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GOP Establishment on the Brink; The Shaming of Students for Trump; State of Disunion 100 Days Before Conventions; How NY Rule Change Could Derail Trump. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired April 9, 2016 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:00:00] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Michael Smerconish, just 100 days. That's all that's left between now and the Republican convention in Cleveland and a week later, the Democrats gather in Philadelphia and still, nobody knows what is going to happen but we're here to try.
Where do all the disaffected voters go who have been rallying to Trump and Sanders if their candidates don't get nominated this summer? And why are many college students who support Donald Trump literally afraid to show their faces? Plus, how one Trump supporter's unhappiness with the system led to new voting rules in New York that could undermine Trump's chances there.
But first, this weekend Colorado Republicans are caucusing. By last night Ted Cruz already had taken the majority of the state's delegates Donald Trump, John Kasich, they had none. This is a troubling sign for Trump. Colorado's system is unusual but similar to most states in that delegate selection is different than the presidential balloting by voters and here is why that's bad for Trump.
Often delegates selected in state caucuses and conventions are long- standing party members. They are being rewarded not for their loyalty to a particular candidate, but for loyalty to the party. For party faithful, the paramount goal is finding a candidate who can win the general election.
New York is the next big prize on April 19 and a rule change last year by its Republican State committee allows the party, not the candidates to select who will be the delegates. So even if Trump wins the primary, if he falls shy of a majority on the first ballot at the convention, the 95 New York delegates picked by the party could be a potent force if they decide to move away from him as a block.
And then comes Pennsylvania on April 26th where 54 of the state's 71 delegates are elected by voters without any indication of who they support and no requirement that they follow the will of the electorate. So, who are they usually? Savvy political members. They know how to get chosen. And then 14 more get appointed by the state party chair. Who will they be? They will be party loyalists, they will be donors, they will be elected officials.
No wonder then that this week Trump hired a veteran political insider, Paul (INAUDIBLE) to play the role of his convention manager but if this all sounds nefarious, as if the deck is being stacked against Donald Trump, I would argue not. I remember the words of the government professor I had as an undergraduate at Lee High, Dr. Frank Colin who often told us "political parties exist for one purpose and that is to win."
Now for a different take, Pat Buchanan has advised several Republican presidents and has run for the White House himself in his latest column, "Can the GOP get together in Cleveland?" He writes this. "If the GOP establishment does collude to steal the nomination from the candidate who has won the most states, the most delegates, the most votes, not only could the party be crushed in November, but that establishment itself could be discredited in perpetuity."
Pat Buchancan joins me now.
Pat, thank you for being here.
PAT BUCHANAN (R), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Delighted, Michael.
SMERCONISH: I think that the role of those who come together in Cleveland is to select a winner, and in your most recent column, you're fearful that instead of a unified ticket behind the front runner, Donald Trump, the bogeyman as Pat Buchanan sees it is the establishment. Explain.
BUCHANAN: Well, look, the establishment of the Republican party is what has been repudiated and rejected by the voters of the Republican primaries and Republican caucuses this entire year. If you add together the votes of Ted Cruz, not beloved of the establishment, and Donald Trump who is outside the establishment, you're probably going to have 80 percent of the delegates there in Cleveland, Michael, and you've got an enormous component of a necessary coalition to win the election.
This is why it's my belief that even though it sounds like an impossibility now, if you have a Trump nomination and Cruz as the number two and you can bring the establishment in, those are the elements of victory in November, but I do not know how you bring about a victory in November by the having the establishment really reject the two largest vote getters calling the whole primary process a fraud and imposing their own candidate upon the party.
SMERCONISH: But Pat, I don't know how you come out of Cleveland if Trump doesn't get to 1237 on his own having embraced a man who has a 73 percent disapproval rating among females. Isn't it incumbent upon a delegate to say this man can't win, who can win among us?
BUCHANAN: I think what's going to happen here, I agree to the extent, Michael, if Trump doesn't win on the first ballot with 1237, Trump is not the nominee because his delegate to a Republican, many of them just more Republican than they are Trump who fade away once they are freed from their commitments. But then I think the party moves to the number two candidate, Cruz who has only got two senators' endorsement, even though he's a member of the United States Senate and one of them is endorsing him as the lesser of two levels.
So what I think if Cruz is nominated, it's hard for me to see as an analyst for Nixon and Reagan, hard for me to see how he wins those swing states say up in Michigan and Pennsylvania and even New York and some of the others where Trump has an appeal. What you've got in the Republican party, Michael, is this, you got the Trump bites, populous and nationalist, you got Cruz which is the right wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party and you got the Bush establishment.
All three of those together can win. They can beat Hillary. They can take over the Congress, Supreme Court, everything. My feeling is and my hope and belief is somehow you can get them all together. Do I know how to get the mixture together right now? No.
SMERCONISH: Patrick, you reference Pennsylvania. They say all politics are local. That's my home state. I want to show you some data. This is the current matchup among Republicans in Pennsylvania. Donald Trump in in first position, 39, Cruz at 30. Take a look at Kasich, he trails by 15. However, in this same Quinnipiac survey when they did matchups among all Pennsylvania voters for a general, Kasich is the only Republican who defeats any of the Democrats. He's ahead of Hillary 51, 35. He's ahead of Sanders 46, 40.
Pat, you know if you win Pennsylvania as a Republican, you're going to win the White House. So to go back to my old professor who said that parties exist to win, isn't that evidence exhibit A, how John Kasich really should get serious consideration?
BUCHANAN: Well, he's been getting serious consideration and he's won only one state, his home state of Ohio. The Republicans don't want him. The Republicans who want change. The Republicans who Trump is bringing interest the party basically on an issue of economic nationalism and foreign policy nationaliam, these folks want something new and something different.
The point is, people who look very good on paper right now may look good simply because they are putting them up against the Democrats and Hillary whom they know and don't want. But I don't - if Kasich is the guy, why can't Kasich do better in his own party, use these polls to persuade Republicans to nominate him? He hasn't been able to do that and he has won one state, his home state of Ohio.
You tell me, Michael, where do all those people go? Where do those tens of thousands, scores of thousands coming out to these rallies? Are they going to rally to John Kasich?
SMERCONISH: What happens if Donald Trump gets to Cleveland and he's 50 or 100 delegates shy?
BUCHANAN: I think he's nominated. I think - I mean, if the establishment starts moving against him then to take it away from him, what worth is it going - of what worth will it be? I mean, to take it away, frustrate and anger and enrage all these people who had - and Trump who had the most votes, the most delegates. The most states, the biggest crowds, the most excitement and energy and take and pull the nomination away from him and frankly then try to confer it on Paul Ryan or John Kasich? I think that's a formula for the end of the party.
SMERCONISH: I think you place too much stock in the idea that the establishment can function so cohesively and with such competence.
BUCHANAN: Well, it hasn't show -
BUCHANAN: You may have a point here.
SMERCONISH: Final question for Pat Buchanan as one who is used to having his speech parsed, you know that Ted Cruz caught a lot of flak in New York this week because he made reference to media and money when talking about New York values, people read into that anti- semitism. Your thought?
BUCHANAN: Well, no, I didn't read any semitism in it at all. What I read it as is really New York values - and I think Trump, one of his best answers is that New York values (INAUDIBLE) all these people coming together at 9/11 and that horrible tragedy and what we went through and also because Cruz comes in, I think, a little bit like an outsider and almost snobbish about it.
SMERCONISH: Right. But why reference money and media? I mean, that's one thing to talk about a classic liberal model and to talk about abortion as he did and to reference those other issues but to make that reference all of a sudden, the antenna goes up.
BUCHANAN: Well, it didn't - maybe it's going up to some folks in New York but I think on Ted, I think the antenna are already pretty high up there on him. I think and I would predict he's going to come in third in New York and your candidate, John Kasich will come in second.
SMERCONISH: What do you mean my candidate? I'm sitting here hypothetically and just taking about different scenarios. Pat Buchanan, as always, thank you so much.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, my friend.
SMERCONISH: Tweet me your thoughts @smerconish about what Pat Buchanan just said about the GOP.
By the way, I just started the ball rolling. Here is a tweet I sent, "hey @realdonaldtrump when you again watch my CNN program and tweet about it as you often do, please use the right hashtag, that would be smerconish."
Now funny thing, everything Pat Buchanan just said about the GOP establishment falling apart. Same exact phenomenon has been happening across the aisle. Liberals unhappy with the democratic establishment's abandonment of core principles have also rallied to an outsider. Bernie Sanders, he has won seven of the last eight state contests and there's nobody better to talk about liberal discontent than the author of a brand-new book, "Listen, Liberal, Whatever happened to the Party of the People." You remember Thomas Frank, because he wrote "what's the Matter with Kansas."
Hey, Thomas, you are a liberal blaming liberals for the general state of affairs in the country. Why? What's the case?
THOMAS FRANK, AUTHOR "LISTEN, LIBERAL": Yes, that's right. Well, we have a very liberal president in the White House right now and when he first came in, he came in faced with this sort of 1930s, 1932, '33 style situation. We all thought he was my generation's Franklin Roosevelt and look what has happened.
Inequality has grown worse and worse under his watch as it has grown worse - as it grew worse under Bill Clinton's watch back in the 1990s. So a lot of people are very disappointed at these guys.
SMERCONISH: Barack Obama to his - Barack Obama to his critics is a socialist. That's what the Republicans have been saying for eight years and you're saying he's not -
FRANK: Highly ironic.
SMERCONISH: You're saying he's not liberal enough and you're saying that Bill Clinton wasn't liberal enough.
FRANK: That's right. Well, there is liberals and then there's liberals, you know. The kind of liberals that I'm talking about is a very different animal. You know, it's been extinct in the Democratic party counsels for a long time. I mean, since the 1970s, 1980s.
SMERCONISH: Bill Clinton was in Philadelphia this week and he was challenged by some protesters in the audience and when the subject came to welfare reform - Thomas Frank, listened to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They say the welfare reform bill increased poverty, then why do we have the largest drop in African- American poverty in history when I was president? The largest in history?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Doesn't he make a good point? I mean wasn't that the net effect and isn't he deserving of some credit for that?
FRANK: Yes, for the NASDAQ bubble? Yes, that was awesome. Maybe we can get that back. Look, if Bill Clinton was really good on economic issues, if that's what we credit him for and look back and say he was a great president because the economy was doing so well, then the greatest president of all time was Calvin Coolidge, who had the greatest stock market bubble of them all, right. And he left office just before it exploded, the same with Clinton. But look, Clinton said something else when he was confronting those protesters, he was talking about the 1994 crime bill and this is a subject that I go into, that I researched in some detail for "Listen, Liberal."
The whole story isn't out there yet. You know, people have not really grasped exactly what happened back then. It's much uglier than people think.
SMERCONISH: Right. But you heard Bill Clinton say this week, again in that speech in Philadelphia that the very people whose lives he is protecting is now - he's not being given credit for those who hold that sign that says black lives matter.
FRANK: Right, he's also apologized for what he did and that's right, that's how history works, right? You say you're sorry and everything is hunky dory. But look, one of the things about the crime bill that we don't remember is - this is an extremely Draconian piece of legislation.
But one of the things it did - do you remember the crack versus powder cocaine sentencing disparity?
FRANK: I wonder if even anybody remembers. 100:1, OK. And crack, something like 80 percent of the people sentenced for it were black, whereas cocaine, this was another yuppy crime, right? Who cares, right? Clinton, by a weird sort of quirk in the law, about a year after the law was passed, Clinton had to sign off on this personally and he did. He signed that. I mean, he is - you talk about - when you want to talk about mass incarceration of a generation of black kids, this is the moment.
SMERCONISH: So here is what I'm hearing from Thomas Frank - I am hearing from Thomas Frank that Bill Clinton was insufficiently liberal, that Barack Obama is insufficiently liberal. I am sure that you will tell me that Hillary Clinton will be insufficiently liberal.
So here is what I want to ask you, if in fact Bernie Sanders doesn't get the nomination but Donald Trump does, is there any appeal in what Donald Trump has been saying in some of his positions that you could find attractive?
FRANK: He says a lot of things that are attractive but unfortunately, the things he says that are bigoted and outrageous, they make - they kill the deal. There is no way he can appeal to liberals like me when he goes around the country insulting group after group.
SMERCONISH: What is your -
FRANK: These people -
SMERCONISH: Quickly. FRANK: These people are insufficiently liberal. There is liberalism,
and then there is liberalism. The old Roosevelt style liberalism is basically not represented in the administration anymore.
SMERCONISH: Thirty seconds, 30 seconds left. What is your beef with Martha's Vineyard. We went there as a family three summers ago and we rode bikes. It was beautiful.
FRANK: Yes. Well, if you want to find the place where money and liberalism intersect, right? That is the place. So I went there to see what that looked like
SMERCONISH: I have no money and I dot regard myself as a liberal. I just enjoyed the beaches. Anyway, thank you, Thomas Frank. I appreciate it.
FRANK: They are nice. That's right.
SMERCONISH: There you go.
FRANK: Hey, be sure to tune in this Thursday night because my colleague, Wolf Blitzer will be moderating the crucial New York Democratic debate live from Brooklyn right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Free speech in danger on college campuses across the country most of all for students who are openly supportive of Donald Trump. I brought some into the studio, but on this program, I'm open to hearing what everybody has to see via twitter. Let's see what is coming in.
Oh, I like that. "Sounds like smerCONish needs a safe space and a blankey." Not until after the show. Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Is it safe for college campus supporters of Donald Trump to come out of the closer? Apparently not. For many students at liberal colleges, the anger and divisiveness of the election cycle has spilled into quads generating more hostility and even fear? Remember a couple weeks ago I covered the bitter controversy at Emory University caused by some pro-Trump graffiti written in chalk.
Now, student Trump supporters on many campuses say they are actually afraid to ultimately voice their views that they are being ridiculed, harassed, called names and ostracized. Three of them join me now.
Dillon Ferera, Brendan Carbon are students at NYU, here in the city and Ryan Belz is chair of Students for Trump at Penn State University. Hey Ryan, I was once chairperson of the Reagan-Bush effort at Lehigh University. My enemy was apathy and here's a flyer that I used in the fall of 1980 to try and gin up support for Reagan-Bush. I threw a keger, I was charging a dollar a head. I got three half kegs of beer and guys literally, no one came to my party.
So how have things changed, Ryan. What kind of a workout do you get when you go out and try and spread Mr. Trump's message.?
RYAN BELZ, PENN STATE STUDENT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It's a heck of a workout, let me tell you, spreading Mr. Trump's word throughout campus. I was shocked at the number of students that I was able to garner (INAUDIBLE) for Penn State. We have right around 50 students right now and growing every day, but just walking across campus, I get students ridiculing me every day just walking to lunch or just walking to our meetings.
SMERCONISH: Well, what have they said to you?
BELZ: I was walking to grab lunch the other day and I wear orange quite frequently, as you can tell and they said "hey, you, in the orange" and I turned around and he said "hey, you, f you." "What?" Like, I was so shocked and so surprised and appalled but part of it doesn't shock me because there is such that divide but at the time, I was very shocked about it.
SMERCONISH: Anybody say F you to either of you because of your support for Donald Trump? Brandon, what's been the reaction at NYU?
BRENDAN CARBONE, NYU STUDENT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I haven't had anything that severe but definitely, if you try to engage in political discourse and try to have conversations, you're just dismissed right off the bat if you say you're a Trump supporter. So usually, if I actually plan to have a meaningful political conversation, I have to wait and slide that in later after I already made my points.
SMERCONISH: Well, how do they know you're for Mr. Trump? Do you wear the hat?
CARBONE: I do wear the hat and I've worn it in the past. I do talk about it a little bit more openly now, but it's still that - the dismissal as a lesser, I have like lesser intelligence or something because I support Donald Trump. So just those types of insinuations.
SMERCONISH: So Dillon, does it drive you Trump supporters under ground or are you still out there wearing the Trump-ism proudly?
DYLAN PERERA, NYU STUDENT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, that has changed recently. So more and more coming out of the closet, I've been meeting so many more Trump supporters. I think the number of supporters I've met has doubled. So it was originally 30 and now it's closer to 60. We're a growing movement. People are no longer afraid. They are coming out. There is still that stigma. The other students on the campus they get arrested if they start yelling - I got yelled at.
SMERCONISH: What happened when you were yelled at?
PERERA: Well, it was this girl, she just started screaming at me and she called me a fascist, a racist, all this really crazy -
SMERCONISH: Because you were doing what, wearing a button or something? PERERA: No, it came up in a conversation but I just said that "yes" -
she asked who I supported for the Republican or presidential election and I said I support Mr. Donald Trump and that's when it went crazy.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Ryan, do any of the negatives about Mr. Trump, the comment about Mexico sending us its rapists, the misogyny, as some would term it, the way in which he mocked the disabled reporter for the "New York Times," you know, the negatives that are raised against your guy. That doesn't slow you down at all?
BELZ: Not one bit. With his business background and what he's been able to do with the Trump organization just shows how much energy he's willing to put into this country and turn the economy around. Turn this country around and put us on the right step forward and especially for my generation, we're going to be the ones dealing with it for years upon years. So I believe it's important to get someone, specifically Mr. Trump in there that can put us on the right step forward.
SMERCONISH: Brendan, what's the appeal for you?
CARBONE: I really like that he has executive experience. I've seen a lot of people -- if presidential candidates come out of the senate or out of congress, I don't think they have the executive leadership experience and I think that a lot of the skills that Donald Trump, you know, developed through his business are transferable to the presidency and he's, you know experienced with dealing with a lot people, being a good manager. And I think he's a great leader and I think that that's what we need in a president.
SMERCONISH: You know, I'm thrilled to have the three of you here. Appreciate, by the way, the way you dressed for the program. That's how I knew you were Republicans, probably supportive of Mr. Trump.
There were some we invited who wouldn't come on camera which I guess, makes your point and there was one in particular, Dylan at Penn with whom I had an exchange and you know what he said to me? He said that - he's a senior - he's worried about his career opportunity if all of a sudden in a Google search you can bring his name up in connection with Donald Trump. Which I though, man, that's a sad state of affairs if you have to worry about expressing yourself politically. Do you have professional concerns?
PERERA: I did. But I don't really care anymore. I think if you look at Donald Trump - he has put his life on the line. He has put everything on the line for this and the least I could do is come out and support him and tell the people not to be afraid, that we need to get behind this guy.
SMERCONISH: Do you think into the future, hey, I wonder if I'll go to an prospective employer and it comes back to haunt me?
CARBONE: You know, I was a little bit concerned but I think it's more important to open up this conversation about the lack of political diversity on campuses, and I think that is worth it, you know, a potential job in the future for me.
SMERCONISH: Is Bernie the candidate, I would think at NYU to the extent you can get a feel for the pulse of the community, it would be Bernie.
CARBONE: One hundred percent.
PERERA: Yes, even Clinton supporters feel oppressed because the Bernie supporters, they are so large a number and so aggressive really (INAUDIBLE).
SMERCONISH: Maybe there is an alliance there. You guys the Hillary supporters, you can work it all out?
PERERA: We'll see what happens.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Ryan, one serious thought for you, I wonder if this is evidence of a Bradley effect meaning there could be a hidden Trump vote. People are driven under ground, and I don't just mean college campuses - I mean, among the electorate generally. They don't want to admit to a pollster, I'm for Donald Trump, right? And so maybe there is strength in numbers that you don't know you have.
BLEZ: Exactly. I think that's definitely the case where that silence majority but we're not so silent anymore now that we have Mr. Trump out there being the face for what we wanted to say for years and been afraid to and now we have someone who is not afraid to be politically correct anymore.
SMERCONISH: Give me the weather forecast for state college because I understand that's your career path. Go, you have 20 seconds.
BELZ: That's my career path. We actually just saw some snow move through the state college area last night, got a nice coating throughout the area so winter is still hanging on throughout much of central Pennsylvania for the next few days.
SMERCONISH: You are hired. Dylan, Brendan, Ryan, thank you, guys, I really appreciate you being here. Good job.
Hey, tweet me your thoughts @smerconish and I'll read some later in the program.
Still to come, what happens if Trump doesn't win on the first ballot at the GOP convention, new rules in New York brought about in part by one of his own campaign workers may undermine his chances and there's a lot of concern about the convention but is the tumult actually good for democracy?
And this just came in. Let's all take a look together. Smerconish, hey, dude, doesn't the will of the voter matter, doesn't democracy matter? I guess that's in response to me saying that political parties exist for one purpose and that is to win.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:33:03] SMERCONISH: The tumultuous presidential nominations seem destined to be determined at this summer's conventions which begin with the Republicans in Cleveland in 100 days. Is there precedent for what's about to unfold?
Joining me now, two who have been there -- former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson and veteran network political analyst Jeffrey Greenfield.
Jeff, I follow you on Twitter. You recently tweeted this, "If you're reading analysis of who will win states and not how the delegate math might break, you're being misinformed." Explain.
JEFFREY GREENFIELD, VETERAN NETWORK POLITICAL ANALYST: This is one of the many sins of coverage that drives me crazy. You always hear, who is going to win New Hampshire, who's going to win Iowa, who's going to win this. And particularly this year, particularly with Republicans, what matters is delegates, so that if Trump wins in New York, but wins by a smaller margin than the polls indicate, that would actually be a kind of defeat because it will put him in the position that it will be harder for him to get to the magic number of 1,237.
I've noticed in the last month, a welcome shift that the papers and the TV networks are beginning to really focus on that. And the reason is this hasn't mattered in 40 years, you know, because we've only had consensus first balance ballot, no real problem.
GREENFIELD: This time --
SMERCONISH: It matters.
GREENFIELD: We'll have to drag journalists out of old age homes to say, grandpa, what was it like in the days of second ballots?
SMERCONISH: OK. Well, I don't want to date Carole Simpson but you were there in Chicago in '68. So what was it like?
CAROLE SIMPSON, FORMER ABC NEWS ANCHOR: It was horrible. I don't know how to describe it. It's one of the strangest periods of time.
I was a young local reporter covering Hubert Humphrey at the '68 convention. And my God, the streets of Chicago were tear gas, Fifth Army with bayonets, and you're like, we're in America?
[09:35:03] And the convention was crazy and Mayor Daley cursing at Abe Ribicoff.
It was -- it was just frightening. It really was frightening.
SMERCONISH: But, Jeff, you know, it's also a reminder that pre-'68, and, of course, we all pray that there's no violence and it's orderly. But it used to be the conventions that made these determinations and people sometimes don't realize that. GREENFIELD: You hit the essence of this debate. Both sides have a
good argument. The folks who want the convention, this is what conventions were about all the time people came with plurality but not a majority. And we as a party institutionally gathered at convention to figure out who is our best candidate, who can win. But the other argument, yeah, that was 40 years ago and for the last 40 years voters have decided. That's what empowering voters meant after the '68 tumult that Carole eloquently described.
And so, you got this clash and the big problem -- well, no, one of about 100 big problems to the Republicans is, if they choose to have a convention, there are going to be millions of people that will say, what was the last four months about? You're going back to an era that has past. And they're going to say, this is what conventions are about.
And your conclusion will be based on what you want to be the nominee.
SMERCONISH: Carol, my glass is half full. If there's no violence but there's tumult, with all the interest, is this not a good civics lesson for adults and children alike?
SIMPSON: I don't think so. And as we hear all the talk these days about delegate hunting and it's all about the delegates, I'm afraid that come November people are thinking, my vote doesn't really count. All that matters is delegates.
And that would be bad for the country. It's -- I think people are just so mystified by what's going on and don't understand the political process, and the delegate thing is I think really changing their minds about what their vote is.
SMERCONISH: Do you agree with that, Jeff?
GREENFIELD: I think she has a very valid point. And one way to think about this is, let's say that you don't like Donald Trump. So go back to '72. Imagine if George -- as almost happened -- George McGovern opposed by the party insiders came to the convention with more delegates. If, in fact, the anti-McGovern forces had succeeded in defeating him with those rules fight, a lot of people on the left would have said, this is an outrage.
And the hard part here is to separate your feelings about Trump and Cruz from the process. If the Republican Party turns to a nominee that 70 percent, 75 percent of the Republicans never voted for or nobody voted for, the people who voted for Trump and Cruz, whatever you think of their politics, to me have an interesting argument.
SMERCONISH: Right, and yet, Carole, if 73 percent of women view Donald Trump unfavorably -- don't those delegates gathering in Cleveland, isn't it incumbent upon them to take that into consideration when they pick their nominee? They want somebody as I discussed with Pat Buchanan who can win. That's the objective.
SIMPSON: I don't know what's going on with women. People my age, contemporaries of Hillary Clinton, want her to be president and are going to vote for her. The young women I teach at college and I'm teaching the primary season this semester and we've been studying this, my young 20-year-olds don't understand why they should vote for Hillary Clinton. They're Bernie Sanders supporters.
But they're this millennial generation that feels entitled and everything will work out, everything is open to them. What they say matters. And then they're not going to show up at the polls because they're the worst demographic group in terms of voting participation.
So, I don't know what's happening, and I don't know why women don't think Hillary Clinton ought to be the first female president.
SMERCONISH: It's interesting. There doesn't seem to be the yearning that there was the people of color to break the glass ceiling. To Carole's point, on the phone calls that I field on ad day to day basis on my radio program, I don't sense similar enthusiasm as she says among women, particularly young women, to make sure that the White House is finally captured by one of theirs.
GREENFIELD: You can almost regard that as a triumph for feminism --
GREENFIELD: -- that these young women are saying, no, no, the issue is not gender. The issue is who I think best fits my politics and I'm sufficiently comfortable with the idea women are in positions of power, not to feel that is necessarily the key.
Just one other point, what we are likely to see at the Democratic Convention is not the same as the Republicans because the math still suggests that Clinton will come up with the majority. What are you going to see I think are very strong platform fights.
[09:40:02] SMERCONISH: Quick, final question for you, you have an apartment nearby. When I reference media, money and New York, do you think Jewish?
GREENFIELD: Not anymore. I think 20 years ago it would have been a dog whistle. I really think Cruz's age explains why he said New York values -- and I still think it was an insult.
SMERCONISH: Right, not with malice aforethought.
GREENFIELD: Not the way it would have been a generation ago or it would have been absolutely clear what he was saying.
SMERCONISH: Two pros -- Carole Simpson, so great to have you here. Thank you. Jeffrey Greenfield, wonderful to have you in studio.
Still to come, why Donald Trump's co-chair in New York got the delegate rules changed and how that could now hurt Trump's chances.
And keep on tweeting me at Smerconish. The mail bag is heavy today. Let's see what this is. "Smerconish brags about taking advantage of rules as a businessman," I think that's for Trump, "his bankruptcies and now the rules are unfair. #crybaby." Interesting, Jeff.
[09:45:05] SMERCONISH: If Donald Trump wins the crucial New York primary April 19th, he won't be allowed to select the delegates who represent him at the convention -- which means if he doesn't win on the first ballot, these party-appointed delegates might not feel obligated to stick with him. And that's because of a new rule change caused in part by my next guest.
According to the "Syracuse News", in 2012, Tom Dadey wanted to be a delegate for Mitt Romney but instead was an alternate delegate because a Romney insider's mother-in-law was made a full delegate. Dadey was angry enough to have an altercation with Romney's state campaign manager.
So, pretty ironic then that Dadey who is now a co-chair of Donald Trump's New York campaign and the new rule that he helped create rewarding part loyalists might end up hurting his candidate this summer.
Mr. Dadey, thank you so much for being here. What happened in that hotel bar in the last cycle?
TOM DADEY, CO-CHAIR, TRUMP'S NEW YORK CAMPAIGN: Michael, thanks for having me.
We are very excited that Donald Trump is doing very well here in Upstate New York. Back in 2012, there was some discussions about how the delegates were selected. The Romney campaign, for example, one of the delegates in Onondaga County was a mother-in-law of a -- the campaign manager. And going forward, the state party wanted to have more say in the delegate selection. So we did change our state party rules.
And, after the primary on April 19th, the state party will meet and select the delegates. And I'm very optimistic that I will be hopefully a delegate and Donald Trump -- I mean, our focus right now we're focused on winning 27 congressional districts because there are 81 delegates up for grabs in the congressional district and then another 14 at large based on the overall vote of the state.
So, right now, we're focused on winning 27 congressional districts and winning as many of those delegates as we can to strengthen Donald Trump's delegate count and delegate lead going into Cleveland, because I am very optimistic, Michael, that once we get to Cleveland, Donald Trump will have secured that magic number and he will be the nomine of the Republican Party.
SMERCONISH: I just find it ironic and I think I totally get it. You're a guy who has paid his dues to the party for a long time. Four years ago, they made you an alternate, the mother-in-law is named a full delegate. You didn't like it. The rules get changed.
But now, those 95 delegates of New York, they're going to be party appointed, not necessarily Trump loyalists on the second ballot a third ballot, fourth ballot, that could come back to haunt your candidate? No?
DADEY: No, Michael. First of all, I don't think we're going to have a contested convention because I think Donald Trump is going to get to that magic number, number one.
And number two, Donald Trump is from New York. He has a lot of support here in Upstate New York. He has a lot of support in New York City. I was down in long island on Wednesday night for the campaign kickoff. There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for his candidacy in his home state of New York.
He's going to do very well on primary day, and the folks that are selected as delegates are going to be loyal to Donald Trump and we're going it win this on the first ballot. We're going to get to 1,237.
SMERCONISH: Right. But, you know, there's a consistent theme to the program today talking about, what is the purpose of a delegate? And I've been here to advance the case that your job as a delegate, if you're a delegate in this cycle, is to pick a winner. Am I wrong about that?
DADEY: No. We're going to pick a winner. Donald Trump is that winner and Donald Trump is going to take it to Hillary Clinton in November, and he is going to be the next president of the United States. You're going to see an inauguration in January where President Donald Trump is sworn into office.
SMERCONISH: Tom Dadey, I appreciate your being here. Good luck.
DADEY: Thank you, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Your tweets are coming in fast and furious today like this one about my earlier guest Pat Buchanan. Let's all take a look together.
"The country needs more Americans like Pat", he'll love that, "and Donald Trump, and less superhero wannabes like Smerconish and two- faced Clinton." Hey, I resemble that remark. We're back in a sec.
Oh, that same Pat Buchanan, I should tell you, changed the presidential race in 1992. The campaign that's the focus of the series finale of CNN's "RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE", airing tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And here is a sneak peek.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is yesterday, and we are tomorrow. We will put America first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His guard down, Bush gets blindsided.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so I am today declaring my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it was announced, we were caught with our pants down.
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SMERCONISH: Still to come, best and worst tweets, like this one.
[09:54:03] SMERCONISH: I always say, you can follow me on Twitter if you can spell Smerconish. Let see what came in to this program.
"Smerconish, kudos for not pushing your Kasich agenda on these intelligent Trumpians. There is hope for you yet."
Hey, I thought the three campus Trump supporters were terrific. That was me 30 years, tie and all. So I was honored to have them.
Here's another tweet that's come in during the course of the hour. This says, "Smerconish, I was the entire Reagan-Bush campaign at Prairie View A&M. Reagan was different from all Republicans today. I am a Democrat now."
I remember those lonely days. I really did throw -- do you have that brochure? This is something that I created in the era of Xerox to try and bring Reagan-Bush supporters together at Lehigh for a kegger and I was there with the beer alone.
And then, finally, there was this which came in. "Smerconish, GOP party bosses have picked wrong six out of the last seven times.
[09:55:02] Who wants to trust the election to them? Not me."
I thought Jeff Greenfield made a really good point, which is to say that this is the way candidates used to be selected. I think there's like a nefarious connotation to the idea that we're going to get together, the party is going to get together in Cleveland and come out with a nominee who might not be any of the three.
But throughout American history, that's largely the way that these decisions were made. And I would argue that there's something to be said for decisions being made in smoke-filled rooms by individuals who know politics and can select a winner. I don't know how Donald Trump, if he's viewed disfavorably by 73 percent of American women, can win a general. I'm just saying I think that's fair to be taken into consideration when they are picking the candidate in Cleveland.
Anyway, keep them coming. @Smerconish. Big election coming up in New York on the 19th. Wolf Blitzer coming up with that great debate. Just keep it here on CNN. That's the point.