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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Obama Speaks at Nuclear Summit; Rick Perry Talks Presidential Race; Obama Addresses Nuclear Summit. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired April 1, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: That is a clever idea. I'm going to try that on the plane today.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. John Berman is off today
"Catastrophic," that is what the White House says about Donald Trump's suggestions about where he'd take U.S. policy on nuclear weapons and the possibility of South Korea and Japan arming themselves.
And moments from now, President Obama will be speaking live from his nuclear summit in Washington, a crucial gathering of more than 50 of the world leaders. At the top of the agenda, how to keep nuclear material from the hands of terrorists. Experts now warning of a very real threat that ISIS could gather enough components for a devastating dirty bomb.
CNN's White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, is in Washington at the site of the summit.
Michelle, what are we expecting to hear from the president any minute now?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He's speaking coming out of a meeting of the P5+1, excepting Russia, who was a no show. Kind of a strange situation there, considering Russia has so much nuclear material within its borders.
But this is a group that negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. The White House says Iran has been living up to its obligations according to that deal, which is controversial within the United States and elsewhere, that Iran has been doing what it's supposed to do. However, we all know that Iran has been advancing its ballistic missile program, which doesn't technically violate the Iran nuclear deal, but it violates other obligations that are international and serious. The U.S. and other countries are talk about what needs to be done concerning North Korea. That's one of the big focuses of this summit.
The other one, of course, ISIS, and keeping them from getting their hands on nuclear material. That group obviously wants to do that. We're talking about material to build a nuclear bomb, like highly enriched uranium and radiological material in widespread use in hospitals and industries around the world. Experts here are saying that's the bigger risk to them, that ISIS would get this lower grade material that wouldn't do as much damage, it wouldn't cause immediate deaths, but it would disrupt things in a big way. It might cause buildings to need to be torn down or parts of cities to be contaminated for a long time. So they see that as a threat. Trying to stop that is a much more complicated problem. But that's part of what's going to be discussed here today.
BOLDUAN: Part of what's going to be discussed. We're keeping an eye as they're gathering for this main working session where the president is going to be speaking. We'll keep on eye on it and bring you the president's comments when they begin.
Michelle, thank you. We'll get back to you in a moment.
But for this moment, let's pivot right now to politics. Brand new poll numbers out of Wisconsin show the Ted Cruz has right now over Donald Trump. He is now 10 points ahead with just four days to go until the state's big contest.
Right now, I want to bring in the former Texas governor and two-time president candidate, Rick Perry. He has endorsed Ted Cruz for president.
Governor, it's great to see you. Thank you for the time.
RICK PERRY, (R), FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're welcome.
BOLDUAN: Of course.
You saw the new poll numbers out of Wisconsin. Is a win guaranteed? Is it locked in, in Wisconsin, for Ted Cruz?
PERRY: I think the work that he's done is really paying off now, and being the adult in the room when you talk about whether it's foreign policy or issues of economics, Ted Cruz is without a doubt the intellectual giant that's left on the stage here, and it's a two person race. I mean, although Kasich is there, it's a two-person race. It's between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. So what I expect is it's going to be difficult for anyone to get to that 1237 delegate count, to get the nomination. I think we're headed toward a contested contest, if you will, a contested convention. And at that particular point in time, I think Ted Cruz is very, very well situated to get the nomination. I think by far when you look at these numbers now and look at the things that Donald Trump has said that has offended a host of people across the country, women in particular this last week, then you're going to see Ted Cruz be a very, very strong contender, and I think he will thrash Hillary Clinton in a general election. And I think you're starting to see that from a lot of folks. She is truly a flawed candidate, and Ted Cruz is going to do quite well.
BOLDUAN: Governor, on the state of the race, all three candidates, speaking at the CNN town hall all dropped the loyalty pledge to support the eventual nominee and whoever that ends up being. Are they wrong to do that?
[11:05:09] PERRY: Well, people change their minds coming and going on that issue. And at the end of the day, Republicans are going to come together. When we put all of the intramural scrimmage behind us, we pick our nominee. The Republicans and I think like-minded people who may be independent in their political and see the choice between Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee as a pretty easy choice. I think Ted Cruz is going to be that person, and at that particular point in time, both intellectually, economically, that's going to be a strong suit for Ted Cruz.
BOLDUAN: You think, in the end, they're playing politics, and you think, in the end, they'll support the nominee, even if it's Donald Trump?
PERRY: Yes, I do.
BOLDUAN: OK. Governor, the Texas primary -- we're talking about the Wisconsin primary, but the Texas primary was at the beginning of March. I'm seeing reports that the county elections office says they have not received your ballot. Did you vote?
PERRY: Yeah. Count on the United States postal system to let some things fall through the cracks, is the best I can get. Yeah. Filled out the ballot, mailed it in. It never got to the Fayette County courthouse. So you can bet in the run off I'm going to be checking and making sure they did, in fact, get my ballot.
BOLDUAN: It's so funny --
PERRY: Not the strangest occurrence that's ever happened in the world --
BOLDUAN: No, absolutely.
PERRY: -- that the postal system put it somewhere that got lost.
BOLDUAN: It is funny. People might wonder why I'm asking about it. Folks say you may have intentionally not voted because of this might have more to do with the potential Independent run later on. One of the rules in Texas to run as an Independent is that you can't have voted in either of the primaries in that state. So you're saying you did not intentionally not vote?
PERRY: That would be a pretty great April fool's joke, wouldn't it?
BOLDUAN: I guess so.
So, Governor, this isn't going too far, because I've seen some conservatives floating your name as who could be the great hope at the end of the day in a contested convention, that you could be the third- party candidate, that Independent candidate to come in if nobody gets to 1237. Can you say today you will not run as a third party candidate? You won't put your name on there? PERRY: I'm unequivocally saying I'm supporting Ted Cruz. I think
that's where we're headed and going, and in November, as he is our nominee up against Hillary Clinton, he's going to look pretty good.
BOLDUAN: What if he isn't the nominee? What if you have the likes of all of these party leaders who are saying it's not going anywhere, we need someone to go into this convention and be a third-party option. Would you?
PERRY: Well, you asked the question earlier, am I going to support the nominee that the Republican Party comes up with. And I am. So that precludes a third-party effort there.
BOLDUAN: Precludes a third-party effort, got it.
Governor, Donald Trump is under fire for his comments about abortion and much more. You've been talking about that. He suggests now, with regard to the abortion remarks, that he suggests that he could have misspoken, that the media took him out of context.
Do you believe that? Do you think he misspoke?
PERRY: I think he thinks he misspoke. It's there. You can take a look at it yourself.
BOLDUAN: Do you think he misspoke?
PERRY: No. I think Donald Trump -- you know, early on in this process, someone said, and I think it was his campaign manager, went in and said, let Donald be Donald, and Donald is being Donald. And I think you have to take that into account when he talks, Donald's being Donald, and no telling what you're going to get. That, I think, is the challenge for the American people. They have seen this person that they were intrigued with. He talked to a lot of their issues that they were frustrated with. They were mad about, and they went to him early on, and now I think you're starting to see people really think through, is this shooting from the hip, let Donald be Donald person, really who we want to be the president of the United States? I think there are a lot of people out there starting to reassess their support of him. I think that's what you're seeing in Wisconsin with the polls starting to really go toward Ted Cruz.
[11:10:06] BOLDUAN: Yeah, there's no question that Ted Cruz has a handy lead there. As someone who has been in politics a long time and been in the spotlight and the presidential spotlight many a time. You've had some famous moments you've lost your train of thought or misspoken. Do you empathize with Donald Trump and the glare of the spotlight he's in or do you think he's saying truth here? You don't think he misspoke?
PERRY: Well, it's adult business we're involved with. It's a mature process, and you are going to get judged by what you do, how you perform. That glare can be rather bright, I know, but the fact is you have to live with your statements. If you are a capable individual to go back and say, hey, this is what I really meant, we see that often in the political world, that someone misspeaks and they either have a campaign manager or someone or themselves try to go back and they figure out that what they said is not playing very well and let me see if I can straighten this back out where I'm not damaged quite as much as I would if we just let it stand.
BOLDUAN: You say it's a two-person race. Real quick, on John Kasich, I mean, he says he's the -- right now, he's if you look at the polls, he's the one that could beat Hillary Clinton in a general election. With that in mind and with the personal experience of your race, you're not necessarily killing it in the polls and folks calling on you to bow out, why would John Kasich bow out right now?
PERRY: Well, I think he enjoys the process. There is no way -- I mean, you look at the numbers. There's no way he can be the nominee. Even if it goes to a contested convention, he's not going to be the nominee. He's got a state to run. I would suggest that that's probably a more important process for h him to be involved with now than run for the presidency when there is no chance that John Kasich is going to be the nominee. So it's a two-person race. Everybody knows that. And I'm not sure he has won but, what, one state. And that's his home state.
BOLDUAN: That's right.
Governor, you said there's no chance he's going to be the nominee. One more time, there's no chance that Rick Perry is going to be the nominee, correct?
PERRY: I don't think you ought to be putting any money on that. Save your money.
BOLDUAN: I'm not a gambling woman, but I'll have you back on when you want to discuss it again.
Governor, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
PERRY: You're welcome. Thank you. Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next, one Republican says all the people that have supported Donald Trump are to blame and deserve to go down with the Titanic. He's going to join me live along with a Trump supporter to discuss.
Plus, Bernie Sanders is firing back after Hillary Clinton goes off about him saying that the Sanders campaign is lying about her.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, I am so sick. I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:17:09] BOLDUAN: We'll take you live to Washington right now. At the nuclear summit, President Obama is getting set to speak in front of more than 50 world leaders. This is a crucial moment. He'll be speaking before the main work session, if you will. Top of the agenda is keeping nuclear material out of hands of terrorists.
President Obama is beginning to speak right now. Let's listen in.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- nuclear security summit. I convened our first summit six years ago in the same room because the danger of a terrorist group obtaining a nuclear weapon is one of the greatest threats to global security. Our nations committed ourselves to action, concrete, tangible steps to secure the world's vulnerable nuclear materials. And we continued our work at our summits in Seoul and The Hague. And I want to, again, thank our friends from the Republic of Korea and the Netherlands for their leadership on this critical issue.
Back at our first summit, I quoted Albert Einstein. At the dawn of the nuclear age, he said, "The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything." And he added, "A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive."
Over the past six years, when it comes to nuclear security, we've embraced a new type of thinking and a type of action. This is a perfect example of a 21st century security challenge no one nation can solve around. It requires coalitions and sustained coordination across borders and institutions. And the good news is we've made significant progress. We've made nuclear security a priority at the highest levels.
I want to thank my fellow leaders for your commitment in this work and being here today. Some of you were here for our very first summit. Many of you have taken office and joined this work. But it's a reminder that the task of protecting our citizens transcends political ideologies, parties, and administrations.
To date, our nations have made some 260 specific commitments to improve nuclear security, and so far three quarters of the steps have been implemented. More than a dozen nations have removed all their highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Countries have removed or disposed of several tons of this deadly material. Nations have stronger regulations, including stronger regulations and more physical security of nuclear facilities and more nations are cooperating to prevent nuclear smuggling.
[11:20:00] Leading up to this summit, nations have fulfilled additional commitments. Argentina, Switzerland, Uzbekistan, all successfully eliminated all their highly enriched uranium from their countries. China recently opened I'm pleased that the United States and China are cooperating on this. And Japan is working to remove half a ton of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, which is the largest project in history to remove nuclear material from a country. I'm also pleased to announce that in recent days, after many years of
work, 102 nations have ratified a key treaty, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. As a result, we expect that the treaty will enter into force in the coming weeks, giving us more tools we need to work together in the event of theft of nuclear material or an attack of a nuclear facility. Several of the nations here made the extra effort in recent weeks to complete this process in time for the summit. And I want to thank you for helping us get over the line.
Once again, I'm making it clear that the United States will continue to do our part. Today, we're releasing a detailed description of the security measures our military takes to protect nuclear materials so that other nations can improve their security and transparency as well. For the first time in a decade, we're providing a public inventory of the stockpiles of highly enriched uranium, which could be used for nuclear weapons, and we've reduced it considerably. When it comes to our nuclear-powered ships and submarines, we're exploring ways to further reduce our holdings of highly enriched uranium.
In short, everybody has been participating, and by working together, our nations have made it harder for terrorists to get nuclear material. We have measurably reduced the risk.
But as we discussed at last night's dinner, the threat of nuclear terrorism persists and continues to evolve. Fortunately, because of our coordinated efforts, no terrorist group has succeed thus far in obtaining a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb made of radio active materials. But al Qaeda has long sought nuclear materialism and individuals involved in the attacks in Paris and Brussels videotaped a senior official at a nuclear facility. ISIL has used chemical weapons, including mustard gas in Syria and Iraq. There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they most certainly would use it to kill as many innocent people as possible. That's why our work here remains so critical. The single most effective defense against nuclear terrorism is fully securing this material so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands in the first place. This is difficult. At civilian facilities around the world, there's roughly 2,000 tons of nuclear materials, and not all of this is properly secured. And just the smallest amount of plutonium, about the size of an apple, could kill and injure hundreds of thousands of people. It would be a humanitarian, political, economic, and environmental catastrophe with global ramifications for decades. It would change our world.
So we cannot be complacent. We have to build on our progress. We have to commit to better security at nuclear facilities, to removing or disposing of more dangerous material, to bringing more nations into treaties and partnerships that prevent proliferation and smuggling, and to make sure we have the architecture in place to sustain our momentum in the years ahead. With the so many years of global coalition against ISIL here today, this is an opportunity to make sure we're doing everything in our power to keep a terrorist group like ISIL from ever getting its hands not just on a nuclear weapon but any weapons of mass destruction.
So I am very appreciative of the work done and the conversation last night.
With that, I'd like to invite the prime minister of the Netherlands to review some of the specific progress that we've made since our last summit.
BOLDUAN: Right there, you're listening to President Obama speaking at the nuclear security summit that is ongoing in Washington D.C. You heard him right there talking about the real threat of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear material. He says we've reduced the risk but the threat of nuclear terrorism exists and continues to evolve.
The summit will continue and President Obama will be holding a press conference later today, his first since February. He'll be taking questions on this and you can expect questions about politics of day in the 2016 race. We'll keep our eye on this.
[11:25:00] But also this ahead. One conservative says Donald Trump supporters should be handcuffed to his Titanic. We'll debate and discuss that.
Plus, he's already proven he can say things that would sink most candidates. Yet, he emerges unscathed. Why some are saying Donald Trump could become the zombie candidate. We'll be right back.
[11:20:47] BOLDUAN: In Washington, they're describing as a Kumbaya moment for Republican leaders and Donald Trump after the most brutal week of his short political career so far. In a closed door meeting, Trump, and the head of the RNC, Reince Priebus, and other party leaders, reportedly cleared the air and discussed the potential delegate drama at the Republican convention coming up in July.
CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us with more on what went down.
Oh, if those walls could talk.