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Detroit Teachers' Sick-Outs Shut Schools Down Second Day In A Row; Cruz Attacks Trump As Indiana Votes, Calls Him "A Pathological Liar"; Donald Trump On CNN Tomorrow; John Kasich Live Thursday On CNN; Sanders Looking For A Win In Indiana; U.S. Navy SEAL Killed In Iraq Firefight. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired May 3, 2016 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Washington and wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.
There's breaking news we're following. Ted Cruz unloading on Donald Trump, calling him a pathological liar, a bully and a narcissist. The bombshell tirade comes as voters head to the polls today in the Indiana primary. Cruz is fighting for survival in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And just a little while ago, he took a powerful and direct aim at Donald Trump.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 that 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. 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? 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 bias but I think if he's making that allegation, he's also legally blind.
Listen, Donald Trump is a serial philanderer and he boasts about it. 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's secretly Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard.
BLITZER: Let's bring in our political panel right away. Trent Duffy is the spokesman and national communications advisor for Kasich for America. Chad Sweet is national chairman of the Cruz campaign. Scottie Nell-Hughes is political editor for rightalerts.com and a Trump supporter.
Let's get your immediate reaction. Scottie, you support Donald Trump. That was a really powerful attack on Donald Trump by Ted Cruz. Your reaction?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, POLITICAL EDITOR, RIGHTALERTS.COM: Well, keep it classy, conservatives. I mean, obviously, this is a sign of desperation for Senator Cruz. As he pointed out, this is not the way he's been for the entire campaign so far and he's going to decide to do it today. I think it just shows what kind of panic mode that Senator Cruz is in when he's going to (INAUDIBLE) go against.
And I'm going to give Bernie Sanders some credit in this. He realizes the writing on the roll -- on the wall. And instead of sitting there and throwing these type of just absolute, out of character comments at Hillary Clinton, Bernie is going, you know what? Let me help you. Let me assimilate because it's better for the party.
Senator Cruz right now is acting absolutely crazy in these comments. And this is not who he is and it's not for the betterment of the GOP or the Republican Party when it's obvious that we are on the track for Mr. Trump to be the nominee for the Republican Party.
BLITZER: Go ahead, Chad, respond.
CHAD SWEET, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Well, I think it's hysterical that Scottie thinks that her candidate can come out and accuse Ted's father of assassinating or be part of an assassination of JFK. And that's not insane? I mean, come on. At the end of the day, enough is enough.
The voters have seen that this man has no core principles. He'll say and do anything to get elected. The voters remember him saying that women who get abortions should be punished but not the doctors that do them and then he reverses it the next day. The voters remember him saying that he would order the military to kill innocent children of terrorists because he said so. And then, later, reversed himself and said, no, I'll try to follow the law.
The voters remember that he attacked Ted's wife, who's an amazing woman, even though Ted has only said positive things about Mr. Trump's family. And then, later, Donald said he admitted that he regretted attacking his wife. And then, he comes out, today, attacking Ted's family again.
[13:05:02] Even Paul Manafort, Trump's own strategist, his client, Jim Garrity, tweeted out today, can you imagine this man with his finger on the nuclear button? The voters of Indiana agree. They want a steady, sober and serious president to lead the free world and that's what Ted Cruz and -- BLITZER: All right.
SWEET: -- Carly Fiorina offer.
BLITZER: Let me get Trent to weigh in. Trent, you're from the John Kasich campaign. You see this allegation, this new "National Enquirer" story today, alleging that Donald -- that Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, was seen, allegedly, supposedly, with Lee Harvey Oswald just before Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy. There's no confirmation of that. This is a "National Enquirer" story that Donald Trump referred to on Fox News earlier this morning. Your reaction?
TRENT DUFFY, SPOKESMAN, KASICH FOR AMERICA: Well, I just think it's laughable almost. I mean, it's sad, really. I mean, what we hope is that Trump isn't getting his foreign and his economic policy and his other plans from the "National Enquirer." It's like he's an MIB agent looking for, you know, intel in the pages of tabloids. It's absurd.
And I think that's what is creating all the unease amongst a lot of the Republican delegates and over half of Republican voters that don't want Donald Trump is that we have no idea who is going to show up at the general election and who's going to be our party standard bearer. And it could be an embarrassment, not only to our party, but it could set us back generations. But it'll cost us the Senate. It cost us the Supreme Court. And that's why there's, you know, really, you know, a lot of wrestling going on amongst the delegates about what our path forward is.
BLITZER: I just got a statement in --
BLITZER: -- from Donald Trump. This is the Donald Trump reaction to what we just heard from Ted Cruz. And I'll read it to our viewers and let all of you respond. This is Donald Trump's statement. 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 lying Ted become more and more unhinged as he is 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've been saying for a long time that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president of the United States. All right, Chad, I'll let you respond to Trump.
SWEET: Oh, you know, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I mean, the idea that he is the one holding out the standard of having good temperament is crazy. That's exactly what Trent was saying and I couldn't agree more. The voters do want a sober, serious and steady temperament. And what have we seen throughout this campaign from Donald Trump? It's anything but. Senator Cruz and Carly Fiorina have offered a positive, affirmative vision with real solutions, not empty slogans like Donald Trump. For the voters who are listening today, here in Indiana and around this country, if you agree that you want jobs to come back, not by punishing companies like (INAUDIBLE) but actually creating lower regulation and lower taxes to bring them back, vote for Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina.
If you want the freedom of our country to come back, in terms of protecting the Constitution or respecting the role of the military, rather than having Donald Trump order them to assassinate the children of terrorists, vote for Carly --
BLITZER: All right.
SWEET: -- Fiorina and Ted Cruz. Over and over again, I think if we're talking about temperament, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina offer that kind of serious substantive choice.
BLITZER: Scottie, are you comfortable with Donald Trump referring to the "National Enquirer" story, alleging Rafael Cruz was somehow associated with Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination of President Kennedy, that story in the "National Enquirer"? Are you comfortable with that?
HUGHES: I'm not comfortable with referencing any story just straight from the "National Enquirer." But in fair, this has been circulating amongst social media online (INAUDIBLE) have been talking about this for weeks now. "National Enquirer" is just one of those that actually put it into print.
Now, I find it amazing that these two keep referencing though these voters. Let's remember, Mr. Trump is 3.2 million voters more than Senator Ted Cruz, at this point. He's up in the polls nationally by 24 points. He's up in California by 39 points. And today, he's up 17 points in Indiana.
So, gentlemen, let me remind you, when you're talking about those voters, those are more than what your candidates have. And you're insulting them and their intelligence with the words that you say. When you're calling their candidate not principled and (INAUDIBLE.) You're insulting those voters as well.
And I have to tell you, it's like what we saw with Senator Cruz who went after voters yesterday in Indiana, went after this group, went aggressively against him, you look like bullies. So, right now, the Cruz campaigns are looking like bullies against the voters of America and they're not taking it.
BLITZER: Very quickly, Chad, go ahead.
SWEET: So, look, Scottie, with all due respect, over 60 percent of the American Republican primary voters have voted against your candidate. And I would tell you, when Trump engages with protesters, he calls them to go ahead and punch people in the face and he'll pay their legal bill. Senator Cruz respectfully engages them in a civil dialogue.
HUGHES: That was not respectful yesterday.
[13:10:00] SWEET: What kind of president do we want? That provide -- that provides a great contrast --
BLITZER: Trent, --
SWEET: -- for to that point.
BLITZER: -- are we going to see -- are we going to start seeing -- are we going to start seeing John Kasich anytime soon?
DUFFY: Yes, absolutely. John Kasich is going to be here meeting with his foreign policy team which is backed by two former Reagan national security advisors and General Michael Hayden who ran the CIA. That's a real foreign policy team. He's going to be here with them this week. And he's going to here in Washington so you will see him soon. Maybe on this network.
BLITZER: So, he's staying in this race, right? He's not about to drop out?
DUFFY: Absolutely. He is in Oregon all week. He's up on ads there. We're doing well there. And he's going to move on to California and compete in the west.
BLITZER: All right, guys. Thank you very much. Trent Duffy, Chad Sweet Scottie Nell Hughes.
Indiana, voters, they are going to the polls in what could be a make or break contest today. Donald Trump is looking to land a decisive blow. But, as you just heard, Senator Cruz is fighting back with a withering attack on Trump today.
Over on the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders is hoping to regain some momentum with a win over Hillary Clinton today in Indiana. Democrats are competing for 83 delegates. Clinton leads, by the way, with 2,179. That includes more than 500 super delegates. Sanders has 1,400 and only has about 41 super delegates.
For the Republicans, 57 delegates are up for grabs today. Trump leads the delegate race with 1,002, by our estimate. That includes, by the way, 45 so-called unbound delegates. Cruz has a total of 572. Kasich trails with 156.
For more on today's voting, let's go to our Correspondent Chris Frates. He's joining us from a polling station in Indianapolis. Chris, what kind of turnout are these elections today drawing?
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, well, we're seeing a very high turnout. In fact, talking to officials here this morning, they're telling me that they saw more people come through these doors than they have in years. In fact, if you take a look right here, you can see people still coming out, turning out to cast their ballots during their lunch hour. They fill out their ballots here and then they just walk a few feet and they head over to the counting machines here. They cast their ballot here at these machines.
And I can tell you, so far today, over 900 people have cast their ballot. They expect to get much more as this goes on. In fact, the Marion County clerk joined me a little bit earlier today and said that early voting is up by 95 percent. So, real big turnout today.
And if you listen to Bernie Sanders, he likes to say a big turnout means it will be a good night for him. And, in fact, the Hillary Clinton people already downplaying expectations. I talked to the Hillary Clinton folks. They said they won't be surprised if Bernie Sanders can upset her today in Indiana. They point to a couple of different things there, Wolf. They say Bernie Sanders has spent $2 million in advertising in Indiana. Their campaign has spent virtually nothing.
When you look at the fact that this is an open primary. In fact, independents can vote in a Democratic primary here. That's good for Bernie Sanders as is the demographics of Indiana. It's a predominantly white state. That has helped Bernie Sanders as well. Although, the Clinton people point out, even if he were to squeak out a win here, he wouldn't be able to win by wide enough margins to cut into her delegate count. So, they're feeling good either way here.
But as you see people coming out, we're going to be keep our eye on it all afternoon -- Wolf.
BLITZER: On the Democratic side, the states distribute the delegates proportionally, at least 85 percent, 15 percent as those super delegates that I mentioned earlier.
All right, Chris, thank you.
Tomorrow, I'll sit down with Donald Trump to discuss Senator Cruz, the Indiana primaries, also a whole lot more as the march towards the Republican presidential nomination. My interview with Donald Trump tomorrow 5:00 p.m. Eastern in the "SITUATION ROOM."
And on Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich, he'll join me live here in Washington at 1:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Up next, the scenarios that could play out tonight in the Democratic contest in Indiana. Would a win for Bernie Sanders change the outlook for the Clinton campaign?
And later, a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in Iraq by ISIS fighters. What this tells us about U.S. troops advising Iraqi fighters overseas.
[13:17:53] BLITZER: Right now, voters are heading to the polls in Indiana. You're looking at live pictures coming in from Indianapolis, in Terre Haute. The stakes clearly are high. What happens in that state could reset the map in this primary season. The Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, says he's looking to -- for a win today. Win number 18. That would be in the Indiana primary. There are 83 delegates, once again, at stake for the Democrats, with Hillary Clinton leading the race right now. She has, if you include the super delegates, 2,179 delegates, 513 of them are those super delegates. Senator Sanders is hoping to flip many of those super delegates. We'll see if he can.
Here with me right now is Tad Devine, senior media advisor for the Sanders campaign.
What's your expectations for Indiana tonight?
TAD DEVINE, SENIOR MEDIA ADVISER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN: Well, I think we have a shot to win, Wolf. You know, we're making great progress there. Bernie had a tremendous day yesterday traveling all across the state. I think we made a strong case. We've got a great campaign on the ground. So I'm hopeful we can have victory today.
BLITZER: But even the proportional nature of the distribution of delegates in all of these states, the Democratic rules, even if he wins by a relatively modest margin, let's say 55-45, it's almost negligible in terms of shifting the delegate advantage that she has.
DEVINE: It's hard to make up delegates with proportional representation, but it's important that we do. And I think if we can put together a series of victories and have some big ones in between, particularly in places like California which is going to have a lot of delegates on the line, I think we can significantly erode her advantage in pledged delegates.
BLITZER: When you say a big victory in California, that's June 7th, how big of a -- what do you think he can do realistically?
DEVINE: I think we're going to have to get probably 60 percent of the vote there. But that's a lot of districts and that's a lot of delegates.
BLITZER: So he would get six out of 10 delegates and she would get four out of ten. So would it really make a difference, given the fact that she has all those super delegates right now?
DEVINE: I think it would because those super delegates are really going to weigh in at the end. I mean right now we know for sure, no candidate, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, is going to win a majority of convention delegates with only pledged delegates.
BLITZER: Only pledged delegates. Yes.
DEVINE: I think that's clear.
BLITZER: But the super delegates are equal in status to the pledged delegates.
DEVINE: They are. And I think, though -- and I think many of them, if we have a strong close to this process, if Bernie does well, if we demonstrate that he's getting stronger, if he continues to be the candidate who does much better against Trump in the general election match-ups, I think we'll have a strong case to make.
BLITZER: Because she has more than 500 of those super -- he has 41, right?
[13:20:01] DEVINE: Yes.
BLITZER: Has he flipped any of those super delegates yet?
DEVINE: We haven't flipped the Clinton delegates to Sanders delegates, but we've been winning support from some of them. And I think we'll win a lot of support between now and the end.
BLITZER: Because there's still maybe 100 or 150 --
DEVINE: Yes, over 150.
BLITZER: In uncommitted super delegates, if you will.
BLITZER: But when you say he's in it until the convention, even if he doesn't win any major states, even if he doesn't do well, he's going to stay in until the convention because --
DEVINE: Well -- well, listen, I think if we lose every state between now and the end, it's going to be hard to make the case to super delegates and everybody understands that. I mean and prerequisite to have successes, to do well between now and the end, but we think we will.
BLITZER: Do you think it's possible she could get enough pledged delegates to convince him it's over?
DEVINE: She -- sure. I think if she adds enormously to her pledge delegate advantage, between now and the end, for us to make the case to the super delegates isn't -- is not going to be effective. We recognize that.
BLITZER: He really, though, wants to make a statement, not just to get the nomination -- and he'd obviously love to get the nomination, though looking increasingly difficult if not impossible right now -- but he wants to make a statement on the party platform and have a say. What are his goals?
DEVINE: Well, his goal right now is to win and that's what we're going to focus on.
BLITZER: What's -- what's his next goal?
DEVINE: In addition to winning, he --
BLITZER: If he can't win, what's his next goal?
DEVINE: Sure. He wants the Democratic Party to win. And he believes the way for the Democratic Party to win is to, first of all, have a progressive agenda that talks about things like a $15 an hour minimum wage, a living wage in America, that talks about how we're going to deal with climate change effectively, that deals with issues like health and jobs and education. That's -- that's his first goal. The second goal is that we need a process that needs to be reformed. We need to bring people into this process. It's not good that we keep young people out. It's not good that we keep independents out of the Democrats process. So he's going to want to reform the process --
BLITZER: So he wants open primaries four years from now looking ahead, right?
DEVINE: He wants to have a process where we bring people in, not keep them out.
BLITZER: And not -- does he want proportional delegates?
DEVINE: Well, I -- listen, proportional representation is a reform we had in the Democratic Party. I think that's something Bernie could be comfortable with, absolutely.
BLITZER: What about the super delegates?
DEVINE: I think the super delegate process has been distorted grossly over time and I think he's concerned about that. They were supposed to be the last voice to come in at the end behind a candidate. They've become the first voice now because they selected so early. So I think, sure, you need to change that as well.
BLITZER: What if he gets some of those goals at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia in July, but not all of them, will he still be out there working for Hillary Clinton?
DEVINE: You know, Wolf, he has said that he will work seven days a week to make sure Donald Trump is not president of the United States. So, of course, he's going to support the nominee of the party. We hope it's going to be Bernie, but if it's not, he'll support the nominee.
BLITZER: I mean if you look at what's going on, on the Republican side from the Bernie Sanders perspective, what do you see?
DEVINE: I see a party in turmoil. I see a party deeply divided within its own ranks. I see a party that is in deep trouble because of the agenda they represent and the leadership that they have.
BLITZER: But you know politics. You've been involved for a long time. When Donald Trump says, you know what, I'll put New York in play, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, states that Republicans usually don't have a shot in a presidential election, I can do that, do you believe him?
DEVINE: No, I don't. I think his agenda is so out of step with people, voters in places like New York or Pennsylvania or Michigan.
BLITZER: He did well in that Republican contest in New York.
DEVINE: Yes, it's --
BLITZER: In all those states, in fact.
DEVINE: He did, and it's a small sliver of the electorate that he is representing. I don't think he's a candidate who can appeal to the great mainstream of American politics and he'd be a dangerous candidate for president.
BLITZER: Tad Devine, thanks for coming in.
DEVINE: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, we're learning new details right now about a U.S. Navy SEAL killed by ISIS in Iraq. We're going live to the Pentagon right after this.
[13:27:46] BLITZER: We have breaking news coming out of Iraq right now. We just heard from the White House about the U.S. Navy SEAL killed during an ISIS assault in Iraq. President Obama has been briefed on the attack. The Navy SEAL was advising Peshmerga Kurdish fighters just north of Mosul about a couple of miles from the front lines when ISIS fighters broke through and attacked their position.
We have full coverage of the story. CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is with us. She's joining us from the Pentagon, along with our military analyst, the former U.S. Army Commanding General Mark Hertling.
Barbara, first of all, what exactly do we know surrounding the circumstances involving the death of this Navy SEAL?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, first up, what were U.S. troops even doing there? There are a number of military advisors there north of Mosul trying to work with Peshmerga Kurdish fighters to get them to be able to advance their front line towards Mosul and eventually get Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, out of ISIS hands. That is a very tall order.
The advisors were there today earlier. They were a couple of miles behind the front lines, according to their standard procedures, when ISIS fighters apparently broke through those front lines. A firefight ensued. This Navy SEAL killed in that firefight. No word of any other U.S. casualties or wounded.
The U.S. responded by rapidly calling in F-15s and drones, dropping more than 20 bombs on ISIS fighting positions there, Wolf.
BLITZER: And they have not released the name of this Navy SEAL, right?
STARR: No. Pentagon procedure is the name of the fallen is released 24 hours after the last -- next of kin is notified.
BLITZER: You know, it sounds, General Hertling, like the U.S. has combat boots on the ground in this area around Mosul. Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. A city that used to have 2 million people, controlled now for two years by ISIS. Are U.S. combat forces now actively engaged in this war against ISIS?
[13:29:43] LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, again, Wolf, these are advise and assist soldiers conducting that mission. These would be what we call white seals or (INAUDIBLE). These are individuals, much like the Army Green Berets, the Navy has the same thing in the SEAL force, and they were in a town called Taleska (ph). Now, I've actually been to that town. It's a beautiful little Christian town that ISIS took over in August of 2014 and I would anticipate what you're seeing is the attempts to take those cities that encircle Mosul.