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Despite Brutal Week, Trump Confident in Wisconsin; Clinton, Sanders Battle Over Debate Night; Brussels Airport Reopens: Flights Resume on Limited Schedule. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired April 3, 2016 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And stay with us. Thank you so much. We're glad to have you here this morning.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A lot more coming up in the next hour of your NEW DYA. It starts right now.


PAUL: We are always so grateful for your company. Happy Sunday to you at 7:00. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you.

PAUL: Yes, Wisconsin is the bull's eye, it seems right now. Countdown to the next crucial contest in the race for the White House, two days until the Badger State head to the polls.

BLACKWELL: Now, today, the Republicans candidates are making their final push across the state. Senator Cruz making two stops. Donald Trump with just one rally tonight after a busy Saturday. Although I'm sure they'll be pretty busy tomorrow, too.

Trump held three campaign events yesterday, and despite coming off what some say was the most brutal week of his candidacy, Donald Trump says he's still feeling confident.

PAUL: He's still leaving Ted Cruz in the all important delegate race itself, hoping to keep that momentum going.

CNN politics reporter Jeremy Diamond joining us now.

Is there any indication that he may be able to close that ten-point lead Ted Cruz has on him in Wisconsin?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, certainly, we've seen Donald Trump making those efforts in the last few days. He's been barn-storming the state. Yesterday, he had three events in different parts of the state.

Donald Trump taking a very targeted approach here. He is talking a lot about trade. You know there have been a lot of manufacturing job losses in Wisconsin in the last several years, and that's something that Donald Trump has homed in on as he's kind of finessed his attacks on his opponents, painting them as free trade supporters. He's also gone after Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin who, of course, was in a presidential race, has now endorsed Ted Cruz for the presidential race this last week.

So, we are certainly seeing Donald Trump make efforts to tighten the race. He said yesterday that he sees this contest as pivotal and that he thinks he can win in Wisconsin. But certainly, the polls are showing a different story. So, it remains to be seen if Donald Trump in the last few days can, in fact, narrow that gap.

PAUL: All righty. Jeremy, we appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring in CNN political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes and Ben Ferguson.

Good to have both of you this morning.



BLACKWELL: Hey, Scottie, I want to start with you very quickly. Is there enough time here for Donald Trump to close this gap in Wisconsin and pull out a win?

HUGHES: Well, I think Wisconsin is looking really good for Senator Cruz. He has a great ground game there. But Donald Trump is trying. Mr. Trump is trying his best. He's holding five different rallies between now and election day.

And you also have to remember, Wisconsin is a state that it is not winner take all states. The winner take all is I think by congressional district.

So, I think it looks good for Senator Cruz but it is not something that is a complete write off for the Trump campaign.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, let's go to this "New York Times" piece for Maureen Dowd, Trump says he probably should not have tweeted or retweeted I should say that unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz and the unflattering comparison of his wife Melania.

He said this, and put up on the screen guys. "Yes, it was a mistake. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have sent it." We don't have to put on the screen, oh, there it is.

Should he apologize here, Ben?

FERGUSON: Well, Donald Trump is not one to apologize. And at this point, I think the damage has already been done. And one of the reasons why you see him falling behind in Wisconsin and why there is so much concern around the Trump campaign now is that he's had two really bad weeks in a row.

And the only person you can blame for this is Donald Trump. He is definitely hurt himself in Wisconsin on the issue of abortion. We've seen how that has affected his campaign. But also this getting down in the mud and being a five-year-old on the playground, you know, with these insults, saying, well, he started.

And he also -- remember Donald Trump lied. He said that photograph of his wife was bought by the Ted Cruz campaign and given to a super PAC. That never happened. The photograph was never bought by the Ted Cruz campaign. It was never given to a super PAC that. That would have actually broken the law.

And I think now you are starting to see others that are really looking more at what Donald Trump is saying than probably ever before: and when he does lie about these things, it comes back to bite him. And that is why he's having problems right now. That's the reason why he's not the nominee at this point is because of these antics and these constant "I'm going to throw stuff out there that's factually not accurate", it's a lie and now, he's getting busted for it.

BLACKWELL: All right. Scottie, let me come to you, something Donald Trump said yesterday about the CBS interview that's going to air this morning on "Face the Nation". Let's watch and then we'll talk.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The truth is you can't, no matter what you do, no matter what you say, because they can take something you say and turn it around. Like I'll be on CBS "Face the Nation". What I said was perfect. What I said was -- otherwise I wouldn't -- honestly I'm going to be on that's tomorrow. And I taped it yesterday.

What I said was so good. It was so perfect. And then they looked. Oh maybe he should have added a word. Well, actually, the way it came out. They took words out that I said.


[07:05:00] BLACKWELL: So, if he didn't give the full answer there. Should we expect now a fifth attempt at clarifying his views on abortion laws? I mean, do you believe that CBS changed his words? On camera when he said it?

HUGHES: Oh, I don't think they changed words. You say what you say. The question is, it's selective editing and what context it is. Listen, every single on of us on this screen right now have been us on the screen have been hit with some sort of hit piece, where they've taken words of the context out of the conversation that we're having and twist it to make a headline. It's either to get click --

BLACKWELL: Do you believe he's taken out of context?

HUGHES: Well, you have to -- I want to watch the segment. I can't sit there and say something about something that I've not seen yet. But, obviously, Mr. Trump has been a little bit concern about it and he addressed it early on. But I think this speaks to the reason why Mr. Trump is not leading

right now, as Ben referenced in his last answer. He's not winning right now, he's not at the top because he's not being able to be controlled by the media or the establishment. That's why he isn't winning, is he's getting fought and getting hit by all sides right now.

And so, that's why he's not winning right now but he hasn't gone along with what everybody wants him to be. He's not the Manchurian candidate right now. And that's --

FERGUSON: Victor, he's not winning right now --

BLACKWELL: Go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: He's not winning right now because he's making up stuff. And then when he gets busted making it up. He flips it.

HUGHES: That's not what it is.

FERGUSON: Donald Trump has four positions on abortion. He then comes out and says after he act likes a schoolboy and attacks Ted Cruz and says, oh, well, you know, their campaign bought this photo from "GQ" and they started this war.


BLACKWELL: Hold on. Hold on.

FERGUSON: Scottie, Scottie, it's not a talking point --

HUGHES: If my guy is not winning --

BLACKWELL: Hold on, Scottie. I come right back to you.

FERGUSON: When you lie and people are now paying attention to these lies. Look what he just did with CBS. He's now saying that CBS took him out of context and somehow misrepresent order changed or edited his words to say something he didn't say. If that actually happened, I would be defending Donald Trump right now.

HUGHES: No, you wouldn't.

FERGUSON: Yes, I would.

HUGHES: You have not defended a thing.

FERGUSON: I have defended Donald Trump on several things when I thought he got a bad rap. But he didn't get taken out of the context. He wasn't edited by CBS News.

HUGHES: You don't know yet.

FERGUSON: They are not stupid enough to do.

BLACKWELL: All right. Scottie, go ahead. Your point. HUGHES: Ben, you don't know that yet. You've not seen the segment.

I love how you've already prejudged and condemned. You've already that.

FERGUSON: I've seen the segment --

HUGHES: And that's the problem right now.

BLACKWELL: Let Scottie finish, Ben. Go ahead, Scottie.

HUGHES: And that's the issue right now. I mean, there can be no perfect answer right now for some of these pundits and he can't say unless there is nothing he can say. And if my guy is not winning considering he's got -- you know, he's winning in the GOP primary, what is your excuse then for your guy not winning right now. For Senator Cruz who's almost half of what, you now, 300 delegates left, or Kasich who's not even mathematically possible to have as a nominee.

If my guy is considered -- you know, if you are going to sit there and criticize my guy because of his lies, then what's your excuse for Cruz losing?


BLACKWELL: Quickly, Ben, I've got to get to one --

FERGUSON: I'm criticizing Donald Trump for lying. And when you see a guy on camera and you see his answer on camera, when it is his actual face, you can't claim it got edited out of context on your fourth flip-up on abortion and blame it on the news organization.

HUGHES: I'll wait until it actually airs.

BLACKWELL: Ben, we know that Scottie Nell Hughes a strong defender, supporter of Donald Trump. And do you know who else knows? The folks at "Saturday Night Live". Take a look at what airs last night.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't break me Kate because I'm crazy. And crazy don't break. And Kate, I know you agree with me on three things when it comes to Trump. One he is drop dead gorgeous.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two, he is bringing trade back so we can make American grapes again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And three, he is way better than Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Yes, that I do agree on.


BLACKWELL: A sketch from "SNL" spoofing a conversation here that you have with Kate Bolduan. What do you think about it when you saw it?

HUGHES: First of all, I looked at the TV and went oh my God I have roots and she better have a southern accent. That look was so 2015 "SNL". Update I cut my hair.

But you know what? You know, I have a great sense of humor. My mother said she loved it. She thought it was the funniest thing, she's got to watch it every morning. And you've got to have a sense of humor and laugh about yourself.

But I will say this.


HUGHES: Looking at it this morning, the morning after reading the headlines that come from it, talk about the ultimate shame and ultimate sexism. What does "SNL" want me to do? Barefoot and pregnant or just talk about parenting issues?

You know, I've been a woman. I'm a mother, I'm a wife, I'm a small business owner. I'm out there and I'm willing to get involved in the process and I try to be respectful to people. And what does -- just because you don't like the guy that I'm representing or the guy that I speak favorably of, you know, they're going to obviously going to attack.

But the good news is, I have a great sense of humor. I thought it was a funny sketch. And I think it's an honor to be portrayed by Cecily Strong.

BLACKWELL: Well, I think they poke fun at everyone, including the folks here at CNN and all the presidential candidates, but I'm glad you had a good laugh at it.

[07:10:02] Scottie, Ben, thank you both.


HUGHES: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. And stay with CNN for full coverage of the Wisconsin presidential primaries. It's just two days away now, for both the Republicans and the Democrats. All day special coverage on Tuesday right here on CNN.

PAUL: It's a momentous day in Brussels this morning. The airport, the site of one of the terrorist bombings is open right now. Not, though, at full strength.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the Democrats are dueling over a potential debate. Which day? Which time? What is it going to take to get the two sides to agree on getting these candidates face to face again?


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me tell you that the last CNN poll had us 20 points ahead of Donald Trump.



PAUL: Thirteen minutes past the hour.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are trading barbs, this time over a still unscheduled debate. Clinton camp has accused the Sanders team of, quote, "playing games" with prospective dates. While a Sanders spokesman charged Clinton's offers were, quote, "ludicrous".

CNN political producer Dan Merica has been following Secretary Clinton on the campaign trail.

So, Dan, I'm wondering, are either of these camps really open to a debate? Or are they just taking shots at each other?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: It is a bit of both. They clearly want to score points by being able to brag about who picked the debate, at what time, what venue.

But it really is a debate about debates, which is not what most Democrats want to see. They'd like to see talking about issues at events and they're proud -- a lot of Democrats I've talked to are proud of the fact that they're not the Republican Party right now. They're not having this kind of personal debate play out that we see between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Bernie Sanders campaign challenged Secretary Clinton's campaign to a debate at the end of March. Secretary Clinton's campaign began working with the DNC to figure out some dates.

[07:15:01] Yesterday, Secretary Clinton's campaign said they proposed three dates all of which were rejected and the Sanders came back with as you quoted their ludicrous proposals.

The reality is we're likely going to have a debate before the April 19th primary in New York, but getting there has been a process and it shows that this contest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is getting a little more personal. There is a growing animosity between the two. And that's playing out in this debate.

PAUL: Yes, just to clarify, the ludicrous comment from Sanders comes because of one the dates that was thrown out by the Clinton camp was apparently on an NCAA playoff night.

MERICA: Tomorrow.

PAUL: And he was saying -- yes, who's going to watch that? Because they're going to be watching the playoff.

So, when you are talking about getting personal, we're seeing more of that from Hillary. We saw it yesterday when she was talking about -- from Hillary Clinton, she was talking in Wisconsin about how she is a Democrat and has been for years and years and years. And that was her way to take a dig at Bernie Sanders, yes?

MERICA: Yes, Hillary Clinton became a Democrat in 1965 when she was 18 years old. And yesterday, she basically accused Bernie Sanders of being a Democrat come lately, somebody who hasn't been a Democrat his whole life. Let's take a listen to what she said in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm also a Democrat. And have been a proud Democrat all my adult life. And I think that is kind of important if we are selecting somebody to be the Democratic nominee of the Democratic Party.


MERICA: Basically, that's Hillary Clinton saying, I'm a Democrat. Bernie Sanders, well I don't know he might not be.

He's caucused for the Democrats since 1991 when he came to Congress but he's been an independent since that time and has never really been an official member of the Democratic Party. When he declared his candidacy in 2015, he declared as the Democrat. But he still calls himself a Democratic socialist and an independent. And that quote you heard is Hillary Clinton's way of digging at his commitment to the party that he's looking to represent.

And again it shows that this race is growing more acrimonious by the day.

PAUL: Yes, and we'll see if a debate comes out of it in anyway as you perform the next couple of weeks.

Thank you so much, Dan Merica. I appreciate it.

MERICA: Thank you.

PAUL: Victor?

All right. Actually, we want to bring in CNN political commentator and political anchor for Time Warner Cable News, Errol Louis.

Errol, so good to have you with us.

Let me ask you: do you have any confidence that we will see a Democratic debate before the New York primary?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I have my fingers crossed, frankly, because Time Warner Cable is in conversations that I can't really disclose about whether or not we might be one of the media partners. So, if all goes well perhaps there will be a debate. I might even get to be involved in it.

I will tell you, though, Christi, that the Sanders campaign has been asking for debates in New York since the beginning of primary season. I think as early as January/February, they were suggesting that there'd be some debates here in New York.

The Clinton camp is not dismissing those calls at this point. Obviously, Secretary Clinton is in a stronger position. She doesn't have to do the debates. She doesn't need them nearly as much as Bernie Sanders does before April 19th.

PAUL: But her detractors, Errol, say she doesn't want them because if she said something wrong, it would hurt her more than it would hurt Sanders.

LOUIS: Oh, absolutely. I wrote a piece on

PAUL: Right.

LOUIS: He's got much to gain, she's got everything to lose. She could conceivably be embarrassed not simply by the outcome of the vote, but anybody can make a misstatement during a debate. And with the comfortable lead that she now holds, in some ways she has nowhere to go but down.

I mean, she was leading in the polls by something like 48 percentage points just a couple of weeks ago. And that's closed to high single digits, low double digits. So, that was inevitable. I think the Clinton team expected that.

But she doesn't have to sort of play Bernie Sanders game if she doesn't want to. She's got a long road ahead of her. She's going to probably win New York. Even the latest polls sort of suggest that.

She's got a lot of momentum going forward. Why risk it, so that from her point of view, there's no particular need to do it.

PAUL: I thought this was interesting. Clinton campaign, her secretary, tweeted this earlier, "We were told that Sanders was willing to debate on GMA", on "Good Morning America", "and then when we accepted, he bulked. It would be a bigger audience that recent night time debates."

It would certainly be a difference audience, Errol. No doubt about it. It is a creative idea. Why do you think they rejected it?

LOUIS: That you'd have to get from the Sanders camp. That's a hard thing to know for sure. But --

PAUL: OK, let me ask you this -- do you think that a morning debate would be better?

[07:20:01] Would be different? Would bring anything new to the table in a debate between the two?

LOUIS: It would certainly be different because I know that the producers and whatever hosts were doing the debate would be moving at the much less relaxed pace. Some of these two hour debates, you really can sort of dig down deep into issues. I've never seen that on morning television. I'd be surprised if it were to happen. One thing I want to mention, though, Christi, is something we don't really know about and this is true for both camps, the Sanders camp may have big fundraisers or important rallies scheduled on some of these dates and it is not that easy for them to sort of cancel and walk away from important sort of internal campaign business just to stick another debate in.

And there is the prep that has to go it. It can be very time consuming. I wouldn't take all of this as pure political gamesmanship. Some of this really is about the logistics of running a very big and complicated campaign.

PAUL: Sure. We just heard a couple of minutes ago the sound bite of Senator Clinton, that she was talking about how she is a Democrat and really solidifying that point to her audience, in a sense also taking a digs a Bernie Sanders saying he's not always been. Does that argument matter to his supporters? Because we know that's been brought up about Donald Trump and how long he has or has not be a Republican, and it doesn't seem to detract people from him.

Is that an argument that she can win?

LOUIS: Well, it's an argument that needs to happen. It's a debate that needs to happen. I mean, this is as old as I've been watching politics, which at this point is over 30 years, between the progressives, the movement Democrats and the regulars we would call them, the people who sort of build the party establishment.

And frankly, Bernie Sanders is not the only person that would apply to. Elizabeth Warren, another prominent national progressive, she was a Republican until her early 40s, I think. You know, this is an interesting kind of question. The regular Democrat, the people who register the voters, mobilize the vote year after year, whether they've got less than great candidates, they look at some of these outsiders, the Bernie Sanders, the Elizabeth Warrens who come in and want to sort of sweep in with new ideas and claim to be the true Democrats, and they're not necessarily all that impressed.

PAUL: All right. Errol Sanders, always good to have you here. Thank you.

LOUIS: OK, thank you.

PAUL: We appreciate it.

Also, a programming note for you. Bernie Sanders is at Jake -- I'm not talking about. That's Errol, not Sanders for heaven's sake.

Bernie Sanders is a guest this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION", 9:00 a.m. Eastern. And that, of course, is right here on CNN.


BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Christi.

North Carolina has a new law some say is anti-LGBT. We'll tell you why one woman says that she could be in danger if this law is followed and enforced.

Also, the airport in Brussels now back open for the first time since the terror bombings two weeks ago. How long might it take to get up and running to full strength?


[07:26:24] BLACKWELL: Twenty-six minutes after the hour now.

And for the first time since the terror bombings in Brussels, the city's airport has reopened. But this is a extremely limited schedule.

CNN correspondent Alexandra Field is live at the airport this morning.

And I understand only three passenger flights today, probably more about symbolism than actual transportation and transit today.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And it is significant to so many people in this city and in this community just to see these first steps being taken. It is nowhere nearly close to operating the way it did before when it had 600 flights a day. But three flights is where they have decided to start and they want to bring far fewer passengers here in the beginning stages to make everyone feel comfortable and secure. And to that end you are seeing a very heavy security presence outside the airport where we are.

As you approach the airport, you are seeing police, you're seeing military vehicles. You're seeing canines out here. They've got passengers going to a temporary check in location. A location that's built for them as the check in desks were destroyed in the bombings. From there, they again go through security screenings.

So, anyone who's taking those three flights will see a very heavy security presence out here. But this as reflective moment, certainly, you would imagine for anyone who works at this airport, anyone who was here on the day of those attacks. We understand there actually will be a moment of silence here too before the first flight takes off in a short while, Victor.

BLACKWELL: So, we've got those three passenger planes. We understand there have been some cargo flights in and out since the bombings. But is there potential that some of these flights will not return at all?

FIELD: Yes, the airport has prepared for that possibility. They don't know which airlines will continue to run which routes here at this time.

They are hoping to be operating at full capacity by the end of June, beginning of July, that's for summer vacations, of course, kick in to full swing. So, the airport authorities are expressing the fact they are certainly hopeful that they will be running fully, that they will restore full service here. But yes, there are decisions that will come down to the airlines as far as when they want to return, if they want to return, and what kind of flight routes they'll run at this point. So, people are just going to follow along and take it day by day, and

we should see more flights added certainly day by day for the next few weeks here, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Alexandra Field, just outside the airport there for us in Brussels -- Alexandra, thank you.

PAUL: All right. The countdown is on. Two days away now from our coverage of the crucial Wisconsin primary, and folks what -- a look at what the candidates are doing in the Badger State to try to drum up some last minute votes.

Also, critics say a new North Carolina law is anti-gay. Why some people who are transgender say listen, this is putting our lives in danger. We're going to hear from one of them.

Stay close.