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Cruz Rants Against Trump; Indiana Votes. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired May 3, 2016 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, hour two. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
It's a big day. It's CNN special coverage of Indiana -- Indiana -- let me try that again, take two -- Indiana primary on this Tuesday. Forgive me.
And if the stakes were not high enough for Ted Cruz, the presidential candidate himself just made them skyrocket on the day Hoosiers go to the polls, because he unleashed on Donald Trump, who has been on track to win Indiana, a state that just a couple of weeks ago was actually supposed to be Ted Cruz territory.
Cruz, he let loose in response to Donald Trump spreading tabloid headlines about Cruz's father. He then rounded up his remarkable tirade by saying it is up to Indiana voters to save the nation from -- quote -- "the abyss."
Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This morning, Donald Trump went on national television and attacked my father.
Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinating JFK. Now, let's be clear. This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position. This is just kooky. And while I'm at it, I guess I should go ahead and admit, yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard.
You know, Donald's source for this is "The National Enquirer." "The National Enquirer" is tabloid trash. But it's run by his good friend David Pecker, the CEO, who has endorsed Donald Trump. And so "The National Enquirer" has become his hit piece that he uses to smear anybody and everybody.
And this is not the first time Donald Trump has used David Pecker's "National Enquirer" to go after my family. It was also "The National Enquirer" that went after my wife, Heidi, that just spread lies, blatant lies.
But I guess Donald was dismayed, because it was a couple of weeks ago "The Enquirer" wrote this idiotic story about JFK. And Donald was dismayed that the folks in the media weren't repeating this latest idiocy, so he figured he would have to do it himself. He would have to go on national television and accuse my dad of that.
Listen, my father is has been my hero my whole life. My dad was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba. And when he came to America, he had nothing. He had $100 in his underwear. He washed dishes making 50 cents an hour. You know, he is exactly the kind of person Donald Trump looks down on.
I'm going to do something I haven't done for the entire campaign. For those of you all who have traveled with me all across the country, I'm going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump.
This man is a pathological liar. He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.
He accuses everybody on that debate stage of lying. And it's simply a mindless yell. Whatever he does, he accuses everyone else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist, a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen.
Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, dude, what's your problem? Everything in Donald's world is about Donald. And he combines being a pathological liar -- and I say pathological because I actually think Donald, if you hooked him up to a lie detector test, he could say one thing in the morning, one thing at noon, and one thing in the evening, all contradictory, and he would pass the lie detector test each time.
Whatever lie he's telling, at that minute, he believes it. But the man is utterly amoral.
CRUZ: Let me finish this, please.
The man is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him. It's why he went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her. Apparently, she's not pretty enough for Donald Trump. I may be biased, but I think, if he's making that allegation, he is also legally blind.
But Donald is a bully. You know, we just visited with fifth-graders. Every one of us knew bullies in elementary school. Bullies don't come from strength. Bullies come from weakness. Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity. There's a reason Donald builds giant buildings and puts his name on them everywhere he goes.
And I will say there are millions of people in this country who are angry. They're angry at Washington. They're angry at politicians who have lied to them. I understand that anger. I share that anger. And Donald is cynically exploiting that anger. And he is lying to his supporters.
Donald will betray his supporters on every issue. If you care about immigration, Donald is laughing at you. And he's telling the moneyed elites he doesn't believe what he's saying, he's not going to build a wall. That's what he told "The New York Times."
He will betray you on every issue across the board. And his strategy of being a bully in particular is directed as women. Donald has a real problem with women. People who are insecure, people who are insecure about who they are -- Donald is terrified by strong women.
He lashes out at them. Remember, this is the same Donald Trump who last week here in Indiana proudly touted the endorsement from Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist who served three years in prison here in Indiana for raping a 17-year-old girl. And in Donald's world, he said Mike Tyson was a tough guy.
I don't think rapists are tough guys. I spent a lot of years in law enforcement dealing with rapists. Rapists are weak. They're cowards and they're bullies. And anyone that thinks they're a tough guy, that reveals everything about Donald Trump's character.
Donald Trump said Bill Clinton was targeted by unattractive women. You know what? I have been blessed to be surrounded by strong women my entire life.
Today's voting day here in Indiana. The president of the United States has a bully pulpit unlike anybody else. The president of the United States affects our culture. I ask the people of Indiana, think about the next five years if this man were to become president.
Think about the next five years, the boasting, the pathological lying, the picking up "The National Enquirer" and accusing people of killing JFK, the bullying. Think about your kids coming back and emulating this.
For people in Indiana who long for a day when we were nice to each other, when we treated people with respect, when we didn't engage in sleaze and lies -- and I would note one of the lies he engages in, listen, Donald Trump is a serial philanderer, and he boasts about it. This is not a secret. He's proud of being a serial philanderer.
I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery, and how proud he is, describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam. That's a quote, by the way, on the Howard Stern show.
Do you want to spend the next five years with your kids bragging about infidelity? Now, what does he do? He does the same projection. Just like a pathological liar, he accuses everyone of lying. Even though he boasts about his infidelity, he plants in David Pecker's "National Enquirer" a lie about me and my family, attacking my family. He accuses others of doing what he is doing. I will tell you, as the father of two young girls, the idea of our daughters coming home and repeating any word that man says horrifies me.
That is not who America is. And I would say to the Hoosier State, the entire country's depending on you. The entire country is looking to you right now. It is only Indiana that can pull us back. It is only the good sense and good judgment of Indiana that can pull us back. We are staring at the abyss.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Wanted to play all of that for you. You be the judge.
Let me also add, Donald Trump responded to that, called all of that ridiculous, said that Ted Cruz's temperament makes him -- you know, shouldn't be president because of that. You will hear his full statement coming up next.
We will debate what is happening with folks on all sides. Again, you're the judge. Big day in Indiana. Don't go anyway.
BALDWIN: Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN.
If you're just joining us, Donald Trump went after Ted Cruz's father today. So, Ted Cruz then ripped apart Donald Trump in a way we have yet to see before, calling him a pathological liar, amoral, a serial philanderer, a narcissist.
And now let me read you the response from the Trump campaign in full. Here we go: "Ted Cruz is a desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign. It is no surprise he has resorted to his usual tactics of over-the-top rhetoric that nobody believes. Over the last week, I have watched lyin' Ted become more and more unhinged as he's unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing in all cases by landslides the last six primary elections, in fact, coming in last place in all but one of them.
"Today's ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be the president of the United States."
We need to have a big old conversation about this.
David Wasserman, let me bring you in, House editor and political analyst of The Cook Political Report. He is the go-to delegate- counter and has written that Indiana may be #neverTrump's last stamp. Scottie Nell Hughes, political editor RightAlerts.com, who is supporting Donald Trump, and also with us, Ryan Williams, who served as national press secretary for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
Welcome to all of you. Happy Indiana primary Tuesday.
And right out of the gate, Scottie, to you, as the Trump supporter, your reaction to this unleashing from Senator Cruz?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, POLITICAL EDITOR, RIGHTALERTS.COM: Well, once again, welcome to meltdown presidential candidate, part four.
We saw it happen with Marco Rubio with his pants comments. We saw it with Jeb Bush. It is -- this is -- now just proves that Mr. Trump has a strategy. He analyzed Senator Cruz. He watched him over the past few weeks and he realized he needed to say something that would show voters exactly how unhinged, how desperate Senator Ted Cruz is.
And it worked. We saw a 20-minute rant right there that just backfired. And I can tell you the voters of Indiana probably watched this and went, wow, that is not the Ted Cruz we have seen. He's not as complete and peaceful and in control as he is. And I promise you this will show to be that kind of Cruz's last stand that won't work.
BALDWIN: Let me follow up, though, because why is it then sort of acceptable by some for Trump to over and over and over call Senator Cruz lyin' Ted, but that seems to be OK, but hearing Ted Cruz call Donald Trump a pathological liar is not?
HUGHES: Well, because, it's -- the truth is in the pudding.
Lyin' Ted has been a long-term point that Mr. Trump has made several times about the things that Mr. -- that Senator Cruz and the campaign have done. Now, when Senator Cruz says that Donald Trump is lying, what is he lying about? You want to bring up the JFK comments? He never said that Ted Cruz's father was a part of it.
He just pointed out that story that was printed in a press that has been circulating among media. He just pointed out just something. He didn't say he believed, didn't say he agreed with it. He took that final step...
BALDWIN: But it was a tabloid report.
HUGHES: But he didn't say that he agreed with it. He didn't say he believed in it.
BALDWIN: Brought up.
HUGHES: All he says, he wanted to show -- you look at Indiana and you looked at Iowa. The voters are about the same demographic, the same makeup.
He had to show the voters of Indiana exactly the type of temperament that Senator Cruz was. He couldn't say that he was this peaceful, wonderful, calmer, holier-than-thou Christian that he's been continuing trying to portray. He had to show him for actually who he was. And that's what we saw today.
BALDWIN: Ryan, from what I understand, you might -- you might agree a bit in Scottie in saying that it was Cruz who took Trump's tabloid bait, and this is not the way you want to close a primary.
RYAN WILLIAMS, REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN CONSULTANT: Well, I think what Trump did is sleazy and ridiculous, to throw out this ridiculous "National Enquirer" story about Ted Cruz's father and the Kennedy assassination. That is pretty bad. I think that's gutter politics at its worst.
I do think, though, that the Cruz reaction was not the best thing to do. I don't think this is the best thing to have playing on TV all day, the final hours before the polls close in Indiana. So, I do think that Ted Cruz took the bait.
But I think that Trump is completely unpresidential, unprofessional to be citing "National Enquirer" stories about Ted Cruz's father being involved in the Kennedy assassination. It is really beyond the pale.
BALDWIN: We did manage...
HUGHES: But it worked.
BALDWIN: Well, hang on, because -- and I don't have my note, but off the top of my head, we have managed to, you know -- on one sense, the fact that Trump used this tabloid story and that Cruz reacted to that, Cruz brought up, you know, the fact that he was on Howard Stern's radio show.
I want to say it was like 19 years ago talking about -- let me try to do this with a straight face -- venereal disease. We found the clip. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Getting back to dating, right, and when you got to say to a woman, hey, listen, you got to go to my personal doctor and I'm going to have you checked out, is that a tough thing to say to a woman? Or you just got the balls to say it?
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: You know, I'll tell you, it's amazing. I can't even believe it. I've been so lucky in terms of that whole world.
You have never gotten a social disease?
TRUMP: It is a dangerous world out there.
STERN: It is...
TRUMP: It scares -- it's like Vietnam, sort of the Vietnam War. STERN: It is. It's your personal Vietnam, isn't it?
TRUMP: It is my personal Vietnam.
STERN: It is. You have said that many times.
TRUMP: I feel like a great and very brave soldier.
STERN: A lot of guys who went through Vietnam came out unscathed. A lot of guys who have gone through the '80s having sex with different women came out with AIDS and all kinds of things.
ROBIN QUIVERS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Right. They survived Vietnam.
TRUMP: This is better than Vietnam, but it's...
STERN: A little better, but every vagina is a land mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let me just cut through this.
David, the question is, why would Ted Cruz then feel the need to go back to some, you know, Howard Stern interview from 19 years ago to attack?
DAVID WASSERMAN, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT: Look, it's desperation.
Brooke, you know, it's possible we're all overthinking this. We wonder out loud, why does Ted -- why does Ted Cruz suffer when Donald Trump is promulgating all of these conspiracy theories and falsehoods?
And the reason is that voters just aren't willing to believe anything politicians say anymore these days. And Donald Trump is not a politician. He's surrounding himself with basketball coaches, while Ted Cruz is surrounding himself with Carly Fiorina and Mike Pence, who, let's face it, are well-liked, but ,at the end of the day, they're politicians.
And so the only question tonight is whether Donald Trump wins all 57 delegates. And the odds are he will.
BALDWIN: Let's also -- let's remember a couple of months ago, when there was a bit of a bromance. I remember these two, Donald Trump and Senator Cruz, were on Capitol Hill, you know, fighting on this one issue together.
And so let's just remember how they have gone from a bromance to brawling. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Ted Cruz is a friend of mine and a good guy.
CRUZ: Big fan of Donald Trump's. And I will say this. I think Donald Trump is bringing a bold, brash voice to this presidential race.
TRUMP: Well, it is a little bit of a romance. I like him. He likes me. He's backed me 100 percent.
CRUZ: Look, Donald Trump is a friend of mine. I like and respect Donald. Many of the other Republican candidates have used this opportunity to take a stick and smack Donald Trump. I ain't going to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Scottie, when's happened? And it's fair to ask both sides this. But is this a bit of, you know, two-faceness, the fact that they obviously felt so fondly for one another mere months ago, and now they're calling each other liars?
HUGHES: Well, no, I don't think it's two-faceness.
Let's remember, Senator Cruz rose to the top of the politicians of the 17 field that was -- that we originally started with because he was aligning himself in a lot of ways with Mr. Trump. When Senator Ted Cruz started to fall down and when he could not go above was when he started to criticize and go against Mr. Trump, and the reason being is that the conservative base was split between the two of them.
Now all that Mr. Trump has done, he didn't attack Senator Cruz first. He just went on the -- he went on the defense when Senator Cruz decided that somebody advised him, ill-advised him, that it was smart for him to start going after Donald Trump. And like every other candidate who went after Mr. Trump, we see ultimately they lose and they have a meltdown.
And it is not good for our party. Instead of having 20-minute rants, like what we saw from Senator Cruz today, take a listen from Bernie Sanders. Be classy. Try to sit there and think there of the overall party when you realize you yourself do not have a chance to have the nomination.
BALDWIN: David, final question to you, just with regard to Indiana. Do you think Indianians care about everything we're talking about?
I mean, are they parsing all these words as we all? Don't you think they have already made their minds up?
WASSERMAN: Yes, Indianians probably made a decision if not, you know, months, many months ago, then in the last few weeks. And nothing Ted Cruz says today is likely to change that.
And, look, even if Ted Cruz were to pull off a miracle in Indiana, Donald Trump has larger leads in New Jersey and California, and those states alone have almost enough delegates for Donald Trump to clinch the nomination. So, the question at this point is not whether Trump gets to 1,237. It's whether he can get to 1,400.
BALDWIN: Ryan, if -- listen, we don't know how well Trump may do well tonight. Perhaps Cruz could pull it off.
But, ultimately, let's say it is Trump who is the party's nominee. How does he unify the party?
WILLIAMS: I think he is going to have to start acting more presidential. And I'm not very confident he can do that.
He has said -- his campaign has said a number of times he's going to change his attitude, he's going to reel himself in, he's not going to make the outrageous comments he's made over the last several months, and, every time, he reverts back to the way that he has acted the past.
So, he needs to act more like a presidential candidate, someone who people can envision serving in the Oval Office, if he wants to unite the party. I'm not confident he is going to do that, though.
HUGHES: But he has.
BALDWIN: Ryan Williams, Scottie Hughes, David Wasserman, thank you all.
Tonight is the night. It is Indiana, all eyes on Indiana, and the polls, of course, open for the next couple of hours.
Coming up next, Ted Cruz didn't only have Donald Trump in his crosshairs today. He's also going after FOX News, blaming the cable network for Trump's rise. We will discuss whether that tack could backfire with voters in Indiana.
BALDWIN: On this Indiana primary day, we have now seen Senator Ted Cruz going off like you really haven't seen him before, not only ripping into Donald Trump, but also blasting FOX News, accusing top executives of rallying behind the Republican front-runner and pushing the narrative that Senator Cruz cannot win the party nomination.
Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: There is a broader dynamic at work, which is network executives have made a decision to get behind Donald Trump.
Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes at FOX News have turned FOX News into the Donald Trump network, 24/7. Now, Rupert Murdoch is used to picking world leaders in Australia and the United Kingdom, running tabloids. And we're seeing it here at home, well, the consequences for this
nation. Media executives are trying to convince Hoosiers, are trying to convince Americans the race is decided, you have to no choice. You are stuck between Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, either one of which is a horrific choice for this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Let's talk about this with CNN's senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers.
And, Dylan, you know, Senator Cruz attacking the media, that is nothing new. But watching him today, that attack seemed personal.
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR MEDIA AND POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, it is personal.
And it's an interesting target, of course, because it's not the mainstream media. It's not "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," CNN. It's FOX News. And it's Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.