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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Awaiting Donald Trump at Rally, Hours Before Primary; RNC Fights Back Against Trump; Clinton, Sanders Make Final Push Before New York Primary; Interview with Eric Trump; Ecuador Quake Death Toll Rises to 413. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 18, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news. Donald Trump speaking live in this hour just before polls open in the crucial state of New York. This is Trump may fire RNC Chairman Reince Priebus if he's the nominee.
Plus, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battling for every vote. Can Sanders pull it off tomorrow?
And Ted Cruz racking up delegates this weekend without any voters actually going to the polls. My guest tonight, Cruz's top delegate hunter. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Donald Trump about to speak live, rallying a huge crowds of supporters in Buffalo, New York. This is as we're counting you down to the crucial New York primary. That is where Trump is going to speak at any moment in Buffalo. A voters, though, in the state of New York heading to the polls less than 11 hours from now. You are looking at live pictures from that Trump rally, and the stakes truly could not be higher for Trump as the frontrunner. New York is one of the biggest prizes to date. Ninety five Republican delegates are up for grabs.
Trump has held a consistent, comfortable lead in his home state's polls. But he needs more than just a win. A lot more than a win in the state of New York. Ted Cruz has been out muscling Trump in the delegate fight over the weekend. Trump needs to win big to re- establish his dominance in the race and to win all of the delegates in New York or as many of them as he possibly can. Trump's campaign up to 85. This is as Trump is upping the ante with his battle with the RNC saying if he wins the nomination, he might oust the RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Just moments ago, a top RNC official fired back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: The members of the RNC elected and re-elected Chairman Priebus last year. He serves a two- year term. It's no one's decision but the members of the RNC and they made it. So it's end of story. It's frankly, a silly story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jim Acosta begins our coverage OUTFRONT tonight at that Trump rally that you can see on the screen in Buffalo. And Jim, this is going to be a huge rally. I know he's got a major person introducing him, the Buffalo Bills' coach. How is Trump feeling about his chances in his home state?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, Donald Trump says he doesn't want to believe the polls right now, because basically, they're that good. And after a string of losses from Wisconsin to Wyoming, Donald Trump is seeking to do something he hasn't done in weeks and that is win a primary. And he wants to do that here in his home state of New York. He'll be out in Buffalo in just a few moments where he's expected to continue blaming the GOP system for these recent setbacks. A system he calls rigged.
ACOSTA (voice-over): One day before the New York primary, Donald Trump wants the voters to know how much he loves his home state.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look at the other folks that are running, they couldn't care less about New York. We do care about New York and we care about New York a lot. And we care about New York values.
ACOSTA: And how much he hates the Republican Party system for picking a president.
TRUMP: They have a system that's rigged. We have a system that is crooked.
ACOSTA: At just about every turn, Trump is warning the GOP of the consequences of denying him the nomination. If he's ahead in the delegate count but just short of the magic number needed to win.
TRUMP: You're going to have a very, very upset and angry group of people at the convention. I hope it doesn't involve violence. And I don't think it will. But I will say this. It's a rigged system.
ACOSTA: For weeks, he has seen delegates slip away to Ted Cruz in places like Wyoming, where party insiders and activists pick the winner. And even in states where the real estate tycoon has won, like Georgia, some delegates are pledging their support to Cruz, if Trump fails to win on the first round of voting it at the July convention.
TRUMP: The fact that you're taking all of these people out and wining them and dining them, nobody does that stuff better than me. I just don't want to do it.
ACOSTA: Trump's fight with the GOP is escalating into a new war of words with Cruz. In a tweet, Trump suggested the RNC is in on the scam, saying lying Ted Cruz can't win with the voters so he asked to sell himself to the bosses. Cruz is hitting back.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald is not a complicated man to understand. He doesn't handle losing well. ACOSTA: Trump is sending a message to RNC officials. If he's the
nominee, buckle up. He told the "Washington Post," he would like to put some showbiz into the convention. But Trump is also looking ahead to the general election, meeting with his diversity council, to improve his standing with minority voters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I say Donald, you say Trump!
ACOSTA: Now despite his recent struggles, Donald Trump is poised to go on a big roll over the next couple weeks. The polls show he could sweep all of these states, 95 delegates and then the battle remains in the northeast, where he's also favored to go on and win in places like Pennsylvania and Delaware and Connecticut. And Erin, just a few moments ago, they were doing the wave inside this arena in Buffalo. They are feeling very good. That's because Donald Trump is about to do something he hasn't done in a while. That's win big -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Acosta, thank you very much.
And let's go to Sunlen Serfaty now OUTFRONT with the Cruz campaign. A very different vibe there. Because there's not a major rally tonight. Some in New York votes tomorrow. Today Cruz had a rally though. It was in the state of Maryland. Is he really conceding that New York is Trump's for the taking at this point?
[19:05:20] SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly it seems that way, Erin. If you look at his rhetoric and quite frankly, also his schedule. Senator Cruz already trying to move past New York, essentially, and look ahead to states that are coming up on the schedule like here in Maryland, like Pennsylvania, where he'll be tomorrow in Indiana, as well. Cruz campaign official telling me tonight that they believe that Donald Trump will do very well in his home state tomorrow. But certainly their hope is really two-fold, is to be able to still pick off delegates from Donald Trump in New York tomorrow.
At the same time, also make sure that Donald Trump stays below 50 percent. They have really set the expectations for Trump sky high in his home state. Advisers saying if he does not win, by over 50 percent, that will be a devastating loss for him, in their words. But it is certainly notable that tonight Senator Cruz is focused here on Maryland. He's not having any formal campaign rallies in New York today. He was in New York for closed-door fundraisers and interviews, but not doing any last-minute campaigning there to shore up last- minute votes.
So really buckling down, looking ahead here in Maryland. And this will be such a key part of the Cruz campaign strategy going forward. Not necessarily looking at whole states that they can outright win, but rather really putting their strategy at play, and really targeting key spots where they can really turn out the vote in specific areas. To really pick up those delegates along the way -- Erin.
BURNETT: Sunlen, thank you. And OUTFRONT now, Tara Setmayer worked as communications director for a Republican congressman. Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes. Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and Jackie Kucinich is the Washington Bureau Chief of the Daily Beast.
Let me start with you, Jackie. You just heard Sunlen, Ted Cruz not campaigning in New York tonight, not going to be here when the results come in tomorrow. Can Trump win all 95 of New York's delegates tomorrow?
JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: It certainly seems that he's on his way to win big. The campaign for Donald playing that a little bit by a factor of, yes, 10 points.
BURNETT: Right. Right.
KUCINICH: But still, I mean, he's winning in the -- he is looking like he's winning in the Congressional delegations as well as statewide if he gets over 50 percent, that's what's going to happen statewide.
KUCINICH: So it could be a very good night for Donald Trump. Which would propel him into these next couple contests, where it also -- the ground looks really good for him there, as well.
BURNETT: And you use the word propel. Tara, I mean, is it fair to say, look, after Wisconsin there were a lot of people saying, okay, that's it for Trump. That's it for Trump. He's gone. Now he comes back with a big win in New York. Does that put him back in the lead when it comes to momentum and back on the path to nomination?
TARA SETMAYER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR REP. DANA ROHRABACHER: Yes, I mean, I guess. I mean, as long as the media continues to frame it this way, sure. I mean, he's going to win in New York. That's nothing anybody didn't expect. I think the wins for Ted Cruz in Wisconsin in an open primary, it was a pretty handy loss to Donald Trump there. So he didn't like that very much. He's also -- Ted Cruz is also winning the delegate game moving forward. Since March 15th, Donald Trump has only won seven delegates.
Ted Cruz has won 133 at this point. So, I mean, this is what it's about. It's a delegate fight, hunt, game, to get to the nomination. That is what the Republican Party does. It's what the Democrats do. That's what Donald Trump signed up to do when he decided to run as a Republican for the presidency. If he is serious about it, I think it's completely disingenuous he's running around complaining about a rigged system when he's won caucus states. He didn't complain about that in Nevada.
SETMAYER: He didn't complain about that in Kentucky when he won caucus states. But in the caucus states that he's not winning, where there's delegates, he's complaining that it's rigged. It's completely disingenuous and is actually propaganda. BURNETT: We're going to be talking to Ted Cruz's delegate hunter in
just a couple of minutes. Scottie, in this issue though of New York. You know, as Jackie points out, the campaign is really cutting expectations. They're saying they're going to win 85, not 95. All right. But it's crucial here, because as Tara points out, whatever you want to say about the past few weeks, it's Ted Cruz has been kind of picking up delegates here and there and not Donald Trump. So, does he need to get all these 95 delegates tomorrow?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: But he can still get 85 and that's more than Wyoming and Colorado combined. And so it's still a better number for him. I mean, that's -- it's all about strategy. It's all about being successful in business and he's using these same techniques. You know, Ted Cruz poured millions of dollars into Colorado, putting millions of dollars into Wyoming.
SETMAYER: That is not true. He did not pour millions of dollars.
HUGHES: He poured money into both of those.
SETMAYER: Let's be accurate.
HUGHES: You think it cost less than $1 million to get those --
SETMAYER: That's not true. Just be accurate.
HUGHES: No, you want to talk about -- they have had a great ground game since January of 2015 that cost dollars of money in politics. Mr. Trump realized since he's paying for his own campaign and out paid by facts that he's going to --
SETMAYER: Investing in voters.
HUGHES: Can I speak?
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: What kind of wine was being used to wine and dine these delegates? I mean, is it true that if you will, you have this effort to really convert delegates or switch delegates?
HUGHES: And that's what we're seeing. You know, you look in Colorado and this idea that, you know, Colorado -- things don't change, guess what? Back in April of 2015, there was actually a bill on the House floor to actually make it a caucus or that they would actually have an election in Colorado. Four of the Republican representatives who actually killed the bill now sit on Ted Cruz's actual Colorado leadership team. This has been a long-term plan.
MORIAL: In advance of -- the rule changes in 2012 before the convention. I mean, rule changes and fight overrules. There's nothing new about that.
BURNETT: You brought up a great point. You brought up a great point there. SETMAYER: The one who passed the caucus system in Colorado, which is
voted on by the people. So this is such a lie. You guys are lying about what happened in Colorado.
HUGHES: No, I'm not. No, I'm not lying about that. There were four --
[19:10:38] BURNETT: Don't talk over each other because no one can hear you.
HUGHES: There's not a lie. There was a bill last April to sit there and say, let's open this up to an election of the people of Colorado. The four members who killed the bill are now on -- Senator Cruz --
SETMAYER: It got voted down.
HUGHES: The four people who got up there and said that by the state legislature. No, the people of Colorado were not given a choice. And that's why -- if it was -- if they were, then you would not have a -- what we're seeing in Colorado and Wyoming right now. Now, you made a great point right there. The rules changed. That's why these delegates matter so much right now. Because three days before the RNC starts or a week before, all of these rules could be changed. That's why it's important to make sure you have true delegates represent the people who voted and we're not finding that.
MORIAL: If the rules aren't on your side, you've got to attack the rules, right?
BURNETT: Anybody would if you're on the other side.
SETMAYER: The rule to be -- to win the majority of the delegates for the nomination have not changed since 1856. This is nonsense. It's absolute --
HUGHES: But why are you sitting there --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
MORIAL: For example, in 2012, the threshold of how many states you needed to win to get on the ballot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is different. That's different than winning a nomination.
MORIAL: The idea is you can game the system and it's politics, right? So it's fair game. But the question is, now that you've got a contested convention, people will pay attention to the rules in ways --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The rules do change.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
BURNETT: Hold on. Hold on.
SETMAYER: That was eight months ago and he knew.
KUCINICH: None of this Ted Cruz -- like, play double dealing, whatever they're saying, and the double agent that he's recruiting. None of that matters if Donald Trump is able to get 1,237. That's the bottom-line.
BURNETT: Yes. On the first ballot.
KUCINICH: On the first ballot. If he's able to do that, none of this will matter. And if he gets the question, if he gets like 1,236, what's going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, exactly.
BURNETT: And Marc, a quick final word to you though. "Wall Street Journal" and NBC News poll just came out. Very interesting. Terrible unfavorables for Trump. But in terms of Republicans, 63 percent say they would be satisfied if he was the nominee. A month ago, that was only 53. What does that say about the Republican Party? Overall his unfavorables are still the most unfavorable on record according to this poll.
MORIAL: But still it's very difficult of any candidate to really be competitive in a general election unless you consolidate your own party base. If you still have 40 percent of the people against you, you have a long road to go in a general election.
BURNETT: Right. Interesting. And, of course, just for comparison purposes, last time around everyone in that poll at this time Mitt Romney was at about 72 versus 63 percent for Donald Trump.
So next, you are looking at live pictures of a Bernie Sanders rally in Long Island City, New York that you can see right there. It is a gorgeous summer day in New York City. And that is adding to the size of this crowd. We're going to go there after the break.
And after raising millions of dollars for Hillary Clinton at a fundraiser, why did George Clooney say this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE CLOONEY, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: It is an obscene amount of money, the Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I guess he gave his honest opinion.
Plus Donald trump saying he'll put some showbiz into the convention. What would a Trump convention look like? I'm going to ask my guest, Eric Trump, tonight.
And after little Marco and lying Ted. Now this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And then, of course, we have crooked Hillary. Crooked Hillary, folks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:17:25] BURNETT: Tonight Bernie Sanders making last-minute appeals to voters, fighting for an upset in New York State. These are live pictures on your screen out of Long Island City in New York. It's about 80 degrees outside. So you have a summer crowd. Moments away, Sanders will kick off a campaign rally there. Latest polls show him trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits. But he is not backing down in the final hours, hoping for that upset.
Brianna Keilar is OUTFRONT.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I need your help tomorrow.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are making their final push in New York.
CLINTON: New York had my back, and I always tried to have your back. And I will again if I'm so fortunate enough to be elected your president!
KEILAR: The Clinton camp is feeling bullish, while Sanders once talking up his chances in New York, is now tamping down expectations on CNN.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the disadvantages we have, as you know, is on the New York state law. Independents can now participate in the Democratic primary. We usually win the Independent vote two to one. So we're kind of spotting Secretary Clinton a whole lot in that regard.
KEILAR: But if Clinton's lead in the polls and her adopted home state has her dancing in the streets, Sanders is nearly eliminated her lead nationally, trailing by only two points, within the poll's margin of error. Sanders has been hammering Clinton for her ties to Wall Street, and wealthy donors.
SANDERS: We don't want their money. We're going to do it a different way.
KEILAR: Saturday, his supporters made the point a different way. Throwing money at Clinton's motorcade as she arrived at a $33,000 a head dinner, hosted by George and Amal Clooney. The actor agreeing with Sanders on the role of money and politics, but making a veiled jab at the Senator for focusing more on his own fundraising and not other Democrats running for elections.
CLOONEY: It is an obscene amount of money. The Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right. But the overwhelming amount of the money they were raising is not going to Hillary to run for president. It's going to the down ticket. It's going to the congressman and senators to try to take back Congress.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer.
KEILAR: As the Democratic primary battle reaches a critical moment, "Saturday Night Live" poked fun at Sanders this weekend for his lack of specifics on how he would fulfill a major campaign promise. With a guest appearance by a quintessential New Yorker, Elaine from "Seinfeld."
ELAINE MARIE BENES, ACTRESS: But how exactly are you going to break up the big banks?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once I'm elected president, I'll have a nice schvitz in the White House gym, then I'll go to the big banks, I'll sit them down, and ya-da, ya-da, ya-da, they'll be broken up.
KEILAR: And dinged Clinton for her stance on raising the federal minimum wage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said $12 and/or $15.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's not true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it is not! No, no, no, no!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes it is!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you feeling that?
KEILAR: Sanders says the polls here in New York are underestimating his support. You look at the latest NBC News "Wall Street Journal" poll, he is trailing Hillary Clinton by 17 points. But the polls would need, Erin, to vastly under estimate his performance here in New York for him to realistically continue his campaign as he ruled viable search for the nomination. Because you look at how much he's trailing Hillary Clinton and pledge delegates, it's still over 200 pledge delegates. It's a considerable amount that's Erin to make up.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brianna.
OUTFRONT now Lisa Caputo, former Clinton White House aide, former press secretary for Hillary Clinton. Our political commentator Sally Kohn who just endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.
Jackie Kucinich and Marc Morial are also back with me. Sally, we start with you. Can Bernie Sanders pull off that upset, like he did in Michigan? Can he come from behind and pull it off tomorrow?
SALLY KOHN, BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: I mean, well, I don't have my crystal ball, but I have to say I was at a rally in Brooklyn in Prospect Park. The enthusiasm is significant. And, you know, look, the victory here is, I'm going to keep saying and keep saying. First of all, he wasn't expected to do this well. He certainly wasn't expected to do as well as the polls are showing him now doing in New York. And anything he does. Yes, I think he could pull up an upset. But anything he does to make that margin more tight, certainly than anyone expected, is a victory for him. And I think that's legitimate.
BURNETT: Lisa, if Sanders loses tomorrow though, is his campaign over? You just heard Brianna say, he needs to do well, he needs a win to show that he is a viable alternative for the actual nomination. If he loses tomorrow, is that over?
LISA CAPUTO, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I think it's over because the math doesn't work for Senator Sanders. And you know, Hillary Clinton has locked up a ton of super delegates. She's way ahead, you know, in terms of the number of delegates on top of that. I think secondly, you know, to say that if he narrows her victory in New York, somehow it's a win, I just don't see -- that's misguided. A win is a win. And already, you know, if we're going to talk about enthusiasm, nine million people -- over nine million people have cast a vote for Hillary Clinton.
[19:22:23] So I'm sort of perplexed by the Sanders' campaign and the tampering of expectations of, well, if he narrows the margin of victory, you know, for Hillary, somehow that's a victory. The reality is, the math doesn't work. She's got a deep inroads into the minority community, the women's community, and those, you know -- over 50 that I think, you know, has carried her quite significantly.
KOHN: But you are -- the fact of the matter is, first of all, you are seeing him -- she's supposed to be the frontrunner, but he's closing her lead in New York and he's closer within a statistical difference nationally. That's not a very strong frontrunner. And let's be very clear here. The math does not add up for the way the Democratic Party has been running economic policy in this country. It's not adding up for working class people, it's not adding up for poor people. That is his momentum. That's where he is winning. He's going to remain a viable candidate in the Democratic discussion through to the convention and this movement will remain viable in pushing the Democratic Party.
MORIAL: The Democratic Party has never had a coronation. 2008 was competitive. If you look back, 2004 was competitive. Maybe 2000 is the last time. So, I think it's been a very good debate. It's been waged on a high level. Many people say in comparison to what you've seen on the other side. They have been good, strong discussions about public policy. Certainly, I think it's close to the point in time where both of these folks need to be thinking about how they nailed the kind of coalition. I think the voters are ready for the general election conversation.
KUCINICH: But the candidates are not ready for the general election conversation. We saw that last week. And we have seen it during these rallies. And Bernie Sanders yesterday was throwing barbs at Hillary Clinton during that rally. Hillary Clinton, obviously, isn't ready to let go, either much because she's got to win this primary first. And, you know, assuming the nomination. So, if the candidates aren't ready to let go, how can the people be --
BURNETT: We also have these numbers -- to your point, 25 percent of voters nationwide who are Sanders supporters say they will not under any circumstance vote for Hillary Clinton. Fifteen percent if the numbers are reversed. But you have a lot of passion there and a lot that comes from Sanders successfully saying Hillary Clinton is in the pocket of big business and special interests. George Clooney had those fund-raisers this weekend. Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars to be a co-chair. All right? That's a lot of money. Bernie Sanders said that that kind of money is obscene. He's got a fund- raiser. But hold on, let me just play it for you. Because George Clooney actually said he's absolutely right.
BURNETT: Let me just play George Clooney here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLOONEY: I think it's an obscene amount of money. I think that, you know, we had some protesters last night when we pulled up in San Francisco. And they're right to protest. They're absolutely right. It is an obscene amount of money. The Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Pretty -- a guy raising money for your candidate.
CAPUTO: No, it's a fact. I think Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton, would agree on this. There's too much money in the system. The system needs to be reformed. Guess what? Congress hasn't tried to reform the system. Why? Because it works in favor of an incumbent. Second point. You know, I think that George Clooney, you know, made the statement in the setup piece, which was that fund-raiser that he and his wife had was about the Democratic Party. Senator Sanders is out there raising money for himself.
Third point I want to make. Which is, you know, I love when we talk about the math and somehow it gets flipped to what's going on with the economy. You know, the reality is, Hillary Clinton is not beholden to anyone. She has never been beholden to anyone. Her record stands on its own. Second point related to that is, Senator Sanders makes the statements -- hang on -- breaking up the banks. And yet he has no concept on what he's talking about and no --
KOHN: He did come back with more specifics.
CAPUTO: How much does it cost for Senator Sanders to give, you know, kids free college? We get no specifics.
KOHN: Spent on the Iraq war.
CAPUTO: What is it? How much is it? How do you implement it?
KOHN: Far less than we spent in the Iraq war. Listen, first of all, let me say, George Clooney, I think you make one very good-looking hypocrite. Number one. Just to be clear. And number two, honestly -- seriousness, I don't think Hillary supporters would like their candidate to be beholden to big money from the mega rich and for corporations --
Wait a second.
MORIAL: It does not mean that you're beholden to anybody.
KOHN: But yet we have a system where the people has taken that money --
MORIAL: Citizens United -- should be overturned. But no one should unilaterally disarm themselves.
KOHN: You don't have to. Look at what Bernie Sanders has done.
MORIAL: Bernie Sanders isn't winning! He isn't winning.
KOHN: But he's raising more money than --
KUCINICH: With all due respect --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
BURNETT: Final word, Jackie.
KUCINICH: With all due respect, there's a reason why this narrative is taking hold that Bernie Sanders has put out there. Hillary Clinton has yet to dispel it. In a significant way.
CAPUTO: There is no specifics.
KOHN: So put out the transcripts. Release more tax returns.
BURNETT: All right. We'll leave on that note. And OUTFRONT next, Ted Cruz sweeping up delegates this weekend. We're going to be joined by his chief delegate hunter, right after this. Ken Cuccinelli will be my guest. And Trump's very personal fight with his party. His son, Eric Trump, my guest, OUTFRONT next.
[19:31:34] BURNETT: Donald Trump is about to speak live, rally of a big crowd of supporters in Buffalo, New York. The man there on the stage introducing him is the coach of the Buffalo Bills, Rex Ryan, which Donald Trump has been -- had been billing as his big introducer this evening. Tens of thousands of people there.
And there are some bumps in the road, though, for Donald Trump as he gets ready for this major rally in New York's vote, because he is battling Ted Cruz over delegates. I'm getting the short end of that again and again.
Cruz is still far behind Trump in the overall number. But Cruz racked up the delegates this weekend without any voters actually going to the polls. So how?
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
And, Tom, walk me through how Cruz keeps getting these delegates and taking delegates away from Trump when people are not voting.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erin.
Take a look at the delegate math and take a look at the battlefield of the country right now. And you can see, Donald Trump is winning many of the battles for the nomination, but Ted Cruz is making some strategic moves in the war for it.
And if you look at just a few states, you can see that there should be caution lights flashing for the Trump campaign in several places. Here's one: Wyoming.
Wyoming did not have a popular vote in all of this. Instead, in a series of party meetings through March and April, they decided what to do with their 29 delegates. Ted Cruz's team went up there, they worked those party officials, and he came out of Wyoming with 24 of the 29 delegates.
What about Kansas down here? Kansas did have a vote. They had a caucus system. March 5th, 40 delegates up for grabs. They all went in there and, again, the Cruz campaign worked the caucuses very well.
In the end, he came out with more than a half of the delegates from Kansas while Trump walked away with only nine of them.
Different story, different strategy when you move across to South Carolina. This was a big win for Donald Trump. Remember this back in February? Fifty delegates, Trump walked away with all 50 of them there. Big win.
But what has happened since? The Cruz people have said, look, all these people become unbound after the first vote in a contested convention. They have been working to convert some of Trump's 50 into double agents. People who will come to the Cruz camp once that first vote is over.
And just this past weekend here in Georgia, look, the vote was also decided there. Back on March 1st, 76 delegates up for grabs. Trump got 42 of them, the lion's share. Rubio and Cruz split the rest. But this past weekend, the Cruz people in there were working, working, working, to make sure that 40 -- among those 42, there are more of those double agents, people who will cross over.
Now, you may be asking, are there any places where Trump is safe, where he can say the vote is over, I won, I get to keep it? Florida is one example where that might be the case. In the sense there were 99 delegates, it's a huge prize from back in mid March. And he got all 99 of them. In a winner take all system.
Here's the good part for Trump here. Not only is it a big win. But these delegates are bound through three votes at a contested election. And yet even here, Erin, the Cruz team is pecking away at those people, saying we want them to start coming to our camp if you get past three votes. And nobody has yet clinched the nomination -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Tom Foreman, thank you very much.
And, you know, OUTFRONT now, the delegate operations director for Ted Cruz, Ken Cuccinelli.
As we call you, Ken, the Cruz delegate hunter. All right. I want to ask you about Tom's reporting.
[19:35:00] But, first of all, Ken, I want to just -- question of principle. Donald Trump is going to have more delegates than anyone else coming into the convention, either a majority or not a majority but more than anyone else.
KEN CUCCINELLI, DELEGATE OPERATIONS DIRECTOR FOR TED CRUZ: Right.
BURNETT: So on the principle, why do you believe a candidate with fewer votes than Trump deserves to be the nominee?
CUCCINELLI: Well, first of all, you used the word majority, and that's critical. The first candidate to a majority wins. And we absolutely respect that principle. And we intend to act under that principle.
But realize, we started with 17 good candidates in this race. And only Ted Cruz has continued to consolidate and unify the party as people have backed out of the race. And that's a very important thing to be able to do. Donald Trump has yet to win a majority anywhere in America. But Ted Cruz has.
And ultimately, one of them is going to have to come out of Cleveland with the majority. And only Ted Cruz so far has proven he's able to do that anywhere.
BURNETT: All right. So, the other part of my question, of course, even if he didn't have the majority, but had more votes -- more delegates then and more votes than Ted Cruz, why you thought Ted Cruz would still, you know, be right as the nominee?
On that note, I want to get more on Tom's reporting. Let's take Wyoming, right? No public vote, Ken. Party insiders in the state award 24 of 29 delegates to Ted Cruz. How is that democratic?
CUCCINELLI: Well, first of all, at the precinct level out in early March, there were scattered votes all over the state. And Donald Trump did win eight delegate then, Ted won nine, Rubio won one and one elected uncommitted.
So, there are a lot more people involved in this than you have suggested. It's not that there were party insiders making those choices. There are a couple states where that does seem to happen. Indiana, New York, are two examples where that happens. And we both have to live with that. We're not advantaged or disadvantaged by that, and neither, frankly, I Trump, as far as I can tell.
In the last five races that Ted has won, all the way back to Utah, over 1 million people have voted. Over 1.3 million people have voted. Ted broke the record --
BURNETT: Right. That includes Wisconsin, though, of course, which was an open primary.
CUCCINELLI: Oh, absolutely. And it was an open primary. It was an open primary and Ted Cruz shattered the record for votes, and crushed Donald Trump in that open primary. So their theory falls apart.
Look, they did well in the Nevada caucus. They did well in some of these states themselves. And we're doing well.
And so when we win, they whine. But I didn't hear Donald Trump complaining, you used Georgia. When he got 37 percent of the vote in Georgia, and came away with 57 percent of the delegates. That's a 50 percent increase over his vote performance. We didn't complain about that. And neither, noticeably, did Donald Trump.
BURNETT: So, you know, what' interesting --
CUCCINELLLI: Ted is bringing out people to these small events and these events all around the country, because they're motivated on his position for economic growth and freedom.
BURNETT: Now, I'm going to be speaking to Donald Trump's son in a moment. And I'm going to ask him about that differential, because it has happened nationally, as well -- the difference between the percent of vote and the percent of delegates.
But you mentioned Georgia, Ken. Let me ask you about Georgia. Trump won the state 42 of the 76. When it came to picking who those people are going to be, the Cruz campaign, you, successfully got Cruz loyalists placed in many Trump spots. So the strategy is, right, if the convention goes to a second ballot, they'll flip to vote for you.
But the confusion is here if the people of Georgia elected those people to support Trump again, the question of democracy. Not rules. How is putting Cruz loyalists in those slots democratic or the right American thing to do?
CUCCINELLI: You know, well, first of all, these are elections. Sixty-three percent of Georgians voted against Donald Trump on Super Tuesday. So what happens to all of those people?
Well, they're coming together behind Ted Cruz. This is an expression through voting. These are elections, Erin. These are elections that Ted is winning.
And people aren't used to two levels of election, where you have, say, a primary and a convention for the representatives. But because Donald Trump hasn't gotten a majority anywhere in America, nowhere in America, we have to have a tie-breaking system in Cleveland, in case no candidate comes in with a majority of the delegates. That's what that is about. And now they're getting -- they --
BURNETT: Before we go, this crucial question, though. Back to the very first question I asked. If Donald Trump has more delegates than anyone else, which he's going to, why do you believe the person who has fewer should still be the nominee, i.e., Ted Cruz?
CUCCINELLI: Sure, the person who can put the coalition together to get a majority and unify the party should be the nominee. And they're going to have to do that to beat Hillary in November. And only Ted Cruz has proven that he has a message of economic growth and freedom to be able to do that.
Donald Trump is scaring people away. He's not bringing them together. Ted Cruz is bringing them together.
BURNETT: Ken Cuccinelli, thank you very much.
BURNETT: Ted Cruz's delegate hunter on his strategy there.
And next, a revealing poll shows more Republicans may be warming up to a Trump nominee.
[19:40:01] Trump's son Eric is my guest.
Plus, new video of a daring rescue in Ecuador, the death toll rising there, 413 at least now dead in that earthquake. An American now confirmed among them. We're going to go live to the hardest-hit area in the nation.
BURNETT: Breaking news: Donald Trump speaking in Buffalo, New York. You see him on the podium, shows 65 percent of Americans have a negative view of Donald Trump. That compares to only 49 percent with a negative view of Ted Cruz. However, in the same poll, Republicans are increasingly on board with Trump as their nominee, 63 percent said they would be satisfied with Trump at the top of the ticket. Now, that is up just ten points in one month. Obviously, statistically significant on that front.
OUTFRONT tonight, Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump.
Eric, good to see you again. ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Good to be here.
BURNETT: Your father said if he's the nominee, he's going to stay, in his words, "unpresidential" until he wins the general election, even if he's competing against Hillary Clinton. With unfavorables like those, though, are you telling him that he needs to change his tone?
TRUMP: No, not at all. If you look at Ronald Reagan, who's one of the greatest Republicans presidents we've ever had, right, I mean, had massive unfavorables as well.
[19:45:02] Listen, my father is amazing and he's a great guy.
You see the votes. I mean, you see what's going to happen tomorrow. We're going to absolutely demolish it in New York. We're going to do so well tomorrow. You see how well we're going to do in 26th, winning every single poll.
I mean, people are behind him. And he's got incredible energy. And he's already won the majority of the states. I saw Cuccinelli on the show two minutes ago with you, right? And he's talked about all the things -- you know, Cruz hasn't won a single state, necessary to win the general election.
You know, we've won Florida. We're going to win New York. We're going to win New York by a lot.
You know, we can take states like Pennsylvania away from the Democrats. We can take other place. We're going to do immensely well in states like California.
I mean, we're winning in the swing states. I mean, the states that you need to win as a Republican to win the general election. We're winning in those states.
BURNETT: And I know you spent a lot of time talking with your father, strategizing with him, talking about polls, talking about strategy. How do you feel about tomorrow? Is this going to be a 95-delegate sweep?
TRUMP: Yes, I think we're going to do incredible, right? I mean, every poll has had us 50 percent above. Some have us over 60 percent. I mean, we're going to do amazing.
And we've been fighting on somebody else's turf the entire time. We're finally back in New York. This is a special place, where he raised us, his family, where he had his business. It's where he grew up.
I mean, New York is a special place for him. I think people will come in droves. And quite frankly, he's in Buffalo right now speaking. You see the audience behind him.
TRUMP: He's really incredible. I mean, really incredible. BURNETT: Now, your father, of course, has said that the system is
rigged in terms of the delegates and you heard me talking about that with Ken Cuccinelli. The chairman of the Republican national committee, Reince Priebus, says the rules are working. And he actually made an interesting point, Eric. He said, look, your father may be the front runner, but the front runner does not mean he's winning the majority and that's why you see this issue with the delegates.
Here's exactly how he put it on "Meet the Press."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Donald Trump -- if he was winning the majority of votes, he'd likely have the majority of delegates. But that's not actually what's happening. He's winning in plurality of votes and he has a plurality of delegates. And under the rules and under the concept of this country, a majority rule is on everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So your father has won 37 percent of the primary vote on average. But yet when comes to delegates, he's got 45 percent. When you look at it that way, you say, wait a minute, if it's rigged, it would be rigged in favor of him.
TRUMP: You know, I think my father takes great exception and I take great exception as a nonpolitician, right, to the fact that you should have a vote as a citizen. You can't have systems like Wyoming and Colorado where voters don't even get to show up to the polls. They don't -- they don't even get to vote.
What are we doing? Nominating a suggestion for other people to put in power? That's not democracy. I think that's my father's point.
Colorado, the people should have been able to vote. The people of Colorado should have been able to vote. If it went our way, fantastic. If it went somebody else's way, that's fine. But at least democracy was in action.
That's not even happening here. So, literally, people are standing in polls for three, four, five hours, right? There's so much excitement about this candidacy. And they're just suggesting somebody that another group of people are going to pick. And that group of people is completely influenced by, you know, kind of a good 'ole boys party in Washington, D.C. And that's what people are rejecting.
And that's the difference and message between Cuccinelli, you know, in career politicians, versus what my father is saying. He's really out there speaking to the people. And it's refreshing, quite frankly.
You know, he's growing the Republican Party. He's growing the party. And people should embrace that. I mean, the party should embrace that.
BURNETT: Because you're going to be registered as a Republican soon, right?
TRUMP: We will be.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Eric Trump.
And OUTFRONT next, the death toll rising tonight after Ecuador's deadly quake. Frantic search for survivors going on. We're going to take you live to the hardest hit area.
And Jeanne moos on the 2016 political name game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's L-Y-I-N apostrophe. Lyin' Ted.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He should not be surprised to see people calling him sleazy Donald.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:52:23] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: the death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador has risen to at least 413. One American at least among those killed. Rescuers still desperately trying to find survivors. And today, a new video of ray of hope showing the first o of three survivors being pulled through the ceiling op a collapsed building. It's just a miracle for those that are going to survive.
Boris Sanchez is OUTFRONT from Manabi province. That is the hardest that was hardest hit.
And, Boris, what are you seeing?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, you mentioned hope and that's what the people of Manabi need right now. I want to give you a scene setter here. We're standing in a place where there used to be story building, there used to be three apartments here and a business. And it's essentially a heap of trash right now.
The owner, who just waved to you, is here with his cousins and friends trying to salvage everything he can, scrapped metal to try to recycle it and sell it. We have seen people doing it on the street, hoping to get some money at a very dire time.
As you can imagine, a lot of Ecuadorians are feeling the heat right now. Many people are simply homeless not only because their homes have been totally demolished, but also because of their homes are structurally unsound. And so, they fear going inside their own homes, many of them are opting to simply sleep on the street.
And a very difficult part about getting resources to where they need to be is that the infrastructure here in Ecuador was kind of difficult to get to you can imagine after several weeks of very heavy El Nino rains, the roads were weakened after this earthquake. They have been decimated. So, resources are hard to come by and the hardest hit areas, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Boris, thank you very much. So many trapped in buildings where Boris is fighting for their lives tonight.
We're going to take a brief break. And when we come back, Jeanne Moos keeping track of one of the nicknames coming out of the 2016 race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Little Marco.
CRUZ: Sleazy Donald.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The donkey of the decade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:58:06] BURNETT: Donald Trump loves getting creative with nicknames, but what about the Donald?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are nicknames designed to more than just nick an opponent.
TRUMP: Lyin' Ted, Lyin' Ted. What's your name? My name is Lyin' Ted Cruz.
MOOS: From Lyin' Ted to low energy Jeb to --
TRUMP: Little Marco.
MOOS: Donald Trump revels in misspelling them.
TRUMP: How would you spell that? L-Y-E-N. Lyen.
MOOS: And now, he's got a new nickname intended to torment --
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary, crooked Hillary, folks.
CLINTON: I don't respond to Donald Trump and his string of insults.
TRUMP: She's been crooked from the beginning.
CLINTON: He can say whatever he wants to about me.
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary Clinton.
CLINTON: I really could care less. MOOS: Sometimes the Donald dispenses a nickname that doesn't stick.
For instance, all those crazy Megyn Kelly tweets never took off.
Trump suggested a nickname for himself when the candidates asked what they'd like their Secret Service name to be.
MOOS: Actually, the Secret Service ended up code naming Trump "Mogul".
Mogul has been the target of nicknaming retaliation from Ted Cruz.
CRUZ: Donald wakes up at night in cold sweats that people will call him Losin' Donald.
MOOS: And on Monday, Hillary went on a radio show that bestows "Donkey of the Day" dishonorable mention, a zinger once aimed at her. Hillary nominated Trump.
CLINTON: I think he's the donkey of the decade.
MOOS: Of course, the nickname for Donald is "The Donald." Where'd that come from? His first wife Ivana born in Czechoslovakia called him "The Donald" as she was learning English.
It turns out The Donald's ancestors changed the family name to Trump. When John Oliver heard the original name, everything old is new again.
JOHN OLIVER, HOST, HBO'S "LAST WEEK TONIGHT": And this is true, Drumpf, yes. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Drumpf.
MOOS: Hats off to nicknames.
OLIVER: "Make Donald Drumpf Again" hat.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Anderson starts now.