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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Democrat Fight Becomes "Real"; Cruz Wisconsin Win Adds to Delegate Drama; Clinton Speaking in Pennsylvania; Obama's Supreme Court Nominee Meets with Senators. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired April 6, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:01] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Ted Cruz took a bite out of Donald Trump's delegate lead with a win in Wisconsin. What does that mean for the map? How does that cut into Donald Trump's path to secure the nomination before the convention? We're going to take a deep dive into the delegate drama.
[11:34:45] BERMAN: All right. Pennsylvania. Any minute now, Hillary Clinton will speak to a union group. This is her first big event after the loss in Wisconsin and a pretty big loss there. The question, will we see a change in tone from her from that stage? Again, we'll know in moments.
BOLDUAN: Moment ago, we also have heard about the big win last night and the fight they're prepared to take ongoing forward.
Let's talk about this growing tension now in the Democratic race.
Here now with us is CNN political analyst, David Gregory; CNN political commentator, Patti Solis Doyle, and former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's former 2008 run; and also CNN political commentator, Bill Press, the host of "The Bill Press Show," and a Bernie Sanders supporter.
Guys, great to see you.
David, be a referee on this one. The Sanders win and how this fight is now becoming a real fight between the Democrats, what does it mean now?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we have to find out. Obviously there's two big points here. You've got the New York primary and another debate. There's a third point, which is that Bernie Sanders is still raising money, $44 million in March. He can do a lot with that to keep himself in the game. Anyone suggesting he should step aside, he's obviously not going to do that. He doesn't have any reason to do that.
But the math is still formidable and the Sanders campaign understands that, which is why they are trying to argue a narrative and momentum and enthusiasm. He exposed vulnerabilities in Hillary Clinton as a front-runner. But as some of the supporters of Hillary, who were originally supporters of Barack Obama, like Dan Pfeiffer, has pointed out on Twitter, Obama, back in 2008, lost six of the last nine contests and, in some cases, by a big margin. But the way that the delegates are apportioned still means that the lead is difficult for Sanders, if not impossible to overcome, and with the super delegates on top, still difficult.
BERMAN: Bill Press, what about that? Because Bernie Sanders had a big win in Wisconsin, much bigger than people thought. He outspent Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin. And after all of this and after all the angst you're hearing, he netted 10 delegates in Wisconsin. It's an uphill climb, Bill.
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. Everybody says it's an uphill climb. I know that. I'm amused, because this thing coming out of the Clinton campaign and Pfeiffer and others. When Hillary won by 0.2 percent in Iowa, it was a huge victory, Hillary wins the first caucuses, and when Bernie wins by 13 points in Wisconsin, they say it doesn't mean beans. Yes, it does. It was a significant win last night. And I think the tension that I see right now is that Hillary Clinton would just rather Bernie get out of the way so she can focus on Donald Trump. He's like a pest. And Bernie Sanders, he's still in to win this thing and feels that he's got the wind at his back, which, after winning six out of the last seven contests, probably going to win Wyoming on Saturday, seven out of eight, I think he does have the wind at this back. This is just a good, healthy competition that's going to keep going whether Hillary Clinton likes it or not.
BOLDUAN: Patti, you've been with the Clinton campaign back in 2008. That can't feel great. He's got the wind at his back, the momentum, six of the last seven states, and he's got a whole lot of money. He's out-raising you guys three months in a row. That can't feel great.
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I feel Bernie's pain on this, I really do, having lived it in '08. Here's the deal. The way the process works is if you as a candidate can win early delegate-rich states by wide margins, like Hillary Clinton did and, frankly, like Barack Obama did against Hillary, catching up to that delegate lead is almost impossible. And that's where Bernie Sanders is right now. I kind of want to say what it felt like millions of people said to me in '08, math is math.
BERMAN: That's hard.
BERMAN: Go ahead, David.
GREGORY: You know, what I think is tricky about this is if we spend too much time talking about he mechanics and the process of where the math is going to ultimately take us, we can lose something, and that is, if you're Hillary Clinton, you're walking a fine line here. She has an enthusiasm gap. She doesn't want to continue that into the fall. She doesn't want to eviscerate Sanders. She would like to disqualify him, and we're starting to see that. The "New York Daily News" interview was problematic for Sanders, showing gaps in what he knows and how he approaches difficult problems.
I'm watching. I know she's coming up to the mic.
But she wants to keep his supporters in her camp once she gets to the fall.
BOLDUAN: Guys, let's listen to Hillary Clinton for a second. This will be the first time --
BERMAN: That's video that we're looking at. We're still moments away.
GREGORY: I'm sorry. It had a live feel to it.
BOLDUAN: Me, too. It felt so there.
BERMAN: Bill, I want to give you the last word on the "New York Daily News" interview. Tad Devine said, nothing to see here. He's getting beat up pretty hard here in New York over that. Does he need to sharpen his answers?
[11:40:10] PRESS: Well, first of all, I think he's getting unfairly beat up over that interview. I read the entire transcript. If you read it, it was the editors of the "New York Daily News" who didn't know what they were talking about. They asked him how to break up the big banks. He said, number one, legislation. If you can't get that, you give the Treasury Department the authority they have under Dodd/Frank, existing authority. By the way, that's Hillary Clinton's position as well. It was the editors who kept saying, how about the Federal Reserve. Bernie never said the Federal Reserve should do it. They don't. It's questionable whether they have that authority. Is this transcript going to decide the primary? I don't think so. This is a lot to do about nothing.
BOLDUAN: What could help decide the primary is the big debate next week.
David, Patti, great to see you, Bill. Thank you so much.
BOLDUAN: A programming note on that. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off for a Democratic presidential debate live from the beautiful Brooklyn, New York, next thursday, April 14th, right here on CNN.
And also this. First, the sex scandal and now a call to impeach. Ahead, why Alabama's governor fighting Republicans and Democrats alike, and is refusing to step down.
BERMAN: To be clear, he says it's a sex-talk scandal, not a physical scandal. BOLDUAN: Let's talk about that next.
BERMAN: Plus, Donald Trump's road to 1237 delegates may be getting tougher. Right now, every delegate matters. We'll talk to a man who understands the math and he'll tell us how hard it will be for Donald Trump to clinch the nomination before the convention.
[11:46:11] BOLDUAN: Taking a live look right now in Philadelphia where Hillary Clinton -- it looked like she was heading to the stage for her first big event since her loss in Wisconsin. We're going to keep an eye on this and bring it to you whenever she takes to the podium and starts speaking.
In the meantime, let's look on the other side. Ted Cruz's win in Wisconsin makes the road to the Republican nomination a little tougher for the man who has been ahead in the delegate count rival, Donald Trump.
BERMAN: With the delegate count as it is right now, Trump would need to get about 60 percent of the remaining delegates to reach 1237. That is the amount you need to win on the first ballot in Cleveland.
I want to bring in David Wasserman, house editor and political analyst of the "Cook Political Report," to help us crunch the numbers.
Dave, great to have you here. I stalk you on Twitter.
BOLDUAN: That's creepy.
BERMAN: I want to make that disclaimer right now, big fan of yours.
I've seen what you've written over the last couple of hours about what happens in New York. That's the next big state here. What are the delegate rules in New York and how do you expect Donald Trump to do here?
DAVID WASSERMAN, HOUSE EDITOR & POLITICAL ANALYST, COOK POLITICAL REPORT: Well, the interesting thing is that for all of the complaining that Donald Trump does about how the Republican party has treated him unfairly, the wacky rules in delegate allocations of the map is actually helping him quite a bit. It actually happens to be the case that the most Democratic district in New York, which casts just 5,000 votes for Romney in the south Bronx, has just as many delegates at stake as the most Republican district in Wisconsin, which cast 257,000 votes for Romney in 2012. Trump is doing well in minority majority districts, which has a lot of bang for your buck. And part of the reason for that, he's doing very well among the small pockets of Republican voters in heavily minority areas that are motivated by racial resentment.
BOLDUAN: Looking at the New York, and the stakes are getting higher and higher with how this is turning out, how bullish are you on Trump's chances in New York?
WASSERMAN: Well, Donald Trump has to hit 50 percent in New York to have a chance of getting to 1237. Now, if he does, and by all indications he's above 50 percent, he could win close to all 95 delegates in New York, just given the winner-takes-most delegate allocations. Across the board, from here on out, he needs to win about 58 percent of the delegates remaining to get to 1237. That sounds really hard. It's doable.
I think he'll probably fall just short and need some of the unbound and uncommitted delegates to get him over the top. The question is by how much. And really when you look at the map of remaining, he could compensate for his poor Wisconsin performance by doing well in New York. But this is going to come down to five states and the biggest ones are California and Indiana. Those are -- that's my bubble watch to determine whether Donald Trump is going to get to 1237 or not.
BERMAN: California is June 7th. So you essentially think it's going to be close and it's going to come down to the very last voting day.
Dave Wasserman, great having you here. We'll have you back.
But we're going to jump back to Philadelphia where Hillary Clinton is just taking the stage and starting to speak at her first event after her loss in Wisconsin.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to greet all of you. I want to thank Rick for that introduction and leadership on behalf of working families across Pennsylvania. I remember when he showed up in 1992 to work in the Clinton campaign, back there in Little Rock, Arkansas. That was an incredible experience. It took everybody working together, but we were successful and we had eight years with the greatest peacetime expansion of the economy, 23 million new jobs, incomes going up for everybody. Sounds like something we want to do again.
CLINTON: So I'm a happy to be here with people who have the same goals. I'm grateful to all of you here.
[11:50:15] Frank, thank you, secretary, treasurer.
And I want to thank my friend of many years, Congressman Brady, who I saw coming in. He told me he warmed you up. I hope that's the case, because it was good to see him. But I told him we have to get back to work because we have a lot to do here in Philadelphia.
I'm also delighted that one of my great friends from New York, who's now the head of the AFT, Brandy Wiengarten, is here with us.
CLINTON: You know, the AFL-CIO is showing every day when unions are strong, families are strong, and America is strong.
BOLDUAN: Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia getting through her introductions and thank yous. We'll keep an eye on that.
We will take a quick break and be right back.
[11:55:08] BERMAN: Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, back on Capitol Hill meeting with Democratic Senators today. The Republican leadership has said no hearings, no vote, no way. But some Republican Senators did sit down with Judge Garland.
BOLDUAN: Let's bring in CNN's political reporter -- senior political reporter, Manu Raju, on Capitol Hill, with much on this.
Manu, it was a day-to-day watch as who he is sitting down. But the big question, what does it change?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Right now, not a lot. Two Republican Senators up for re-election have agreed to meet with Judge Garland. That's Rob Portman of Ohio, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Even though they have had courtesy visits, they have said they don't believe a Supreme Court nominee should be confirmed this year.
I spoke to a lot of Senators, including one up for re-election, and they said they are hearing support from backers back home to stand firm, not let the nominee go forward. They are feeling intensity on both sides of the aisle, including Moran of Kansas, who actually floated the idea of a confirmation hearing, backtracked, and now face a tough primary challenge from a congressman of Kansas. You are seeing real intense pressure campaign happen on both sides, including the right, which is one reason why you are not seeing a lot of Republicans defect at this point -- guys?
BERMAN: It's extraordinary. You are hearing from conservative radio hosts saying get Moran, a Senator floating in a hearing that caused problems. But Susan Collins called for other Republicans to consider it. Might there be more after the meetings today?
RAJU: It's hard to see if there will be more. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said he would have breakfast with Judge Garland but he said he would not consider him in a confirmation hearing. Collins said that if more met with him they would consider him and like him and may consider voting for him. And she acknowledged a big risk, what if Hillary Clinton wins and nominates a more liberal justice. That could be a big problem for Republicans in the stance they're taking -- guys?
BOLDUAN: Susan Collins hoping she might be able to change minds herself in how the Republicans are handling this. This is something we will have to wait and see.
Manu, thank you so much. Good to see you.
RAJU: Thanks, guys. BOLDUAN: Up next, a new effort to impeach Alabama's Republican
governor in the midst of a sex scandal.
BERMAN: They say a sex-talk scandal.
BOLDUAN: What's the difference? We report, you decide. But Governor Robert Bentley is promising to fight it.