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Bernie Sanders Wins West Virginia But Does It Change the Math?; Donald Trump Wins West Virginia and Nebraska. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 10, 2016 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:00] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we are going to fight for every last vote in Oregon, Kentucky, California, the Dakotas. Now, we fully acknowledge, we are good at arithmetic that we have an uphill climb ahead of us, but we are used to fighting uphill climbs.

We have been fighting uphill from the first day of this campaign when people considered us a fringe candidacy. And our message to the Democratic delegates who will be assembling in Philadelphia is while we may have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one area we agree and that is we must defeat Donald Trump.

Trump is not going to become president for a number of reasons. And the major reason is that the American people understand that we cannot have a president who has insulted Latinos and Mexicans, who has insulted Muslims, who every day is insulting women in one way or another, who has insulted veterans like John McCain and others, who has insulted African-Americans in very profound way.

People sometimes forget that before Mr. Trump was running for president, he was one of the leaders of the so-called "Birther Movement." And that movement was a very ugly effort to delegitimize the presidency of the first African-American president in our history.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Brianna Keilar is with the Sanders campaign in Oregon. It was a big night for Bernie Sanders, Brianna. He and his supporters are super charged now, but does this change the math for him?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the math would have to change in order for him to be successful in achieving the Democratic nomination and it was interesting, because when you heard him say tonight, he sort of laying out why the math is so difficult.

He said, "We have received 45 percent of the pledged delegates." So superdelegates aside, that's where Hillary Clinton has a major lead. Just look at the pledged delegates where she has a lead of about 300.

He's saying, we haven't -- we've done about 45 percent so far. In order for Bernie Sanders to even break -- really to break even with Hillary Clinton on these pledged delegates. He would have to win 66 percent of them going forward in these next several contests before everything wraps up here in mid-June. That's a far cry from 45 percent.

You can see that he would really have to amp up his performance and that is why people look at that and they say, that is nearly impossible, because really, it would almost have to be an entirely different campaign, an entirely different level of performance.

He hit Hillary Clinton tonight on so many things, trade, the environment, campaign finance, the donation that she got from Alice Walton of the Walton family of Wal-Mart.

So he went after her a lot, but also went after Donald Trump a lot. As you heard him say, "There is an -- there are many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, but there is something we agree on, and that is that Donald Trump cannot be president."

LEMON: Yeah. Well, Donald Trump also thinks that he can, at least get the nomination because he said very clearly tonight, Brianna, that he's not going anywhere. He says, "I am in it to win it."

[23:05:06] KEILAR: Yes. So there is kind of different things that you're hearing to explain this. He says, "He's in it to win it." He's pushing towards Philadelphia, which is the convention. He's saying he wants everyone who wants to vote in a Democratic primary to have a shot at that. So that would take you to June 14th.

June 7th is the big day with the series of contest. June 14th is the last one. That's when voters in Washington, D.C. get their say in their primaries.

So he's saying he's going to push forward. He sure sounded like a candidate who's pushing forward tonight and he's continuing in this primary battle.

But it's a two-track system, where he's pushing forward and he's trying to get as many delegates as possible and he's also trying to influence, win or lose the Democratic Party's view.

Their platform -- I've been talking with an aide, Don, close to Bernie Sanders, who is saying, "Yes, we are pushing forward, but come June 7th, we will be assessing where this campaign is. If Bernie Sanders sees that there-- and those around him see that there is absolutely no way that he can get to the nomination, we are expecting him to acknowledge that."

When will that be? We don't expect it to be until after voters in Washington, D.C. have gone to the polls, so that would be June 14th. That would be the soonest.

But, I think there is sort of a sign that there are some in the Sanders' campaign that see the writing on the wall and what he's fighting for now is to have as much influence as possible, and then this sort of shoot the moon attempt at trying to seize the Democratic nomination.

LEMON: Brianna Keilar, Salem, Oregon. Thank you, Brianna.

I want to bring in now CNN's Jeff Zeleny in Kentucky where Democratic -- 55 delegates are at stake in the next week's primary.

So Hillary Clinton, Jeff, took a big hit in West Virginia tonight. Are these continued victories -- are they're going to hurt -- or Bernie, are they hurting her?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, they're certainly not helping her at least making the argument that it's time to shift the race for the general election here. The defeats are racking up. Last week it was Indiana, tonight it's West Virginia. So mathematically, Brianna is obviously correct.

The Clinton campaign has a sizable lead and Hillary Clinton would not have to win anymore contests to maintain her lead and pledged delegates, think about that. She would not have to win anything else, not California, not New Jersey, not Oregon, not next week in Kentucky. She can still maintain her lead.

Now, of course, they would like to win some states here, but -- so mathematically, it doesn't hurt her. But, politically speaking, Republicans are already seizing on this.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of Republican National Committee is poking fun at her for losing yet another contest. I assume that Donald Trump will probably join in that tomorrow, here. So it's not good politically, but mathematically speaking, it's OK.

But, Don, going forward here, I'm struck by how similar this is to eight years ago. Hillary Clinton won the last bursts of contest in2008. Barack Obama lost the final bursts of contests in 2008 and he, of course, became the nominee and became president. So she is not all that worked up about it, but certainly they're ready for this primary to be over, Don.

LEMON: Let's talk more about Bernie Sanders' momentum, because he wasn't yielding on the campaign trail today. He made promising to fight for every single delegate left in the race. He said that tonight.

Is he trying to get as much leverage, as Brianna said, as possible, going into this convention? Or is he planning to fight for those superdelegates?

ZELENY: He is planning to get as much leverage as possible. In a perfect world, he would love to convince the superdelegates to come over to him. He's very realistic about this.

He has been around Washington a long time. Yes, he's an outsider, but he knows that all these superdelegates are with her. He's going to make the argument.

But, Don, I was struck by -- I've listened to so many of Bernie Sanders' speeches through out this whole campaign season. I believe that tonight, he made a perfect pitch that he is going to be the Clinton campaign's biggest weapon against Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yeah.

ZELENY: He made clear that he is going to do everything he can to prevent Donald Trump from winning.

So once this race is over, the best -- perhaps strongest weapon in the Clinton campaign's arsenal to stop Donald Trump maybe Bernie Sanders in terms of convincing some of his supporters that Donald Trump should not be elected.

His tone has changed so much in the last week or so. Yes, he's still going after her somewhat, but if you just look at what's happening in the last seven days, in the last 14 days, he has turned the page here. He's very realistic on this, Don. This party is not totally united, but certainly much more united than the Republican Party.

LEMON: Jeff Zeleny in Louisville, Kentucky (inaudible) for CNN. Thank you, Jeff.

CNN's Sara Murray is at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue where the GOP's presumptive nominee is adding to his delegate count tonight.

So another big win -- hello to you, Sara, for Donald Trump with wins in Nebraska and West Virginia. What's the campaign saying tonight?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, that's right, Don. And, you know, not a totally unexpected win, since all the other Republicans have dropped out of the race.

[23:10:05] But Donald Trump still put out a statement, sort of reveling in his victories and saying he looks forward to notching even more victories in the upcoming contests on the West Coast.

He's trying to get all the delegates he needs to lock down this nomination once and for all and move forward. But looking ahead, the Trump campaign already feels more confident than they did even a week ago or even a couple weeks ago about their odds in the general election.

I mean, when you look at these new Quinnipiac polls that are around (ph) -- some of this wins states today, they look at Donald Trump being slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton in Ohio and essentially being in a dead heat in Florida and Pennsylvania and they feel very confident about their odds and potentially even about their ability to expand the math in November.

LEMON: You know, there's a lot of talk about who Donald Trump is going to pick as his running mate today and Marco Rubio told Jake Tapper that he's not interested. Listen to this.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: He's the presumptive nominee at this point and -- but he would be best served by having someone, not just, by the way, a vice presidential nominee, but active surrogates, who agree with him on his issues.

My differences with Donald, both my reservations about his campaign and my policy differences with him are well documented and they remain and I think he would be best served by having people close to him and his campaign that are enthusiastic about the things he stands for.


LEMON: So, Sara, he says he's going to stick by the pledge of support to the Republican nominee, but he isn't sure, you know, what's going to happen after that. But that's not a ringing endorsement, right?

MURRAY: No, Don, I would not call that a ringing endorsement. You saw the sort of rhetorical back flips that Marco Rubio had to do just to get to the where he would essentially say he was going to vote for Donald Trump because he's already promised to support the GOP nominee.

He kept saying, I promised to support the Republican nominee, not I promised to support Donald Trump.

Look, I think this is a mark of just how vicious these Republican primaries were. And the fact that Ted Cruz can't go out there and say he's going to support Donald Trump. It was because a lot of these attacks were very personal for Ted Cruz. It was against his wife. It was against his father.

For Marco Rubio, he ended up down in a gutter, in a place he didn't want to be, you know, to kind of trying to out-Trump Trump and make the point that this is a guy who doesn't he's ready for the presidency.

It's really hard to do that and then turn around you're going to say, and say you're going to vote for someone. It's even harder to pull off a ringing endorsement in that sense, Don.

LEMON: All right, thank you, Sara. Appreciate that.

My political dream team is here. My head is spinning. I'm not sure what any of this means. I support him, but not sure I'm going to vote for him. How was it?

So Trump supporter, Kayleigh McEnany, you know, Sanders supporter, Bill Press is here, Republican Strategist Kevin Madden with us, CNN Politics Editor -- Executive Editor, I have to say that, Mr. Mark Preston is here, CNN Contributor Bakari Sellers and Republican Consultant Margaret Hoover.

So, what's your takeaway on these contests tonight, Mark?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, look, I mean, I think that it spells trouble for Hillary Clinton in some respect because she still hasn't been able to close deal. We should acknowledge though that this is West Virginias. She said some pretty damaging comments about the number one industry in the state. So, you can't walk away from it and say that she can't recover.

But the fact is, Bernie Sanders is going to continue on and is going to cause heartburn to the Clinton campaign, until there is some kind of truce brokered. And as Brianna said, you know, that could very well happen after the California or the D.C. primary.

LEMON: One more Democrat. Bakari, what do you think?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think tonight was a big night for Bernie Sanders. I mean, Bernie Sander went into West Virginia, he had to win, and he did win. But I'm not sure how much data you can take away from the rate --race in West Virginia.

In 2008, you saw Hillary Clinton did beat -- actually she beat Barack Obama, 67 to 27. In 2012, you actually saw when Barack Obama did not have a primary, he actually had someone on the ballot who was a convicted felon in prison who got 41 percent of the vote against Barack Obama.

So coming out of this, you don't want to take anything away from Bernie Sanders. I was really please with his message tonight. He owes a lot to his supporters. He has every right to stay in the race, as long as he wants to.

Hillary Clinton didn't get out of the race until June 8th in 2008. So keep pushing forward. He's turning a lot of that energy towards Donald Trump and I think that this team that the Democrats are putting together for November is starting to look really good.

LEMON: We're going to talk more about his fire, because it was fire tonight when it came to Donald Trump. We'll talk more about that later. But quickly on this side of the room, just your takeaway.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think the story is about Hillary Clinton and her weakness. I think for Republicans, we're -- if we were running anyone else against Hillary Clinton, we'd win, because she is such a weak candidate and she is so -- I mean, every demographic group, including the millennials, all this future trying to make him rose (ph), too. Hillary Clinton is really, really vulnerable and widely disliked. The trouble is just that Donald Trump is even more disliked.

LEMON: Yeah.

HOOVER: And sort of that's the challenge for us. But, especially the coal remarks, I mean, Hillary Clinton really stepped into it. Donald Trump is probably going to win West Virginia. I mean, these are his voters.

LEMON: Guess what, they took up all of your time so we're not going to bring it (ph) from this side of the room after the break. But there was a reason we played that long sound bite of Bernie Sanders at the top of the show, because he really went after Donald Trump. Why isn't Hillary Clinton doing that?

[23:15:04] We'll talk about that right after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Still at breaking news tonight, wins for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in West Virginia. My political dream team is here. There they all are, enough to do that. Just gave them a laundry list of names.

So, I'll start with you Kayleigh, what's your takeaway from tonight?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I mean, I agree with Margaret that it exhibits that Hillary Clinton is not a strong candidate. She has a lot of vulnerability, each time she runs on the national stage, a candidate who's essentially a no-name candidate at the time comes from out of nowhere and beats her which is what Barack Obama did which is what Bernie Sanders is coming very close to doing.

But, where I disagree is that I think Donald Trump is a very strong candidate. I think he's rewriting the math, the polls in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida that came out today. He is showing stronger than Mitt Romney did in those polls, in Pennsylvania for instance. So I think he's a very strong candidate. He's going to rewrite the math and it's not looking good for Hillary.

LEMON: Mr. Press.

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, I have to say, I don't think the Trump people, Kayleigh, with all due respect, should be overconfident here. I think the combination of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, and a divided Republican Party is going to crush Donald Trump.

But, on tonight on West Virginia, I want to just like disagree with couple of my friends here. I think this is a huge win for Bernie Sanders. It's very, very important. And it is important to point out that Hillary won this state by over 40 points in 2008. She lost it tonight by 15 points. The times have changed and Bernie Sanders is reflecting the change in this economic anxiety. He's tapped into that.

[23:20:03] Hillary Clinton has not. She's supposedly the presumptive nominee of the party. So how come Bernie Sanders keeps winning states? This is still a hot contest on the Democratic side. He's going to go all the way to the convention.

LEMON: Kevin?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: On that point, I think that the big story line out of this for me is that the voters are not yet ready to buy into the story line and everybody is -- that this campaign is over. And I think they want to continually send messages to the front-runners or the supposed front-runners that they have a voice in this and that they're not very happy.

The one thing I would caution is that I think polls in places like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, right now are not predictive and West Virginia is not exactly the 50-yard-line of American politics. A lot of what we saw with some of these voters is not necessarily the predictive of performances that we're going to see with a much wider, a much broader, a much more diverse electorate in November.

LEMON: And what are you saying? What are you saying?

MADDEN: That a lot of this continues and we take a look at the microcosm that West Virginia voters presented us and what it says about Hillary Clinton is not necessarily predictive of what a national electorate is going to say that.

PRESS: Or the Democrats don't win.


LEMON: But, do you think the polls matter now? We'll put the polls up for this. Will you think it matters this far out?

PRESTON: It matters at this moment in time as we want to sit around and -- listen, listen. It matters for us to have a discussion about where we are in the state of the race. Does it matter in November? No, it doesn't.

LEMON: If Sanders beats him in every -- Sanders beat him tonight (ph) but, Hillary Clinton does not beat Donald Trump and everyone. Mr. Bakari?

PRESTON: Let me just say this. We are discounting the fact that Hillary Clinton is a pretty strong closer, OK. No matter what happens, you know, this month or next month or quite frankly in August, right? She's a fighter. She's a knife fighter, and she will battle it into November. We'll see if Donald Trump will be the same way.

MADDEN: Why don't -- we seen Hillary Clinton -- combat Hillary that you just ...


MADDEN: In 2008, she ...

PRESTON: Here in New York.

LEMON: Correct.

MADDEN: No, well this is not the New York senate. This is a presidential election against probably one of the most aggressive opponents she will ever face. This is not Rick Lazio, this is Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yeah, right.

PRESTON: So you think that come November though, that she will not be aggressive in winning?

MADDEN: Look, I think one of the biggest problems that Hillary Clinton has right now is that she's going against an entirely asymmetrical opponent in Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton has been very cautious. She has been very calculating in a way that I think is not going to be well suited for a battle against Donald Trump. He has to be very careful.


LEMON: Let me gets to you point because that gets to my point.


LEMON: And the reason I said I wanted to play that of Bernie Sanders tonight going directly after Donald Trump, every time someone asks Hillary Clinton a question about Donald Trump, she says, "I'm not going to comment on the way he's, you know, running his campaign."

Why does that that she go for the jugular like ...


MADDEN: But, I mean, real quick ...


MADDEN: I think what their calculation is that, it's like the old saying that you don't want to get in a fight with a pig, because you -- everybody gets dirty and the pig likes it, right?

But what people -- I think a lot of Democratic voters really like about Bernie Sanders right now is that, he seems to be this authentic, progressive warrior, willing to have this clash of political civilizations against the right as they see it. And that's why they rally to him and that's why they're still rallying to him this late in the primary contest.

SELLER: But, the facts remain that Hillary Clinton is still 3 million votes, even after tonight, ahead of Bernie Sanders. And the fact of the matter is that she still has more delegates, more pledged delegates than Bernie Sanders and a larger pledged delegate lead right now than Barack Obama had at any point.

But back to these Quinnipiac polls, the fact to that matter is that in the same poll, the same polling group in Ohio, back in 2008 at this time, Mitt Romney was up by five points against Barack Obama.

And you want to talk about these polls and why these polls don't matter and I really don't think that these poll -- they should be ashamed of these polls they put out today is because of the simple fact that they under polled voters of color by up to five points. They did something that hadn't been done in two decades.

LEMON: Can you compare this to last time? It's completely different with Donald Trump and with Bernie Sanders in the race. Listen to this. This is Bernie Sanders tonight and we'll discuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: It is not only national polls where we defeat Trump by bigger numbers than Secretary Clinton, it is state poll after state poll after state poll.

Just in the last day. Just in the last day, two national polls have us beating Trump by bigger margins than Secretary Clinton, four statewide polls.

In Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and New Hampshire, in every one of those polls, we beat Trump or do better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton.


[23:25:08] LEMON: Bill Press, you can't argue with the facts. He's right.

PRESS: All right, no. And as a Sanders man, I do still want to say part of the reason that Hillary's got -- doesn't do better in the polls is she's been attacked for 25 years or 30 years and Bernie Sanders has not. You've got to put that out.

At the same time, I think about it would be worrying to the Clinton camp that this guy that they say is so bad, she's not beating him in states, she's got to win, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. There's something wrong with that campaign is not connecting here.

LEMON: Fast, Mark.

PRESTON: But to your point about Bernie Sanders, he has nothing to lose. He's not going to run for office again. He is the head of a movement. He is in a different position than Hillary Clinton is right now. An absolutely different position and quite frankly could be very, very powerful and helpful to Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Is he Hillary Clinton's secret weapon? We'll talk about that when we come back.


LEMON: And we're back with to the breaking news. Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton in West Virginia as Democratic primary. Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, winning both GOP races in West Virginia and Nebraska.

[23:30:01] And my dream team, I'll just call them my panel.


LEMON: They are back. Kayleigh, you wanted to get in on this conversation about Bernie Sanders going directly for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won't seem to take him on.

MCENANY: Yeah, here's the thing. You know, Hillary Clinton's trying to stay out of it. I think she looks at the Republican field and how it winnowed, especially every time a Republican candidate chose to attack Donald Trump, the history shows you attack Donald Trump, he attacks back, you exit the race.

So I think she's trying to avoid that direct battle. He's going to have a very hard time though. In a debate, they're going to be there, side by side, and there will questions she has to answer for, e-mails, Benghazi, you name it, the Clinton Foundation, all of those things will be asked and I think she will be put on her heels, because she is not a candidate who's good on the fly. She's just simply not.

LEMON: So I want to ask you then, Margaret, I said before the break, is Bernie Sanders her secret weapon. If its gets to the general, she's the nominee, Bernie Sanders is out there campaigning for her, is he going to be the guy who will take on Donald Trump? Because Donald Trump, you know, mentioned Bill Clinton and all of a sudden the Clinton camp got really silent, even Bill Clinton got, you know, with the silence.

HOOVER: Well, he, Bernie Sanders is a critical weapon for Hillary Clinton. He will be there defending her and making a case for her, but so will Elizabeth Warren and so will the entire Democratic establishment. I mean, everybody will be.

Bernie Sanders has a unique role, because he has to solidify all of these primary voters who frankly don't like Hillary Clinton. I mean, that's why they're there with him and has to be there saying you go vote for Hillary Clinton, vote against Donald Trump. He will be sort of the crowd, sort of he'll put -- bring everybody together against her.

And by the way, that's what the Democrats need to do if they're going to drive up every -- all the minorities in front of Barack Obama, the high percentage of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and women, frankly. And, you know, all of these coalition, this unique coalition of Obama was able to put together two times, Hillary Clinton needs, and by the way the enthusiasm for her is less than it was for Barack Obama, so it's the anti-Trump animus that will propel it.

LEMON: As we continue to talk, let's put up this polling from the swing states here and look at this because you guys have been saying this undersampling, especially of minorities going on. So how does this all change after the conventions, after there is a nominee?

SELLERS: Well, I think one of the things that we have to look at is the way that Barack Obama got to 350 plus electoral votes in 2008 and how he got the 330 in 2012 against Mitt Romney.

And as Margaret said, that went through voters with color and women. And the best turnout mechanism that Democrats have in this race is actually Donald Trump. Because I believe that it was Lindsey Graham who actually went out and said that he has a campaign that's built on racism and religious bigotry. And that's what you see. And that is going to be a driving factor. And when you have polls like this, as I was saying earlier, when you undersample or you don't sample enough persons of color, it skews your results because one thing that we've seen over the past two decades is that in each election cycle, the number of Hispanic and African-American voters ticks up, not down.


MCENANY: And one thing Van Jones pointed out tonight, I thought it was an excellent point, he said, look, among African -- the African- American community, yes, Donald Trump's numbers are poor, 70 percent approval rating. That being said, that means 30 disapprovals, excuse me, 30 percent, however, have not made up their mind. And if he can even get half of that, if he can even move those numbers just a bit, he will ...


SELLERS: My retort to you would be very simple. How? How does he do that?


SELLERS: How does someone who, when you go back to -- when you go back to the Central Park 5, I mean, when you go back to all of his statements that are rooted in such bigotry, and Donald Trump, and I said this before, Donald Trump is not a racist by any stretch, but Donald Trump has used racism in this campaign propels to put his political message. So, how would he get those half of that 30 percent?

MADDEN: Let's not confuse a disapproval rating with a percentage of the vote.

LEMON: Correct.


MADDEN: There's no way that Donald Trump is going to get 30 percent of the African-American vote ...

MCENANY: No, there's no chance.

MADDEN: ... that the 71 percent disapproval rate.

MCENANY: There's no chance. But we're on the margin here though and if he can move that number by even 5 percent, you can win an election with that.

MADDEN: 5 percent on the African-American vote ...

MCENANY: Yes. Yes.

MADDEN: ... Donald Trump.

MCENANY: Yes, if he outperformed Mitt Romney by 5 percent, he can do it.



MCENANY: Yes, he can do it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But also ...

LEMON: You're the only person who is realistic and not drinking tonight ...

MCENANY: He can do it.

LEMON: She can agree with that. Bernie Sanders is talking about Donald Trump. Bill, I'll let you get in. Listen.


SANDERS: Donald Trump is not going to become president for a number of reasons. And the major reason is that the American people understand that we cannot have a president who has insulted Latinos and Mexicans, who has insulted Muslims, who every day is insulting women in one way or another, who has insulted African-Americans in a very profound way.

[23:35:15] People sometimes forget that before Mr. Trump was running for president, he was one of the leaders of the so-called Birther Movement. And that movement was a very ugly effort to delegitimize the presidency of the first African-American president in our history.


LEMON: OK, so no matter how much Donald Trump says he's going to end, surrogates will say that whether it's -- you believe he is a bigot or not, that is a perception and sometimes perception is reality. Go, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: It's a perception in the media because here's the thing. The media has tried desperately ...

LEMON: It's a perception among African-Americans, let me tell you that, yes it is.

MCENANY: If the media has tried desperately since the beginning of this campaign to paint a caricature of Donald Trump each week it was something different, everyone said, he has no chance at the Republican primary, he won indominantly so in the Republican Party. Likewise, now the Democrats are on board with attempting to create this caricature. And I think it will backfire because voters, when they look for themselves at the policies and the motives behind the policies, they don't see racism and bigotry, they see common sense. So I think the caricature attempt will backfire.

PRESS: I have to say, I don't think you have to go very far. If you take his comment about banning all Muslims from this country, if you take his comment about deporting 12 million immigrants, mainly Mexicans, and if you take his comment of his history of leading the Birther Movement, he may not be a racist, but those are all racist policies and that sticks -- that days -- that sticks with him.

SELLERS: We say amen. We say amen.

MCENANY: He never talked about banning, this is exactly ...

PRESS: I mean you cannot deny it, the evidence is there.

LEMON: (Inaudible) and then I let you guys respond ...

MCENANY: Sure, well, this is exactly what I'm talking about, the caricature, banning all Muslims, that's simply not true, there was nuance there. He said, temporarily ban non-U.S. citizen Muslim until we figure out how someone got into this country and killed 20 Americans. There are three ...

SELLERS: But how is that different from banning all Muslims?

MCENANY: There are three qualifiers there that make it very different from banning all Muslims. And when people look at the motive, they see that Americans died because someone got into this country illegally via a K-1 visa, and they look at that policy and they don't think it's that crazy and (inaudible) bears that out.

SELLERS: How can you explain the ...

PRESS: No, how can you say that that's different than him saying he's going to keep all Muslims out? Anybody who's now already here is going to keep out even -- now, today he said, I'll make an exception for the mayor of London, BFD, I mean, come on.


LEMON: No, no, no, we're not -- don't go there.

HOOVER: We got to -- I, sort of, as a Republican who is interested in the future of the Republican Party and us being able to win national elections, again, I just want to push back, a, on this notion that Donald Trump has won indominantly because he haven't won indominantly, he won a plurality of the vote. He didn't won the majority of the Republican Party votes, primary voters. And we have to take the opportunity to really just call out the birtherism. The birtherism, that is -- it does not represent the principles of the Republican Party or the best traditions, you know, in U.S. politics that represents the worst of them.

LEMON: There were lot of birthers show in the Republican Party, yes.

HOOVER: Well there were a lot of birthers but smart Republicans and good Republicans in leadership across the country drew that line and said Donald Trump and the wing that's on our party are not part of our party. And we have to continue to do that. We have to distinguish ourselves on the right from the radical fringe. And that is -- we simply do not want that in the party, and Donald Trump has not accounted for that. He is not -- I mean, he said I'm moving on, nobody's asked me about that. But, he did lead the Birther Movement against Barack Obama and that is inexcusable in Republican Party.

MCENANY: And by the way, Hillary Clinton ...

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: I've got to go to break. We'll continue after this. We're going to talk about that.

Plus, Donald Trump says he is funding his own campaign, but what about the pro-Trump PAC? I'm going to talk to the people behind it, one of the people behind it.


[23:42:58] LEMON: All right, breaking news tonight, Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee. Cruz has two more victories in Nebraska and West Virginia.

Joining me now is Eric Beach. He's the co-Chair of the pro-Trump Great America PAC, the Great America PAC. I wonder where you got that name from Eric.


LEMON: Last night, Hillary Clinton's super PAC released this web video. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She came to my wedding, she ate like a pig, and seriously, the wedding cake was -- it was like missing in action.

Does she have a good body, no.


TRUMP: She have a fat ass, absolutely. Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect, but I don't think she's very good, I think she's highly overrated. But when I came out and, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see, so you treat women with respect?

TRUMP: I can't say that, either.



LEMON: So, Eric, how are you going to counter that?

BEACH: Well, I think Donald Trump's policies are how you respect women. I think Donald Trump's policies are how you respect, you know, any minority, anybody -- minorities. I think that, you know, what you have to look at is not his rhetoric, but the policy positions.

And I think us as a Republican Party, we should start respecting women by talking about jobs and, you know, talking about balancing our checkbooks and things of that nature that affect all Americans. I think that's how we respect women and reach out to women and minorities.

LEMON: So no, you don't plant to, not an ad or something like that or a video to counter that with maybe with Hillary Clinton in her own words?

BEACH: Donald Trump can take care of himself. He certainly can defend himself. I think one of the things that we're going to try to do is, you know, we have over two million ardent supporters that have already signed up with us and, you know, we want to mobilize and energize them.

You know, even though he's a multibillionaire, Donald Trump is still a grassroots and a Tea Party candidate. You know, we used to ask, you know, in the last two election cycles, we used to ask the grassroots to come, you know, accept the establishment candidate in the Republican Party. I think this time around, you know, we're going to follow the grassroots a little bit and we're going to try to merge that together, and I think we do that by ...

[23:45:00] LEMON: Did you say he's a Tea Party candidate? They got a lot of groans on this panel of experts who when you said it's a ...

BEACH: Well, I'm sure they do. Right? I'm sure there's some classic folks on your panel. I know a few of them as well. I know they do a great job. But, you know, we have to listen to the grassroots and where they are.

Donald Trump after California will have more of votes and then the other presidential candidate in a Republican primary. That needs to be listened to. The people are talking and we need to listen.

LEMON: So, Eric, up until this point, Trump has said that his campaign is self-funded. How do you think voters are going to react to your super PAC? Are they going to, you know, call Trump a flip- flopper, because now he has a PAC?

BEACH: Well, I mean, up to this point, you know, he has talked about himself self-funding and he also said that in the general election, this is going to be a billion dollar campaign. You can't get there in $2,700 increments, which is all you can get to at the campaign. But, you know, right now, with millions of supporters that have been accumulated through our efforts, you know, we've got to do everything we can to mobilize and energy them.

You know, the other side, Hillary Clinton's side or maybe Bernie Sanders's side, who knows, you know, they're going to have the necessary resources through either unions or other types of super PACS. So we need to at least match those efforts.

LEMON: I'm wondering what this is going to mean for you on Thursday, this meeting, because, let me read this tweet first. Donald Trump tweeted this out. He said, "I look very much forward to meeting with Paul Ryan and the GOP party leadership on Thursday in D.C. Together we will beat the Dems at all levels." Do you think these big donors, Eric, are waiting to see what happens with Trump's Thursday meetings? Are you waiting as well? Does this change anything for you? Or will it?

BEACH: Well, not really. I mean in 2012, we lost eight out of nine, you know, of the swing states. This time around, you know, I think we have a great chance to win in certain states and I think you're actually going to see this become a wave election.

On the other side, you know, the winner tonight of the Democratic primary is Bernie Sanders. The energy is with him but he won't be the nominee. On our side, you know, the energy is with Donald Trump. And I think you're going to see some coattails as an effect of he's being the nominee.

LEMON: All right, Eric Beach, thank you very much. I would watch the T.V., because these guys here have a lot to say, have a lot big reaction to what you said, so I would stick around for that. I appreciate it. A lots more to come tonight on the primaries.

BEACH: Don, good night. Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you. We appreciate it. Reaction from these guys, coming up, coming up. There we go. We'll be right back.


[23:51:15] LEMON: All right, back now with our panel and the discussion. So, you know, Donald Trump is no longer -- he's a PAC? He's like a regular candidate. And you heard what Eric Beach said. And your face went red that he is a Tea ...

PRESTON: So, did Bill's, too.

LEMON: He's a Tea Party candidate.

MCENANY: He's endorsed by Sarah Palin. He's a Tea Party candidate.

PRESTON: What is it -- let's talk about that. What is a Tea Party candidate? It's whatever the candidate says that they are a Tea Party candidate.

Look, the bottom line about Donald Trump, there's been a lot said about him, he's a racist, he's not a racist, yada, yada, yada. You know what he is? He's a politician and he's an opportunist.

In every position he has taken is based upon opportunity that has helped him, certainly, in this Republican primary. And, you know, to Margaret's point of view, he has been able to win in a field of 17.

MADDEN: You made a really good point. And I think what Eric Beach was -- he's a personification I think of the average of Trump supporter on that. Donald Trump is whatever that supporter wants him to be. Because if you look at the Tea Party ...

LEMON: My producer just said the same thing in my ear as you were saying it. You were channeling each other.

MADDEN: By the way, have I told you, you have really smart producers?

You know, if you look at the genesis of the Tea Party, right, it was a reaction against what they saw as like, this growth of overspending and this growth of government as it related to ObamaCare. And Donald Trump is answered to ObamaCare is we're going to repeal and replace it with something beautiful, which probably means more government spending.

And on the other side of the Tea Party movement is this rejection of what they believed or at least an adherence to more constitutional principles and rejection of authoritarian approach that Obama had, that they believed Obama had.

And he -- with so many of Donald Trump's proposals are more grabs of executive power. So, the idea that he's consistent with the Tea Party principles is just not accurate. But, as long as his supporters believe that, they feel comfort in that.

PRESS: But the idea that he's consistent with anything ...

LEMON: Right, right.

PRESS: just unbelievable. I mean, look what he's done on the minimum wage script (ph)? Look what he's done on tax policies. Look what he's doing on ...


PRESTON: But what he did do on minimum wage, he said it at a time where in states that it didn't matter in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in Indiana states. That made states with that had a big manufacturing job losses where this working class, populist messages work. And it worked on it.

MCENANY: But, here's the thing. And to say he's not consistent on anything is not fair. I've heard hosts said this network who have interviewed going back to the '90s saying, he was railing against NAFTA then.

He said this was a raw deal for the middle class then. Reporters who have interviewed him have said the same thing. He is driven by a deep-seated passion in middle class, who has been ignored by the left and by the right. He is deeply driven to help the middle class. That is the constituency of the ...

MADDEN: But here's the problem on that, I think, it's -- where he gets questioned then and where he's -- I'm not consistent is the simple fact that his clothing lines are made where?

MCENANY: He's a businessman.

MADDEN: No, no, no, but ...

MCENANY: He's a businessman. MCENANY: OK. Here's what Donald ...


MCENANY: No. It's so crazy to me, because he criticized for -- the beginning of the campaign, they said, he could have been richer if he would have done X, Y, or Z. So he's criticized because he didn't use his resource.

MADDEN: He's not consistently when you're hypocritical.

MCENANY: No, it is consistent.

MADDEN: If you're hypocritical, that's being consistency? Consistent is hypocritical.

MCENANY: Kevin, when you were a businessman, you utilize the laws in front of you. You can criticize those laws, absolutely, you can criticize those laws, but you're going to take advantage of the laws in front you, because you are businessman ...

SELLERS: But, you know, one of the points that always -- one of the points that always come up. As Kayleigh said this earlier when talking about how he was going to expand his base. And Eric said it again in response to Hillary Clinton's attacks on how he was negative and detrimental in his plain-out sexist and disrespect for the women that he is going to respond with policy.

And the question that many people have is, what policy? I mean, we talked about him being hypocritical and him contradicting himself.

[23:55:00] He just look to the fact, you can talk about the minimum wage November 11th. He came out and said that I'm not going to do anything. Now, he's for it.

And then on foreign policy with, I'm sorry Martin, on foreign policy with NATO, he said, NATO was a good thing, March 21st, and it didn't take him about five days later to say that NATO is obsolete.

HOOVER: Yeah. We get that.


LEMON: ... and he's got it, he's got it.

HOOVER: Yes, it's -- hypocrisy is the unforgivable sin in politics, right. The American voter is smarter and they just hear, OK, he's been consistent about in trade policy, but he makes his suits in China.

I mean, come on, this is like basic and the American people are smart. They are just there, just going to sniff out a fraud. And that's the real risk we run by running somebody who actually hasn't been deeply principled in his political beliefs, in fact, we haven't been tested as a politician.

LEMON: 10 seconds.

PRESTON: You know, I just think very quickly just going back to the interview to wrap it all up. The toughest thing for that super Pac is going to be raising money, because it's very difficult to raise money when you have a (inaudible) that says he's worth $8 billion.

LEMON: Yeah.

PRESTON: That is going to be hard for those guys to raise the amount of money they need to provide the air cover and the attack ads against Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Remember (ph) what he's got going for him?

PRESS: Free media. Look what Lester Holt did this week. Lester Holt did this week. Anchored the "NBC Nightly News" from Trump Tower and gave him eight minutes at the top of the news.

LEMON: If you do a live shot outside of Manhattan, chances are you're going to see the -- I know, I know what you're saying, but there's a Trump property somewhere ...

PRESTON: Yeah, but when you anchor your broadcast by his office ...

SELLERS: I know.

LEMON: Come on, right. That was a joke. It didn't go over well.

And by the way, did Margaret's phone crack? We'll that's -- well, I let you go. So, stick around dream team. When we come right back, the voters have spoken in West Virginia.

What's next in this very unconventional race?