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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) Joins Field As More Dems Tease Potential Run; Senator Sanders Tries to Win Over Diverse Voter Base. Aired 4:30- 5p ET

Aired April 4, 2019 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:30:11] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: In our 2020 lead today, if you thought the Democratic field was already crowded with 16 declared candidates as of this morning -- well, brace yourself, not only is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg teasing a special announcement in mid-April which almost certainly will be formally entering the race, but Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan took to the set of "The View" to jump in as a candidate today. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says she's leaving the door open.

And this guy, Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, is eyeing a 2020 announcement later this month. Crowded stage.

Take a listen to Congressman Tim Ryan on "The View" earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm a progressive who knows how to talk to working class people. And I know how to get elected in working class districts because at the end of the day, the progressive agenda is what's best for working families.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: So that's his thing. That's his message. He's from Ohio. He can talk to the working class people that Hillary Clinton was not able to as successfully last time.

What do you think?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I feel like there are other people, probably, that are going to be in the race that could do that, that have a higher profile.

TAPPER: Who?

POWERS: Well, if Joe Biden gets in. He'd be a good example.

I also want to take issue with the idea that progressives can't talk to working class people. That's not really accurate. I mean, there's no reason Bernie Sanders can't talk to working class people, right? So everybody has their kind of idea of what makes them special. And if they want to get in the race, they can get in the race. It's like they were going to have to raise the money, and they're going to have to qualify to get onto the stage. If they can do that, then they should be in the race.

TAPPER: I want to ask you because you have been bullish on Biden. You've said Joe Biden is the biggest threat to president Trump. Do you still feel that way of after all these allegations of touching people, touching women in inappropriate ways, not sexually, but in their space in their personal space?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do. I think Joe Biden is an incredible retail politician. Very smart guy. I do think he still is the largest threat. I would say this, though. All these guys getting in, whoever -- when you guys run out of hosts for the town hall meeting, I'll sign up to do Tim Ryan, Swalwell. I know there's not enough guys at CNN to do 30 or 40.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'll do it with -- we're just going to do our pitch on the table.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: We'll do a team up.

But I want to ask Mary Katharine because it might as well -- right now, we're looking at it. It could be as many as 26 declared Democratic candidates.

MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

TAPPER: And what's the lesson that you went through as a Republican with so many candidates, although it wasn't quite 26. It was almost 20.

URBAN: Seventeen.

TAPPER: What might happen? Is there a warning there for Democrats?

HAM: Be careful with the drinking games because there will be two- tier debates. You want to pace yourself.

And also, I think when you have a giant field like that, it really matters who is at the top of polling at the beginning of this ride. This is why Buttigieg is so interesting because he is earning it and moving up organically because he knows how to speak to people. And so he's interesting to me because he doesn't have all this name ID and he's messing with the top tier.

I enjoy seeing that. If it's just the top tier, I think a Biden just starts collecting and collecting.

URBAN: But he's Mayor Pete already. He's got like one name. He's like Cher. SANDERS: He's been there because he ran for chair of the Democratic

National Committee in a race where he was not successful. People really did like him, myself included.

I'll say this -- I'm a member of the DNC. I'm one of those superdelegates you like to talk about. And the difference between -- I know, right?

The difference between the way the DNC will conduct the debate process and the RNC conducted theirs, at the DNC, there won't be a tiered debate. They are going to be transparent in the way they pick randomly who gets on the stage over two nights. So, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden could be on the stage with Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson.

TAPPER: Yes. Everyone, stick around, because one candidate not getting lost in the crowd is the clear front-runner among declared Democratic candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. This time around, he's trying to correct some of the missteps in 2016 mainly by reaching out to a diverse voting base among the Democratic field.

CNN's Ryan Nobles now takes a look at whether his new approach will be enough to win over these voters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign is off to a fast start. But in order to go from current front-runner to Democratic standard bearer, the Vermont senator will need to bring in a more diverse group of supporters than he did in 2016.

REV. JOSEPH DARBY, CHARLESTON BRANCH, NAACP: He needs to develop a greater level of cultural competency when it comes to the black community.

NOBLES: Reverend Joe Darby is an NAACP leader in Charleston, South Carolina, a state where the black vote is crucial in the Democratic primary and a state Sanders lost by nearly 50 points to Hillary Clinton.

(on camera): He did not do very well here.

DARBY: No, he didn't.

NOBLES (voice-over): Overall in 2016, Sanders lost black voters to Clinton by an average of nearly 57 percent in states where there were exit polls.

[16:35:06] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Based on what I'm seeing tonight we're going to do just fine here in South Carolina.

NOBLES: This time around, he's already made changes to his approach, in part by getting personal about his connection to civil rights.

SANDERS: My years here in Chicago gave me the opportunity to become involved in the civil rights movement.

NOBLES: Sanders has filled his schedule with travel to Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, in South Carolina for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

SANDERS: We now have a president of the United States who is a racist.

NOBLES: He's also named black leaders to prominent roles within his campaign and made a specific push to address issues of concern to African-American voters.

This month, he appeared with South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn to tout a plan to increase funding to community health centers.

SANDERS: That impacts people all across this country and, in fact, it impacts people of color even more.

NOBLES: Clyburn believes such efforts from Sanders are important for him to grow his support.

(on camera): Could that resonate with them in a primary?

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC) I hope it does. I really believe that people ought to give just due to people who do things.

NOBLES (voice-over): While the Sanders strategy shift is apparent, it's too early to tell if it's paying off. His raucous rallies typically draw predominantly white crowds, even in places such as North Charleston, a city where nearly half the population is black. Darby's advice to Sanders, make sure his proposals directly address the concerns of black voters.

DARBY: Rising tide floats all boats, but if racial prejudice has put your boat a mile inland, it's still going to be hard to float.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBLES: While Sanders will continue that pitch here in New York City tomorrow where he addresses Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network Conference. And we can tell the Sanders campaign is already putting a special emphasis on that speech. His advisers telling me that they are still putting the finishing touches on what Sanders has to say here tomorrow.

And Sanders' prominent African-American supporters and advisers like Nina Turner and Shaun King, they often say the big thing Senator Sanders has to do is actually talk to black voters. The more they hear from him directly about what his policy proposals are, the better he will do with that group of powerful Democratic voters -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Ryan, thank you so much.

Symone, you worked for Sanders in 2016, although you haven't endorsed any candidate in this race. I have to say, they said that in 2016.

SANDERS: I remember. I was writing talking points. I think I remember.

URBAN: Symone said it.

SANDERS: I would say this: one, I think 2016 was a different race. Two, I think that Senator Sanders is doing what he's supposed to do. Since 2016, he -- this isn't the first time he's been in NAN. He was in NAN in 2016, he's been a NAN --

TAPPER: That's the National Action Network --

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I think what will make a difference is, look, if people like him and the thing is likability is subjective. We often talk about likability in terms of women candidates, but it's literally about if people like you and like what you have to say, and if they think you can win. And so what I would suggest and what I've said to multiple people is I don't think rallies are the way to connect with black voters. We ain't coming out to the rally at noon in the middle of the day when I can be at lunch. I don't care who you are.

TAPPER: Not for Sanders.

SANDERS: Yes, but I don't think it's because people don't like him. There's multiple reasons people won't come to rallies in the middle of the day. If you want to connect with black voters, you have to do retail politics. You need to be in the town halls taking questions from folks. You need to connect with the community members that's not trying to endorse you. They just want to hear from you and let them bring their network into the room, that's what will make a difference.

TAPPER: Kirsten, what do you think is the reason that Sanders has been struggling? Look, he ran a very strong second last time, but he's struggled with African-American voters. Why?

POWERS: I don't know. I mean, I think the truth is he struggled with a lot of people who were put off by the socialism thing. And I don't know, you know if that -- how that plays in the African-American community or not.

But I think there's just a certain group of people who really love him and who really sort of glommed on to him and everybody else was pretty tepid about him or they liked Hillary. So I think he has managed to move the party, though. And so now he's moved the party more into a place where I think you have more Democrats now being open to this Democratic socialism, not, you know, like Venezuelan socialism but something more like Norway. And I think that people are becoming more open to that so I think they'll probably be more open to him.

TAPPER: We should point out that Bernie Sanders has a tax return issue as well, in the interest of fairness. Take a listen to this exchange between president -- I'm sorry, Senator Bernie Sanders and Wolf Blitzer. I'm used to saying President Trump. Here's Sanders and Wolf Blitzer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Will you release ten years of your tax returns as you know Elizabeth Warren has decided to do that?

[16:40:00] SANDERS: Yes.

BLITZER: What was the delay? Why haven't you done that so far? So when do you think we'll be able to see your tax returns?

SANDERS: Sooner than later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: So that was February. CNN followed up with him today. Kind of got brushed off. He is the front-runner.

What do you make of this all?

URBAN: Look, I think, again, with tax returns, nobody cares. Nobody cares at the end of the day. That's why he's been able to do it, why President Trump has been able to do it. It's a nonstory.

SANDERS: I don't think it's true that no one cares.

URBAN: I think no one cares.

SANDERS: I think people do care about tax returns. And I will say I'm glad I'm not the spokesperson defending why we aren't releasing tax returns.

URBAN: You had to last time.

SANDERS: No one cared last time because he wasn't Hillary Clinton. Now they care because he's the front-runner. We need to be frank. That's why people care.

TAPPER: What do you think?

HAM: Yes, it's best practices to release them. I don't fault people from making sure their noses are 100 percent clean before they do that. So, that can take sometime, if you're talking 10 years, which I don't think ten years is necessary, but there may be stuff in there that he's a little less socialist on the face than he seems. I'm sure there's some of that, too.

SANDERS: I don't think Bernie Sanders is in bed with the Russians or has any --

TAPPER: All right.

URBAN: Here we go again.

SANDERS: I'm just saying. That's what people are going to say.

TAPPER: Coming up -- new questions about safety versus sales when it comes to the 737 MAX plane. The one thing a former Boeing employee said the company insisted on when building that plane, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Our "World Lead" now. CNN has obtained the report that aviation authorities say shows that pilots did everything they were trained to do to try to save Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. That flight crashed last month killing all 157 people onboard. The plane appeared normal when cleared for takeoff at 8:37 that morning, according to a detailed timeline in the preliminary crash report.

Roughly 90 seconds later, at 8:39, the plane reached an altitude of about 1,000 feet and climbing. Now it was about a minute later at 8:40, an automated system pushed the plane's nose down. It happened again eight seconds later and then a third time right after that. The captain quickly responded calling out, quote, "Pull up" three times. Both the captain and co-pilot tried to pull the nose up repeatedly with no success.

The captain was then heard asking the co-pilot to use the backup manual trim wheel. The co-pilot responded it was not working. The last recorded system readings of the plane were captured at 8:43 and 20 seconds. At that point, multiple alarms were going off in the cockpit. The nose was pointed 40 degrees down and the plane going roughly 575 miles an hour. Flight 302 crashed shortly thereafter, about six minutes after takeoff.

Now, for the first time today, Boeing is acknowledging its software may have contributed to the Ethiopian Airlines crash and in another one five months earlier. As it now works on its software fix, a former Boeing engineer says part of the 737 MAX development made him uncomfortable. He talked to CNN's Drew Griffin who has more from a Boeing plant in Washington State.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN (voice over): In its push to sell the plane to customers, former Boeing operations analyst Rick Ludtke says Boeing had a mandate -- make sure any changes to the plane would not require additional pilot training in a simulator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK LUDTKE, FORMER BOEING ANALYST: Unprecedented. It never happened in the past that I'm aware of. We were very uncomfortable with this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN (voice over): Ludtke says Boeing managers told him they even sold the plane to Southwest Airlines with a guarantee, a rebate of a million dollars per plane if simulator training was required.

The flight control analyst says the demand to avoid simulator training known as Level D took over design of the aircraft.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUDTKE: Throughout the design iteration, all the status meetings with managers, that was something that was always asked. You know, "Are we threatened? Are we risking Level D?" And if you are, you have got to change it.

I think philosophically, it was the wrong thing for the company to do, to mandate such a limitation. To strongly avoid it, makes sense, but to prevent it? I think you can see the line from that to these accidents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN (voice over): Federal investigators are now trying to determine if Boeing's cost-saving moves could somehow lead to criminal charges.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

GRIFFIN (on camera): And Jake, both Boeing and Southwest Airlines did not respond to CNN questions about this business arrangement, but what they are speaking to these design engineers et cetera are speaking to is a potentially bigger problem here that's going to require more than just software to fix. Was this software only on the plane because of an original design problem with this plane behind me? That's one of the questions that investigators are now taking a look at.

TAPPER: All right, Drew Griffin in Washington State, thank you so much. I want to bring in Peter Goelz right now. He is a former managing director for the National Transportation Safety Board, which is one of the agencies analyzing the crash data.

Peter, thanks for being here. Ethiopian authorities say that these pilots did everything they were trained to do to regain control over the plane. When you look at the timeline, do you agree?

PETER GOELZ, AVIATION ANALYST, CNN: I think they did. They tried to follow the manual as best they could in a very chaotic situation. They then freelanced a little bit at the end because they weren't getting the results that they needed to save the plane.

TAPPER: So in response to the preliminary report, Boeing released a statement that said in part, quote, "Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS," is that how you say that?

GOELZ: MCAS, yes.

TAPPER: "And manually control the airplane." Is manual mode common for pilots of everyday commercial flights? How often would you say pilots lack confidence in the automated systems?

[16:50:01]

GOELZ: Well, I think it certainly is less and less common that pilots are using manual mode and the whole design of the fly by wire planes is to keep them off manual mode. Let the plane and the computers do the heavy lifting and you guys are there to step in only periodically. So I think there is a problem between man and machine that we haven't settled yet. TAPPER: So right now, if you get in an airplane, basically, the

computer is flying the plane for the most part, is that what passengers should understand?

GOELZ: That's right. As soon as takeoff is achieved, they go to autopilot and the plane's systems take over.

TAPPER: There's a lot of pressure on the FAA for its role in approving the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. When the FAA makes approvals like this, do other countries, other nations, whether it's Malaysia or Ethiopia or wherever, do they follow the FAA's lead?

GOELZ: Absolutely, and that's one of the big challenges. The FAA has been the gold standard for decades, that when they certify a plane, when they make a safety recommendation, when they make an air- worthiness directive, everybody falls in line, because they're respected. This has really, I think, shaken that respect and it's going to take some time for the FAA to regain the respect that they need to lead this industry.

TAPPER: All right, Peter Goelz, former managing director for the NTSB, thanks so much for your expertise. We appreciate it.

GOELZ: Thank you.

TAPPER: Breaking news now. The FBI now says they have the DNA results from that teenager who was found wandering in the streets. He said he was the boy who vanished eight years ago. Is he who he says he is? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:55:00]

TAPPER: Breaking news in our "National Lead." The FBI has some heartbreaking news for the family of a child who's been missing for eight years. Investigators have been waiting for DNA results since yesterday after a teenager was found wandering in a Kentucky neighborhood, claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen.

Pitzen made headlines several years ago when his mother, seen here on surveillance video, abruptly pulled him out of school and took him on a three-day road trip to water parks and zoos before she committed suicide in a hotel room. Timmothy has not been seen since.

CNN's Ryan Young is in Aurora, Illinois, where Timmothy Pitzen is from. And Ryan, the news is not good?

RYAN YOUNG, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: No. No. The news is not good and it's actually having an impact right here in the neighborhood where this young man used to live. People who are neighbors of his actually started crying when we gave them this information, because they can't believe that this again is sort of like a tearjerker.

The idea that they finally thought they found this young man, but it didn't happen. In fact, Jake, he used to live in that house right down there. And so some of these people have lived there that long. In fact, this neighbor right here saved his bike. This was the bike that everyone in this neighborhood would see him riding on throughout this neighborhood for years and they've kept this.

In fact, they don't let anyone ride on this bike, because they were hoping for one day that Timmothy would come home and they would be able to give him his bike. They were telling us he would play in this front yard, and in fact, there's even a picture of him inside this home here, where they held it just in case he would show up.

The impact in this community has been great because when they got the news about 24 hours ago that maybe Timmothy had final been found, they thought the mystery, the cycle had finally been broken and someone could give them the details about where this missing kid has been for so long.

There's even a rock garden here at the elementary school where people try to remember this kid and when we walked around town today, people were sort of excited about the idea that finally he would be able to tell them where he's been for so long. But that did not happen.

So this news that the FBI has given has sort of shocked people initially. The two people, three people who live in this house right here who remember him started instantly crying as soon as they found out this was not going to be the young man they found. Where does the investigation go from here now? That of course -- that is the big question. Why would this person use Timmothy's name? Those are all things they're going to have to kind of dial back down and try to figure out exactly how this happened.

And what about the two men they were initially looking for in that white SUV with Wisconsin plates and we don't know. We're not sure at this point, because hopefully someone from the FBI will be able to tell us this. Jake, a lot of questions tonight, but also a lot of hurt feelings.

TAPPER: All right, Ryan, thank you so much. Appreciate it. The President just spoke moments ago at the White House. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... not to disclose to the House Ways and Means Committee, your ...

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They'll speak to my lawyers. They'll speak to the Attorney General.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you direct the IRS to do that?

TRUMP: They'll speak to my lawyers and they'll speak to the Attorney General. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trade deal with China, one that lowers the U.S. trade deficit with China and how soon would it be before we can judge this particular trade deal?

TRUMP: Well, I think a trade deal with China is good for the world. It's good for us and China, but it's good also for the world. I think it's very important and we'll see if it happens. We've never done a deal like this with China and it's a very unique set of circumstances. But it's a massive deal. It could be one of the -- I guess it is, if you think about it, the biggest deal ever made. There can't be a deal like this no matter where you look, there can't be a deal like this.

This is the grand daddy of them all. And we'll see if it happens. It has got a very, very good chance of happening. I think it will be great for both countries. But it will be -- it will be a much fairer deal for us, because over the years, we've lost a lot of -- a lot of money to China. China has done very well. And I don't blame China. I say it all the time. I don't blame China. I blame the people that sat right at this desk.

They should have never allowed that to happen, so it will bring a lot of things back. I think it will be great for the United States. I think it's going to be hopefully really good for China, too. It's going to be good for everybody, yes.