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Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield

Clinton, Sanders Seek Support In South Carolina; Interview With Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Democrats Prepare To Possibly Face Trump; Trump Sits Down With Pat Robertson At Regent University; Trump Says China Has No Fear or Respect For Us; Math and Momentum Seem To Favor Trump. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired February 24, 2016 - 12:30   ET



[12:31:25] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A live picture on the stage, Donald Trump speaking at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Right now he's doing the typical stump speech stuff so you're not missing anything. But the real stuff is going to come when Pat Robertson starts asking the questions and the audience starts asking the questions. So we're going to wait on that and want to bring you that stuff. Because in the meantime both Democrats have rallies or town halls that are also scheduled for this afternoon, Hillary Clinton's going to tuck up her small business support plans at a sorority house luncheon in West Columbia, South Carolina.

And Senator Bernie Sanders is heading to Kansas City, right now in fact, where he's got a rally set up for supporters there to Convention Center, that's happening about two hours from now. Earlier today in South Carolina, Senator Sanders urged the undecided voters to not get hung up on the bin count of who won and who lost individual states.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Iowa is one state, New Hampshire is another state, Nevada is another state, great state of South Carolina is another state. And you know what, there are dozens and dozens and dozens of states that follow. In some of those states I expect we're going to do very well and win maybe by large amounts. In some sates we're going to lose.


BANFIELD: South Carolina doesn't look exactly rosy for the Vermont senator. He is polling far behind Hillary Clinton there and he's actually already left today for an event in Missouri and he's campaigning in Ohio tomorrow.

This is a perfect opportunity to speak with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz because she's a Florida Democrat, happens to just be the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for joining me at this time, such a critical time in fact, too. Listen, last night I know you were watching when Donald Trump in his victory speech, you know, gave the de facto "I'm going to be the nominee." And there are a lot of voices saying the very same thing. So with that in mind, I want to ask you this -- and please don't tell me it's hypothetical, but I'm going to ask you anyway.

There have been about 16 different highly skilled political campaigns that have been faltering. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to take down Donald Trump. In fact, Jeb Bush spent $130 million and he's out. What makes either of these Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee think they could do anything different than Trump's opponents have been trying and failing at so far?

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, Ashleigh I think this is clearly, you know, as we near the end of the early state primary window, this is clearly now Donald Trump's Republican Party and they are the victims of their own bear-hugging of extremism over the last six years.

And so what will matter down the home stretch here when each party has a nominee is that our party's nominee has consistently gained the support of the majority of Americans because Americans don't want to go in the extreme direction that Republicans and that Donald Trump has doubled down on. They don't want to go backwards to the policies of George W. Bush, Republican economic policies that plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

You know, the American people want to make sure that they have a president who has their back and who is going to stand up and make sure that they have an opportunity to reach the middle class and -- but every single measurements when you look at the Republicans ...

BANFIELD: Congresswoman, i love you, you are so good at the talking points but my question was about strategy.

SCHULTZ: This is not talking points.

BANFIELD: Yes, but it is because I asked you about strategy. You can tell me talking points about what the voters want, but now you got to tell me what are the Democrats going to do about this behemoth that's coming down the pike at you?

[12:34:59] SCHULTZ: It's a very simple strategy. It's called turn out the vote. We're going to make sure that we get our folks to the polls and unlike Republicans who have done everything they can to throw obstacles in the path of so many Americans, particularly Latinos and African-Americans, and women, older people, typically those most likely to go to the polls and vote for Democrats, they do that why? Because they know when those folks vote, Democrats win because we want to make sure that we can help people reach those cornerstones of the middle class life.

So it's about voter turnout. But, you look what the Republicans have clearly embraced is turning the clock backward which Americans don't want to go. And if you look at five out of the last six presidential elections, Ashleigh, there's a reason the Democratic nominee has been elected president. Look at the Republican autopsy which specifically said that if they continue to alienate groups like Hispanics in this country that they were doomed to never win another presidential election and they also said they had to embrace comprehensive immigration reform and they haven't done that either.

BANFIELD: Let me ask you this, the National Journal has said that Trump is a one-man turnout machine for the Democrats which I'm sure you would be thrilled to hear, but when you look at some of these numbers that come from the races that we've just been through, he's polling in 55% of the moderates in the GOP electorate.

So I'm not sure that that's a fair statement to make that he's just going to be a turnout machine for Dems when he's polling in a lot of independents and people who are trying to decide between Trump and Berni.

SCHULTZ: Well, look Ashleigh, we're taking nothing for granted. You know, we're going to have the most significant turnout operation that any presidential elections has ever seen. But keep in mind, in Nevada if Donald Trump is so good at this and the Republicans are so good at it, then why did two candidates on our side of the aisle turn out more Nevada voters in our caucus than the Republicans turned out with five candidates? It's because Nevadans and Americans support our party's agenda and they will down the home stretch in November.

BANFIELD: Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, it's always great to have you. Thanks so much. I hope to ...

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

BANFIELD: ... have further conversations with you as we move ahead to the realities of who the nominees is going to make ...

SCHULTZ: Rather than hypotheticals.

BANFIELD: I know, right. But you were good not to use the hypotheticals against me. Thank you, congresswoman.

SCHULTZ: No problem. Thank you so much, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: See you soon.

SCHULTZ: You take care.

BANFIELD: All right. I want to skip right over to Virginia now because Donald Trump has taken the seat with Pat Robertson, televangelist, who happens to be the founder and chancellor of Regent University where the two are right now.

Let's listen in and don't forget the audience is going to have a chance to ask questions, too.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIABLE CANDIDATE: And for years it was the post office and you always say -- I always say to people if you can get the post office in a city, you always get the best location because they're always there first, right?


TRUMP: And this is the one for Washington. So they put it out to bid and every -- it was one of the most hotly contested projects ever in the history of the GSA government services where they sort of the landlord for United States real estate, big landlord. And they chose us. And it's a great honor because we were chosen in the Obama Administration, which is sort of amazing because a lot of people felt we wouldn't be able to get it. But we have a great financial statement and we want to make sure it gets done and we have a great track record for this stuff.

And we're building our hotel 300 rooms that is going to be, I think one of the great hotels of the world. We're a year and a half ahead of schedule even more than that but we're a year and a half ahead of schedule which is a little unusual when you're talking about governments because they never even close.

ROBERTSON: That's right.

TRUMP: But we're one and a half years and we're under budget and it'll open in September of this year and they were supposed to open up in September in two years from now. And I thought I could just have, you know, we really have a great team, Eric and Don are working on it and Ivanka is really in charge of that one and she's done an amazing job. And it's going to be one of the most beautiful hotels, I think it will be one of the great hotels of the world.

ROBERTSON: Let's assume you run the table and that you, about a year from now, that you got your hand on the Bible and you're swearing an oath before the chief justice of the United States and then you're president at that point. You're it.

OK. There's a little office underneath the Capitol where you could go to and by the stroke of a pen you could cancel a great many of the executive orders of your predecessor. You don't need Congress you -- the executive order you'd (inaudible), what would you do?

TRUMP: Well, I would do that and we expect to cancel many of the executive orders that were passed because, you know, Obama has not been able to run things the way you're supposed to run them. You're supposed to get the congressman in, the senators in, you're supposed to make deals like Ronald Reagan, Tip O'Neill, they were opposites but they made deals and they liked each other.

I will say this, Pat. I've been involved in politics for a long time, all my life. I've gotten tremendous zoning changes. I deal in politics in other countries because we're building all over the world and we have jobs going up all over the world, a lot of jobs. But I have never seen division like you have now.

[12:40:01] You know, it used to be you'd go to a restaurant in Washington, you'd see a Republican having dinner with a Democrat and they're best friends.


TRUMP: You don't see that anymore. There's hatred. The country is so divided. Whether it's African-American, white, congressman, Democrat, Republican, I mean, it's just like we have a whole divided country. I've never seen anything like it.

But we used to see and I used to be part of Democrats and Republicans having dinners together with their families and their wives and it was a nice thing.


TRUMP: And then they, you know, they'd be coming back the next day but they would be -- they get along and they get things done.

So today we have a president that can't get anything done and he's signed executive orders. So one of the first ones get along and get things done so today we have a president that can't get anything done and he signs executive orders. So one of the first ones I'd knock out is his executive order on the Second Amendment where he's chipping away at it which is so important, the Second Amendment.

And the other one would be the one on the boarder where basically he wants people to pour into the country unchecked and the courts have been, you know, following that one. And Amazingly we had a couple of pretty good decisions so far. But it's still out there so I'd save the legal fees, frankly and get rid of it. I'd knock it out very fast but -- because we do have to, and I know you believe in this, you have to have strong borders. If we don't have strong borders -- you saw the pope came out against me a little bit but that was before he, you know, he was very nice because the next day he issued a statement.

ROBERTSON: Well, he realized he had a pretty big wall around the Vatican.

TRUMP: And so we see. Really great. So I hear this guy, I mean he was told probably that, oh, you have this man named Trump and he wants to create a very strong borders and he wants to build a wall. We got to build a wall, we're going to build the wall. Drugs are pouring across the border, people are coming in just like -- it's like we don't even have a country. If you don't have a border, you don't have a country.

So -- But he was good. He was a little bit strong at first, sort of interesting because it's the day before the election, right, and I said to myself, oh, no, and my people came up to me and they said Mr. Trump the pope just made a big statement about you. I said, "Good or bad?" But we have to -- we have the election like the next morning, so it's good or bad. They said not good. I said, "This is a disaster." And it turned out to be that he, you know, he talked about the border. And he didn't mention the wall and then I said the first thing I thought of I said, but I've seen the Vatican, that's the most incredible wall. That wall goes up to that ceiling, right?

A lot about this. So I think he actually took a little -- he actually was very, very, nice the next day. You know, nobody explained to him about the crime, nobody explained to him about the drugs pouring across in the economy. And he was actually very nice but it was a very interesting period. You don't want to hear the day before your election that the pope said something about you this time.

ROBERTSON: We've got a massive deficit and we're running a deficit every year and the wasteful spending is out of control. There was a commission of Senator Simpson and Erskine Bowles got together and gave a very reasoned proposal. Have you adapted anything like that? We've got to have to have some way of cutting the spending now. What are you going to do?

TRUMP: Other than and I think I could add to it a lot because I'm going to bring jobs back to the country. Our country has been stripped. We've rebuilt China. And, again, I like china, I think China is wonderful. I'm not angry at China. I'm angry at our representatives, our people, our president for doing such bad deals and not just Obama. This goes back, you know, this isn't just now but Obama has been horrible and others have been also. And so I'm not upset with China.

I have them as tenants and I have the biggest bank in the world as a tenant in one of my buildings in Manhattan. I sell millions and millions of dollars worth of condominiums to the Chinese, so I can't be angry at them. Same thing with Mexico, I mean I have great relationships with Mexico. The problem is in both cases but really in all cases, all countries, every country is killing us because we have people that are political hex that are negotiating trade deals they know nothing about it and they have the smartest, sharpest people that they pick out when they're practically three years old. You understand that.


TRUMP: They go up this pyramid chain and they pick them out very early and our people cannot deal with it because we're not using -- and we have the greatest business people in the world. We don't use them. So Carl Icahn is an example, endorsed me. Many of the business people endorse me, the great ones. And we're going to use our greatest business people to negotiate trade deals and we're going to not be losing this kind of money. We have horrible, horrible deals with Japan and everyone else.

ROBERTSON: You know there was a law passed, Sarbanes-Oxley and the numbers of IPOs that have been brought forth since then have been drastically curtailed. Now we got the inversions where people go from Ireland or Canada or some will tax (ph) and put their headquarters there.

TRUMP: That's right.

ROBERTSON: And yet our tax burden on corporation is probably the highest in the world. What are you going to do with it?

TRUMP: So we have the highest taxes in the world, the United States. Think of it. [12:45:01] With deficits like this yet we have high taxes. I'm cutting taxes very substantially for businesses as we're going to bring businesses back. We're going to bring our jobs back. We're going to make sure that, you know, look, China is one of the great money -- currency manipulators in history ever, ever. There's nobody ever like this.

Japan is really good but China is even better. And they have done a number on us with manipulation, with devaluations. In fact our dollar goes up and everyone says "Oh, isn't that wonderful?" In the meantime look at Caterpillar, they can't sell their tractor.

It's a very bad situation going on. So and they have no fear of us. They have no respect for us anymore. In the South China Sea before I left I was watching where their building is massive, massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea. They're not supposed to be doings it. But they're doing it because they don't respect our president, they don't -- I mean, he gives them state dinners when they come over but they have no respect.

And we have a lot of power over China, we just don't know it. We have people that don't know it. The power is great. We've rebuilt them. They are taking so much money out of our country.

What they've done and I say it's the greatest robbery in the history of the world, what they've done. We've rebuilt China. You just take a look. We have rebuilt it -- they've taken so much money out. And we have to stop it and use our power because we have a lot of power because of trade. We have to stop it and we can get them to do things like they have to solve the North Korea problem. We have a North Korea problem that you probably know better than I do because that's also a part of the world that you look at.

But we have a big problem. You know they don't exist without China but China says "Well, we don't have that kind of control." They're just toying with us. They have total control over it.

The other one that does is Iran. So why didn't we when we made our deal a month ago aren't we insist that they take care of this guy instead of us going over always going over with the ships and the weapons and the planes and, you know, dropping bombs if we have to. And then you have South Korea, who I love, I have buildings in South Korea, but they make a fortune, I buy television sets, I buy tremendous amounts of things from there because we don't make television sets anymore, folks, I would like to make them here.

BANFIELD: Donald Trump has been answering questions from Televangelist Pat Robertson on the stage at Regent University. He's the founder and chancellor of that university. And he knows a thing or two about running for a Republican nomination because the year I decided to get into this business, 1998, is the year he actually ran for the Republican nomination.

So when I got into the business, I was told there would be no math, that's an homage to "Saturday Night Live" from the '70s, And I'm sorry to say. But it turns out there is a lot of math and if you're going to cover politics in this election you need to be -- let's just say you need a doctorate in it because the math that it might take to take that man down is astronomical. We're going to talk a little bit about the math and all the theories that surround it in just a moment.


[12:52:22] BANFIELD: You know, anything can happen when a slew of states hold presidential nominating contests six short days from today.

On the Republican side, one candidate clearly has what you call momentum and he may have the math on his side as well. I'm speaking, of course, to the guy with the big math on the left -- I said math, not mouth, but you can take it as you want.

Donald Trump padded his delegate lead with a blowout win in yesterday's Nevada caucuses and he now has won three of the four state contests to date.

Joining me to talk about this and what it means and doesn't mean is Tara Setmayer, who is not only adorable, she's former communications chief for Republican U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. And she's great what she does.

So walk me through this. We're heading into Super Tuesday. It's critical for everybody, very critical for him. You and your folks who watch politics have constantly said that Donald Trump has a ceiling. And when I first heard it a few months ago it was 30 percent. He broached that.

Last night it was almost 46. Are we well past talking about Donald Trump ceiling and the significance of it?



SETMAYER: Nevada, well because Nevada is one of those places where it was very favorable to Trump. You don't that many people come out and support, it's a caucus not a primary so you have the diehards that come out in the caucus situation.

And when you -- I think when he -- when we get to the states on Super Tuesday on the first -- obviously in March 15th, that's where if he can start breaking 50 percent, that's when you can say "OK, obviously he no longer has a ceiling."

And listen, Trump is very, you know, Nevada is ...

BANFIELD: He's four points away from 50 percent.

SETMAYER: Yeah, but this is Nevada.

BANFIELD: These are the states, right here, there are six of them and look at the big kahuna on the bottom, Texas with 155 delegates. Well, he maybe but look, he's gone into contests before we where haven't been 100 percent certain. And he's done very well. The notion here that he has to get 50 percent of the votes in order to sweep those delegates up in winner take all is not so crazy anymore given what happened last night 46 percent -- 45.9.

SETMAYER: But I can't emphasize enough, in a caucus state with a very small amount of the actual electorate. When you get into primary states where more folks actually go out and vote I think it's more difficult when you have a Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz still in the race polling those voters.

BANFIELD: You mean like New Hampshire? That ain't a caucus.

SETMAYER: No, but -- yeah, that's in New Hampshire what did he get? He got 33 percent of the vote roughly.

BANFIELD: Yeah, a whole lot more people in the race, too.

SETMAYER: That's very true and I think that if he didn't have all those folks in the race I don't know that they necessarily would have broken for Trump, they might have broken for other people.

[12:55:05] So I think it's important to keep this in perspective. I know everyone is very anxious to say "Oh, that's it, he's going to sweep the whole thing, only four point." But we still have some very important contests coming up where the dynamics are different.

BANFIELD: I've got ...

SETMAYER: ... I mean and Trump isn't winning all of them.

BANFIELD: I've got 20 seconds. Why are the others all attacking each other and not Trump?

SETMAYER: That's the big question. Moving forward they have to shift tactics. There has to be a bold attempt to point out Donald Trump's record. He has gone through this thing virtually unscathed because there's too much of a circular firing squad amongst each other.

I mean, look at $215 billion was spent against everybody fighting each other. Only $9 million was spent against Trump. People need to see his record in his own words and he needs to start facing scrutiny. If not, he's going to run away with this thing.

BANFIELD: All right, Tara Setmayer, thank you for that, we'll continue to watch. It's getting so exciting. I keep saying that every other days.

SETMAYER: Definitely not dull.

BANFIELD: Tara Setmayer for us.

Thanks for watching everybody, is too good to have you with us.

Kate Bolduan is sitting in for Wolf. And she starts right after this quick break.