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STATE OF THE UNION

Battle for New York; Interview With Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Interview With Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Senator Ted Cruz Tries To Block Donald Trump At Convention; "The Boston Globe" Imagines Donald Trump's Presidency; In This Week's "State Of The Cartoonion". Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 10, 2016 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:00:15]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Mean streets. Clinton and Sanders getting nasty in New York.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Maybe the American people might wonder about your qualifications, Madam Secretary.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He obviously hadn't really studied or understood.

TAPPER: Can Clinton dispatch Sanders once and for all on her home turf? An exclusive interview next.

And born in Brooklyn. The come-from-behind challenger shows me his hometown, as he faces his toughest battle yet.

Plus, Ted Cruz making matzo? The senator's New York atonement tour.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everyone in New York and outside of New York knows exactly what I meant by that.

TAPPER: But will hometown favorite Donald Trump regain his Manhattan mojo?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love these people. These are my people.

TAPPER: And the best political minds will be here with insights from the campaign trail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is in a New York state of mind.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders locked in an increasingly tense and bitter battle for the state they both consider home turf, to a degree. Tempers have been flaring on both sides, including this moment in Philadelphia, where former President Bill Clinton, confronted by some Black Lives Matter protesters, defended his wife's use in the 1990s of the term super predator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out into the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens.

She didn't. She didn't. You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Sanders notched a victory in last night's Wyoming caucus, but he split the delegates with Clinton. Each took home seven. That's hardly enough for Sanders to make the dent he needs to in her substantial lead among pledged delegates.

Winning the bulk of New York's 291 delegates would go a long way towards sealing the deal for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

And when I met up with her in Brooklyn yesterday, she seemed happy to be back home in her adopted state.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Thanks so much for doing this.

H. CLINTON: Thank you.

TAPPER: It must be -- it must be great for you to be back in your adopted home state?

H. CLINTON: It is so great, Jake. I'm having the best time being home. I love it.

TAPPER: And you get to see your granddaughter.

H. CLINTON: I do.

TAPPER: You get to sleep in your own bed.

H. CLINTON: Yes, I do. And I get to travel around New York. What could beat that?

TAPPER: Right, which you have been doing since 1999, I guess.

H. CLINTON: I have.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: Yes. So...

H. CLINTON: But this is -- this is exciting. And it's a little bit nostalgic, because I was in Buffalo and Rochester yesterday and lots of places along the trail.

TAPPER: The campaign has obviously gotten a little bit heated between you and Senator Sanders.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: When I interviewed him, he told me that the two of you -- that he knows both of you will do everything in your power to make sure that Republicans don't win the White House, no matter who wins the nomination.

H. CLINTON: Right.

TAPPER: But he also told me that he has his doubts about what kind of president you might make.

Do you have similar doubts about what kind of president he might make?

H. CLINTON: Well, look, I have said repeatedly that I would take him over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz any day.

I think people know that I will be a president who will follow through on what I have said. That's why I have laid out plans. I want to knock down all the barriers that stand in the way of people getting ahead and staying ahead. I want to protect people's rights. I want to protect our country. I want to unify our country.

And I think I'm in a very good position to actually get that done.

TAPPER: But do you have doubts about what kind of president he might be?

H. CLINTON: No, I don't. I mean, I don't have any -- anything negative to say about him.

TAPPER: Your husband, there was an interesting moment in Philadelphia, I'm sure, your husband interrupted by some Black Lives Matter protesters. And he very passionately defended your use of "super predator" back in the '90s, and a word I know you have said that you regret using and that you wouldn't use again.

H. CLINTON: Mm-hmm.

TAPPER: But I want to just, like, more broadly ask you about what your husband said, because he did say something very interesting, which was there were a lot of people back then, African-Americans, who were sending young African-Americans to their deaths, and that was what was behind the term super predator, and those black lives matter.

What do you make of that whole debate?

H. CLINTON: Well, I think what Bill said is that we should all be listening to each other. And I certainly have been listening.

[09:05:03] The very first day of this campaign, I gave a speech about criminal

justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration. I have been consistently speaking out about what I would do as president. And I think it's important for people to recognize we have work to do, that there were a lot of people very scared and concerned about high crime back in the day.

And now we have got to say, OK, we have to deal with the consequences. And one of the consequences is, in my view, overincarceration of people who should not have been in the criminal justice system. They have an addiction problem, a mental health problem. They have committed a low-level offense, a nonviolent offense.

So, I want to convert people from the criminal justice system and from being incarcerated, and I want to do more, if people are in corrections institutes, to help them while they're there, and I want to do more to help them, when they get out, reenter into society.

TAPPER: More -- more personally, your husband obviously very, very much wants you to win. And he would do anything, I'm sure, to do that.

But he also is somebody who understandably wants to defend his legacy. And I'm just wondering if those two things are ever in conflict, and, if I can ask, what you said to him when you saw that footage out of Philadelphia.

I'm not saying there was anything necessarily wrong with what he was saying, but it was just -- it was just an interesting moment about a very important issue.

H. CLINTON: Well, he's not only a former president. He's my husband.

TAPPER: Right.

H. CLINTON: And he does take defending and protecting me very seriously, and I appreciate that.

And I think he has a great legacy. If we're going to talk about his eight years as president, we should talk about everything. And he said last summer to the NAACP that a lot of good things happened to try to lower crime, save lives and all of that, but, clearly, some things happened that were not foreseen and need to be now addressed.

And I think that's good leadership. You know, you don't do something and never keep asking, is it working? Is it having unintended consequences? And so that's why, when I was in the Senate, I introduced legislation to end racial profiling. I supported trying to end the disparity between sentencing over crack cocaine and powder cocaine, and took a lot of other action in concert with my colleagues to try to deal with some of these issues.

TAPPER: Are you going to tell me what you said to him when you saw the -- when you saw the video?

H. CLINTON: No, I mean, you know, you know, he -- he believes that people need to talk and listen to each other.

TAPPER: Yes.

H. CLINTON: And he is often, you know, very clear: I will listen to you, but then you have to listen to me respond.

TAPPER: Right.

H. CLINTON: And we need to get back to doing that.

TAPPER: Earlier this week, you appeared with Governor Cuomo here in New York at an event where the minimum wage was officially raised to $15 an hour.

H. CLINTON: Mm-hmm. Right.

TAPPER: You support letting the states do that. On a federal level, I believe you support raising it to $12 an hour. Is that right?

H. CLINTON: Mm-hmm. Yes.

TAPPER: So, Senator Sanders told me that he found it somewhat amusing you did that, given that your position is more nuanced, in the sense that you don't support raising the federal minimum wage to $15, as he does. What do you think of that?

H. CLINTON: Well, I have been in favor of what's called the fight for 15 for a year. I have been supportive of the unions and activists and officials who have come together to try to raise the minimum wage to $15.

TAPPER: In states.

H. CLINTON: In states.

And if you look at what happened here in New York, I think it actually supports my position, because there's a phase-in. Fifteen is being phased in, in New York City and the surrounding area, but you're going to be phasing in at a much slower rate in Upstate, in places that are less populated, where there are some economic challenges.

That's exactly my position. I want to raise the national minimum wage to $12, which is the highest it would have been by any measure since 1968. I'm in line with the Democratic position in both the Senate and the House.

But I want to encourage places, both locally and statewide, who can go further. So, actually, what happened in New York, which I was very proud to support, is in keeping with my approach to this.

TAPPER: Why not support $15 nationally? Just because there are some states that you don't think it's necessary because of the cost of living is not as expensive than others?

H. CLINTON: Well, but take New York, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes.

H. CLINTON: They couldn't go to $15 statewide because there are different economic circumstances. So, they have made it very clear that it's going to be a slow phase-in, and even in the legislation, that it was going to be evaluated to make sure that it didn't have adverse economic consequences.

Well, there are a lot of places that are, you know, not well-off around the country. They are now required to have a $7.25 minimum wage. So, to go from that to $12 is a big leap.

[09:10:05]

Now, I want to encourage every place that can get to $15, so the New York cities, the Los Angeleses, the Seattles. And California raised its minimum wage, but it also took into account different geographic areas with different economic circumstances.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders told me that Israel's response in Gaza was disproportionate -- that was his word -- leading to an unnecessary loss of innocent life.

And you told "The Atlantic" in 2014 that -- quote -- "Israel did what it had to do to respond to the attacks."

What do you make of Senator Sanders' take on it, that it was disproportionate?

H. CLINTON: Well, he will have to speak for himself, but...

TAPPER: You don't agree, though?

H. CLINTON: Well, I agree with what I said, which is, when you are being attacked with rockets raining down on your people, and your soldiers are under attack, you have to respond.

And I think that what I learned when I negotiated the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in 2012 is that Hamas provokes Israel. They often pretend to have people in civilian garb acting as though they are civilians who are Hamas fighters. And it's a very difficult undertaking for Israel to target those who are targeting them.

And I think Israel has had to defend itself. It has a right to defend itself. It did not go seeking this. This was, you know, promoted by Hamas. And I support Israel's right of self-defense.

TAPPER: Jeff Weaver, Senator Sanders' campaign manager, said that you -- your foreign policy and you support a foreign policy that helped give rise to the creation of ISIS.

H. CLINTON: Well, that is beyond absurd.

You know, they're saying a lot of things these days, and I'm just going to let them say whatever they choose to say. But, you know, ISIS was primarily the result of the vacuum in Syria caused by Assad, first and foremost, aided and abetted by Iran and Russia. So, I think that let's put responsibility where it belongs.

TAPPER: Weaver also told an ABC podcast that there will -- quote -- "certainly be a contested convention" if neither of you gets the magic number with pledged delegates.

Do you think it would be a mistake for Senator Sanders to contest the nomination at the convention if you're leading in the popular vote and leading in pledged delegates after the California primary?

H. CLINTON: Well, I think that we should look at where we are.

Right now, I am leading him with about 2.5 million votes in the popular vote. I'm leading him in pledged delegates with a larger margin than then-Senator Obama ever had over me. I feel good about the upcoming contests, and I expect to be the nominee.

And I will hope to have a unified Democratic Party, so that we can turn our attention to the Republican nominee. Either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would be a terrible choice for America. So, we need to run a unified Democratic Party campaign to bring as many people on our side as possible.

And I have been putting together a broad, inclusive coalition, and I think I will be able to continue to do that.

TAPPER: Are you preparing for the scenario where you -- where neither of you enter the convention with the exact number of pledged delegates you need, and there might be something of a floor fight or a contested convention? Are you getting ready for that just in case?

H. CLINTON: No, I intend to have the number of delegates that are required to be nominated.

TAPPER: OK. Thank you so much.

H. CLINTON: Yes.

TAPPER: Really appreciate your time.

H. CLINTON: Good to talk to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Coming up: Bernie in Brooklyn. Senator Sanders hits his hometown and unloads on Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:18:19] TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper, just

back from Brooklyn, where Bernie Sanders showed me around his home bureau a little bit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Why did you leave here and go to Vermont?

SANDERS: Because I prefer the rural life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Back on the gritty streets of the city, he seemed right at home and not backing down from a fight with both Hillary Clinton and her husband.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: This back-and-forth with Secretary Clinton about her qualifications, I know you have said that she is qualified.

Bill Clinton today was asked about the comments and said, of course you wouldn't have made the same charges if she were a man.

SANDERS: Oh, my...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: And he said: "I think there are some different standards for women. Some of them are subconscious."

SANDERS: Well, I appreciate Bill Clinton being my psychoanalyst. It's always nice.

But the reality is that, ever since Wisconsin, when that became the sixth out of seven states that we have won in either caucuses or primaries, I think the Clinton campaign has made it public. Basically, they have told the media that, here in New York, they're about to become very negative, about to beat us up.

And I just want them to understand that, you know, we have tried to run an issue-oriented campaign, but that we are not going to be attacked every single day. Our record is not going to be distorted. We are going to fight back.

And what I said is that a candidate like Secretary Clinton who voted for the disastrous war in Iraq, who has supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs, and who receives incredible amounts of money -- we're talking about tens of millions of dollars through her super PAC -- from every special interest that you can think of, and from the billionaire class, you know?

[09:20:10]

I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make. TAPPER: But you would support her, if need be?

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: And, by the way, in terms of experience, there's no question that she has the experience.

But I think she and I would agree -- and I hope that that is her view -- that we will do everything possible to prevent this country from seeing a Donald Trump or some other Republican in the White House. That would be a disaster for this country, and I will do everything I can to prevent that.

TAPPER: I don't know if you saw any of the footage. Bill Clinton was in Philadelphia on Thursday, and he was at a rally, and he was disrupted by some Black Lives Matter protesters who were objecting to Hillary Clinton's use of the term super predators back in the '90s.

SANDERS: Yes.

TAPPER: And he offered a very full-throated defense of not just the 1994 crime bill, but also the term at the time.

What do you make of that specific debate?

SANDERS: Sorry, Jake. Not going to go there.

TAPPER: No, forget the -- forget Bill Clinton and forget the protesting, but what do you make of the super predator term and that debate?

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I think that was -- I think the secretary has said that she would not use that term again. I think it had race connotations at that period, and I think Secretary Clinton said that that's not a phrase that she would use again.

TAPPER: During your recent interview with "The New York Daily News" editorial board, you were asked about Israel.

SANDERS: This famous interview with "The New York Daily News," yes.

TAPPER: Well, I'm not questioning how well you performed.

SANDERS: Yes.

TAPPER: But I do want to ask you about...

SANDERS: Sure.

TAPPER: ... something you said in it, which is, you said your recollection about the Israel-Gaza war was that over 10,000 innocent people were killed. Now, as you know...

SANDERS: Wait a minute. Did you read the whole transcript, Jake? TAPPER: I did. I read the entire transcript.

SANDERS: And what did I say in it? What I said is, I -- am I right on that? I didn't know what the number was.

TAPPER: You didn't know what was the number was. Absolutely, I understand.

SANDERS: Yes. And the gentleman there was -- the fellow who was conducting the meeting said, let me check on it. He looked -- Googled it up. And the number was, I think, 2,100.

You know, it does amaze me, I have to you -- if I say to you, you ask me a question and I say, well, you know, I think it's the number. What do you think? I'm not sure. And you come back and you say it's another -- OK, why is that a major production?

TAPPER: I get it. But, as you know, the number was much lower.

SANDERS: Yes.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about a reaction that Michael Oren had to what you said.

SANDERS: Who is Mr. Oren?

TAPPER: Michael Oren, the former ambassador of Israel to the United States.

SANDERS: Oh.

TAPPER: And now he's a politician in Israel.

SANDERS: I see. And he's attacking me for a statement that I did not make.

TAPPER: He's attacking you -- well, he's attacking you not only about the number. He's attacking you for your take on what happened by...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: All right. Let's divide this...

TAPPER: Forget the number part of it. Forget the number part of it.

SANDERS: Let's forget the number.

TAPPER: OK.

SANDERS: Let's -- but the number is now forgotten.

And it really does distress me. Was Israel's response disproportionate? I think it was. All right, Israel has a 100 percent -- and no one will fight for that principle more strongly than I will -- has the right to live in freedom, independently, and in security, without having to be subjected to terrorist attacks.

But I think that we will not succeed to ever bring peace into that region unless we also treat the Palestinians with dignity and respect. And that is my view. And...

TAPPER: It is interesting, you will permit me to say, that the first Jew in American history to win a delegate, much less a primary, is taking this position with Israel that is usually in American politics -- and I'm not criticizing you for it -- but is usually in American politics, everyone just supports, whatever Israel wants to do.

You are taking a more critical position. You did...

SANDERS: I'm taking a more balanced position.

TAPPER: You -- balanced would be another interpretation of it.

You didn't travel to AIPAC to give that speech.

SANDERS: Well, that was the schedule. I would have given -- I did want to go to AIPAC. It was just a question of having to campaign on the West Coast.

But I gave that speech. And I spoke to the fellow who was organizing the meeting for AIPAC, apologized for not being there.

TAPPER: But you take my point.

SANDERS: Yes.

TAPPER: That -- that is -- is it an only Nixon can go to China kind of thing, or...

SANDERS: I don't look at it that way.

Look, this is what -- the way I see it, whether you're Jewish or not Jewish. I would hope that every person in this country wants to see the misery of never-ending war and conflict ended in the Middle East. It's a difficult issue, you know, and good people have tried to deal with it for years.

All that I'm saying, as somebody who is absolutely pro-Israeli, absolutely, 100 percent supports Israel's right to exist in peace and in security, I think that in -- the only way we succeed is that if the United States plays the role which is, of course, we are going to support Israel, but you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.

In Gaza right now, poverty, unemployment -- their community has been decimated. You can't ignore that fact. And you can't just be only concerned about Israel's needs. You have to be concerned about the needs of all of the people in the region.

[09:25:12]

TAPPER: Hillary Clinton was asked this week about your charges of her taking money from the fossil fuel industry.

And she said -- quote -- "I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who believe this. They don't do their own research."

I just wonder what you think about her take on young people who believe this, they don't do their own research.

SANDERS: Well, I think that's a little bit condescending.

I will tell you, my experience with young people, man -- you know, and I see them every day, because they're coming out to our rallies -- these are young people who want to be involved in shaping the future of this country. They're proud of this country. They want to make it a better country.

I think they do a whole lot of research. And I think that the Internet has opened up opportunity for them to do a lot of research. And I will tell you, one of the reasons I think we're doing so well is, a lot of those people are going to the Internet and hearing what we have to say and what Bernie Sanders believes in.

TAPPER: You also had an intense back-and-forth this week with General Electric.

SANDERS: Yes.

TAPPER: You accused them of destroying the moral fabric of America.

SANDERS: Well, among many others.

TAPPER: Right.

SANDERS: It wasn't just that -- you know, it was talking about the greed of corporate America, including General Electric.

And what I was saying, which is absolutely true, is, you have a large multinational corporation that was in a sense born and raised right here in the United States, I think in Schenectady, in New York, as a matter of fact. And here is a corporation that has shut down plants all over this country, moved to countries where they could find the cheapest possible labor.

In fact, the guy who was head of General Electric before Jeff Immelt, he basically said that, you know, he'd like to see his manufacturing plants on a barge, so they could move to the cheapest labor. They have, in a given year, paid nothing in federal income taxes.

You know, they are part of lobbying efforts in Washington to protect the interests of the wealthy, yes. So, I think my comment was valid.

TAPPER: But you didn't seem to -- you seemed to give Apple a pass, even though they also manufacture a lot of products outside the United States. SANDERS: Well, I used General Electric as an example. You can look

at many corporations. You're right. Apple does manufacture a lot of their products in China.

And I sure as heck would like to see them -- and if I have anything to do with it -- and I will as president -- to try to bring back manufacturing to the United States of America. But I think General Electric is a company which is well known for negotiating contracts with its workers which call for concessions, sending jobs outside of this country, and not paying their fair of taxes.

And that is, I think, a greedy corporation.

TAPPER: Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE, criticized you. He said there's a GE plant in Vermont, and you have never come by to visit.

SANDERS: He's not telling the truth.

TAPPER: You have been there?

SANDERS: Sure, years ago, in Rutland, Vermont, yes. There's a large plant that makes airplane parts.

TAPPER: Lastly, sir, your campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said this week there will certainly be an open convention on the Democratic side if neither you nor Hillary Clinton goes over the magic number of delegates with pledged delegates alone.

So, I just want to make sure I understand this. You will contest and try to get the nomination even if Clinton has more votes and more pledged delegates after California?

SANDERS: Well, you know, I think what -- first of all, that's a long way off. We're three months off, and I'm not much into speculation about the future.

I have got a primary here on April 19 which I would like to win. We think we have a path toward getting more pledged delegates than Secretary Clinton. I think that, if we continue to do better in general election polls in terms of defeating Trump by a much larger margin than Secretary Clinton, and other Republican candidates, I think a lot of our superdelegates will say that what's most important is that we don't have a Trump in the White House, and we're going to support Bernie Sanders.

But I think, if neither candidate ends up, you know, having the kind of votes they need, yes, I think there will be some discussion. But it's -- that's way off, and I'm not really thinking about that too much.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, thanks so much.

SANDERS: OK, Jake.

TAPPER: Thanks for -- thanks for showing me your Brooklyn here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Coming up, toned-down Trump? The candidate makes some changes while keeping a low public profile as of late. Is he trying to lose his brash demeanor in order to win the race?

That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:33:35]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: I believe the first ballot will be the highest vote total Donald Trump receives. And on a subsequent ballot, we're going to win the nomination and earn the majority.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Ted Cruz revealing his convention strategy. Cruz picked up 30 more pledged delegates in Colorado last night as he tries to close the delegate gap with Donald Trump.

With me here to discuss this all, CNN political commentators, Van Jones, who worked for President Obama, and Amanda Carpenter who worked for Senator Ted Cruz. Also, we have Andre Bauer, former lieutenant governor of South Carolina and a Donald Trump supporter, and Nina Turner who's supporting Bernie Sanders. Thanks one and all for being here. Appreciate it.

Amanda, Senator Cruz is already talking about his strategy for the convention. First ballot Trump will get the most amount of votes but won't make 1237. We're going to win on subsequent ballots. It's really going to come down on this?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR TED CRUZ: Yes, and I think it's a good thing that he's forecasting his strategy so everyone has a clear understanding of what could happen at the convention and no one goes into it confused. You know, and get worried, what happens if Donald Trump didn't get it?

Actually, I think it may take until the third ballot. It just depends on how many of those delegates become unbound. So even if he doesn't get it on the second ballot, I who not have big cause for worry. But two, three, he's preparing people so that everyone knows what to suspect because confusion will cause chaos and that's the last thing we want to see happen at the convention.

TAPPER: Lieutenant Governor, I want to ask you "The Boston Globe" op- ed section did a fake front page of "The Boston Globe" during a Donald Trump presidency and says, "Deportations to begin. President Trump calls for tripling of ICE force; riots continue.

[09:35:05]

Markets sink as trade war looms. U.S. soldiers refuse orders to kill ISIS families." And then one I like the best new libel law targets -- quote -- "absolute scum in press."

What do you make of that?

ANDRE BAUER, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: To me, it's exactly what they accuse Donald Trump of. They are trying to invoke fear. The liberal media has now done exactly what they say he does. They say he incites fear. They make people concerned. And they've done exactly that with a front-page news story.

CARPENTER: Kind of sounds like an April fools' joke that came too late. I mean, it's kind of funny but this reads more college to me than "Boston Globe." I mean, it's kind of a silly prank but I just don't think it rises to the level of "Boston Globe".

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: At the same time, I do think that they are speaking to a lot of Americans. It looks like Donald Trump has run into a ceiling even in his own party. And so it has to do with these very issues, being, you know, so hyperbolic on so many different issues. At some point it seems like it's catching up to Donald Trump.

TAPPER: Who do you think is going to be the Republican nominee with the landscape now, Nina?

NINA TURNER (D), FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR: I think folks have certainly underestimated Mr. Trump. He very well could be. And when I talked with Senator Cruz, he'd probably read "Green Eggs and Ham" on the floor of the convention, you know, to shake it up a little bit, yes.

TAPPER: What do you think? Who do you think the Republicans are going to ultimately nominate?

JONES: If you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have said Donald Trump, because at that point he seemed to be an unstoppable locomotive. But somehow the wheels do feel like they finally came off.

I was one of the people, oh, he's going to blow up in the fall. I said, listen, this guy is Trumpzilla. He is crunching on the villagers that used to be all senators and governors. I think now he's in trouble.

TAPPER: Do you think that he's going to secure the nomination before the convention, or do you think it's going to be a convention fight?

BAUER: He has a reasonable chance.

Look, Ted Cruz had a good week, no question. I equate it to somebody's 21st birthday. They'll always remember it but they're never going to have another one.

(LAUGHTER)

The next few primaries he's going to win them. He's going to win them big. He, again, is going to show -- look, when you ask a politician, all of us have been around for years, you ask them their favorite color, they say plaid. This guy has an authenticity that other people running for office don't have. He's bringing out new voters.

I hear all this stuff that he's hit a ceiling but the ceiling keeps growing. Every time we turn around it was 20, it was 30, it was 40, now he's winning primaries by over 50 percent. Somebody's not listening to the pundits, and they're coming out and voting in record numbers.

TAPPER: The pundits have also been talking about whether or not at the Republican convention somebody else might emerge and become the nominee. House Speaker Paul Ryan has been saying for weeks he has no interest in being the Republican nominee, but his office did put out this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: What really bothers me the most in politics these days is this notion of identity politics. That we're going to win an election by dividing people. Rather than inspiring people on our common humanity, on our common ideals and our common culture on the things that should unify us.

We all want to be prosperous. We all want to be healthy. We want everybody to succeed. We want people to reach their potential in their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: I would hate to see him if he were not running -- if he weren't running. He can do a better ad if he were running for president.

TAPPER: Amanda?

CARPENTER: Listen, his aides have said in every way possible he's not interested in this.

And listen, he is speaker of the house. Someone in the Republican Party has to do some big-vision message setting right now. Quite frankly, I would like to see Paul Ryan do more when he assumes the speakership. He said, I want to put forth a confident vision for America.

He needs to start putting some meat on those bones. I think this is maybe a step. You know, he's doing the vision thing, he needs to fill in the gaps later. Someone needs to step up and do this because we don't have a clear Republican front-runner.

TAPPER: You're a former office holder. What do you make of that video?

BAUER: Well first, I think Trumpzilla as he stated which I think is funny. Part of the problem with so many of these elected officials that have run for president is the Republicans have not delivered in Washington. We've got a good speaker. Show us what you can do. For too long we've heard the rhetoric.

They've got the House and the Senate. They've got big numbers but they aren't changing policy that Republicans that are just working hard that are fed up want to see.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Trump guy already campaigning against Paul Ryan.

(LAUGHTER)

TURNER: That's a just in case video, but, you know, it would be nice if the speaker would put as much effort into confirming president Obama's Supreme Court --

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: That's on the Senate side.

Let's take a very quick break. Don't go anywhere.

Coming up, Bill Clinton back on the campaign trail. And right in the middle of a controversy, can he rally new voters for Hillary without dredging up old ghosts?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. CLINTON: You know what the second state in America is?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:43:51]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: I think that the president owes the American people an apology for trying to defend what is indefensible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: That was Bernie Sanders yesterday going after Bill Clinton for defending Hillary Clinton's use of the term "super-predator" back in the '90s to describe young gang members who were targets of the 1994 crime bill.

With me now to discuss the panel.

And Nina, you were up on stage there.

TURNER: I was.

TAPPER: You, Harry Belafonte and Bernie Sanders.

TURNER: Yes the three amigos. TAPPER: As always, the three amigos hanging out the Apollo on

Saturday night.

Bernie did not -- Senator Sanders, rather, did not take that shot at Bill Clinton in his interview with me Friday. What was different on Saturday in the Apollo when he did make that shot?

TURNER: He probably had more time to reflect on the deepness of it and the audience -- we had lots of African-Americans in the audience at the Apollo were very upset about the comment, and not just about the comment but how the president -- President Clinton defended the comment even after an apology went forward to the NAACP about that even after the secretary said she regretted it. And for the president to continue to defend that kind of language when it's put toward African-Americans, it is offensive to our community. So that was difference.

[09:45:04]

TAPPER: It's interesting, Van, Hillary Clinton, when I asked her about it, I said basically isn't there sometimes in conflict, you know, Bill Clinton pushing for Hillary Clinton for president and defending his legacy, sometimes it's tough to do both.

JONES: I think so. But first of all, Hillary Clinton was masterful. I mean, her -- what she did today on criminal justice past, present and future could not have been done better by any politician or any leader.

What Bill Clinton did could not have been worse. He just ripped off scabs that are very, very hard to talk about without getting emotional. There was a lot of pain and suffering in the black community, it's true. There were black preachers and homeowners pleading, will you do something about the crack epidemic? But what happened was such an overreaction, and super-predator became a five- syllable term for those black guys doing crack.

Now, you compare that to what's going on now with heroin, this compassionate approach, meth, compassionate approach, opioids, compassionate approach, but that was not what we got 20 years ago. And so it's very, very painful to have him rip that back off the way that he did. He needs to do more than a triangulated half apology. He needs to make sure people understand he really gets it.

TAPPER: And he didn't apologize. He said he almost feels like apologizing.

Do you think this was calculated by Bill Clinton, or is this just an emotional defense of his wife and his legacy?

CARPENTER: No, I think it was more defense of his legacy.

And here's the problem with Hillary Clinton as a candidate. She is a legacy candidate not only to her husband, Bill, but also Barack Obama. And I think people have -- don't have a clear understanding of her policy identity. It always comes out in an explanation... TURNER: It's calculated.

CARPENTER: ... and a clarification. It needs to be more forthright so people can understand where she's going. I think Van was more satisfied with her answer today, but why wasn't she there to begin with out in front?

TURNER: That's right.

TAPPER: Andre, I just want to say, I have no doubt that a lot of people in the African-American community and a lot of progressives really take offense to what Bill Clinton said in defending the remarks. We've heard some of that today. We heard some of that from Bernie Sanders last night. I also think that there are probably a lot of white voters, Democrats included, who agree with Bill Clinton.

BAUER: Well, I think here's Bill Clinton being honest. Wow. He's engaging in a discussion that needs to happen. Yes, people are going to get their feelings hurt, but do we really want these killings to continue? Do we really want these communities to not have a better chance? At some point in time, I know it's a difficult subject, but we've got to engage in the discussion that so many things that for decades now have harmed so many communities.

TURNER: I'm not so sure that was honest. I mean, how honest is it to talk to --

TAPPER: His honest feelings.

TURNER: I mean, his honest -- OK. Well, his honest -- OK. Governor -- his honest feelings, but the African-Americans -- African-American community, we have honest feelings as well.

TAPPER: Sure.

TURNER: And we still live in a country where race is front and center. Whereas Ice Cube said, "My skin is my sin". I don't have to do anything but appear in the room and already I am treated differently.

When you have leaders like President Clinton, leaders like Secretary Clinton who has said that, I have to question whether or not the apologies for genuine because it rolled off his tongue so easily at that event, a he chastised those young --

JONES: Let me just add. I think you're right that we need to have the discussion. The problem is in discussions, word choice matters. If you call somebody a super-predator, what that means is you automatically are dehumanizing them and you don't come up with good answers.

TURNER: That's right.

JONES: And then your solution is sometimes worse than the problem.

TURNER: That's right. JONES: Right now African-Americans and white kids use drugs at

exactly the same level. Nobody knows that. Exactly the same.

But African-American kids go to prison six times more because there's this idea that these guys are the drug dealers. These guys are experimenting with drugs. But these are the drug dealers.

TURNER: That's right.

JONES: And those kinds of disparities are made worse by the language. The conversation is good but the language is bad.

(CROSSTALK)

BAUER: So we've got to engage in that. If we're ever going to fix this problem.

CARPENTER: Yes, but the thing that is interesting there is more interest now than ever on both the Republican and Democratic side in drug crime criminal justice reform. You have people like the Koch brothers coming out, Rand Paul, Spike Lee. Even Ted Cruz --

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Paul Ryan.

CARPENTER: Paul Ryan. Everyone sees there's a problem here is how we get our arms around it and get everyone on the same page. And quite frankly there's a lot of opportunity for Republicans to talk to these communities.

JONES: And I think that, you know, especially when you have Paul Ryan, the speaker of the house, saying the criminal justice reform is important to him now, you have a Newt Gingrich and others, that's important, but Bill Clinton doing what he did, which goes back and rips all of those sores off makes it that much harder to talk because it actually says to people, hey, it is OK to use these sort of slur words...

TURNER: Right.

JONES: ... as opposed to problem-solving words. Those are problem- creating words.

TAPPER: And (INAUDIBLE) I should also add we're going to end it, but congratulations to Ice Cube on being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: It was a very timely quote by you. Thank you so much. Great panel.

All five candidates tried to take a bite out of the Big Apple this week but whose Empire State roots really run deepest? It's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion." That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:54:10]

TAPPER: Welcome back.

What delight we took this weekend watching these candidates storm New York City. Ted Cruz making matzo in Brighton Beach. For John Kasich in the Bronx it was more like mangia (ph), mangia (ph). The candidates trying to show some New York street cred. It's this week's subject for "State of the Cartoonion."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): New York, ever present in our cultural imagination and this year taking an outsized role in our political process. Even before the fight for New York's delegates was under way, New York played a starring role in the campaign.

CRUZ: I think most people know exactly what New York values are.

TAPPER: Donald Trump hit back as a man made in Manhattan and promised to take an electoral bite out of the Big Apple.

[09:55:04]

TRUMP: I love New York. OK? I will be campaigning in New York. And if we win New York it's over, you understand, because we pick up so many delegates.

TAPPER: Trump is likely to beat John Kasich here. Kasich lost a lot of New Yorkers when he was spotted digging into a slice with a knife and fork.

Meanwhile, the city's mean streets will be the scene of the next face- off between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Brooklyn is home to both in their own way, Sanders born and bred there, Clinton the state's former senator who headquartered her campaign there. Only one can win on either side, hopeful, that, as Sinatra sang...

FRANK SINATRA, SINGER (singing): New York, New York.

TAPPER: If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: We have politics all this week on Tuesday night Donald Trump and his family will join CNN for a town hall at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And then it's back to Brooklyn on Thursday night when Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off for a Democratic debate only on CNN moderated by New York's own Wolf Blitzer. Tune in Thursday at 9:00 p.m.

Thanks for spending your Sunday with us. You can watch me here every Sunday and weekdays on "THE LEAD" at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.

"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.