainly hope that at the end of this process if I'm so fortunate enough as to be the nominee that the Senator and his supporters will join the campaign to win in November, just as I and my supporters did in '08.

CUOMO: I asked for a couple of reasons. One, last night you may have heard that Senator Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said something interesting and inflammatory on our air here saying that, you know, the Clinton campaign, Secretary Clinton, they need to be careful not to destroy the Democratic party merely in pursuit of her own ambition to be President. Very strong words. Your response to that idea.

CLINTON: Yes, well, I mean, it's just ludicrous on the face of it. You know, I have been campaigning for Democrats, fundraising for Democrats, recruiting Democrats to run and win for a really long time. I think about 40 years.

And Senator Sanders, by his own admission, has never even been a Democrat. So look, I understand they're getting anxious. I get that. But they need to be thoughtful about what they do say, because at the end of the day, we need a Democratic president to succeed President Obama and to protect and further the progress that we've made under his eight years in office.

CUOMO: Exit polls do show that those Democrats who want to see President Obama's policies extended, continued, certainly favor you. And this is done somewhat in the context of what you just said about Senator Sanders, about being a real Democrat.

I read in a recent interview where you said, you know, you're not even sure he is a Democrat. Is that how you feel?

CLINTON: Well, he himself has said that he never was. He never ran as a Democrat until he started running for President.

But look, he's in the race. I'm in the race. And I believe strongly that it's not only critical to nominate someone who will win in November, but also to elect more Democrats.

I'm already helping other Democrats who are running. I'm helping raise money for them. I'm supporting them, because I think it is important to have a Democratic Senate. I think it's important to have a very clear mission to elect Democrats, and that's something that I not only have done in the past, but I intend to do in the future. CUOMO: Two policy questions for you. First of all, you have pointed

out in a recent interview with the editorial board of the "Daily News" that Senator Sanders said, you said, it raises real questions about his firm grasp of how the system works with regard to regulating banks and to how we fight the war on terror. How so?

CLINTON: Well, he's been campaigning now for a year on his core message of inequality, which I absolutely agree with. And I put forth my own plans. And in the interview, it seemed unclear as to whether he understood how Dodd-Frank worked, how we would go about breaking up banks that were posing risks to our economy.

I think I and many other people were surprised, because that has been the centerpiece of his campaign. I've been saying for many months that it's not enough to just have Dodd-Frank on the books. My goes much further, and independent experts who've analyzed it say it's a top to bottom effort to rein in the risks in the economy.

So I've given a lot of thought to this. I've worked hard to come up with plans that will build on Dodd-Frank. I'm committed to using the tools in Dodd-Frank as they are described in the legislation, if that arises a crisis that requires response. So I was, I think, a little bit, you know, surprised that there didn't seem to be a lot of substance to what he was saying.

CUOMO: How much more substance does he need other than, "I want to break up the banks. We'll figure out how. I want to go after ISIS. I'll figure out where I interrogate them"?

CLINTON: Well, it's going to be up to voters to decide.

CUOMO: I would say, Secretary, it's about what you want to do. You'll figure out how later.

CLINTON: Yes. Yes, well, that's not the way I've seen it work over a lot of years and a lot of reading of history. I think the presidents who are successful know what they want to do and they know how to do it. And they hit the ground running, able to do every aspect of the job, both as president and as commander in chief.

But voters can make up their own minds. I also laid out a plan about defeating ISIS that I think takes into account what we need to do around the world, building coalitions, something I'm experienced in doing, and keeping us safe at home.

So I'm going to keep talking about the issues that I think are on the minds of Americans, and in these next two weeks, the minds of New Yorkers. And I'll let Senator Sanders speak for himself.

CUOMO: On the same cover of the same newspaper where he did the interview, the "Daily News," today, they're going after Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders about Sandy Hook. Not easy to say. Not easy to read either, Secretary. I mean, its so emotional, so difficult.

And the core issue comes down to, should gun manufacturers be liable for their products being used illegally? You say yes. The Senator says, well, you'd have to show me something more than that, that there's some reason they should be liable.

I get the emotion, but where's the reason behind holding these gun manufacturers liable in a way no other corporation would be?

CLINTON: Well, that's just not true, Chris. In fact, under this legislation that Senator Sanders supported, they are the only industry in America that is not liable and accountable for what they do or fail to do.

And let's remember why the NRA called this piece of legislation the most important gun vote in years. It's because cities like New York and states and other groups were coming together around legal challenges the behavior of gun makers and sellers, trying to stem the epidemic of gun violence.

And the NRA wanted to stop it in its tracks, and they were able to get Senator Sanders to do their bidding. I voted against it. President Obama voted against it. Because clearly, it was an effort to bypass legal accountability. And so here we have this remarkable situation where you cannot question the liability or the behavior of gun makers and sellers.

I thought Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut really summed it up. He said Senator Sanders wants higher standards for toy guns than real guns.

CUOMO: One last question here as we're coming up on New York. I know you're pressed for time, Secretary. Thank you for giving us so much of it this morning -- or this afternoon. You know, my mind's always in the morning.

New York is going to be more relevant than people expected it to be. You were the Senator here for eight years. You lived here longer than that. But you're going against Bernie from Brooklyn, as it turns out, even though he's the Senator from Vermont. Who do you think is more of the real New Yorker?

CLINTON: Look, I think I know the state a lot better. I have a lot of recent experience. I've worked hard. I've done a lot with people who are sharing my values about breaking down barriers, ending gun violence, taking on special entrenched interests, improving education so every kid has a good teacher and a good school regardless of the zip code, contuing the work of healthcare, reforming criminal justice.

I've been working on these issues steadily, and I'm proud of my service as senator. And I'm going to keep working and keep talking about what we can do if I'm fortunate enough to be president.

CUOMO: Secretary Clinton, thank you for giving us the time today. Appreciate it.

CLINTON: Thank you. Thanks a lot, Chris.


CUOMO: You think that's what it was? You think they were -- she thought those things were funny?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Hard to know. What do you think? Do think it -- was it dismissive? Was it she was just in a good mood. What do you think?

KATE BOLDUAN, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: I don't know. I mean, she seems comfortable. She seemed relaxed. Maybe that's where the laughter came from. Our maybe it's a device to say how unseriously she takes Bernie Sanders, could be.

PEREIRA: Could be.

CUOMO: I don't think she finds anything funny about the allegations. I think it's definitely a device, and I think it's one that played very well to her supporters.

Sometimes you get something in an interview like that where that's what people wanted to see from you if they like you. Now, the people for Bernie's side did not like it. And so this is what we're seeing. This is why this New York primary si going to be such a big deal next week is that you have this party, this Democrat party, that's going through its own identify crisis --


CUOMO: -- just like the GOP.

BOLDUAN: All eyes on New York, because that's the next big prize for the race to the White House. And that means the candidates will have to face the harsh spotlight of the New York media.

Did Bernie Sanders just commit the first Big Apple blunder? A closer look when "New Day" continues.

CUOMO: The media's no good. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!


PEREIRA: New details emerging this morning about one of the two Brussels airport suicide bombers captured on surveillance video. They say the man worked as a cleaner at the European parliament for a month in 2009, another month in 2010. His identity has not been released. In the meantime, the massive manhunt continues for the fugitive suspect, the man in the white jacket.

BOLDUAN: A Newtown, Connecticut teacher arrested for bringing a gun to school. Police say Jason Adams is a teacher at Newtown Middle School, and he was carrying a concealed firearm when he was stopped by school security on Wednesday morning.

Adams does have a carry permit. Adams is now on administrative leave, and he faces a Class D felony charge for possession of a weapon on school grounds.

CUOMO: Legendary country singer, Merle Haggard, has died. He passed away on his birthday following complications from pneumonia. Haggard had a string of number one hits. We all know his name, of course. He used to say about himself, "I'm just a hillbilly who rhymes words." He was best known for patriot tunes like, "Okie from Muskogee" and "The Fight Inside of Me." Merle Haggard was 79 and will certainly be missed.

PEREIRA: And imagine that. Into this life on the -- lost his life on the same day he came in.

BOLDUAN: I'm always interested in that symmetry.

PEREIRA: I know.

BOLDUAN: That happens more than you think, you know.

PEREIRA: More than we know.

All right, so the presidential hopefuls are facing a massive media blitz in the Big Apple. Bernie Sanders already a bit behind the eight ball. We'll tell you what he said to a New York newspaper that has one Sandy Hook family demanding an apology.


BOLDUAN: The New York primary less than two weeks away. So just look at this morning's "NY Daily New" cover, taking aim at Senator Ted Cruz, "Take the FU Train, Ted," it says.

Bill Carter likes that. Joining us now, CNN media analyst and author of "The War for Late Night," Bill Carter, and CNN senior reporter for media politics, Dylan Byers. Good to have both of you.

Bill, let me start with you. We keep hearing about this, you know, piranha pool of the New York media that'll eat you alive. I thought perhaps everyone was overstating it until --


DYLAN BYERS, SENIOR REPORTER, CNN: Until you woke up today.

BOLDUAN: Well, I mean, not only today. My producer put together this montage of recent political headlines. On the front page --



BOLDUAN: -- look at this. I mean, just look at some of the illustration. No one is sacred here. "Drop Dead, Ted." They have the Statue of Liberty giving Ted Cruz -- flipping him the bird. They have Hillary Clinton looking ghastly. They have -- I mean, all --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump in a clown makeup. BOLDUAN: Trump in a clown makeup.


BOLDUAN: And then this one, Bernie Sanders, you know, about shame. All right. I mean, it just goes on and on and on.

How is this all going to play over the next two weeks?

CARTER: Well, I think it's exciting. I think it shows you've got to run the gauntlet of media in New York. You can't just, you know, give your Trump -- your stump speech and think you can get away with it. You're going to be asked details.

You're going to be pressed on details. And you're going to be held to account. And it's going to be like swing from the hips kind of coverage, which I think is exciting really.

BOLDUAN: Dylan, it seems as though Ted Cruz is going to lose this one, because at least the others have some claim to New York in a hometown status between Hillary and Bernie and Donald Trump.

BYERS: Well, yes, I think you're right. And, you know, I watch all of the candidates really going into this New York City media market and am reminded of that line in "Casablanca" where Humphrey Bogart's character tells the Nazi general there are certain parts of New York you shouldn't try to invade.

I mean, really, you know, there's nothing like the New York City tabloid culture. They certainly have no reservations about telling the presidential candidates, you know, as you saw in the headline, "FU."

I mean, there's really -- there's really a grittiness, an aggressiveness and a lack of deference to any of these presidential candidates. You are not going to see these kinds of headlines on the cover of "The Des Moines Register" or the "New Hampshire Union Leader," and that's really something that none of the candidates have had to face in a local media since until now.

And certainly, Donald Trump is used to it. He's been playing that game his entire career. Hillary Clinton, of course, is very used to it, having been Senator of New York. And Bernie Sanders grew up with it. But Ted Cruz, it's a different ballgame for him.

BOLDUAN: It is interesting that there's no sacred cows. I mean, they go after every one.

CARTER: Yes, and it's interesting, as Dylan says, you've got play the whole field here. You -- it doesn't matter if there are three radio hosts, like in Wisconsin. It's a huge vast array here. You can't just play a little narrow corner of it.

BOLDUAN: So the first candidate who seems to have truly confronted the crucible of the New York media beyond the snarky headlines is Bernie Sanders. He had this sit down with the -- CARTER: With the "Daily News" editorial.

BOLDUAN: -- "Daily News" editorial board --


BOLDUAN: -- in which he made some blunders. I mean, on all sides, people called these blunders. He talked about ISIS in a way that wasn't satisfying as well as banks.

CARTER: And the Sandy Hook issue.

BOLDUAN: And now the Sandy Hook issue.


BOLDUAN: So let me read that for everyone, because this is what happened. Oh, actually, it was on tape, so listen to this.


REPORTER, DAILY NEWS: The victims of the Sandy Hook massacre are looking to have the right to sue for damages the manufacturers of the weapons. Do you think that that is -- that that is something that should be expanded?

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do I think the victims of a crime with a gun should be able to sue the manufacturer, is that your question?

REPORTER: Correct.

SANDERS: No, I don't.


BOLDUAN: One of the families from Sandy Hook is demanding an apology for that. They're not happy. How much does that hurt him?

CARTER: I think it does hurt him, because it's being magnified here. It's been out there before. The gun issue, Hillary's pressed him on that gun issue, but it hasn't really played the way it's going to play on the East coast. It's going to play much stronger, and he's going to have to have a better answer, I think, than that. That sounded not just like he wasn't sensitive, but it wasn't direct. Like he wasn't really responding.

BOLDUAN: Dylan, less than a minute. What do you think about that response, particularly to Sandy Hook, and about that entire editorial board interview?

BYERS: Well, look, I think -- I think Bernie Sanders was standing on principle. This is an issue that he's -- you know, you can't blame him for being inconsistent on that issue.

And -- but one of the problems with how Bernie Sanders handled that entire interview, and it's going to sound funny to say it, he was too honest. He didn't think about the political ramifications of a lot of the things he was saying. And that's true even when he answered some questions by saying I don't know, I can't answer that until I have all the facts in front of me.

I mean, there's really -- there's really sort of a sense that Bernie Sanders wasn't prepared on how to handle this interview on a political front. I mean, if anything, he's too honest. And, of course, for many of his supporters, that's -- you know, that's a good thing. But it comes across as being insensitive, certainly in regard to the gun control issue, especially with New York voters.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Dylan, Bill, thanks so much. Great to talk to you guys.

What is your take? You can tweet us @newday or post your comments on

We're following a lot of news, including Bernie Sanders calling Hillary Clinton unqualified to be president. So let's get right to it.

CLINTON: But a number of important areas, he doesn't have a plan at all.

SANDERS: She thinks that I am quote unquote, "not qualified to be president."

CLINTON: He never ran as a Democrat until he started running for president.