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Interview With New York Congressman Chris Collins; Inside Bin Laden Raid; Cruz, Trump Vie for Indiana Votes; Sanders Predicts Contested Convention; Interview with Leon Panetta. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired May 2, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Tomorrow's Indiana primary possibly the last chance for Ted Cruz to block Trump from clinching the nomination outright, the Cruz campaign increasingly anxious about his process, even with a contested convention. Is there a viable path to the nomination that Cruz says he needs to stay in the race?
Railing at the rules, Bernie Sanders voicing frustration at the Democratic delegate system, calling it rigged against insurgent campaigns like his. But Hillary Clinton is moving closer and closer to clinching the nomination outright. Why is Sanders now predicting a contested Democratic Convention?
And inside the bin Laden raid. President Obama gives CNN unprecedented White House access to talk about the mission that killed Osama bin Laden exactly five years ago. I will talk to the man in charge of the intelligence behind it, the former CIA Director Leon Panetta. What are the terror threats that will confront the next U.S. president?
We want to welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. I am Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: The breaking political news tonight on the eve of the Indiana primary. A just-released CNN poll conducted by CNN and ORC, I should point out, shows a vast majority of American voters believe the stage is already set for the general election.
More than 80 percent, 80 percent say they expect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to face off in November as their respective parties' presidential candidates. We are standing by to hear from Trump. He has an event about to begin in Indiana, his final rally before tomorrow's primary.
It's arguably the most high-stakes contest yet for Trump rival Ted Cruz, who has thrown in everything he has at Indiana. It is his last best chance to try to block Trump from getting the delegates he needs to win the nomination outright and force a contested convention, where Cruz hopes he would be the nominee.
On the other side, Bernie Sanders is saying the Democrats are facing a contested convention. He is predicting Hillary Clinton will not win enough pledged delegates to clinch the nomination and will need superdelegates to take her over the top, a system he is calling rigged.
We are covering all of that, much more this hour with our guests, including Congressman Chris Collins. He was the first Republican representative to endorse Donald Trump. And our correspondents and expert analysts, they are also standing by.
Let's begin with the Republican race.
Our CNN political reporter, Sara Murray, is in Indiana for us tonight at the scene of a Trump rally that just wrapped up a little while ago.
Sara, Trump is sounding increasingly confident about tomorrow's primary. What's the latest?
SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Donald Trump sounded very optimistic about his odds here in Indiana as he wrapped up his remarks just a little while ago.
But he said, look, if I don't finish this thing off in Indiana, I will finish it off in the next couple weeks.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is not giving up so easily. He is bringing every surrogate he can think of to his side as he campaigns across Indiana and tries to eke out a much-needed win.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is aiming to deal a death blow to Ted Cruz's presidential hopes right here in Indiana.
TRUMP: If we win Indiana, it's over. It's over. They're finished.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MURRAY: Trump holds a 24-point advantage over Cruz in the latest CNN/ORC poll of Republicans nationwide.
Trump appears well-positioned to pull off a victory in Tuesday's primary. He draws 49 percent support from Republican voters in Indiana, a 15-point lead over Cruz, according to a new "Wall Street Journal"/NBC News/Marist poll.
But Cruz insists the race is much tighter.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are neck and neck right now in the state of Indiana. And so for anyone here, Hoosiers, this is an opportunity where the entire country is looking to the state of Indiana.
MURRAY: He and his surrogates are blanketing the Hoosier State today, holding 10 events, and at one stop engaging in a debate with one of Trump's supporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I believe in Trump. He's the only one that's going to put us where we need to be. What are you going to do about the Second Amendment?
CRUZ: Sir, this man is lying to you. And he's taking advantage of you.
If I were Donald Trump, I wouldn't have come over and talked to you. I would have told the folks over there, go over and punch those guys in the face. That's what Donald does to protesters.
MURRAY: All as the Texas senator vows to stay in the race until Cleveland.
CRUZ: I'm in for the distance. As long as we have a viable path to victory, I am competing to the end.
MURRAY: Meanwhile, Trump is still condemning the GOP primary process.
TRUMP: I have been saying it's a rigged system. The bosses want to pick whoever they want to pick. What's the purpose of going through the primaries?
MURRAY: And continued campaigning in colorful language this weekend, as he criticized trade deals with China.
TRUMP: We can't continue to allow China to rape our country. And that's what they are doing.
MURRAY: But it's clear the GOP front-runner is ready to make the shift to the general, taking aim at Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail today.
TRUMP: She's a disaster. E-mails. Bad judgment. Iraq, voted yes, bad judgment. Libya, bad judgment. All bad judgment.
MURRAY: Now, despite Trump's lead in the latest polls, he and his campaign are trying to prove they're sprinting to the finish here in Indiana. He has held two events already in the Hoosier State, and now he's head to South Bend -- back to you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Sara, for that.
Let's get some more on the Cruz campaign right now.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is in Indianapolis for us.
Sunlen, how are they feeling about tomorrow's primary?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, there certainly is some apprehension coming from the Cruz campaign.
Senator Cruz will hold his last big rally in a couple hours here in Indianapolis tonight and heading into that big day where they have really set the stakes very high for him.
And I do think that the day he had on the campaign trail today, what he faced out there really speaks volumes as to where the Cruz campaign is headed, what they're facing going into tomorrow. Multiple times throughout the day, I think it was notable that he was peppered with questions not only from reporters, but voters, about his standing in the polls and what is his path forward.
So, Cruz really spending a lot of time and a lot of energy explaining, validating his campaign, so to speak, and going forward. He was -- spoke with -- one voter spoke with him directly at a diner stop earlier today and said, Donald Trump is beating you in the polls, so clearly some concern coming straight from voters.
At a later stop, also, Senator Cruz was leaving a stop and he crossed the street, went out of his way to approach some Donald Trump protesters, and really gotten engaged in really a tense back and forth with them, almost explaining himself.
All this to say that I do think that the tone around the Cruz campaign, around the candidate, the narrative certainly is shifting as they head into tomorrow, so pivotal to their campaign -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Sunlen, thank you very much, Sunlen Serfaty in Indianapolis for us.
Let's get some more on all of this.
Joining us, the New York Congressman Chris Collins. He was the first Republican member of the House of Representatives to publicly support Donald Trump.
Representative, thanks very much for joining us.
If Trump does not win tomorrow...
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: Good to be here with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: ... in Indiana, Congressman, let's say he doesn't win tomorrow, will winning the race outright on that first ballot, needing 1,237 delegates, be more difficult for him to achieve that goal?
COLLINS: Well, Wolf, he is going to do very well tomorrow night, but, no, in fact, if that didn't happen, when you do the math, and you see what we have, 85 delegates between New Jersey and West Virginia, those are in his column for sure.
That brings him just shy of 1,100. You have still got 172 in California. Again, he's leading by double digits there. He has it locked up. And right now, what you're seeing with Ted Cruz, desperation tonight. Tomorrow, he becomes totally irrelevant. And let's just hope after tomorrow he withdraws, he does the right
thing, so we can spend the next six, seven weeks before the convention uniting the party to defeat Hillary Clinton.
BLITZER: So, I assume you want Cruz and John Kasich, for that matter, on Wednesday, let's say, to announce they're -- quote -- "suspending their campaigns"?
COLLINS: If they do the right thing, they will suspend their campaigns, because Donald Trump will have it totally locked up, without a doubt.
And, again, it is time for us to unite. We are already doing that in D.C. You're seeing a lot of folks unite in D.C. We're all talking now about defeating Hillary Clinton. She's the uniter of our party. And you have seen the pivot by Donald's campaign, the great foreign policy speech he gave at the Mayflower couple of days ago.
You're hearing the positive comments. Our party is going to come together. The Supreme Court is at risk if Hillary Clinton is elected. So, Wolf, you're going to see the shift not only from Donald's campaign, but you're going to see outreach coming the other way as well from the supposed establishment.
BLITZER: We're showing our viewers some live pictures we're getting in right now, some protesters in South Bend, Indiana. They're not very happy with Donald Trump right now.
It has become an increasingly common feature at a lot of these events, Congressman, as you well know. The protesters show up. Hopefully, usually, it is fairly peaceful and relatively quiet. But, sometimes, it does get out of control.
And that's a source of concern to a lot of people, including you, right?
COLLINS: Oh, yes.
No one wants to see these protesters. Many of them are professional protesters, paid protesters. But putting that aside, it just shows desperation as well on the other side. I don't believe these are Cruz protesters, as much as they are the defenders of the liberal progressive left, which is Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
They see that Hillary is not electable. It is going to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And I think most of us know that her character negatives are such that Donald Trump's going to win, and they're very frustrated by that thought.
BLITZER: Speaking of the liberal progressive left, Congressman, very interesting that Donald Trump told CNN today he actually thinks some Bernie Sanders supporters will back him because of his views on trade, because he claims Hillary Clinton has treated Bernie Sanders followers, in his words, unbelievably badly. Do you think that's at all realistic, that Donald Trump can attract
some of those blue-collar, very progressive liberal Democrats who support Bernie Sanders?
COLLINS: I think there's two camps here, Wolf.
One are the young folks who are frustrated by the establishment. They have seen the establishment load them with $20 trillion of debt. They don't have jobs. They very much -- a big percentage of those may go to Donald Trump.
But, on the other side, you have got the working-class Reagan Democrats, the blue-collar Democrats from Western New York that lost their jobs with NAFTA. Their frustration, the moms, they want a better future for America. And when Donald Trump says we're going to take America back, America first, and we're going to get those jobs back from China and from Mexico, that's his message on the jobs front, which not only will get the working-class Democrats onto his side, but also the soccer moms, who are looking out for the future of their children.
BLITZER: But what does that say about Donald Trump, Congressman, if he can attract the most liberal progressive wing of the Democratic Party to support him?
COLLINS: Well, I think it says that hold onto your seat belt when you look at what could happen in November.
Donald Trump is putting Michigan in play, Wisconsin in play. He is putting New York in play. That's probably the lesser of the few. But when he starts looking in a district like I represent, my county, 2-1 Democrat, he will win that county with 65 percent of the vote.
I think you're going to see effectively a landslide come November. I know people may doubt that, but the energy and the momentum behind Donald Trump, he is attracting folks that you wouldn't expect. And at the same time, there's no Republican that's going to vote for Hillary Clinton.
The Supreme Court is at risk here, so the Republicans, even those that may not like Donald Trump, they are going to vote for Donald Trump. And then he is reaching out to a lot of disenfranchised Democrats and many of the young who don't like the system.
I think we could be onto something come November.
BLITZER: Well, let me just be precise. You're predicting that if Trump is the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Trump will win in a landslide?
COLLINS: I believe that's exactly correct.
The Republicans are going to stay with Donald Trump. They have energy to defeat Hillary Clinton. Clinton is the uniter of our party. We know we can't weather four more years of Hillary Clinton. The Supreme Court, 4-4, next president may appoint three Supreme Court judges. A 7-2 liberal Supreme Court directed by Hillary Clinton for decades would end America as we know it.
And when this comes out, as that messaging is brought forward into the general election, Wolf, I absolutely believe we could see a Reaganesque victory come November.
BLITZER: Very quickly on Bernie Sanders, he also says the delegate system on the Democratic side is rigged. We heard that word a lot from Donald Trump on the Republican side. Is Bernie Sanders now, you think, borrowing a little bit from the Trump playbook?
COLLINS: Well, he's certainly using some of that language, but he's right.
We may have complaints, what happened on the Republican side. The Democrat side is 10 times worse with those superdelegates. I mean, Bernie and Hillary are a couple hundred real delegates apart. Their system is so rigged. But, you know, these aren't pledged. I think, as Hillary loses one state after another, those superdelegates, as they're called, may be rethinking their choice of Hillary Clinton.
So who knows what's going to happen on that front. I expect it will be Hillary, but, as Bernie says, if he goes to that convention, she doesn't have it locked up. Let's see what the superdelegates do. But their system is absolutely more rigged than anyone would have thought about the Republican side.
BLITZER: Fifteen percent of the Democratic delegates are those superdelegates; 85 percent are those who are elected in primaries and caucuses.
All right, stand by, Congressman.
We will show the viewers some more live pictures. These are protesters at a Trump rally about to get under way in South Bend, Indiana.
We will take a quick break -- much more right after this.
BLITZER: Take a look at this. These are live pictures coming in outside the site of a Donald Trump upcoming rally in South Bend, Indiana. You see the police there.
Indiana's primary, as you know is tomorrow, some demonstrators holding American flags, some holding Mexican flags, very anti-Trump. A lot of signs supporting Bernie Sanders at that rally as well. We are watching all of this closely.
The Republican front-runner facing some heat for another controversial comment he made.
We're back with New York Congressman Chris Collins. He was the first Republican member of the House to publicly support Donald Trump. Congressman, Trump getting some criticism for saying China is -- quote
-- "raping our country."
Can you see why that term is offensive to some?
COLLINS: I suppose I can certainly understand that.
We all know what he's saying. They have been stealing our jobs, stealing the future from our children and grandchildren in doing that. When the economic minister of China says Donald Trump will be bad for China's economy, you're darn right Donald Trump will be bad for China's economy.
That, in and of itself, should give Americans, the soccer moms, the working-class Democrats hope. Those jobs are coming back. Would I have used that word? No, I would not have. But he's making a point that, for many, many years now, they have been stealing the jobs. I don't know how you can put a happy face on that at all.
So, Donald said what he said. We know what he meant. They have been stealing our jobs. They have been stealing the future from our children and grandchildren. And that's pretty emotional.
BLITZER: Republican Congressman Lindsey Graham -- Republican Senator, I should say, Lindsey Graham says that, if Trump is elected, there will be another 9/11, in his words.
He is very anti-Donald Trump, as you know. I want you to react to that strong statement.
COLLINS: Well, I would call that pathetic, to try to even put somebody -- I can't believe he would have said that, to be honest with you.
We are in a very dangerous world. ISIS, unfortunately, because of Obama's weakness, is doing much better than anyone could have ever expected. When Obama called them the J.V., that was pretty ridiculous. But they are a threat. It's going to take a long time to defeat ISIS. We need somebody that is going to stay the course like Donald Trump, that is not going to give the playbook to the enemy ahead of time, tell them when we're going in, how many troops, where our planes are, the silliness.
And it has been downright pathetic, again, what Donald -- what Barack Obama has done in tipping off the adversaries. But no one can predict what's going to happen. We know we're in a dangerous world. We know that ISIS and others would like to scare Americans, if you will, into not living the lives that we live.
And we just have to be diligent. We have to make sure that we are always aware of what's going on. But to make a statement like that, I would have not expected.
BLITZER: Congressman Chris Collins of New York, thanks for joining us.
COLLINS: Wolf, always be glad -- always good to be with you.
BLITZER: Thank you.
Once again, we're standing by for that Trump rally in Indiana, his last rally ahead of the primary in that state tomorrow. See some of the protesters who have gathered on the street outside of that location.
Also, Bernie Sanders, why is he sounding more like Donald Trump when it comes to the delegate system established by the Democrats?
Stay with us.
BLITZER: Once again, you're looking at some live pictures coming in from South Bend, Indiana. This is outside a Donald Trump that's about to get under way.
You see some U.S. flags, some Mexican flags there. You see some signs, a lot of signs, in fact. You also see some signs from Bernie Sanders supporters. They're there as well. We are going to continue to monitor it. Police are there. So far, pretty peaceful at that demonstration outside of the rally where Trump is getting ready to speak.
Trump has been crisscrossing Indiana ahead of tomorrow's primary. They will be speaking at this rally shortly in South Bend. And for his rival Ted Cruz, the stakes in Indiana right now are critical.
Let's get some more with our senior political analyst and senior editor of "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein, our CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston, our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, and "The Washington Post" assistant editor, David Swerdlick.
Gloria, if Trump wins tomorrow in Indiana -- polls show he is well- positioned to win -- what do you think? What could Cruz effectively, realistically do?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he's probably going to continue on, although there is going to be a lot of pressure from inside the party for him and for John Kasich, I should say, to kind of give it up.
I think Cruz continues if the money holds out to go through to what he wants to be a contested convention. I think, if Trump wins Indiana overwhelmingly, and wins the lion's share of those delegates, like at least 30 delegates out of the 57, he's going to start collecting the amount that he needs to get, if not over that magic number of 1,237, then really close to it, close enough so that Republicans, including delegates, will believe that they can't deny him the nomination. BLITZER: But you and I have covered politics, Mark, for awhile.
Usually, candidates drop out of the presidential contest when they're behind, but when they also don't have any money left.
And in California, that's coming up, you need a lot of money to be effective advertising in a state like California.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: You do, because there's so many large media markets, and they're very expensive.
It is not like advertising in a state such as Iowa, let's say, where the media markets aren't as expensive. But what you are going to see Cruz do, like, I don't think he will drop out after Indiana.
PRESTON: I think he's going to stick by his guns.
BLITZER: Does he have money? Does he have enough money to stay in?
PRESTON: I believe so. But he will also have air cover potentially from super PACs that will come in that are so anti-Trump.
At some point, though, they have to consider, are we throwing good money after a bad cause at some point? But I think what you're going to see Cruz do, he is going to go in and surgically go into California, pick specific media markets, and just campaign in those media markets.
So, you probably won't see him in San Francisco, but you're certainly going to see him in San Diego and Orange County.
BLITZER: David, you keep hearing Donald Trump day after day say the system is rigged, the Republican system is rigged against him.
If it were to go to a contested convention, how do you think that would play out, because he has so many more votes than any of the other Republican candidates?
DAVID SWERDLICK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": If it is contested, I think it will be raucous. I'm not going to predict violence, like you have seen at some of the Trump rallies.
But inside the convention hall in Cleveland, outside, you're going to have protesters. Trump brings this out in people. And he's laid the groundwork among his hard-core supporters to say, look, any resistance to his inevitability is crooked. It's -- the fix is in. And -- and his supporters are ready for a floor fight.
[18:30:03] I would say I agree with Mark and Gloria that Cruz probably will stay in, and I think he has a case that he should stay in, because he's the only one out of a field of 18 that has given Trump any kind of a challenge.
BORGER: At some point if you win, though, you have to stop complaining about the system being rigged. Because when you look at Trump, this has kind of worked in his favor to a -- to a great degree, and because he's won -- you know, he's going to get more delegates than his percentage of the votes so far. And so, you know, he's complaining now...
BLITZER: Because he won some states which were winner-take-all.
BORGER: Right. That's right.
BLITZER: So he got all the delegates in, like, Florida, which was a winner-take-all state; and he won there.
Ron, let's talk a little bit about this new CNN national poll. Donald Trump's national support clearly growing. Cruz is losing support nationally among Republicans. Take a look at this. He's still having some trouble with women. Forty-three percent like Trump; 54 percent of the men like Trump. Is this a potential bigger problem down the road in the general election, let's say against Hillary Clinton?
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, much more of a general election issue, Wolf. I mean, this is actually consistent with what we've seen in the actual voting in the exit polls. Of the cumulative analysis of all the exit polls that have been done, Donald Trump has been running about eight or nine points behind his number among men with women. So this is consistent with that.
But in the last few primaries, he has seen his numbers improve across the board: New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, his best four states among women, his best four states tied among college graduates. He's seeing, I think, the resistance collapsing.
It is more of a general election issue. For all the talk about the gender gap, the fact is that in modern exit polling going back to 1972, the only Democrat who won most white women in a general election was Bill Clinton in 1996. So there is a lot of room for Republicans to work here.
The challenge is that Barack Obama lost white women by 14 points in 2012, and he still won. And that means they don't really have a lot more to give if Hillary Clinton can improve there. That is going to be a challenge for Trump, particularly with those college-educated white women who have been the most resistant to him in general election polling right from the beginning.
BORGER: And he has to win white men by an overwhelming margin, like 60 or 70 percent white men to overcome the gender chasm.
BLITZER: Can he attract -- can he attract -- hold on one second. I just want to ask Mark. Can he attract, Trump, some of those Bernie Sanders blue-collar voters out there who love Bernie Sanders, may not necessarily love Hillary Clinton? Will they actually, as Trump says, be open to going for him? PRESTON: Let me -- maybe one or two of them, but absolutely not.
Because they're just -- because they believe in a different set of policies in politics. When we talk about populism in Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders having this populist rhetoric, it is a populist rhetoric. It's just at a different volume; it is a different flavor. And there's no way those liberal Democrats are going to leave Hillary Clinton and go back to Donald Trump.
BLITZER: But there will be some blue-collar so-called Reagan Democrats, as you know, David, who might like Donald Trump.
SWERDLICK: If I can poke a hole in the whole idea of Reagan Democrats, if someone hasn't voted for a Democrat since 1980, are they still a Democrat? OK?
But in terms of Sanders supporters, right. I think Democrats have to be more worried about, as Mark is saying, not that they'll cross over to Trump but maybe that they will just stay home and not vote.
BORGER: Vocalizing your vote (ph).
BLITZER: What about those Reagan -- so-called Reagan Democrats, Ron? Talk about them. You've studied them over the years.
BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, to David's point, first of all, you know, non-college whites provided half all the votes that Bill Clinton won in 1992. By the time Barack Obama was reelected in 2012, they provided only a quarter of his votes. Democrats are less dependent on working-class whites than they used to be. They realigned, to a large extent, as a relevant party. They've been replaced in the Democratic coalitions by millennials, minorities and these socially liberal college-educated whites, especially women.
Having said that, I think that a key swing group in this election are going to be those working-class white women. Donald Trump is going to post, if he is the general election nominee, big numbers among working-class white men. Possibly the best since Reagan in 1984. But they're about half the share of the electorate that they were in 1984.
And whereas Hillary Clinton, I think, is going to be very strong, as I said, among most college white women, the working-class white women have learned more Republican than people understand over most of the past 30 years. They're a group that respond to many economic arguments Donald Trump may make and also perhaps some of his security arguments.
The challenge he's got is that I think many of them see him as someone who simply doesn't understand their lives and represents a view of kind of family life and gender relations that are several decades in the past. That is a place where he is going to have to work. Because without that, Wolf, the idea of him running through the Midwest and the Rust Belt, places like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin is not going to get off the ground.
BLITZER: All right, guys. Stand by. There's much more to talk about, including what's going on, on the Democratic side. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[18:39:37] BLITZER: Positive signs for Hillary Clinton. In our brand-new CNN/ORC poll, just coming out, it shows a slim majority of Democrats saying she's their choice for the presidential nominee. It also shows growing enthusiasm for her candidacy, up seven points since March. But her rival, Bernie Sanders, is now predicting a contested convention in Philadelphia.
Our senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, is following the Democrats for us.
Jeff, Sanders thinks Clinton won't clinch the nomination through pledged delegates alone. What's the latest?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, he probably is right about that, that he will not -- that she will not clinch this through pledged delegates alone, but Barack Obama didn't eight years ago either. Those are not the Democratic Party rules. Super delegates, along with pledged delegates count to hit that magic number of 2,383.
The question increasingly, Wolf, is not whether Hillary Clinton crosses the finish line, it's when, and whether she's sprinting through or limping.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let us tomorrow have the biggest turnout in Indiana history!
ZELENY (voice-over): Bernie Sanders is firing up voters today across Indiana. He's asking Democrats to put the brakes on Hillary Clinton's march to the nomination. But she's already moving on.
We cannot let Barack Obama's legacy fall into Donald Trump's hands.
ZELENY: On the eve of the Indiana primary, Clinton is looking ahead to a fall matchup with Trump and to primary contests down the line. Visiting Appalachia today...
CLINTON: OK, I'm going to try these two.
ZELENY: ... Clinton buying cookies from Girl Scouts and talking trade with Kentucky steel workers.
CLINTON: But I don't believe that we should be subsidizing, in effect, the rest of the world. We've got some cards to play, and we need to play those cards.
ZELENY: In Indiana, the race seems close, Clinton leading Sanders narrowly in a weekend "Wall Street Journal"/NBC News poll. Her advantage is stronger nationally, leading Sanders 8 points in our new CNN/ORC poll.
Sanders is increasingly showing frustration, not only at Clinton but at Democratic rules.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When we talk about a rigged system, it's also important to understand how the Democratic convention works.
ZELENY: Sanders particularly frustrated with super delegates or party officials who also have a say.
SANDERS: It makes it hard for insurgent candidacies like ours to win. But you know what? We're going to fight for every last vote.
ZELENY: That fight is getting harder and his battle to win the nomination more uphill. Clinton is about 200 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed. Sanders needs nearly five times that many pledged and super delegates.
Trump is following Sanders' words carefully and plans to use them against Clinton.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie Sanders said she shouldn't be allowed to run, that she's not capable. And what he said is incredible. It's a sound bite.
ZELENY: We asked Sanders whether that bothered him.
TRUMP: No. The Republican Party and Trump have the resources to do all the opposition research they want on Secretary Clinton. They don't need Bernie Sanders' critiques of the secretary.
ZELENY: Now, the rhetoric is not softening much in this campaign at all. Today alone, the Sanders campaign suggested the Clinton campaign was running a money laundering scheme because of that joint fundraising committee that they have.
The Clinton campaign pushed back, saying they're just trying to raise money off of this, these closing days of the race.
But Wolf, if you see the crowd behind me here in downtown Indianapolis, several thousand people have gathered. They're waiting for Senator Sanders. It's clear that they are not ready for this contest to be over yet. So how the outcome in Indiana is tomorrow will signal how long this race goes, and just how much Secretary Clinton still has to fight Bernie Sanders -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Jeff Zeleny in Indianapolis for us, thank you.
Ron Brownstein, Bernie Sanders says the convention will be contested, because he doesn't think Hillary Clinton will win the majority of the pledged delegates outright, forget about the super delegates. Is that true?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, she will win a majority of pledged delegates, but that majority will not represent a majority of all the delegates you need. And as Jeff pointed out, super delegates are 15 percent of the total. If you are going to win without them, if you're going to get to the majority without them, you'd have to win 60 percent of what's remaining. Those are not -- those are not really plausible arguments to make.
I mean, I think it is a bigger question about whether the super delegates exist in their same form going forward, because Bernie Sanders is right. This is exactly what they were designed to do. They were designed to create obstacles to insurgent campaigns. They were created after 1980 amid frustration among Democratic Party leaders about a primary process that produced George McGovern in 1972, who could not win, and Jimmy carter in 1976, who won but really could not govern and never was really part of the party.
So yes, he is right. They are doing what they were designed to do. That function may be obsolete, and I would not be surprised to see, as part of an eventual peace settlement between the Sanders and Clinton forces, some agreement to at least retrench the role of the super delegates in the process. Because as I say, they now cast 15 percent of all the delegate votes, and that may be rolled back.
BLITZER: We'll put the numbers, Gloria, on the screen, if you take a look at Hillary Clinton's numbers, Bernie Sanders' numbers, you'll see right now in overall delegate count: 2,178 for Hillary Clinton, 1,400 for Bernie Sanders.
[18:45:04] But if you look at the pledge delegates, she has 1,666, he has 1,359. But she has 512 superdelegates to his 41.
Can he convince some of those 500 superdelegates to flip?
BORGER: Does anyone other than me think it is a little ironic that Bernie Sanders, the insurgent candidate, is going to the superdelegates who are the party insiders and saying to the party insiders, by the way, change your mind right now because the process stinks and you need to support me.
I don't think he's the best person, Wolf, to make that argument quite frankly and I think it's going to fall on deaf ears because the party believes that Hillary Clinton is the candidate who can beat Donald Trump. He will say that the polls don't show that, but increasingly you look at our poll, 80 percent of people believe that she's going to be the nominee.
So, I think it's a very difficult argument for him to make to delegates, to superdelegates.
BLITZER: Mark, what do you think?
PRESTON: Listen, I think when he talks about a contested convention, I don't think he's talking about contesting the fact he will be the nominee. I think he is laying down the marker that he is going to Cleveland, that he is more interested in fighting for specific liberal policy proposals than he is to take her on and try to take her out as the eventual nominee.
But to the point of the super delegates part, I do believe with Ron -- I agree with Ron and with Gloria, there probably is going to be some change to the system about how Democrats choose their nominee, and in fact, everybody forgets this, Barack Obama tried to do this back in 2008 and 2009, and failed to do so.
BLITZER: Change wouldn't take effect at least in four years.
BLITZER: Very quickly, David, money -- Bernie Sanders still has a lot of money. In April, he raised $25.8 million, Hillary Clinton raised 26.4 million, but that's a lot less than he raise the month before and before that over $40 million, what does that say?
SWERDLICK: Yes, the Sanders campaign has over-performed anybody's expectations across the board, including fund-raising. I do think, though, that with Clinton catching him, it signals that in my onion, Democrats are starting to feel like Clinton's campaign, although flawed, although she's a flawed candidate, has been very durable, she's gained momentum, she's hung in there and has been successful so far.
BLITZER: All right. Guys, stand by. And I want everyone to remember to stay with us through the day tomorrow for our live coverage of the Indiana primary. I will be here with our entire election team throughout the night, starting here in THE SITUATION ROOM, 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
Just ahead, we're getting new details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden exactly five years ago. I'll speak to the man who was the CIA chief at the time, Leon Panetta. He's standing by live.
[18:52:18] BLITZER: Five years ago today, President Obama announced to the nation, indeed to the world, that U.S. Navy SEALs had raided a compound in Pakistan and killed the al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.
Joining us now is Leon Panetta. He served as the CIA director at the time of the raid, then moved to the Pentagon as the defense secretary.
Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for joining us.
LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR AND FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: Nice to be with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: President Obama spoke with CNN's Peter Bergen in the White House Situation Room on the anniversary of the raid. I want you to listen to the president describing how it was making that final decision. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I could honestly say by the time I made the decision that everybody had had their say. That we had all the information we were going to be able to get. We had not looked at it through rose-colored glasses. We knew the risks involved. We had prepared as well as we could.
And it was in that way emblematic of presidential decision making. You're always working with probabilities. And you make a decision not based on 100 percent certainty, but with the best information that you get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: If somebody would have told you on that day, and you were the CIA director, that five years later, we would all be facing threats from ISIS, al Qaeda central, the Nusra front, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram - all posing a threat to the United States. If somebody would have said to you on that day, look what's in store five years from now, what would you have said?
PANETTA: Well, I would not have anticipated that al Qaeda would have metastasized the way it did into all these other terrorist groups that now threaten the United States. We were obviously focused on al Qaeda, on al Qaeda's spiritual leader, going after somebody who attacked the United States of America on 9/11. And that was our principal focus. And when we were able to achieve that mission, Wolf, I thought that we had made significant progress in decimating al Qaeda. Unfortunately, it's metastasized into other forms of terrorism.
BLITZER: It certainly has. And another point, I'm just curious. Because as we know, five years ago today, the U.S. launched the Navy SEALs, Bin Laden was killed. But al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al- Zawahiri, he assumed leadership. He's still at large. Why hasn't the U.S. been able to capture him or kill him?
[18:55:04] PANETTA: Well, I'm sure it's not for lack of effort. You know, at the time, there was no question that the central focus was going to be on focusing on Zawahiri after we had gotten Bin Laden. And I thought, frankly, it would be just a matter of time before we would be able to pin him down. For whatever reason, that hasn't happened. But I'm very confident that at some point, those that are in the search for Zawahiri will find him.
BLITZER: Here's another question that's always lingered in my mind. Dr. Shakil Afridi, he's the physician, the doctor, who helped the CIA find Bin Laden in that Abbottabad compound in Pakistan. He's still in a Pakistani prison. Why?
PANETTA: Well, I regret that very much. It's, you know -- part of some of the problems we have had with the Pakistanis over this entire issue. At the time when we were considering the operation, one of the options was clearly to work with Pakistan. That would have made the operation a lot easier when we did it. But because of the concern that we could not trust the Pakistanis, it was the president's decision that we really ought to do this on our own.
And I think the reaction of the Pakistanis and what they have done to people that were very important to that operation just tells us that that relationship has not been very good for a long time.
BLITZER: Do you believe that high-ranking Pakistani officials were protecting Bin Laden in that Abbottabad compound, which as you know, was very close to what is considered the West Point of the Pakistan military?
PANETTA: Well, when we were able to track the couriers to that compound and located it in Abbottabad, you know, the first question that came to our mind was whether or not the Pakistanis were aware of this. Because it was the location of their West Point, it was the location of intelligence units that were located in the same area. And just the fact that he was located in this compound that was three times the size of other compounds, had 18-foot walls on one side, had 12- foot walls on the other side, and was obviously exercising high security -- the question occurred to us that there might be some tie- in.
I've never seen clear evidence that people at the upper end of the Pakistani leadership really knew that that was the case. But I've always suspected that somebody, somewhere down the line, might well have known that somebody, you know, as high-ranking as Bin Laden was located in that area.
BLITZER: And I know there is a lot of suspicion still on that issue.
Has the rise of ISIS now -- ISIS used to be al Qaeda in Iraq, as we all know. It became ISIS. Has it distracted the U.S. from the threat of al Qaeda central? In other words, does al Qaeda central still pose a significant terror threat to the U.S.?
PANETTA: I think it's important to remember that there continue to be elements of al Qaeda that are focusing on attacking the United States. I do think that we have been successful at decimating their leadership, going after Bin Laden, going after their command and control operation and going after their capability to design another 9/11-type attack.
But the reality is that we are dealing now with ISIS, which represents a very clear and present danger to this country. It's a very different kind of danger. The al Qaeda threat was very centralized. The ISIS threat is much more dispersed. They've got a huge number of recruits, their quasi-state. They've got a number of affiliates.
So the threat coming from ISIS is different in the sense that I think they operate more on a lone-wolf kind of basis, where an individual can be inspired to conduct an attack. And that, I think, represents probably the principle threat from ISIS.
BLITZER: Yes, what worries me -- and we don't have time to continue this, but I'll just button it up - I say what worries me is al Qaeda central, they always went for the big operation like a 9/11, if you will. And they're very patient. They waited years before the first attack on the World Trade Center until the second attack on the World Center. So there is still a threat potentially down the road.
Leon Panetta, as usual, thank you so much for joining us. PANETTA: Thank you, Wolf. Good to be with you.
BLITZER: Thank you.
And, by the way, to our viewers, you can see the full interview with President Obama recalling the killing of bin Laden on a special edition of "AC360" later tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. You're going to want to see this.
To our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.