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Trump to Hold Rally After Calling System "Rigged"; Sanders Holding New York Rally Eight Days Before Primary; Biden: "I Would Like To See A Woman Elected"; Interview with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Trump Campaign: Cruz Using "Gestapo Tactics" to Win. Aired 7- 8p ET

Aired April 11, 2016 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, Donald Trump appearing live this hour after losing more delegates in Colorado. Trump charging the system is corrupt and rigged.

Plus, Hillary Clinton goes after Donald Trump with Bernie Sanders racking up the wind. Is she getting ahead of herself?

And Donald Trump's years in a military school. His classmates remember his passion for baseball and good-looking women. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Donald Trump about to speak live to thousands of supporters in Albany New York. This after he called out his party for a, quote, "rigged system and crooked system in selecting delegates." These are the live pictures from the Trump rally. Supporters started lining up early this morning. The doors did not open until many hours later late this afternoon. They waited. Trump is hoping to get momentum to recover after losing more delegates to Ted Cruz this weekend. Those delegates from Colorado selected a convention by party insiders. Trump tonight threatening to file suit with his newly named convention manager accusing the Cruz campaign of using, quote, "Gestapo tactics to win."

Trump taking to twitter once again saying, how is it possible that the people of the great state of Colorado never got to vote in the Republican primary? Great anger. Totally unfair. Ted Cruz firing back late today.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When people vote against him, they're stealing the election. It's a really odd notion. Well, what is this democracy of which you speak?


BURNETT: We begin with Sara Murray who is OUTFRONT at the Trump rally. Sara, rigged, crooked, you expect more of this from Donald Trump tonight at that big rally where you are?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, that's certainly what we're going to be looking for whether Donald Trump continues to express his frustration with the process. And Donald Trump has gone out there on the -- and said, he's an amazing businessman, an amazing manager, an amazing negotiator, but he and his team have struggles with the willing and healing that goes on behind it, the fight for the nomination.


MURRAY (voice-over): Tonight, Ted Cruz questioning whether Donald Trump even wants to be president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he really wants to be president?

CRUZ: That's a good question. I mean, I don't know. I'm not a shrink. I mean, a lot of people have speculated that when he launched the campaign it was on a lark and then he suddenly found himself surprised that his brand of reality television attracted a lot of attention.

MURRAY: From immigration to campaign finance to his own bankruptcy, Donald Trump has always said, he known how to work the system and he'll work it from the White House.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nobody knows the system better than me.

MURRAY: But that against the complex process of wrangling delegates, Trump is coming up short and crying foul.

TRUMP: What we have going is a movement. So, what they're trying to do is subvert the movement with crooked shenanigans. All right? And we're just not going to let it happen.

MURRAY: Even warning the Republican Party that voters might revolt.

TRUMP: And I say this to the RNC and I say it to the Republican Party. You're going to have a big problem, folks, because there are people that don't like what's going on.

CRUZ: God bless the great state of Colorado.

MURRAY: After being shut out by delegate chase between Ted Cruz in Colorado this weekend, Trump's new convention manager is likening Cruz's campaign tactics to those of Nazi Germany's secret police.

PAUL MANAFORT, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN CONVENTION MANAGER: You go to these county conventions and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gestapo tactics?

MURRAY: Today, Cruz want it back.

CRUZ: Donald has been yelling and screaming, a lot of whining. I'm sure some cursing and some late night fever tweeting. All the characteristics I would note we would want of a commander-in-chief.

MURRAY: The Texas senator feeling increasingly confident and arguing if the convention goes beyond one ballot, he'll emerge victorious.

CRUZ: If we go into a contested convention, we're going to have a ton of delegates. And let me tell you, in that scenario, I think we will go into with an overwhelming advantage.


MURRAY: Now, Erin, two votes Donald Trump will not be getting here in New York are those of his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son Eric Trump. They are not registered to vote in the New York Republican primary, so they will not be able to cast a ballot for their father. Trump says they feel very, very guilty about it -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much. And on that note, the Cruz campaign's New Jersey State Chairman Steve Lonegan is with me along with chief strategist of the pro-Trump group, Great America PAC Jesse Benton, president of the National Urban League Marc Morial and our executive editor for politics, Mark Preston.

So, Jesse, let me start with you, Sara just saying, look, two of Trump's adults, children Ivanka and Eric not registered to vote in the Republican primary. We'll get to small thing. But is it a concerning sign about Trump's voter outreach and organization which should been so criticized?

JESSE BENTON, CHIEF STRATEGIST, GREAT AMERICA PAC, A PRO-TRUMP SUPER PAC: They're not -- they're not politicians. They're just people supporting their dad. And that's why Trump has caught fire so much. That's why there's been such a movement around him. People that are sick of politicians and want something different want something completely different, someone who is not beholden to Washington and not a politician and going to do something different. Because what both parties have been doing have been failing us.

[19:05:16] BURNETT: Steve?

STEVE LONEGAN, NEW JERSEY CHAIRMAN, TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Donald Trump's fire is more like a smoldering embers. I mean, this guy is lending a new meaning to the word choke artist. Donald Trump has been losing. Forget the fact he got crushed in Colorado. You know, he told America over and over again that he was the deal maker, the negotiator. He would put together a winning team. Well, his campaign team has failed miserably because he's a lousy leader. Ted Cruz -- has put together a remarkable campaign. Focused, energize, winning, winning, winning. We won Utah. We won North Dakota. We won Wisconsin. What is Donald Trump whining? You know, Trump came into this race thinking it was one of his Miss America beauty pageants.


LONEGAN: So, it's simply parade --

BURNETT: But it's not just Donald Trump saying and his campaign manager, right? You heard him calling Gestapo tactics. John Kasich's campaign is saying the same thing about Ted Cruz. They're talking about Michigan and how he is handling it. They're saying that he's doing things that aren't appropriate.

LONEGAN: Well, Kasich is in the tank for Donald Trump. I think we all know that.

BURNETT: In the tank for Donald Trump?

LONEGAN: Oh, absolutely. Everybody knows that.

BURNETT: Hold on. Hold on. Let me come over here. Mark Preston.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I don't think so. Listen, I mean, this is the situation we're in right now. We have --

LONEGAN: That's all he's doing.

PRESTON: Right. This is the situation we have right now. Donald Trump is very upset because by and large he's winning the popular vote, okay? Amongst Republicans. And he's going to get denied because his team didn't play by the rules right now. And Ted Cruz has built an operation that has put him in a position to take this to a contested convention. So, while Ted Cruz is, position to take this to a contested convention. You're also going to have problems when we get to Cleveland where there are going to be angry people. There's going to be potential violence in the streets.


PRESTON: And the fact of the matter is -- the fact of the matter is --

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Both of them knew going in what the rules were. You know, there's an old game. Right? When the rules don't work for you, attack the rules. This is not clever, but it is expected because it's maybe his best shot to sort of discredit what the Republican establishment is really planning and that is an effort at the convention to take the nomination away from him.

LONEGAN: Donald Trump is freaking out because he's on a major losing streak heading into New York. If he doesn't get over 50 percent in New York, he's telling everybody he's going to get all 95 delegates. If he gets under 50 percent, it's time for Donald Trump to drop out of this race, period.

BENTON: Look, can't we all agree that what Americans from both parties want is transparency and clarity in how we select our nominees?

LONEGAN: No, we want someone who can beat Hillary Clinton. That's what Republicans want. If Donald Trump can't compete in the Republican nominating process, how is he going to go up against Hillary Clinton and a billion dollars in spending? They will destroy him. He'll be out there tweeting away.

BURNETT: Let me ask you though. OK. So, there was a poll that came out today shows Donald Trump ahead 54 percent but when you look in New York. But when you ask people specifically, Republicans, would you want Donald Trump to be the nominee if he does not have the majority, 1237 but he has more than anyone else? Sixty four percent of them said, yes.

LONEGAN: Yes. I don't know what that poll means.

BURNETT: OK. Well, that means people who aren't voting for Donald Trump still think he should be the nominee even if he doesn't have the --

LONEGAN: That's not the rules of the Republican Party. That's not how we've operated since Abraham Lincoln, right through Teddy Roosevelt, through Dwight Eisenhower and through Ronald Reagan.

MORIAL: The primaries never mattered because it was only recently delegates went to the convention pretty much either pledged or unpledged and the fight was on the floor and the process was changed in both parties in an effort to get the voters more involved in the process. So, it is a material fact who wins the popular vote even if the delegate map doesn't work for them. But what I say is --


MORIAL: -- everyone knows going in -- and I think if you had a problem with the rules, I think people should raise it early in the process. Not wait to see, well, do the rules work for me. If they work for me, I'm good with them, if they don't work for me --

BURNETT: Most Americans looking at these rules though, it does seem rather sordid and off no matter who you support.

PRESTON: Listen, there's no question it does. On the Democratic side as well, there are issues with that and super delegates and Bernie Sanders having problems with how that nominating process works. But let's just look at it this way. The convention is just part of the process. Whenever we have people out there saying it's time for somebody to get out of the race, John Kasich, it's time to get out of the race, or Ted Cruz, it's time to get out of the race, Donald Trump, it's time to get out of the race. Let it play out. This isn't -- we're not playing five innings of a baseball game here. Play the nine innings and let's see what happens.

BURNETT: So, Donald Trump today, Ted Cruz was coming out yelling about Donald Trump. Cruz came out and said, he's yelling, screaming, cursing, you just heard that in Sara's piece. OK? Those are the things that late night tweeting not what you want in a commander-in- chief. Look, Jesse for you, the big question is, whether Trump's big defeat in Wisconsin was a turning point? Whether things are really going to change for him. And that of course can change the broader perception. Is that a concern for you right now?

BENTON: No. Not heading into these Atlantic Primaries coming up on the 19th and 26th. You're going to see Trump do very well.

BURNETT: He's toast. [19:10:11] BENTON: Absolutely. If you see Ted Cruz coming in third

place, he's not doing well. He is going to well, probably poll in the low 20 percent and not qualify for any delegates in New York. Perhaps you can spread together a few of the some contested CDs. But look, the 19th and the 26th are going to be a major momentum surge for Trump. We're going to see Trump get back on course.

LONEGAN: Erin, three nights from tonight, CNN will host a debate in Brooklyn between Hillary Clinton and the Bernie Sanders. America and the voters in New York will get to see what the candidates stand for. Donald Trump is scared to death. He will not get on a debate stage with Ted Cruz. He's scared to death. He'd rather tweet away. The problem with Donald Trump has, if he cannot talk in more than 140 characters, he can't get up on a debate stage with two minutes and take on Ted Cruz, he'll go down in flames. So, he's hiding behind his Twitter account and losing over and over again. It is the worst losing streak in least portion of a primary, probably, you know, in Republican primary history.

BURNETT: You caveated it correctly.

LONEGAN: At this point --

BENTON: But he's still ahead.

LONEGAN: He should have wrapped it up a month ago. He's going down.

PRESTON: Well, Trump say that he should have wrapped it up a month ago, given the fact that the field was 17 candidates at one point, and quite frankly, the Republican establishment is probably looking at itself right now saying, my gosh if we had only shrunk this field a little bit, we would have been in a better spot and not fighting the idea of having Ted Cruz or Donald Trump as the nominee.

BURNETT: Thanks to all. And you mentioned the Democratic debate, of course also the Republicans appearing, not in a debate format but the town halls with the Republican candidates and their families. Kasich's tonight, Trump's tomorrow, Cruz's Wednesday. All at 9:00 right here on CNN. And OUTFRONT next, you're looking at live pictures from Buffalo. That is where Bernie Sanders is about to address a huge crowd. We're going to go through live. And the mayor of New York rapping with Hillary Clinton, he is OUTFRONT next. And our report on our young Donald Trump, how classmates say he made an impression at an early age.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In school, we would push chairs around, we would pass notes and pull girls' hairs in front of us.



[19:15:52] BURNETT: Tonight, Bernie Sanders pulling out all the stops to upset Hillary Clinton in New York's crucial primary. These are pictures from Buffalo, New York. A live there. Major rally for Sanders as he crisscrossed the state to win over voters. There are just about eight days to go. The latest polls showing Clinton with a 14-point against Sanders. Is he running out of time?

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (VOICE-OVER): Hillary Clinton says, she's ready for Thursday's debate on CNN, but she cast doubt about whether Bernie Sanders is.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in New York Senator Sanders has had trouble answering questions.

CARROLL: And hitting her opponent on his immigration record.

CLINTON: I think our records are very clear. I started co-sponsoring the Dream Act back in 2002 and 03 and I consistently did that. Senator Sanders by contrast was supporting vigilantes, the so called minutemen on the border.

CARROLL: On CNN State of the Union, Sanders turning from Clinton's qualifications to her judgement.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make.

CARROLL: But Clinton not responding in kind.

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

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

CARROLL: Despite polls showing Clinton with a commanding lead in the Empire State, Sanders telling New York voters today he can win with their help.

SANDERS: If we can win here in New York State, I believe we are on our way to the White House.

CARROLL: Sanders taking his fight to the airwaves with a new ad, voiced by actress Susan Sarandon. Its focused on fracking, a key issue for Upstate New York voters.

SUSAN SARANDON, ACTRESS: Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for president who opposes fracking everywhere.

CARROLL: Looking ahead, Clinton seized the path to the nomination. And says, her team isn't making plans for a contested convention.

CLINTON: I intend to have the number of delegates that are required to be nominated. CARROLL: Clinton is out with a new ad too, focused on Donald Trump.

CLINTON: And it goes against everything New York and America stand for.

CARROLL: Telling reporters today she can take on Trump while still fighting Sanders.

CLINTON: I think I can both walk and chew gum at the same time.

CARROLL: And then she wants to draw the starcus (ph) distinction between herself and Trump.

CLINTON: Trump's rhetoric, his divisiveness, his incitement of aggressive behavior, even violence, is absolutely unacceptable and needs to be called out.

CARROLL: And Sanders about to take the stage now at any moment. And Erin, when it comes to those poll numbers, Sanders says that he is closing the gap. He says that it's not just going to be here in New York where he closes the gap, but also in places like Pennsylvania and California. And in terms of how he says he's going to make a deficit, he says, he's going to do it by continuing to build on the momentum that he has and by continuing to point out the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jason Carroll to a big Bernie Sanders crowd.

OUTFRONT now, New York State Assembly Luis Sepulveda, he is a Bernie Sanders supporter. Ruben Diaz Jr., Hillary Clinton supporter. Marc Morial and Mark Preston are back with me.

Ruben, let me just start with you though. Look, Hillary now you see in that ad focusing on Donald Trump in the general election. But still, he did race with Bernie Sanders and you heard the statistics there. Of the most recent eight contests, she has lost seven of them. Is Hillary Clinton counting her eggs before they hatch?

RUBEN DIAZ JR. (D), BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT, ENDORSED CLINTON: Look, you're focusing on this election makes Tuesday the 19th. But the reality is that we're two and a half million roads ahead of Bernie. When you look at the states that they want. They're smaller states. They're caucuses. There's only three caucuses left which only make up about two percent of the delegates that remains. So, mathematically, I think that we're in good shape here. And when it is all said and done, this is the reason why again, I appreciate the fact that Bernie Sanders toned it down when he said that she's not qualified because ultimately we have to unite the party so that we can beat Donald Trump or whatever republican in November.

BURNETT: And he said his campaign manager came on the show and said, she was disqualified by her actions, but her resume was qualified, so they're playing around by the words there.

But Luis, the math, the math is not friendly to Bernie Sanders and not in terms of the delegate count. And not even in terms of the polling in New York at this point.

[19:20:12] LUIS SEPULVEDA (D), NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, ENDORSED SANDERS: Well, I mean, first of all, on the issue of questioning the qualifications, let's remember it was Hillary Clinton that started that along that path of questioning Bernie's qualifications to be president. But you know, if you take away the delegates, the super delegates count, you see that this race is lot closer than people portray. You still have over 900 delegate votes to go. You have in the states, western states, and some of the recent states, Wisconsin, where he won by double digits. I want to see if these super delegates are going to maintain their position where Hillary, where Bernie has won --

BURNETT: You think they're going to switch over?

SEPULVEDA: I think that'd have to. But if they didn't, if they didn't, if they hadn't --

DIAZ: Chose questions and answers on the daily news editorial board about the fact that he doesn't have a response as to how he is going to solve the Wall Street problems. So, in other words, people realize that with Hillary, you got somebody that identify a problem but also come up with a solution in terms of some of the states that Bernie has won. But we came out of there with more delegates. So, again when this is supposed --

BURNETT: But back to the delegate process. When you win a state, you come out with the same amount of delegates. It's confusing to most people.

MORIAL: The Democratic primary process apportions the delegates by Congressional district. So, if you're a super delegate, do you have an obligation to who won the state or do you have an obligation who won the Congressional district? Maybe super delegates are --

BURNETT: It's confusing.

MORIAL: -- local elected officials, they're state legislators, they're city council members and mayors. They're not people whose constituencies are statewide. They represent districts. And in that regard, the super delegates are important to balance the process. Because in one instance, we have primaries were hundreds of thousands of people vote. In the other case, we have these caucuses where literally they're not really fully Democratic where small numbers vote. So, the super delegates have always been designed to balance out a process in terms of how the Democratic nominee is picked.

BURNETT: And do you expect Mark Preston, about regardless of who has the overall, that there will be some schisms that appear in those delegates?

PRESTON: Right. So, I just predicted the apocalypse right in Cleveland where I do think there's going to be issues. I don't think there's going to be the same type of problems. However, I do think you'll going to see Bernie Sanders take this all the way to the convention. The super delegates are going to have to pledge their support. There's not going to be a crowning of a nominee before we get to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. That is not going to happen. What's interesting though certainly with this election cycle, with the Republicans and the Democrats, it has opened up a process that in many ways is held in the dark, that the voters don't really understand how it works. But now they do understand how it works. And in many ways, not only the Democratic Party but the Republican Party, the insiders do control it.

BURNETT: Which of course is something that is frustrating people, many people. People in many cases who are looking at Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton has argued Bernie Sanders' supporters have not done their homework. This is something she recently said and made a math and here's how they both put it.


CLINTON: I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who, you know, believe this. They don't do their own research. And I'm glad that we can now point to reliable Independent analysis to say, no, it's just not true.

SANDERS: I think that's a little bit condescending. These are young people who want to be involved in shaping the future of this country.


BURNETT: Condescending the way she put it?

MORIAL: I don't know if it's condescending. I don't know if it is the right choice of words, but it is legitimate to question whether the promises and commitments that are made in the context of a political campaign have beef behind them or substance behind them and for people to ask what the political practicality of it is. So, a presidency is about vision, it's about aspiration, but it's also about the reality of governing. So, I think it is fair for Hillary to question.

BURNETT: To question it, maybe the ways to phrase it.

MORIAL: And it's certainly not beyond fair for Bernie to question it. But I don't think it's about suggesting that young adult voters, you know, are somehow uninformed. I wouldn't use that choice of words.

SEPULVEDA: She feels sorry for these young voters. And I think if young voters or even all the voters were to review the record, and do a thermal analysis of both candidates, it's true that most people would vote for Bernie Sanders because if you look at Hillary's record, Hillary's record is same old politics.


SEPULVEDA: If you look at Bernie Sanders, you have to have bold ideas and bold thoughts.

DIAZ: Hillary's record has been one of helping us in the Bronx, one of the biggest comeback stories in the nation to create jobs. Transportation infrastructures, tiger grand. So, in the Bronx, for instance, we're not feeling the Bern. We haven't been burning for decade decades. And that's because --

BURNETT: We'll leave it on that note. We'll leave that note in the Bronx not feeling the Bern. Thank you very much all of you. Clinton and Sanders facing off in the CNN debate in Brooklyn. That is Thursday night at 9:00 only on CNN.

OUTFRONT next, why New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's rap about Hillary Clinton is making headlines. Mayor de Blasio is OUTFRONT next. And how did Ted Cruz win all Colorado's delegates when voters didn't even get to cast a ballot. We're going to explain.


[19:29:00] BURNETT: Tonight, the White House weighing in with strong words of support for Hillary Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden saying he would like to see a woman elected. This coming as Clinton helps to break Bernie Sanders big winning streak by scoring a major victory in New York's crucial primary. But could Sanders growing momentum cost Clinton her home state?

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT live tonight with the Clinton campaign. Jeff Clinton is ahead in the polls. Important to note that, but you have been talking to the campaign. And I guess, there are questions about whether they consider New York a slam dunk.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: No question, Erin. I mean, one of the things the Clinton campaign does not really want to see is a poll showing in that 14 points. And that's what the Wall Street Journal poll tonight shows them. Another poll says, they're up 12 points. One adviser told me a short time ago, that is a little sunny for us. They do not believe it's a double digit race at all. They believe it's a single digit campaign at this point. And they are worried about how this will close largely because Bernie Sanders is really throwing everything at them.

Today alone, he launched an ad about Wall Street. He launched an ad about how she supports oil and gas and fracking.

[19:30:05] They are really concerned that all these things they're throwing at the could erode some support. Now, they do believe they are in a much more comfortable position because New York is a closed primary. That means only registered Democrats can vote. People cannot just show up and register on that day, but the Clinton campaign is still campaigning so aggressively here they really believe the next eight days are critical.

Now, they don't have to win mathematically speaking, but politically speaking, they know they have to win New York. The Sanders campaign would get so much energy out of this, if they won. That's why both sides are fighting so hard. At this point, advantage Clinton, but it is not as big as some of those polls might suggest.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny. And OUTFRONT now, the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. He has endorsed Hillary Clinton. And Mayor, I really appreciate your taking the time tonight.

The new poll out showing Hillary Clinton with that double-digit lead over Sanders. But you just heard Jeff report the Clinton campaign isn't convinced her lead is that big. And they're talking specifically about concerns in New York City, the biggest city in the country, your city.

Could she lose New York City?

BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Oh, I think she's going to do great in New York City. I've been getting a very enthusiastic response. Everywhere I've been campaigning for Hillary, there's a lot of energy.

And there's a real sense of connection. She was our U.S. senator for eight years. So I think of course, it's going to be a close race, but the Clinton campaign is doing a great job on the ground, and the people of New York State really have a great appreciation for Hillary Clinton.

BURNETT: All right, so you're confident in this. Over the weekend, you and Hillary Clinton, of course, appeared at an event in New York. And there were jokes, right? It was a comedy act. One of the jokes was why it took you so long to endorse her. For anyone who doesn't know, you ran her Senate campaign.

You were one of the last Democrats in New York, of course, to endorse. And it's now a joke between the two of you. Here's a little bit of how it went.




CLINTON: I just have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough.


DE BLASIO: Sorry, Hillary. I was running on CP Time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like jokes like that, Bill. That's not funny.

CLINTON: Cautious politician time.


(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Of course, this was a skit involving an actor from the Broadway musical Hamilton. Clinton joked, obviously, you just heard her. It was cautious politician time.

But of course, as the joke made clear with the black actor, CPT is also short for "colored people time." That has offended some people. A headline from "The New York Times" just released, Mayor saying "Racially charged joke by Hillary Clinton and Bill de Blasio earns scorn instead of laughs."

Do you regret going along that joke?

DE BLASIO: Erin, it was clearly a staged show. It was a scripted show. And the whole idea was to do the counterintuitive and say "cautious politician time." Every actor involved, including Hillary Clinton and Leslie Odom, Jr., thought it was a joke on a different convention. That was the whole idea. So, I think people are missing the point here.

BURNETT: OK. You think people are missing the point on this. When -- you talk about your endorsement of Hillary Clinton, though. When you look at some of your stances and what you have said in the past, I have to admit, it sounds a lot like Clinton's opponent. Let me play it.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need free tuition at public colleges and universities.

DE BLASIO: In New York City, full day pre-K for free all over the city.

SANDERS: We are going to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.

DE BLASIO: Today, we announced that we are raising the wage to $15 an hour.

SANDERS: Today in America, we have more income and wealth inequality. It is worse today in America than at any time just before the Great Depression of 1929.

DE BLASIO: We say income inequality because it's a touchstone for a bigger set of challenges. You know, at this moment, the fact is that most intense income disparity we've had in this city since the Great Depression.


BURNETT: You sound a lot alike in terms of your passions, Mayor de Blasio. Was it a hard choice, then, not to endorse the Vermont senator?

DE BLASIO: Oh, I have a lot of respect for Bernie Sanders and I think he's added a lot to the national discussion. But I know Hillary Clinton will get the changes done we need. Look, I'm a progressive who really believes we have to get things done. As a mayor, I understand better than most you got to roll up your sleeves and figure out how to make change. That's how we got to pre-K for all in this city, for example.

Hillary has a long history of effective, progressive advocacy. Long before we were talking about paid family leave, for example, in this country, Hillary is one who brought us Family and Medical Leave. She's someone who knows how to take on the insurance companies. She did that long ago on health care reform.

I'm convinced the progressive changes we need, if we're going to tax the wealthy more, if we're going to raise wages and benefits, things like universal pre-K nationwide -- I have faith that Hillary Clinton is the person who will actually know how to get it done.

[19:35:04] And, Erin, one more point. In the general election, Hillary is as vetted as anyone in the history of politics. She's been through the mill. She's tough. She can handle anything thrown at her in the general election. Democrats, progressives, want a candidate who can go the distance and win and make these changes. There is no question Hillary has proven she can handle that cauldron.

BURNETT: So when you talk about the vetting going on, Donald Trump is going through that process now. And you know, it was very interesting. We found that back in 2013, he had good things to say about you. And that might surprise some of our viewers. They'll think wait a minute, Democratic mayor of New York.

What's Donald Trump doing saying good things about you?

Well, he did. He praised you in a radio interview, saying you would be a good mayor. That interview is now being used by a super-PAC supporting Ted Cruz. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it going to mean for Donald Trump to have Bill de Blasio as mayor?

DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think he's a smart guy that knows what's going on, really big league. And I think he's not going to want to destroy New York.


BURNETT: Smart, big league. Those are some pretty nice things Donald Trump had to say about you, Mayor de Blasio.

Can you say the same about him?

DE BLASIO: Oh, I've made very clear I think there's a lot wrong with Donald Trump. And unfortunately, his campaign has become more and more divisive. And doesn't represent what the majority of the American people want for sure.

So, no, I've been very blunt. He's running a racist this campaign. And it's going to be rejected by the American people. I don't care what he said back then. He and I have never really known each other. But I can tell you, he's shown himself as to be someone who would be unacceptable as the president of the United States.

BURNETT: All right, Mayor de Blasio, thank you very much. Appreciate your time tonight, sir.

DE BLASIO: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Trump threatening a challenge over the party's delegate rules. How long could the GOP nomination be up in the air?

And our special report on how military school shaped a young Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was friendly. He was a good athlete, always had a good-looking chick around. I guess that didn't stop.



[19:40:54] BURNETT: Tonight, Ted Cruz exploiting a weakness in Donald Trump's campaign. Thanks to Cruz's delegate operation, he swept all 34 available delegates in Colorado. Trump's campaign, though, hinting it will challenge the results.

And Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.

So, Tom, let's start with us. It was a major weekend and not a good one in Colorado for Donald Trump.

What happened in Colorado?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In simple terms, Ted Cruz yelled victory and Donald Trump yelled foul. That's what happened.

Take a look at the delegate count right now as these candidates try to race toward that magic number to clinch the nomination before the convention. If nobody gets there, as it looks like they may not, then you have a contested convention. You're going to hear more of these circumstances with people saying somehow something's not right in Denmark.

Colorado, as you mentioned, Erin, is a good example because what happened there is that they had these 37 delegates there, 34 of which are actually decided by the voting there. The others are party officials. And they could have had a statewide vote. They could have had all the Republicans the Colorado vote on who they wanted to get those delegates, but these delegates are unbound.

They don't have to follow the state vote. So, the state official said why have a straw poll for no real purpose. Instead, they had smaller meetings of Republicans in precincts all over the state. Maybe if they'd had everyone vote, Donald Trump would have done better.

But under this scenario, which all the campaigns knew about, people on the ground say Ted Cruz just did a better job getting his people out there, twisting arms, getting people on board, pushing his delegates and as a result he got a big win. He walked away with all of the delegates and Donald Trump, as you know, Erin, is very upset about that.

BURNETT: Very upset about it. And even though he is crying foul in Colorado, though, the Cruz people are livid about Michigan in which they got out-maneuvered this weekend. What happened?

FOREMAN: Yes, Michigan is an interesting case here. Look at the vote of what happened up here in Michigan. In this case, there was a split of the delegates. Trump got 25, Cruz got 17, Kasich got 17. This is not in dispute. The dispute is what came afterwards.

Those delegates then had to select from among themselves eight people who would serve on these committees at the Republican National Convention. Cruz thought he had a deal with Kasich to block Trump out and that all of these people would be Cruz delegates, which would be very important to him. But at the last minute, Kasich and Trump made a deal and suddenly Kasich took three of them. Trump got five, including two on the all important rules committee, which could be a big difference maker at a big convention out there.

The bottom line is, Erin, as we predicted all along, the closer we get to a potential contested convention, I think you're going to see a whole lot more shenanigans like this and a whole lot more people saying they don't like it much.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Tom Foreman.

OUTFRONT now, our political director, David Chalian.

Well, look, it's embarrassing as an American in many ways, because the rest of the world says you're supposed to be the paragon of democracy. And this all seems like anything but.

Donald Trump, zero for 34 in Colorado. Trump's delegate manager Ed Brookover last week told me Trump could get there to 1,237, that magic number if he wins New York, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, he I guess on paper, technically, he could if he won all the delegates in all of those states.

BURNETT: But that's not going to happen.

CHALIAN: But that hasn't mirrored what we've seen so far.

Now, listen, Ted Cruz has taken a pretty big bite out of Trump's overall delegate lead. At one point, Donald Trump had nearly 300- delegate advantage. Now it's 208 or something like that, that Tom Foreman was just showing us.


CHALIAN: That's a pretty big bite out of that delegate lead. However, Brookover is right. If Donald Trump wins all 95 New York delegates next week, that could happen --

BURNETT: That's huge point, yes.

CHALIAN: -- you know, he bounces right back.

So, listen, yes, that is a way to get to 1,237. I don't think it's the most likely avenue that we're going to see.

BURNETT: Not the most likely. So, then, they're saying they could contest the delegate rules with the RNC. Obviously, he's threatened lawsuits before he could then go ahead and file lawsuits if he wanted to.

All of this opens up the possibility, does it not, that we may not know at the convention theoretically who really is the nominee if there's pending lawsuits?

[19:45:07] CHALIAN: Well, I don't -- he walked back from the lawsuit notion and said they're going to contest this in front of the RNC. Most of that will take place the week before the convention. All contests about which delegates are seated at the convention, about the adoption of the rules, all of that's going to get worked out the week before and then again on the floor of the convention.

I was in Cleveland last week. I had to walk through with the RNC of the convention site and somebody raised the question, is it possible that we leave Cleveland and there is no nominee. You know, one official there said, totally not possible. Balloons will drop.

So, like, they don't believe that you can leave Cleveland without --

BURNETT: Balloons may drop, but that does not mean --


CHALIAN: I think you're going to leave Cleveland with a nominee, but never before did I think we would be talking on national television about the credentials committee and the platform committee and the rules committee. All of that is going to matter.

BURNETT: Wow. I still hope that it doesn't. I hope that they can figure it out before that.

All right. Thank you very much, David Chalian.

And up next, it's the Donald Trump you have not heard of until tonight. We are going to talk to his former classmates and take you inside that military school.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was known as fiercely competitive, and I underscore the words "fiercely competitive".


BURNETT: And Jeanne Moos on how the candidates are hoping that the way to a New York voters' heart is through their great restaurants.


[19:50:00] BURNETT: A brand-new poll just released shows Donald Trump with a commanding lead in New York. Fifty-four percent of New Yorkers support the frontrunner, which gives Trump a 33-point lead over John Kasich, 36-point over Ted Cruz. And while most people associate Donald Trump with New York City, he also has ties to a military academy in rural New York where he went to school.

Here's Boris Sanchez with a story you'll see only OUTFRONT.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Long before Donald Trump was pushing his way through a crowd on a presidential campaign trail, he was known to push his way around the schoolyard.

PAUL ONISH, TRUMP'S GRADE SCHOOL CLASSMATE: In school, we would push chairs around. We would pass notes and pull girls hair in front of us.

SCHOOL: Paul Onish, a grade school classmate, says he and Donny had a habit of causing trouble.

ONISH: I would say we got detention once a month, on the average.

SANCHEZ: They even had a special name for their punishment.

ONISH: We used to call it the Donny Trump because he and I used to cut up enough times that we both got DT's to the library after school.

SANCHEZ: To straighten him out, Trump's parents sent 13-year-old Donny to the New York Military Academy where we got an inside look at the school that Trump himself admits played a huge role in his success, writing in his 1987 memoir "Art of the Deal", that the NYMA taught him, quote, "a lot about discipline and about channeling my aggression into achievement."

MASTER SGT. FLETCHER BAILEY, COMMANDANT OF CADETS: We do a lot of drill, marching. Our ceremony is out on a quad. We raised the flag every day, fire the cannon.

SANCHEZ: Retired master sergeant and commandant, Fletcher Bailey, says the cadets today are learning many of the same principles that were drilled into Donald Trump --

BAILEY: We push them to achieve more than they think they can.

SANCHEZ: -- in a military style setting, with strict rules and high expectations. George White attended the NYMA with Trump and said he always liked to


GEORGE WHITE, TRUMP'S FORMER CLASSMATES: He played hard ball there. It was for real. It was a real military school.

SANCHEZ: Playing football and soccer and his passion baseball. Trump was named captain of the varsity team.

WHITE: He was known as fiercely competitive. And I underscore the words "fiercely competitive" because I think that he had to win.

SANCHEZ: That drive may have helped Trump secure a promotion late in his junior year to commanding officer, a move that some of his classmates found surprising because of how quickly he achieved one of the highest ranks on campus.

WHITE: So, he was taking a huge leap in responsibility and huge leap in rank.

KEN STEMMER, TRUMP'S FORMER CLASSMATE: Didn't -- isn't the type of thing you paid a donation and became captain. Definitely not. Definitely not. He earned it. He was there for quite a few years.

SANCHEZ: Another one of Trump's classmates Ken Stemmer says that Trump seems the same to him.

STEMMER: He was friendly. He was a good athlete. He always had a good looking chick around. We remember that, too. I guess that didn't stop.

WHITE: Oh, yes. He was known on campus as a ladies man and I think that the yearbook does no justice to the topic because he did have -- I did see a lot of very pretty women coming there.

SANCHEZ: As for his potential to succeed in politics --

WHITE: I knew this man had potential to be famous.

SANCHEZ: But can he impress voters the way he's impressed some of his fellow classmates?

STEMMER: I have been all over the map from being a Democrat, being a Republican, being a liberal, being a conservative and I've voted that way. And, you know, I'm leaning towards Donald Trump as president.


BURNETT: Boris, that's really interesting. So, you have a former classmate saying, you know, he's impressed. He's leaning towards him as president.

Is Trump still involved with that school?

SANCHEZ: Well, the president of the school tells me that Trump routinely calls to check in and that he's been a very generous donor to the school. Despite that, the academy has gone through serious financial difficulties. They went bankrupt last year and had to shut down. Eventually, they were purchased by Chinese investors for almost $16 million. They reopened and they've had an increase in enrollment.

Speculation, though, is that the Chinese investors are looking to recruit students from China and overseas that want to study in the U.S., Erin.

BURNETT: Ironic, isn't it? Donald Trump's proposed policies toward China.

Boris, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on the candidates trying to take a bite out of the Big Apple.


[19:57:50] BURNETT: Apparently, the way to win New York votes is through food. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to food photo ops -- candidates almost have to say cheese, cake or hot dogs or spaghetti or matzo.

Bernie Sanders inhaled a couple of Nathan's hot dogs so fast it looked like he thought he was in the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. For a second, we thought his wife Jane was going to have to do the Heimlich.

But John Kasich is the one who ate as if it would add to his delegate count rather than his calorie count.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grandma's recipe.


MOOS: He ate two plates of spaghetti, a salami sandwich, ordered pasta fagioli.

KASICH: How about a little cheese on the top of this?

MOOS: Don't try taking anything away.

KASICH: No, no, no.

MOOS: Eat, drink and be merry when running in a primary.

But Hillary refused to touch her cheesecake.

So, instead of an actual bite, all we got was a sound bite.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I learned early on not to eat in front of all of you.

MOOS: Back at the Iowa state fair, she nibbled at a pork chop on a stick.

CLINTON: It's really good.

MOOS: But now, she's resisting the call of the cheesecake.

CLINTON: I'm sitting here just pining, pining for a bite.

MOOS: "SNL" poked fun at Hillary for not eating.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite dinner, a classic New York City street hot dog.

MOOS: Personally, I worry more about what I'm eating rather than how bad I look eating it. A hot dog wrapped in a Twinkie, drizzled with cheese wiz? Dog food made from human grade ingredients.

I mean, I can swallow it.

But what New Yorkers can't swallow is when Kasich or Trump dare to use utensils on pizza.


KASICH: The pizza came scalding hot, OK?

MOOS: Through the years, candidates have learned that food can burn you.

Jeanne Moos --

KASICH: A guy's got to eat, right?

MOOS: -- CNN --

STEWART: Watch and learn, for God's sakes.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: I got to say, on the basis of food, Kasich wins. He eats a lot. He has a glass of wine.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.