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Will Paul Ryan Fix Trump?; Fox Demands Trump Apology; Sanders Goes for Brokered; Alternative to Trump?. Aired 9-10a
Aired May 7, 2016 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish. From stop Trump to deal with Trump. That was the journey this week by the GOP, the media, America and me with Cruz and Kasich dropping out, the Donald is the last candidate standing. The GOP civil war continues and several prominent leaders swear that they will not vote for him.
Now comes news that Mitt Romney is trying to get a third party candidate to run against Trump. Is that even possible at this point? Meanwhile unhappy voters already have a third party candidate, the ballot could look like this. I will talk to the man everyone is suddenly Googling.
Trump's idea of outreach is to eat Mexican food downstairs at the Trump Tower. The internet went crazy. Did it work?
I'll talk to the former Mexican president.
And after all that worry about a brokered GOP convention, surprise. Instead it now looks likely for the Democrats, thanks to Bernie Sanders.
But first, did Paul Ryan hurt Donald Trump or help him? The Republican House Speaker stunned political observers when here on CNN Thursday, he said that he was not ready to endorse presumptive nominee Trump for president.
Conventional wisdom is that this review harms Trump. After all, Ryan will preside over the party's convention this summer in Cleveland and looks like he is setting the tone for not expecting Trump as is. "The New York Times" claims it's an unfixable divide. I think Ryan has actually done the Donald a favor. He is giving Trump and opportunity.
Ryan's announcement followed news that the GOP's two most recent presidents and its two most recent presidential candidates will not attend the convention and that other prominent Republicans including Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush are already saying that they will not support Trump, more like John McCain and Kelly Ayotte have become contortionists. They say that they will vote for him but they won't support him.
Trump needs to improve the standing and not just with those leaders but with voters. Trump correctly notes that he received more than 10 million primary votes, but that's only 40 percent of the GOP votes thus far. He remains deeply unpopular among some Americans. Twenty four percent of Republicans disapprove of Trump and a CNN-ORC poll release this week show that 56 percent of all voters see Trump unfavorably. He is currently trailing Hillary Clinton by 13 points, head to head.
So how can Ryan's rebuke help him if Trump can get Ryan to come around. This week Ryan and Trump will meet in Washington and Ryan left open the door for a future endorsement saying perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people.
Here is the thing, Ryan is speaking for many whose concerns need to be addressed for Trump to win. If Ryan's concerns about Trump can be satisfied on issues like NATO and trade and entitlements, that might encourage others to take a second look at the presumptive nominee.
Now, of course, for that to work, Trump needs to care about why Ryan disapproves of him. His tweet immediately after Ryan's remarks suggest that's not how he sees it, "Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong. I did not inherit it, I won it with millions of voters."
Joining me now to discuss this is Congressman Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania. Charlie, you heard my thoughts, what are yours?
REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I said the same thing that Paul Ryan said but a day earlier. I too have concerns about Donald Trump's candidacy. Right now the ball is in Donald Trump's court to mend fences, he has a lot of work to do to unify the party. He said last week that he didn't think he needed to unify the party. I think he does. Paul Ryan is a very serious, thoughtful policy guy. He is a policy walk, and he feels very strongly. He is principled and he wants to advance good policy.
I think that Donald Trump in many cases has had very were few and sparse policy positions. And the ones he has had had been rather conflicted or contradictory at times and I think that's a great concern to the speaker. But it's not only a concern for the speaker, it's a concern to many other Republican members of Congress and a lot of Republican voters around the country.
SMERCONISH: Well, you're making my point that if he can satisfy Paul Ryan, there could be others like Charlie Dent who come along as well. Now, there's a contrary argument, Rush Limbaugh articulated it. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF RUSH LIMBAUGH, HOST, "RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW": If Trump in order to get Ryan's support moves toward the Republican agenda, it's not good for Trump. That would be an error. Trump is where he is precisely because he is not perceived as part of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Charlie, doesn't Limbaugh have a point, right? That by saddling up to the establishment the extent that you're in that category all of a sudden he alienates the very base that got him this far. That's the conundrum for Trump.
DENT: Well, I would perhaps respectfully disagree with Rush Limbaugh on that point. Look at foreign policy, you know, Donald Trump has talked about withdrawing from NATO. I think that would be a huge mistake for our country and for the alliance. It's the centrepiece of American's national security foundation.
Nuclearizing Asia, Japan and South Korea, not a good idea. He's also talked about a number of other issues in that regard that are very unsettling to me, hi foreign policy statement a week or so ago on "America First," that has negative connotations back from the 1930s and it reflect, I think a lack of understanding of modern American history.
So I'm not sure where the Republican base in on and all that but I think a lot of Americans and thoughtful Republicans including so many in the base would have concerns about those types of policy positions and I think those are the things that Paul Ryan wants to talk about as well as this economic isolationism which many of us think is a failed course of action.
SMERCONISH: How about the argument that says wait a minute. Paul Ryan, you're the speaker of the House, you're the Republican Speaker of the House, you're the chairman of the upcoming convention, either get on board or get out of the way.
DENT: Well yes, Paul, his job to a certain extent is that he is trying to play Switzerland to a certain degree. He feels that he has an obligation to be fair to all the candidates, and I think he was during the process. He at times did speak out against some of Donald Trump's more incidiary comments on Muslims and after the David Duke debacle. He felt he had to do that. Now, that there is a nominee, I believe Paul Ryan is correct that the nominee, you know, needs to listen to folks like the speaker who are very serious about setting a thoughtful, aspirational message not only for the party and the country.
That's one of the reasons that I support John Kasich because he did that. He had an aspirational message and campaign forward looking. Donald Trump needs to develop that kind of message if he is going to get the support, if he is going to unify the Republican Party.
SMERCONISH: Congressman Charlie Dent, thank you as always for being here.
DENT: Thank you, Michael. Go Lehigh.
SMERCONISH: Go Lehigh.
What do you think? Tweet me @smerconish. I will read some later in the program.
So can Donald Trump turn the Paul Ryan flap to his advantage? Joining me now Democratic strategist Bob Beckel and conservative commentator E.D. Hill. E.D., who needs who between Ryan and Trump?
E.D. HILL, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: I think that they're both helping each other right now. Because both of them shockingly answered these questions in a very honest way. You look pandering and you look false and fake and phoney, if one second you hate a person and the next second you say, he's the nominee, OK, I love him. I love him. We don't believe it. So if they get together, they talk, they share their opinions and then they come out and say we're supporting each other, that rings true.
SMERCONISH: E.D., what to Rush's point which is to say that Trump runs the risk of alienating the constituency that brought him to the dance?
HILL: Excuse me, the conventional wisdom has been shown to be absolutely wrong this entire election cycle. We think, we go to the wings where we want to win a primary. We come to the middle when we want to win general election. He went to the primaries and he won. He didn't get the wings. But he like Reagan is looking for ways to unify America instead of just focusing on one selection of one party.
SMERCONISH: Bob Beckel, I want to show you a map that the "New York Times" put together, color coded to show what would happened if the race took place today as between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It shows that relative to electoral votes, 347 for Hillary, 190 for Donald Trump. What's the path for Trump?
BOB BECKEL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's dark and lonely and it does not exist as far as I am concerned. But listen, what Ryan did was exactly the right thing to do. He knows that he's going to have a meeting with Trump, he needs some leverage going into that meeting. He wants to be able to endorse him but gets something out of him. So they will get it. He is going to be for Trump when he gets to the convention.
But what I did not understand was why Trump's people went out and dumped on Ryan. He said he wasn't a good speaker. I mean that was a perfect opportunity for Trump to say "all right, I understand. We have not gotten along that well during this campaign, let's see if we can sit down and iron out some of our policy differences and then find some common ground." Did he do that? No. He has his spokesman go out and say he was a lousy speaker.
But the other thing is I think Trump looks out of these crowds in his rallies and he thinks that's Americans. It's a small sliver of this electrorate. He's got 10 million votes. He's going to need 60 or 70 million to win. He has not gotten that. No way.
SMERCONISH: Something else - go ahead, E.D..
HILL: Here is the problem. That maybe the way that some people look at it. I look at it and I see the unions that are coming out and they're supporting Donald Trump. You got the Service Employees International Union. They were supporting Trump. The president came out and said she was very concerned that Trump would win the general election because of union support. That's what Ronald Reagan got from the teamsters.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Bob Beckel, you talk about Trump looking out at rallies and saying things. He's got a new nickname for new player in this race and that would be Elizabeth Warren. Give a listen to what Donald has just said out on the campaign trail relative to the senator from Massachusetts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just learned that crooked Hillary along with her friend - she's got this goofy friend named Elizabeth Warren. She's on a twitter rant. She's a dufus. If you see her, I mean this woman, she is a basket case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Beckel, I have not heard dufus since 7th or 8th grade.
BECKEL: Me either.
SMERCONISH: Go ahead say it. I was going to say -
BECKEL: Every time that he does this he goes out and campaigns for Hillary. Do you realize that all these people that are out there now are furious with Trump are going to be out there beating them up, including Bernie Sanders. I tell you with the (INAUDIBLE) employees union, service employees, that's Trump's casino employees. No other union is going to go with him. Listen this guys is going to get Trumped.
HILL: Wait, the union members that work for him are the ones supporting him. That speaks volumes.
SMERCONISH: E.D., why is it so affective when it lying Marco, when it's lying Ted, little Marco, dufus, crooked and so forth? I mean, you've been saying what you want to say about him but he has an ear that is very attenuated to what his constituency wants to hear.
HILL: You know what, there are a lot of Americans who have teenagers and if you got a teenager, you hear them say something one day, they hit this guy, the next day it's their best friend again. I think that a lot of us take that with a grain of salt. Frankly, when I heard it, I don't look Elizabeth Warren and think that, but it made me chuckle. It's silly.
SMERCONISH: Here is what it made me think. It made me think presuming that it's Secretary Clinton is the nominee, among the chief criteria for here in selecting a VP needs to be someone who is willing to go out there and take him on. You know that labor secretary Thomas Perez, Bob Beckel is now on that short list or so, it is said.
I just asked him how he would pursue that role. Watch this.
SMERCONISH: You are the secretary of the labor, and you're here in your personal capacity. We make that crystal clear. There's a show on TV, it's called "Dirty Jobs," have you ever seen it?
THOMAS PEREZ, LABOR SECRETARY: No, I have not.
SMERCONISH: You haven't seen "Dirty Jobs?"
PERES: I know, I'm too busy working and I coach my kids.
SMERCONISH: As the name implies, it's a television show about people who do dirty jobs. It seems to me that her pick for VP, one of the criteria is the dirty job is having to get in the ring with him constantly. Are you up for that task?
PEREZ: Well, I have had the privilege of having a lot of jobs in my lifetime including working on the back of a trash truck and I am proud of all of the jobs that I have had. What every job is entitled to in this country is dignity.
SMERCONISH: Mr. Beckel, he once worked on the back of a trash truck. That could be good practice for what's coming.
BECKEL: Yes, I did too. I got fired, but I worked on it. Look, the idea of taking Hispanics is so typical of the democratic party. We got to get out of this in politics. There's one person that he needs to get and that's Sheriff Brown from Ohio. He is a tough, he's a pit bull and he will take after Trump. Trump all of sudden does not have all of these munchkins on stage with him. He's going to answer - he's going to have a serious player in Hillary Clinton who will I think debate him very well. But out there, he's got to have Barack Obama. He's going to have Joe Biden. He's going to have Elizabeth Warren. I mean, this guy has picked out more candidates to go out and beat him up.
SMERCONISH: You know, I have to say this to Bob's point, E.D., I had a poll on my website and no science but plenty of intuition. I asked people who listen to my radio program, if you could take Barack Obama or any one of the five, this was before Kasich and Cruz dropped out, I put up the result, 70/30 with more than 2,500 votes casts, you know what I take Obama before I take any of the others R or D.
Do you notice how Obama's poll numbers continue to rice the further this campaign goes on?
HILL: Yes, but people are not going to have Obama to vote for. They're going to have Hillary Clinton. And when you take a look at the support that Sanders has, Hillary Clinton is going to have to run to the wing to try to win a general election. It's going to be a disaster. I was thinking about it as she starts to bring up fewer people as the potential for the VP or her surrogates do, and you know what what about a Trump-Conde Rice combo. I would love to see somebody trying to slim mud at Conde Rice.
SMERCONISH: Assuming that she's willing. Assuming that she'd be willing - HILL: I think she would.
SMERCONISH: Who's going - you think she would?
SMERCONISH: Quick reaction, Beckel. Can you see it?
BECKEL: I don't think that - the big question is who is not going want to do it? We know a lot of people that don't want to do it. Listen, If you really want to hook, if you have national aspirations, you want to get with Donald Trump and that's your legacy.
HILLS: She wants to be the adult commissioner.
BECKEL: My dear friend, that was a very good job. I mean this is good spin as you could. But let's face it. He's a tough set. A very tough sell. But on behalf of myself and my party, I feel badly for you.
HILL: Well, you know what? You take Perez and you try to sell why free trade deals are working for American unions, you got a tough job.
SMERCONISH: E.D. Hill, Bob Beckel, I'm glad we solved that. Thank you both for being here.
And to you at home, keep those tweets coming, up coming.
How did Donald Trump's Taco Bowl tweet fly with Hispanics. I am about to ask the former Mexican president Vicente Fox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Taco Bowl, are we good now?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: My compliments to the drug dealing rapists who made the taco bowl. Excuse me. Excuse me. It's fantastic.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I can see why Trump likes taco bowls. I mean, they're just like him, you know, a pile of cheesy slump, stuffed inside a thin orange shell. I get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Donald Trump's most notorious campaign issue has been in the plan to make Mexico pay for a wall to keep its citizens from crossing the border.
He marked Cinco de Mayo with a tweeted photo of himself eating a taco bowl. Quote "the best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower grill. I love Hispanics." Well, despite his taco tweet, last night, Trump was still stumping for the wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You don't have a border, you don't have a country. I want people to come in, but they got to come in legally. They have to come into our country legally.
The wall is going to be built and Mexico is going to be paying for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: You may remember this memorable tirade by one prominent Hispanic, former president of Mexico Vicente Fox about Trump's infamour wall building plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICENTE FOX, FORMER PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: I declare, I'm not going to pay for that (beep) wall, he should pay for it. He's got the money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: I thought I better check in with the former Mexican president Vicente Fox.
Mr. President, it sounds like it' not just a financial objection that you have, that you don't like the concept of the wall.
Here's Donald Trump, a few days ago, on the money issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Vicente Fox coming up later on the program, any message for the former president of Mexico?
TRUMP: Yes, get the money ready because you're going to pay for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Mr. President, it sounds to me like money aside, no matter who pays, you don't think the wall serves a purpose.
FOX: Yes, there's no case. But let me tell you something here, Michael. Let me show you this tie. This is a Donald Trump tie. Maybe it's not close enough but it's a Donald Trump trademark tie. Then you see here that it's made in China, so what is the integrity of this man. What is the consistency of his positions when he is importing apparel goods, ties, shirts to benefit his business, Trump's business and of course, cancelling U.S. jobs by importing ties from China. He is not committing with his promise to U.S. workers that he will defend jobs. This is the worst thing that you can do, and he is doing it everyday.
SMERCONISH: Mr. President, I think so much of this conversation, so much of this debate rises and falls based on his personality but I think of the 10.6 million Americans who believe in Donald Trump and presumably they want that wall built. It's not just Donald Trump, he has really mobilized a significant number of Americans who wish for him to do this.
FOX: He is appealing to fear. Yes, many Americans since September 11 are acting on their fear. And fear is not a good adviseor. That's why Trump shows that is he superman, that he is going to defend this nation, that he is going to throw bombs to the rest of the world, that he is going to enclose and build walls to isolate this nation and supposedly protect them.
SMERCONISH: Mr. President, a critic said had not eight million of your citizen crossed into our country on your six-year watch, Donald Trump would not be in this position today.
FOX: It's a market problem. We do have problems in Mexico that we're trying to solve. First of all we work together with the United States every day to make that border safe and secure. Number two, we work every day building opportunities in Mexico for our people, and this is the reason why in the last three years there are more Mexicans coming back into Mexico than those coming in.
He is going against all economic good politics. So being a good business man which he is not is being a president. A president you need a compassive leadership, somebody that knows how to be firm when you need but also when you have to have a big heart, a big way of relating yourself with the rest of the world, diplomacy and that's why we all leaders outside of the United States don't go along with him.
That's why Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States because she's a loving tender mother with citizens. She has that soft compassion inside but she also is an iron lady. She can be firm when it is needed.
SMERCONISH: Are you prepared to travel within the United States and to campaign for Hillary Clinton?
FOX: For the moment I'm in California, and I'm going to appear on both conventions, I think. I just have to get a room reserved. Somebody already offered me one. I think that it's going to be interesting to be there.
SMERCONISH: In other words, you will attend both conventions. Not necessarily to speak presumably at the Republican convention. I can't imagine that you will be invited nor frankly at the democratic convention, but you wish to be a presence during the course of this American election.
FOX: Well, you think that they would allow me to speak, I love that. I love speaking.
SMERCONISH: Mr. President, I have a room in both Cleveland and Philadelphia, you can bunk with me if that's what you need. FOX: If I can bring Martha my love, my wife, I would accept gladly.
SMERCONISH: Could get little crowded. One final statement if I might, I was raised, there's an expression in the United States, I remember my mother telling it to me and I'm curious to know if it's an expression in Mexico, good fences make good neighbors.
FOX: Absolutely yes, respect thy neighbors. My grandfather was from Cincinnati, Ohio. He came to Mexico as a migrant without a penny in his pocket, so what you see here in front of you is half is American blood and half is Mexican blood. My American half is sad for what I see going on in this process, to see a guy like Trump convincing millions of people that he is going to make this nation great, is false prophecy.
That's not him that's going to do it. The strength of this nation is in the people, it's in its corporate world, is in Wall Street, is in Washington, it's in its universities. That's what makes this nation strong. This other half, the Mexican side is offended. I am deeply offended on the way he expresses about Mexico and Mexican people. I demand from him an apology. I asked it on Cinco de Mayo, he didn't do it.
SMERCONISH: On Cinco de Mayo, he tweeted a photograph as he was about to have lunch at taco bowl and he said "I love Hispanics." I thought that was a friendly overture.
FOX: Yes, and the day before he said he hates Hispanics. And thus his permanent inconsistency, lie and lie to his (INAUDIBLE) to the people close to that Mexican bowl was made there in the Trump Tower. He's going to get indigestion because that's not Mexican food. That's why I invite him and repeat it again, come to Mexico, learn about what Mexico is all about.
SMERCONISH: Mr. President, thank you for your time.
FOX: Gracias, Miguel. Muchas gracias, Miguel.
SMERCONISH: Thank, senor.
By the way I don't think Donald Trump ever said that he hates - I don't think - I know that he never said that he hates Hispanics.
Still to come. Bernie Sanders can't win but that's not stopping him from denying Hillary Clinton the nomination and taking the fight all the way to the convention. Does he have a point? Should the super delegates in the states that he has won be loyal to him?
[09:32:45] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: So looks like we still might be headed for a contested convention this summer, only it would be on the Democratic side of the aisle, not Republican. Bernie Sanders refuses to get out of the race despite the delegate advantage. Crucial to her ability to reach the magic number of 2,383 is her support among superdelegates.
Sanders argues that the superdelegates from the states that he won ought to be obligated to vote for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our goal is two- fold. Number one, to minute majority of pledged delegates. Number two, it is to make sure that in those states where we have won landslide victories, 65, 75 percent of the votes, that the superdelegates in those states listen to their constituents and vote the way their constituents voted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Joining me now, two super delegates from states that Sanders won but who are nevertheless supporting Hillary Clinton.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents the 12th district of Michigan, and Javier Morillo is president of the Minneapolis Local Workers Union.
Congresswoman, doesn't he make a point if you voted for Bernie Sanders, shouldn't the super delegates from that state be on board with him, not her?
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN, SUPERDELEGATE: I have a great deal of respect for Bernie Sanders and I'm fighting very hard to make sure his delegates are protected when we go to state central and we go to the convention. And I think that he should go all of the way to the convention because he's brought a lot of people to the party.
But as a super delegate, I'm supposed to vote -- by the way, Bernie never asked me to consider supporting him. I've had good discussions. People don't like being taken for granted.
But I've known Hillary Clinton for 35 years. I know who she is. I know the personal side of her and I know what she's going to fight for. And those superdelegates were created for their input into who the two candidates are.
So, it becomes a personal vote on that.
SMERCONISH: The rules don't --
DINGELL: -- don't say super delegates vote the way their state does.
SMERCONISH: Right. But, Congresswoman, superdelegates were created to pick a winner. We know that this came post-'72 when McGovern got blown out. And if you look at the national surveys, and I can put one up now, they show Bernie Sanders running stronger against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton.
[09:35:01] Look at advantage that he has. It's a 16-point advantage over Trump as compared to hers which is 13.
Isn't that an argument to be made that Bernie looks like the more likely winner in a general?
DINGELL: OK, you're talking to a woman who thinks all of these polls are nothing. Remember the polls in Michigan that said Hillary Clinton was going to win by 20-some points and I said, before that election happened that that wasn't going to be the case.
I'm also one that thinks that Donald Trump could win. And I think that when we get into this very real presidential election, I think it's going to be very competitive, I do believe that Hillary will be the stronger candidate. And you are correct about that's why superdelegates were chosen. But I have a great deal of respect for Bernie Sanders, and I want to make that clear, too.
SMERCONISH: OK. But let me ask, Mr. Morillo -- respond if you would to the criticism that you have heard -- that the very nature of the delegates is undemocratic.
JAVIER MORILLO, PRESIDENT, SEIU LOCAL 26 IN MINNESOTA, SUPERDELEGATE: Well, I would not respond or deny it. I don't like the system as it is. I think that it should be dramatically reformed. I think there's a difference. I think that Congresswoman Dingell and others like her should be automatic on pledged delegates to the convention.
But people like myself, I'm a member of the National Democratic Committee and in Minnesota we elect those, I was elected at a convention four years ago by state delegates. I don't think that someone like me should be an automatic unpledged delegate. That's what gives the party so many superdelegates because look, in the end, what the superdelegates do is bless the wisdom and the will of voters.
Superdelegates, I have said that I wi1l never vote to overturn the will of delegates and right now, Hillary Clinton is leading by 3 million votes and has a substantial lead in pledged delegates, much larger than Barack Obama had.
SMERCONISH: Right, but she didn't win your state. I do respect the fact that you say that, hey, I'm a superdelegate and I don't like this process.
Let me show for everybody at home the impact of the superdelegates on the Democratic nomination. This is really significant. So, where are we now 2,218 for her and 1,444 for him.
Go to the next slide -- which shows, without super delegates, it's really a 300-delegate difference. So, this is determining the outcome of this thing. Go ahead. I'm sorry, Morillo.
MORILLO: Not at all. No, not at all. It's not determining at all the outcome, 300 pledged delegates is a larger lead than Obama ever had in pledged delegates over Hillary Clinton in 2008. And in the end --
SMERCONISH: But wait a minute, but wait. Be a much different picture if, as I'm questioning the super delegates from the states that Bernie won, like Congresswoman Dingell instead were for him, not her?
MORILLO: But actually I think that you're pointing to the problem here. I don't think that the media should be including the superdelegates in looking at the count because, in fact, when just looking at pledged delegates and certainly the popular vote, Secretary Clinton is far way ahead.
So, the only role that superdelegates will play at the convention is to bless the will and convention of the voters who have put her there. So the superdelegates will not be determinative in the race nor should they be.
SMERCONISH: You make it sound they're obligated to go along with the give of the electorate but that's not why they were created.
Congresswoman, I will give you the final point on this.
DINGELL: Well, I want to say that we need to change these rules. I tried to change these rules eight years ago, which gave us the Michigan fiasco. We're playing along where the rules are.
But the fact of the matter is that Hillary Clinton is leading by 3 million votes in this country. Nobody has won the nominations since it's been created without having the plurality of the popular vote. The superdelegates have not driven.
You know, last time Clinton won eight of the last primaries and then we saw where she ended up. Let's leave this in will of the people. I'm with anybody willing to go in and looking at changing the rules again, including giving New Hampshire and Iowa the right to go first. But we're playing with the rules now. And let's -- we're going to pull together, by way.
SMERCONISH: OK. I am for that by the way. If you were about to advocate mixing it up and doing what the NCAA does. I'd love to see a regional primary contest.
DINGELL: You and I are together. Help me, I need help doing that.
SMERCONISH: OK. On that we agree.
Congresswoman Dingell, Javier Morillo, thank you so much for being here.
DINGELL: Thank you.
MORILLO: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Still to come, Mitt Romney is trying to fine an alternative to the Donald. But there already is one.
My next guest that has a lot of Google searches. Could he be the next Republican establishment's alternative?
Here's a tweet hot off the presses. Well, that was a comment that I'm arguing. Undemocratic, maybe not un-American. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[09:44:07] SMERCONISH: For those not satisfied with the Republican or Democratic candidate, there's an alternative. A former Republican governor who could end up on the ballot in all 50 states. Gary Johnson is a libertarian, popular two-term former governor of New Mexico and received over a million votes when running in 2012.
Governor, give me the platform in less than 60 seconds.
GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Platform of a libertarian with a broad brush stroke, fiscally conservative, socially liberal. The government is too big, it spends too much, it taxes too much, and takes away my individual freedom and liberty.
Look, the ability of individuals to make their own choices that only they should be making, and then with regard to the military interventions I think they have unintended -- I think that they have the consequence of making things worse and not better.
[09:45:04] That isn't to say that if we're attacked, we're going to attack back.
SMERCONISH: I was surprised to see that according to Monmouth University Poll, you're in double digit. We can put that up from a month ago. It shows Gary Johnson in comparison to Hillary and The Donald, you're at 11 percent.
It occurs to me, Governor, that if you were to win jut a couple of states, you could throw this into the House of Representatives. What would happen then?
JOHNSON: Michael, I would not be doing this if there weren't an opportunity to win. You just hit the crux on all this and that's just being in the poll. The poll that was taken by Monmouth was a month ago. My name has not appeared in a national poll since.
I think there's legitimacy of having my name in the poll. I hope to be a libertarian nominee. Libertarian nominee is going to be on the ballot in all 50 states. That's a claim that no other third party will be able to make.
I think Hillary and Donald are the most polarizing figures in American politics today. When 50 percent people are declaring themselves as independents, well, where is that representation? I happen think that most in this country are libertarian, it's just that they don't know it.
SMERCONISH: Let me ask you the Ross Perot question. Who are you pulling more? Might you be a spoiler, might you pull from Trump and end up benefitting Hillary?
JOHNSON: Yes. Well, actually the other -- it's the other way around in the Monmouth poll. More votes were taken away from Hillary than Trump. But statistically, at the end of the day, third parties take from both
sides. Like I say, forget about Democrats and Republicans. The majority of Americans right now consider themselves independent. Where is that representation?
At the end of the day, if I'm not in the polls, I'm certainly not going to be able to be in the presidential debate. It's a real chicken and egg thing. I have to get in the polls.
SMERCONISH: If you're at 11 percent, you have to get in. I would love to see that in the stage to make the left and the right defend against the middle. So, thanks for being here, and I appreciate your time.
JOHNSON: Yes, thank you. The key again is being in the polls. Being in the polls. Right now I will be at 20 percent. Just Google Gary Johnson. Thank you, Michael.
SMERCONISH: CNN is reporting that Mitt Romney met privately with "Weekly Standard" editor Bill Kristol to discuss a third party bid for president. Is it too late for any other independent candidates to get on the ballot in all 50 states?
Businessman Peter Ackerman knows the answer. He's passionate about giving Americans more choice. He spent the last decade bankrolling and advocating for more opportunities for independent presidential candidates, including access to the debates that Governor Johnson just discussed.
Peter Ackerman joins me now.
Peter, your passion has been to give Americans more choice. Is it to late right now to mount a third party candidacy in the presidential election?
PETER ACKERMAN, CHAIRMAN, LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD: If that candidate is going to run in all 50 states, it's really too late.
ACKERMAN: Because when you go out two months, your ballot access deadline is completed for 40-50 percent of the country.
SMERCONISH: Wow. The deadlines make it impractical. I imagine there are other considerations like money, whether you get on the debate stage.
ACKERMAN: All of those considerations are important. So, if you're not Democrat or Republicans, you can only race money in $2,700 increments.
Now, that really means about $100 a person. The cost of getting on the ballot with everything associated with buying the signatures drive professionals and the legal requirements is close to $8 million to $10 million. That means that you would have to visit with 80,000 people to have any chance of this happening.
That's why no one in history who cannot self-fund their campaign has never gotten on the ballot as an individual candidate for president in all 50 states.
SMERCONISH: What if there was a Michael Bloomberg that has the checkbook and can write it. Can that person mount a candidacy?
ACKERMAN: I believe that -- right now, for example, he is done in Texas. There's no way to get on the ballot in Texas. He would have to straight right now and then probably lose most of June and half of July. So, its' really running -- the clock is really running.
SMERCONISH: Peter Ackerman, thank you.
ACKERMAN: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: So it sounds like it's too late. That's what I am taking away from him expect from him, except for Gary Johnson who'd be on that ballot of he gets the libertarian nod.
Still to come the best and worst tweets. Let's see what's coming thus far.
[09:50:00] "Smerconish, you can't call your show independent politics. You are purely establishment." Hey, Marys Room, you're only saying that because I am in a three piece suit.
SMERCONISH: You can follow me on Twitter if you can spell Smerconish.
Let's see some of what came in this hour. "Smerconish, Mexican president is a great man. Wise words and sees through Trump's fear tactics, like most Dems and half the GOP."
I have to tell you, I was impressed with Vicente Fox. I was listening to the conversation going back and forth, I'm thinking, we could run him in parts of this country and he'd get elected.
Tweet number two, let's have a look, "Smerconish, sounds like you're starting to lean towards Trump. I guess pigs can fly."
You know what's funny, Dino, is the last comment said I was an establishment candidate. I must be angering everyone and that means doing something right.
Plus, there was this -- "Smerconish, Gary Johnson, nobody wants Gary Johnson. The guy is as loony as John Kasich."
You know, I'm glad you said that, only to bring up John Kasich. I don't agree obviously with that tweet. John Kasich gave the most dignified speech this week when he left the stage of the whole campaign cycle in my opinion.
As a matter of fact, I'll go this far and say that he left the stage as he campaigned for the last year, which was with class and with dignity. If you haven't taken a look at what he had to say on his way out of the campaign of 2016, I recommend you Google it and check it out.
All right. Thanks for watching. Follow me on Twitter, spell Smerconish, correctly. You'll be good to go. I'll be part of Tuesday's election coverage again and hopefully see you back here next Saturday.