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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Cruz Drops Out Of Race; Standing By For Trump To Speak; RNC Declares Trump Presumptive Nominee; Trump Victory Speech After Indiana Win; Trump & Sanders Win Indiana. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired May 3, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:00] VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But this should not be a moment of happiness for liberals. We got Trump, we've got to win no way.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But the access point -- this is where we're going to learn this year. In previous cycles for Republicans we have learned that we cannot win without the base and we have a couple of candidates that did not excite the base. Now we're going to learn if we can't win without the establishment, without moderates, without independents. And if we can win with only the base, that's what we're going to learn through Trump.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to bring in Mark Preston. Mark, we're hearing up now from the RNC, correct?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: We are now Anderson, there's been a lot of talk about what is going to happen next with John Kasich saying he's going to stay in, but the Republican National Committee just now has said that they expect Donald Trump to be the Republican nag -- the Republican nominee. They tweeted it right there. If you look at that, at @realDonaldTrump will be the presumptive a GOP nominee. We will all need to unite and focus on defeating Hillary Clinton.
Now, this comes Anderson as the Republican National Committee is trying to get together their convention out in Cleveland they were preparing for a contested convention. Now all of that will shift to Donald Trump now being the presumptive nominee, him becoming the Republican nominee in July in Cleveland, Anderson.
COOPER: All right Mark Preston, fascinating.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now Kasich will be the anti-establishment candidate, right?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think ...
AXELROD: To get through Republican national.
BORGER: ... I think that Kasich people understand that they're not going to win this nomination. I've been e-mailing with somebody who said that they're staying in, too much to fight for, the soul of the GOP and the future of America. That's all. NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah, I mean. Yeah I mean him.
BORGER: And I think it's a crusade for Kasich at this point. It's not a campaign anymore. I think he wants to continue to get the attention that he's been getting.
COOPER: Does he have money to continue?
BORGER: Well that's a big question. I mean he's got a lot of loyal money people, but loyalty is tested at a time like this and I think he'll continue to use free media as much as he can and we'll, you know well see how this ...
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's side in here, its coming from the West Coast tonight because California finally thought they had a year that they would matter on June the 7th, unfortunately that's not the way it's going to be.
COOPER: And does Donald Trump, I mean in terms are you the GOP just talked about -- well the RNC, just talked about bringing the party together. How does Donald Trump try to start to do that? Does he make that one of his missions or does he just by going after Hillary Clinton hope that or think that that brings the party together?
BORGER: I think he'll -- I think he'll, we'll see if there is a unity message again never predict what Donald Trump will do, but I think what he's going to prove to because Republicans is that he can win.
BORGER: Because Republican
BORGER: Republicans don't believe that he can win and he's got to show them I've got the arguments to make against her, I can do it and I can put Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in play.
AXELROD: Here's the deal. The Republican Party is incoherent right now. You've got part of the party that is a pro-trade, pro immigration reform party, the big loss, you've got Donald Trump who represents the populous wing of the Republican Party, he's won, the evangelicals are floating out there. There is an incoherent too and it's going to take an extraordinary set of skills to bring that all together and as a unified party. I think it's very hard to do.
SMERCONISH: I would be worried if I were Trump about some of the teacher were heads of the party, a Mitt Romney type, I know this is going sound preposterous, not only keeping their powder dry, but going so far as is to embrace Hillary Clinton. I think there's a real prospect here that's a big names within the Republican Party could say, I just can't stomach this guy and I'm going to go for vote.
JONES: And not just the big name people. You know we have some main street Republican's just ordinary people who will tell me I feel more comfortable with a Hillary Clinton than a Donald Trump. At the same time you got people who are Bernie Sanders who say -- Bernie supporters who -- are having a difficult time, I think all another thing that we have to look out for is this conventional wisdom that says that the Democrats are going to come together and that Trump is not electable.
There's also there's a thing in a point to 2008, 2008 was very different for Democrats. The young rebels won and the establishment saw a reason and came around. This time the establishment in our party is going to win and you want the young rebels to come around and may be harder for those young rebels -- in other words they got promise in their party, right?
JONES: And say we have less, less important, but significant problems in our party as well.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It didn't happen by accident. It happened in Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton worked hard at it. Take Bernie Sanders tonight did not attacked Hillary Clinton. He gave her -- he raised those important issues he raised, is income inequality and Wall Street reform and the rest of issues, he did not go after Hillary. I would be surprised if Hillary goes after Senator Sanders tonight. So they are working it and I think that's in enormous different.
AXELROD: I don't understand exactly why he introduced Walmart so prominently into his remarks, she famously having served on the Walmart Board at some point. I thought that was sort of a needless sleep provide it, every time I raise this every week you say no it was OK, it was all right.
BEGALA: I know you're not defending Sanders and you're criticizing for that.
AXELROD: I thought that was sort of ...
BEGALA: But it's not accusing her father of compressing the candidates.
[21:05:01] AXELROD: No, that's true.
BORGER: Yeah. I wish him ways to John as well.
BEGALA: It's completely responsible.
AXELROD: That were a good very, that were a good way over the line. JONES: And I'm now saying is that I agree with you 100 percent. It will take tremendous leadership skills at the top of the Republican Party to figure out how to square this circle. But it will also take tremendous political skills in the Democratic Party because this is not an ideological rebellion. This is a rebellion based on pain and frustration in the sense that people have just completely written off all section of the country as long as they can get their votes.
AXELROD: The one advantage the Democrats have is a president who's popular, very popular with his own party ...
AXELROD: ... and I think that's going to be big force in uniting Democrats.
BORGER: You know, one thing we haven't heard tonight which we've been hearing in the past on Republican side is sort of the third-party, you know, option, the sort of branching off option and there's an interesting editorial today in the Wall Street Journal which has been no fan of Donald Trump ...
AXELROD: Yeah right.
BORGER: ... which said don't do it. Don't do it. Then their point being that we have to leave it up to Trump to see if he can win or loses and if he loses then we reconstitute the Republican Party and it's his fault. That's not an optimistic message from the Wall Street Journal Editorial board, but you hear -- you don't hear the talk of somebody else's in running in him.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITIAL COMMENTATOR: He's very good for people who preach party unity and this has happened often enough establishment folks and then they lose and then they're not so much for party unity and they will high class, you know, endorse another candidate.
CUPP: And as the reason we have Trump is because so many establishment the Republicans weren't listening to people, now the remedy is we'll stop this, keep on not listening to them and for some other candidates. I mean, I think that would be a huge mistake.
COOPER: Let's also bring in now Jake into the conversation. Jake?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi Anderson, I just was thinking bout the fact that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who was one of the first candidates running against Trump to really go after him and suggest that he would be nervous about Donald Trump having his finger on the nuclear codes.
Bobby Jindal today said that he was going to vote for Donald Trump if Donald Trump were the nominee because anything's better than Hillary Clinton. We've heard Marco Rubio make similar remarks. I wonder if the big and you touched on this a little bit, but I wonder how much the Republicans on the panel and the others feel that at end of the day, opposition to Hillary Clinton, who also has very high negatives, especially among Republicans and Independents, although not as high as Donald Trump's negatives are when it comes to the general electorate.
That opposition might be enough to bring Donald Trump across the finish line assuming that they are both the nominees and also whether or not there is this mysterious secret sauce he has where he has been able to generate excitement. He clearly in these rallies has been on to something drawing millions of voters into the process. Who knows what's going to happen.
I know a lot of Republican officials think this is a disaster for the Republican Party, maybe it isn't and maybe Hillary and whatever special element he brings might be enough.
COOPER: Well, I mean it's a good point of David Axelrod, Hillary Clinton gets the endorsement of a lot of union leaders, but rank and file, I wonder if some of those people are going to go for Donald Trump or Hillary.
AXELROD: I had Mary Kay Henry from the CSIU on my podcast months ago and she said she was shocked to hear -- they're fairly they're seen as a progressive union. Her own union members, there was a Trump group within that cohort.
Having said that, I still think that he would have to make enormous inroads to overcome some of the obstacles he has going to have with women, with Hispanics and I think with Upscale Republican -- college educated Republicans many of whom have not voted for him. I know he's made inroads with them him but there's a real opposition to him among those -- within the Republican establishment.
COOPER: Even those. You don't think to Jake's point the view, you know, activity toward Hillary Clinton is enough to bring those people?
AXELROD: Well, I think that's a quite -- I mean that will be the question. You've got two candidates who had very high negatives and it's going to create the physics of this has never been seen before.
SMERCONISH: It's not just negatives with the electorate generally. I mean, we've spoken a great deal here tonight about the negatives that Donald Trump has within the Republican Party. I think it needs to be stated that Hillary Clinton on so many of these exit surveys has been on the 37 percent range on that dishonest and untrustworthy issue among Democrats. So that each got a lot of ground ...
COOPER: Assuming ...
CUPP: You should point out that he polls -- Donald Trump polls as badly -- sorry, Hillary Clinton polls as badly with men as Donald Trump does with women.
BORGER: Right. But he's a such a huge gendercasm (ph) now that he would have to win like 60, 70 percent of men.
LORD: You're got to start to see the big guns in their conservative universe now.
(CROSSTALK) LORD: You going to see the big guns of conservative universe that talk radio folks not all, I have no idea what's happening with Glenn Beck. But I would imagine that there's sort of for official understanding here that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee and the only one left is Kasich and the RNC is now saying he's the guy that you will start to see perhaps Rush Limbaugh, Sean Kennedy, you will start to see this come out and what they'll do is they'll turn their fire on Hillary not that they have with him do with already.
[21:10:19] CUPP: But who'll remember how much they hate Hillary. You know, I mean a lot of Republicans really will especially when that's with general and there's that contrast in front of them. They'll remember that the enemy isn't Obama anymore. The enemy is Hillary Clinton and that will bring a lot of Republicans over to Trump I'm sure.
BEGALA: It will, but Republicans alone can't win the election. He's going to have a hard time just getting all the Republicans. For example, married women, they are Republicans. Mitt Romney won married women by 7 points. He had a decisive win among women seven points married women.
BEGALA: We're losing the whole country by four, so let them point better than the rest of country.
BEGALA: Hillary is winning married women by 12 points. She can lose them by six and still do better than Obama who won.
CUPP: Well, as a married woman I can tell you his message does not resonate with me and I am right in his wheelhouse.
BEGALA: It's not enough to go to them and say, oh I hate Hillary, oh she's evil and awful. No. He's got to find ways to reach out. Contrast that with Hillary Clinton. You'll watch her tonight. She's going to reach out to the Sanders voters. She'll be talking all about their pain, Van is talking about, she's going to reach out to those folks. In addition saying Trump is horrible.
COOPER: Well does she recalibrate tonight now that Trump is the presumptive nominee, I mean ...
BEGALA: I think she's already known it.
BEGALA: I think she's already known it but she has to do two things. She got to reach out to Senator Sanders and his family but more importantly those voters too. So respect to his candidacy and in respect to those voters and her issues but then also turn the fire on Trump. SMERCONISH: Well is she some waiting tonight? I mean, is Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn or in Chappaqua tonight happy with the fact that it's Donald Trump?
BEGALA: No, I don't think she celebrates it until she takes the hand off the bible and says so help me God. She's not that way.
SMERCONISH: You don't think they're popping champagne corks.
BEGALA: You cannot ...
JONES: I hope not. I'll tell you ...
BEGALA: Hey Van exactly ...
BEGALA: ... watch what happened in the last year and think this is going to be easy.
BORGER: You know, I -- they are looking at what happened in the Republican primary process and they're studying what all these other candidates did and how they fell one by one starting with Rick Perry. They're looking at the attacks on Trump there's -- they're looking at what failed and what worked to a small degree and at thing that I was talking to Hillary Clinton person is that they believe it started way too late.
BORGER: So this campaign is not going to be for the faint of heart because it will start tonight. It will start tonight.
HENDERSON: And in these downside races you can already see some of that happening. There was a web ad out of an Arkansas Senate race where the Democratic candidate basically just ran an ad of Donald Trump saying awful things about women's to seek, a women's faces and I think they're sort of floating and trying to sort of trial balloons to see if this kind of stuff works. There'll be part of a larger (inaudible).
LORD: But the problem -- but again, the problem for Hillary Clinton on this is that there are women out there who have, you know, very strong views about her and I'm talking about, you know, when you need a broad wicks so the world who are going to come forward yet again and talk about this and we'll go down that path again and I don't think Donald Trump is going to shrink from going down that path.
CUPP: Trump will be behind that. I mean ...
AXELROD: This is.
CUPP: The dress, the women, he'll go places that most, you know, other candidates were kind of leads in ...
AXELROD: She's a victim in that.
AXELROD: There's no doubt in my mind that he has one gear on his shift and it's straight ahead and that's what he's going to do. And so, if she's sitting in Chappaqua then one thing that she knows for sure this is not going to be pleasant.
CUPP: No, is going to be wrong ...
JONES: If the Democrats are saved, it will be saved -- it will be saved by African-American women.
BORGER: And Latinos.
COOPER: We have a quick projection to make. I want to get to Wolf. Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We've got the projection. Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders is the winner of the Democratic Presidential Primary in Indiana. CNN now projects he beats Hillary Clinton, wins the Indiana Democratic Primary. We've been looking at the hard numbers coming in. Based at all the information we have right now he is ahead. Bernie Sanders is the winner of the Democratic Presidential nomination.
There you see Donald Trump. He's walking into the room there at Trump Tower in New York about to deliver his speech. He's got his family there with him. This is going to be an important speech. We're going to see what he has to say. Anderson.
COOPER: And as we wait for Donald Trump, again you see his wife Melania there, his daughter Ivanka her husband, both his sons were there as well. The entire Trump family it appears are there. Let's listen in to Donald Trump and see how he speaks tonight.
[21:15:01] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thank you very much everyone. I want to start by as always thanking my family, my wife Melania, my kids, they're not kids anymore, but they're kids as far as I'm concerned. They'll always be my kids and I want to thank my great parents who are looking down right now and my brother looking down on us. I want to thank my entire family, including Mary Anne, Elizabeth, Robert.
And it's been some unbelievable day and evening and year and I never have been through anything like this, but it's a beautiful thing to watch and a beautiful thing to behold and we're going to make America great again. We're going to make America great. It's so important, it's so important the people of Indiana have been incredible. I started as you know not very long ago about six weeks ago and I was told I had a 20 point deficit and I went here and I worked very hard and I campaigned and I made lots of speeches and met lots of incredible people, incredible people. You don't get better.
And the crowds got bigger and bigger and toward the end it was like I didn't want to leave. I almost said maybe I'll just never leave. And it resonated somehow and we had a tremendous victory tonight. It was a tremendous victory. And I have to thank Bobby Knight. Bobby Knight was incredible.
I always say about, you know, people like that, there aren't many, but it's called tough, smart and they know how to win and that's what our country needs. We have to win again, we have to know how to win and we haven't won. We've been losing all the time. We lose with our military, we can't beat ISIS we lose with trade, we lose with boarders, we lose with everything. We're not going to lose. We're going to start winning again and we're going to win big lead, believe me.
So when I got back tonight and I started watching all of the different networks, I could see immediately that we were doing very well and it really looks like a massive victory and it looks like we win all 57 delegates, as always.
And I must say in staying in various places in Indiana, we had -- I turned on the television and all I saw was negative ads, negative one after another after another and I called my people. And I said how can we win, it's just constantly and was the same as Florida. You know, there had been 60,000 negative ads. I got to write from you folks OK. Sixty thousand of that two weeks ago it was 55,000, now it's 60,000 negative ads, most of which are absolutely false and disgusting and I said how can anybody endure this? I had one evening two nights ago where literally they had five ads on in between segments of a show that I was watching and I said that's just incredible.
And the people are so smart they don't buy it, they get it and tremendous -- tremendous amounts of money were spent. Millions and millions of dollars and they were comparing. I think it was probably $8 million were spent against me and we spent $900,000.
So, I mean, to me that's the way it's supposed to be. That's something that makes me feel really, really very good. And now we're going to Nebraska where I have -- I just hear we're doing really wonderfully. I look forward to that very much and West Virginia and we're going to get those miners back to work. I'll tell you what. We're going get those miners back to work.
We're not going to be Hillary Clinton and I watched her three or four weeks ago when she was talking about the miners as if they were just numbers and she was talking about she wants the mines closed and she will never let them work again. Let me tell you the miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week and Ohio and all over, they're going to start to work again, believe me. You're going to be proud again to be miners.
[21:20:00] So we'll be going there. I must say this tremendous run that we've had started with New York when we had almost 62 percent and don't forget that's with three people. So 62 percent with two people is a massive landslide. But, 63 percent almost just a little over 62 percent. When you have that kind of a number with three people it's actually unheard of. And all throughout it was 17 people and then 15 and then 12 and, you know, it's tremendous and we were getting very high numbers. And some of the numbers in my opinion that I got in the early stages where when a state with 32 percent, but there were 14 people, I think that might be actually more and better than getting 62 percent in New York, but we never got credit for that but now we don't need to credit because we're going after Hillary Clinton. She will not -- she will not be a great president. She will not be a good president. She will be a poor president. She doesn't understand trade. Her husband signed perhaps in the history of the world the single worst trade deal ever done. It's called NAFTA. And I was witness to the carnage over the last six weeks especially.
Now, I've known Syracuse and I've known Pagypsy (ph) and I've known all of the different places that I visited in New York and then Pennsylvania and then Maryland which treated me so great and the people are incredible and all of the different states, Connecticut, and I've witnessed what it's done really first hand and it has been indeed carnage. And we're going to change it around. We're not going to let carrier and all of these companies just think that they can move and go to another country and make their products, sell it back to us and we get only one thing, we get unemployment. Not going to happen anymore more, folks. Not going to happen anymore.
We're going to bring back our jobs and we're going to keep our jobs. We're not going to let companies leave. Now, if they want to go do a different state, good luck. Compete. But when they start going to different countries and in many cases countries that devalue their currency and make it impossible for our companies to compete, that's not going to happen. Not going to happen. And if they want to do it anyway, there will be consequences and there will be very, very serious consequences.
I have to tell you that I've competed all my life. And as person, all my life I've been in competitions, different competitions, whether it's sports or business or now for ten months politics and I have to tell you that I have met some of the most incredible competitors that I have ever competed against right here on the Republican Party. You know, we started off with that 17 number and just so you understand Ted Cruz, I don't know if he likes me or if he doesn't like me, but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy.
And he has got an amazing future. He is got an amazing future. So I want to congratulate Ted. And I know how tough it is. It's tough. It's tough. I've had some moments where it was not looking so good and it's not a great feeling and so I understand how Ted feels and Heidi and their whole beautiful family. And I want to just say, though, that one tough competitor. And I can say that for -- I can say that for the others. I mean to Chris Christie who endorsed me, incredible guy. Dr. Ben Carson who was right up there one of the first, he just called me and said it's a movement you've got going. We've got to do something because I tell you what, it's an incredible movement and Dr. Ben Carson endorsed me and I want to tell you that is an incredible man and we want to keep them totally involved because we're going to win. We're going to win in November.
And we're going to win big and it's going to be America first. You know, I made a speech the other day and I talked about how we're the policeman for the world. How we protect other countries and they don't respect us and they don't take care of us and they don't treat us right in many cases and that's not going to happen.
[21:25:05] Now we can keep things going and we're going to keep things going very nicely, but we owed 21 soon $21 trillion is 19 now but with the budget that was recently done soon it will be $21 trillion and we're just not in the position that we were in 30 years ago, 40 years ago, 50 years ago with a lot of these things took place and began taking place.
So, we're going to have unbelievably good relationships with other countries, but likewise they have to treat us fairly and they have to understand that what we've been doing over the years has been so wrong and so unfair to the United States and to its people and to its taxpayers. So, that will change and I will tell you, they're going to end up liking us better than they do right now. They're going to respect us in this building right upstairs.
In this building right upstairs, I have the largest bank in the world from China. The relationship is fantastic. We have great relationships with many foreign countries, but they have to respect us and they have to understand where we're coming from and you know what, it is a two-way street. And the two-way street means that we're going down one side and they're coming up the other and we're going to meet and we are going to have something that's going to be really fabulous.
Now, if that can't happen, if for some reason they want the system to continue the way it's going now, which is unfair and not good, where we're spending trillions and trillions of dollars, probably $4 trillion in the Middle East. And we have to rebuild our infrastructure, our roads, we have to rebuild up our bridges, our airports, our hospitals in this country. We've become close to a third world country. You look at some of our airports, it's third world. And then you go to other countries and you see places like you've never seen.
So, I have to say that we are going to turn it around, we're going to build up our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before. It's the cheapest thing we can do.
And we're going to have to take out ISIS and we're going to have to take them out fast. We can't allow that chancellor to continue. We cannot allow it to continue. And, you know, one group that's been so incredible to me are the vets, the veterans. And they've been treated so badly, so badly. And we're going to get that, we're going to get that straightened out.
Now, one of the things that just happened which to me is very exciting, it just happened now with two or three, but the rest must in poll came out yesterday. And in that poll, I'm now leading Hillary Clinton. A lot of good things happened. I'm now leading Hillary and keeping.
And that's going to continue, because they're not going to be able to do it, folks. They're not going to be able to make great trade deals. We have such bad deals. They're not going to be able to do what we can do with the military. They're not going to be able to do what we're going to do in the boarder, including the wall.
We're going to have unbelievably great relationships with the Hispanics. The Hispanics have been so incredible to me. They want jobs. Everybody wants jobs. The African-Americans want jobs. You look at what's going on, they want jobs.
And we're going to bring back our jobs and we're going to save our jobs and people are going to have great jobs again. And this country, which is very, very divided in so many different ways is going to become one beautiful loving country. And we're going to love each other, we're going to cherish each other, we're going to take care of each other. And we're going to have great economic development.
And we're not going to let other countries take it away from us, because that's what's been happening for far too many years and we're not going to do it anymore. We're not going to do it anymore.
I want to thank and congratulate the Republican National Committee and Reince Priebus, who I just spoke to. He's doing a tremendous job. It's not an easy job when he had 17 egos. And now I guess he's down to one. I don't know, is there a second? I don't know. Is there a second? I don't know.
I'm going to have to ask you folks to explain the status of that, but he's done an amazing job. And I think we're going to see something really, really fantastic.
I also want to thank my staff, Paul, Corey, Hope. I mean, these people, what we've been doing has been incredible. The work has been unreal.
[21:30:12] And Jared married to my daughter Ivanka, I mean honestly you know Jared. Jared is a very successful real estate person, but I actually think he likes politics more than he likes real estate I'm excited, I mean he's very good at politics.
So again folks this has been an amazing evening. I didn't expect this. I didn't expect it and what Ted did is really a brave thing do and a great thing to do because we want to bring unity to the Republican Party. We have to bring unity. It's so much easier if we have it.
And many, many people are calling that you wouldn't even believe. The media, the press, they wouldn't believe. People that have said the worst things about me, I've never had things said about me like this. You know, when my businesses I've always been very respected, people didn't talk to me this way, but in politics it's easy, the worst things and they're calling now and they're calling us all and they're saying we'd love to get on the train, the "Trump Train" they call it. But we'd love to get on the team
And I actually spoke to one today and who was vicious, I mean this guy was unbelievable and I said I love having you and, you know, I think it's terrific, but after what you said about me how can you possibly join our team? And he said Mr. Trump, don't even think about it. Don't worry about it there will be no problem. In other words, he's a politician. There's no problem. I would have had a hard time, but we have a lot of people coming on. Lots of congressman. I have to thank Jeff Sessions -- Senator Jeff Sessions, one of the most respected men or people in Congress.
And so many others. I mean Sarah Palin has been from day one incredible. Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty University, I mean he is something. He is really a special person. They've done an incredible job and everybody goes through Liberty. We all go through Liberty and somehow he liked to what I was saying and perhaps he liked the way I said it but he's a special guy and he' really is helped me in.
So many pastors and ministers and tonight I see that I won with evangelicals. The evangelical vote was for Trump and there's no greater honor. Just no greater honor and we're going to work together for many, many years. We're going to make it so good. We're going to be saying Merry Christmas again and we're going to be saying, now remember what. We're going to be saying. And I won with women. I love winning with women. But I won with women. We won with men. We won with Hispanics. We won with African-Americans. We won with every virtually every category so it's just been an amazing evening.
So again, I want to congratulate Ted Cruz. He is a tough, smart competitor. I want to thank my wife and my family. It's an incredible family. I want to thank my staff, both my staff and my thousands of thousands of people that work for the Trump Organization and -- and perhaps in all fairness more importantly on this evening and for what we're doing currently my staff where we're running for the presidency and remember this, our theme is very simple, it's make America great again. We will make America great again. We will start winning again. You will be so proud of this country very, very soon.
Thank you all. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.
BLITZER: Relatively short under 20 minutes, Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee -- presumptive Republican presidential nominee for all practical purposes after a crushing defeat of Ted Cruz tonight in Indiana. He congratulated and thanked Ted Cruz, had an amazing future ahead of him he said, but he was clearly, clearly excited by the fact that he says he's now going to face Hillary Clinton in the Democrat-Republican contest. We're going after Hillary Clinton, he said Jake. This is a huge moment for the presumptive Republican nominee.
[21:35:02] TAPPER: Absolutely and the messages he delivered in the speech were the following. First of all he talked a lot about trade deals and restoring the economy of the United States. That's been a big part of his appeal on there. He talked about, as he mentioned, praising his rivals like Ted Cruz, like Ben Carson, like Chris Christie talking about how he wanted to unify the party.
He criticized Hillary Clinton of course, but it was a very subdued Donald Trump. And I think if I had to speculate, I'd say, he, probably, was trying to seen statements like, seeing -- forgive the term, presidential, reassure party leaders who are worried about him not because of his commanding victory, but because of other moments in the campaign including early this morning when he basically suggested that Ted Cruz's father had possibly played a role in the Kennedy assassination.
Moments like that really make Republican Party leaders very, very nervous. They're worried about what kind of candidate he is going to be and his speech this evening had none of that. It was very calm and very restrained.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And, you know, he really seemed to when he actually said point blanks, Jake, that he didn't expect this. And I believe him. I know it's -- I think it's pretty clear given the tone and the tenure of the speech that he didn't expected, which maybe a little bit surprising, because we knew that Ted Cruz had two speeches ready. But, we didn't know he was going to drop out, but he had two speeches ready.
And this is generally, the kind of speech when somebody becomes the nominee in all the campaigns that we've covered, you know, that they give a big of the moment speech. That's not what we heard from Donald Trump tonight.
TAPPER: No, no.
BASH: He wowed his way there at the end talking what you just mentioned about unity and about saying nice things about Ted Cruz and bringing the party together.
But it wasn't the big picture 10,000 feet, here I am, I'm your guy kind of speech. I mean, he started off giving a more typical Donald Trump speech, which in some ways is surprising given the fact that he is the nominee, but in other ways, maybe he isn't, because this is how he got there.
TAPPER: Dana, when you say a more typical speech, you mean, first of all, none of it was scripted, it was all off the cuff.
TAPPER: Second of all, he was going through the exit ...
TAPPER: ... the exit polls.
TAPPER: Oh, I did well with this group and I did well with that group and I did -- I give up with women.
TAPPER: I love doing well with women, you know, that sort of thing, which is not normal. And when he goes to give a stump speech, he brings newspaper articles and he reads them almost like Mark Salud (ph) in mid 1960s during our reframe. Just like, what's going on in the news today, let me go through.
And he did a little bit of that this evening instead of coming out with a big Randy Oz (ph). Now is the time for our party to come together. He had that message in there, but it wasn't put together in one big pack.
BASH: It wasn't. It wasn't put together in the kind of sort of rhetorical Bush.
TAPPER: But that's not him.
BASH: Exactly, exactly. That was my point that those kinds of speeches didn't work for all of the other 16 candidates who are running and this is his style and that's what works for him. So, I guess my point is, is that, you know, it wasn't of evolvement, but it was of Donald Trump and this is the kind of thing rhetorically that got him where he is.
TAPPER: And Anderson, I think one of the things that's going to be interesting to see assuming that Trump and Clinton are the nominees. And, obviously, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Kasich would disagree with me even offering that premise.
But, would Donald Trump make the Democratic nominee whether it's Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders more off the cuff, more spontaneous.
Bernie Sanders is already kind of that way. But, what kind of the fact might he have on Hillary Clinton, Anderson?
COOPER: And, of course, I mean, critics of Hillary Clinton have said that, you know, she does better. She's not sort of on off the cuff person that she is more sort of, I don't know, stately is do I word, but, certainly, planned out during her remarks are often off the teleprompter even on a big night like tonight.
I mean, Jeffrey Lord, it would be unusual to have Hillary Clinton just take out a piece of paper with four or five bullet points, which just how Donald Trump.
COOPER: Pretty much, he makes a speech. And that's one of the things can be so fascinating in the race between them assuming that she, in fact, is the nominee on the Democratic side.
How, I mean, how that battle looks. It's a battle of styles.
LORD: Completely different styles. I mean, the first time I saw him speak up close, I was really struck by the impromptu nature of him, this was three or four years ago. He's very good at this. And clearly, he says things that, you know, in his own style that gets to, you know, attracts people.
I mean, everybody, I mean, Barack Obama had his own style and was really very good at it. Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy. I mean, they're all, you know, in their own fashion, they can really get to people and it will be very interesting to hear. Because I always think of Hillary Clinton, in some ways, as a nerd, you know, that she is the ultimate geek. She's got all these facts and figures in her head and she needs a piece of paper there to go through this stuff and otherwise, if she's not like her husband who's pretty ...
[21:40:14] COOPER: Then she talks about that nothing as sort of natural politician.
JONES: She is not I just want to say, I thought that was actually an extraordinarily good speech. I know that there's probably some way you're supposed to do it. He hasn't done it that way the whole time.
COOPER: But why he would start any way?
JONES: But I tell you what, you're sitting here and you're biting your nails, your saying this guy is now one step closer to being the president of the United States possibly is he going to come out here, is he going to be awful. It's he going to come out and he's going to make your -- you have to explain to your kids this is not how you act when you win. That's how you act when you win. Let's give the devil his due. He was polite to the guy and he said nice things about the guy's family. Tomorrow he'll be taking about UFO's but tonight he did what a winner supposed to do which we proud of that.
BORGER: You know, I wanted a little more ...
LORD: One of the thing that's -- I'll use the word I can almost hear the laughter coming from all of you this minutes that I think describes Donald Trump in certain situations and that word is humble. I mean, I think that when you are finding out that you are -- that you stand within -- anyway, a very reasonable chance of being president of the United States, that's cause to give you pause after that. I can see David over there.
COOPER: We haven't heard from Kevin tonight. Well Kevin?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is absolutely -- there is absolutely nothing humbling about Donald Trump. I don't think that's humbling, I thinks that's for a moment and only for a moment right now he's without an enemy and I think that's going to change now that he's presumptive nominee and it becomes and the enemy of then or the opposition I should say becomes Hillary Clinton.
But, we have seen moments like this before where everybody has said, oh he's given a great speech only because he didn't go out and insult everybody from the very beginning and what I think what has happened is that every one of those moments has passed and he's gone back to being controversial and he's gone back to again being substance free. I think it's going to be -- there's going to be a much longer body of evidence that we're going to have to see that is actually to become a disciplined focused candidate that's ready for a general election and what's on the other side is a general election which they think very well funded campaign and candidate and outside groups as well ...
MADDEN: ... trying to support Hillary Clinton.
CUPP: Well and that's we'll have to see. Will Hillary Clinton elevate Donald Trump. I mean everyone is imagining right now the first general election debate and what that looks and sounds like. Will Hillary Clinton elevate Donald Trump or will Donald Trump pull Hillary down to his level.
COOPER: Or knock her off her game. I mean ...
CUPP: Yes. I mean ...
CUPP: ... she's probably not anticipating some of the tactics that he'll use even though we've all been witnessing them for months. I thought what was interesting in Cruz's speech, which was just, you know, shocking and ...
LORD: Well horrible is the word.
CUPP: Well, he said at the end of all of this he says it appears and I think she's trying to create drama. It appear as if the path is now foreclosed. And I just thought, what, is that English. That's not how people talk and that's why Donald Trump is doing so well. I can dislike some of the things that he says but he sounds like a human and Hillary Clinton should remember these when she's writing speeches.
COOPER: He also points out the inhuman things other politician says. I mean he says, oh when I see that guy talking on the television and I want to hit the television which is sort of what other people I know, and that's their thing.
CUPP: He talks about the National Enquirer because people read the National Enquirer. I mean this is sort of, you know, mainstreams.
BORGER: But we were talking tonight about what a historic huge moment this is. Not only in this campaign but on in the country you have that on somebody who has never held elected office before and now being the nominee of the Republican Party, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
So maybe what I wanted from Trump was something a little larger and about the country and what his campaign has meant, and about what his campaign has meant to the people who came out, and what he's going to do for them beyond trade, et cetera. I didn't want to hear in quote the last beautiful.
COOPER: Is he speaking to you? I mean, are you the target audience? BORGER: No, but I just think generally and again, you're right I'm not his target audience but and maybe I'm old fashioned but when you win the nomination ...
SMERCONISH: Gloria, I agree with your point entirely. I believe him. He was caught completely unaware that tonight was the night. If you just tuned in and watch, his speech you would never have believed this was the evening he learned he's the presumptive GOP nominee. And it was a lost opportunity. He gave a gracious set of remarks, he said the right things about Ted Cruz but there was a gap there he should have filled.
HENDERSON: What about if he tedious. Right, I mean he's sort of going through poll numbers. He's like the rest using poll as aim and he's ahead of Clinton by 3 percentage.
COOPER: But that's what he does.
LORD: Yeah, that's Trump.
[21:45:00] HENDERSON: I know, but after a while, I mean you sort of want something different at least in this moment. It was -- I thought he could have made this a moment and he didn't. I definitely think he was directing some of it to the party we're going to go after Hillary Clinton. He said we're going to get African-American voters and we're going to get Latino voters, I love winning with women, so I do think she was of checking a little bit ...
COOPER: You know I think to the point Dana or Jake made earlier there were 16 other candidates who gave those kind of speeches all the time and they're all gone.
AXELROD: So one thing I was say is that we're in a different phase now and is he the presumptive nominee, and so there will be greater demands on him as a candidate and we can talk about the stylistic questions about, I think there plenty stylistic question I mean anyone who saw -- who was watching CNN all day and watching this morning would have whiplash watching him tonight because it's such a different tone and that creates some problems, but there were some themes in here that we heard repeatedly that are powerful themes and we discussed some of them earlier about trade, about we can't be the policemen of the world, these are themes that he's going to be banging hard in this election and there once that can get his.
JONES: You know just because it happened it's all together, the rebels in both parties won tonight in the heart land and that's important, Bernie Sanders won tonight and Trump won tonight and they won tonight in the heart land for the same reason. They are pointing to that thing and I just think it's important that we not yes it looks like Hillary Clinton's also the presumptive nominee, but tonight Hillary Clinton did not win. COOPER: Let's talk about Bernie Sanders because frankly we projected it right before Donald Trump came out so we haven't discussed what this means. I mean this is a big win for Bernie Sanders after, you know, several losses in a row.
AXELROD: It was a good win for Bernie Sanders. It will add a handful of delegates to the -- he will net a handful of delegates. So it doesn't change the arithmetic of the race. The race is basically over, but it does create but there will be there's some races coming up in which he will win and it will create some discomfort just as Hillary Clinton created discomfort for Barack Obama down the stretch in 2008, the race was over but she started winning in places like West Virginia and Kentucky.
JONES: There's another way look at it though which is that for the movement in other words, you know, for the math you're right, but for the movement it continues to give heart to those people who say listen we want to be heard and also listen had Hillary Clinton destroyed him in Indiana, you have an even tougher pathway going forward I don't think that Bernie has shot. He is going to loss the delegate race but he is winning the debate in this party and he has set the terms of the debate in this party in a way that Hillary Clinton I think cannot ...
AXELROD: That would have been true to Van had it done had a won or lost by a few points tonight. I think that battles ...
JONES: I don't want to take away the win. The guy won I just want to say Bernie Sanders won because I don't care is that OK for us to say, he won Bernie won. He won. Good.
AXELROD: Get it all out.
COOPER: Does Donald Trump know how to -- does he -- do you think he already knows (inaudible), Jeffrey do you think he already knows how he's going to run against Hillary Clinton?
LORD: Oh yeah, I think -- I mean he's going to go after ...
COOPER: Is already, you know.
LORD: ... on jobs, on making your -- are the in a sense if he will the queen of the status quo. The politicians, the Washington establishment, he'll go issue by issue and then he'll get into, you know, all of the other things here that pertain to the Clintons. But he -- what he's doing is changing the way we look at the world. Think of the phrase that I lived in the Northern East of United States all almost my entire life. What's the phrase that we use? And we never really think about it. We call it the rust belt. Why does that have to be so? Why doesn't anybody step forward and say why? What's wrong with Pennsylvania or Wilkes-Barre and Scranton and why can't they have a different, you know, a different situation? I mean he's asking these kind of questions across the board, NATO et cetera, et cetera and that world view is attracting people and she's going to be forced to ...
AXELROD: More than asking the questions though Jeffrey, he's also giving very, very simple answers which is we're not going to let that happen. We're going to fix that. We're not going to let people take advantage of us and there is a certain appeal to that kind of simple narrative sentence.
Now, you know someone is going to say and I suspect Hillary Clinton will be one of them, like how? I don't know how long you can get away with ...
BORGER: She says have to be bring.
AXELROD: ... don't worry about it, I've got this.
MADDEN: The idea so that that so many folks in Washington are leading the country in the wrong direction and we can't trust them, is lack of trust in institutions and you've heard it Donald Trump say it before and you're going to hear it every day all the way through the general election, this crooked Hillary, Hillary is out of touch, Hillary doesn't on shamed.
And also I think presenting himself as a vehicle for all of these frustrations that so many voters have. It is much more powerful to be for something than to be against something and I think Donald Trump is going to try to tap into that idea that people feel like they finally have a voice against Washington and at Donald Trump is that, that what he's gone trying to prove.
[21:50:07] BORGER: And there's the personal side of this with Hillary Clinton, because he's already started saying that she doesn't have the stamina if you recall, to be President of United States just like he said Jeb Bush was low energy when he said Jeb Bush was low energy last summer. I think that really hurt Jeb Bush and Jeb Bush got on the defensive about it.
The question is when he attacks Hillary Clinton at that level, which he will do and he will continue to do whether its crooked Hillary, and show now the stamina, whatever else is coming down the road, I think what they're trying to decide in the Clinton campaign is how do you deal with these attacks, which they know are coming. Does she say it at the high level and let her surrogates and her staff do the counter punching or does she directly counter punch because that's what he does.
CUPP: First thing, I think calling Hillary crooked is the nicest you're going to get and frankly, I don't necessarily think all that controversial. But talking about her taking a bathroom break during a debate as disgusting, that's the kind of stuff you have to wonder, can Hillary Clinton conceive of actually being in the same room as someone who's talking to her like that? I mean, and is he going to? Or is he going to, as promised, become more presidential? You'll be so bored at how presidential I'll be.
MADDEN: And Gloria to your point, there cannot be a debate inside Hillary Clinton' campaign about what kind of strategy they're going to deploy against them, because if there's a debate right now, there's hesitation. And if there's hesitation against someone like Donald Trump who plays with reckless abandon where as Hillary is a Hillary Clinton and her campaign are much more cautious ...
MADDEN: ... I think that contrast will really work against her.
BORGER: Don you remember that Joe Biden was debating Sarah Palin and you would be able to talk about that this because they had a lot of discussion about the right way to deal with Sarah Palin because Joe Biden couldn't believe that he was sort of standing on stage next to Sarah Palin and he really had to reign himself in and I'm sure those discussions are going on in the Clinton campaign. How do you do it?
AXELROD: I think your point is absolutely right. First of all, I don't think Hillary Clinton will have no problem going after Donald Trump and the question is, just how hard she personally should do it and does she look good or bad doing it or should she allow others, including our friend Paul Begala with his Super PAC to carry that load, those are the kind of discussions that I don't think anybody has any illusions I would guess over there that they're going to -- they're in a full out war. They saw what happened in the Republican race where everybody hung back and Trump ate them up I don't think they're going to give this.
SMERCONISH: Hey David, can I say that one of the best weapons that I think that she has is Bill Clinton and I think about the cycle four years ago, and that stem winder that the Democratic National Convention which really was a high water mark that went on. How this he get utilize where if Donald Trump ...
AXELROD: I think the big question also, let me say that Bill Clinton is the greatest surrogate any Democratic candidate could have, other than his wife. At least that's what history has proven.
SMERCONISH: But I'm wondering I mean know how Donald Trump is going to go after Bill Clinton. Right?
COOPER: That's what I was about to ask, I mean is Bill Clinton or any of the Clinton's ready for Donald Trump to go there.
SMERCONISH: You know what's coming.
COOPER: With the former president? HENDERSON: I mean they sort of know what's coming, I mean if you ...
HENDERSON: ... have read any conservative blog over the last 25 years, you know ...
COOPER: But it's one thing for to be on a conservative blog, it's another thing for the Republican nominee ...
HENDERSON: I mean I think they know what sort of the stories are that are going to come.
COOPER: It seems to be the only time ...
LORD: I don't think so.
HENDERSON: ... to this point, if he's bringing the National Enquirer, linking Ted Cruz's dad to the JFK assassination, who knows what story.
JONES: I think that the only time I saw Bill Clinton remove from the battlefield was when Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a sexist ...
JONES: ... and Donald Trump opened fire on some of these allegations. And it seemed to me, and maybe I missed it, but it seemed that Bill Clinton almost fell silent?
JONES: Just let me know that that is the opposite of the when the dogs hit the bark not to translate, hit, dog, bark. When the big dog got quiet that let me know there's a weakness there.
CUPP: I don't think he's completely prepared. I don't think they're on the same page, he was just on Stephen Colbert show and Colbert was asking, and what do you make of, you know, the Trump phenomenon? And said well this -- there is an appeal in this machismo being macho's, you know, sort of signals to voters that you can get stuff done. Well, I'm thinking, I wonder what Hillary Clinton thinks about the assertion that macho is necessarily related to getting stuff done.
He speaks very freely because he's a very smart guy but I foresee a bunch of potential problems with Bill Clinton trying to defend his wife against Trump and that is not going to be an easy lift.
MADDEN: Would you rather have Bill Clinton as a surrogate then none have one as if you're Democrat.
MADDEN: Here's the problem, if you have -- if anybody had top of the ticket has to reach elsewhere for validation with the voters you -- there is a potential for having an over reliance on your surrogates to do that and that's the thing about running for president. It's that, it's a ultimate test of whether or not you can make the argument to people about your candidacy and your vision.
[21:55:15] AXELROD: Can I just say, Bill Clinton was the most important surrogate that Barack Obama had in 2012.
AXELROD: I think Barack Obama is going to be the most important surrogate that Hillary Clinton has in 2016. And she's a much better position to play that role than Bill Clinton, who I think gets too emotionally wrapped up in the attacks when his wife is involved.
LORD: If he gets one of these National Enquirer style attacks just today that caused a Cruz meltdown. I can see Bill Clinton going off the handle on the spot.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We're going to have more with our panel, more of our election night coverage as we continue to watch the Indiana primary. We'll be right back.