Return to Transcripts main page

State of the Union

Interview with Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Interview with Sen. Ted Cruz; All Five Campaigns Sit Down Together; The White House Correspondents' Dinner On This Week's "State of the Cartoonion". Aired 9-10a ET

Aired May 01, 2016 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Game on.

Fresh off his big wins, Trump sets his sights on Hillary Clinton.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote.

TAPPER: How will she respond to his new attacks?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave.

TAPPER: Our exclusive interview.

Plus, Ted Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is the people of Indiana who the country is depending on right now.

TAPPER: Fighting for attention with a V.P. pick.

CARLY FIORINA (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tough fights don't worry me a bit.

TAPPER: But with Trump closing in on the magic number, will it be enough?

TRUMP: It's amazing. Looks like Indiana is going to be really, really important. We're just about ready to put it away, folks.

TAPPER: I will ask him next.

And a Sunday first. Top advisers from every single campaign will go head to head live at our roundtable.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is a bit hung over.

This town's biggest party, the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, which critics find an appalling self-congratulatory symbol of all that's wrong with Washington, stretched into the wee hours of the morning.

And President Obama seemed to relish his final year at the podium, cracking jokes at the expense of the media, including CNN, Congress, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and, of course, Donald Trump.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am a little hurt that he's not here tonight. We had so much fun that last time.


OBAMA: And it is surprising. You've got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras. And he says no.


OBAMA: Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald?


OBAMA: What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home eating a Trump Steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel?


OBAMA: What's he doing?


TAPPER: The president also anticipated what that dinner might look like in 2017.


OBAMA: Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be, but...



TAPPER: A general election matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump looks increasingly likely.

And when I sat down with Clinton on Friday, in her first and only interview since her commanding four state primary victories Tuesday night, I asked her how she plans to take on Trump.


TAPPER: Madam Secretary, thanks so much for doing this. And congratulations on Tuesday night.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks a lot, Jake. It was terrific. It was really...

TAPPER: Four for five.

CLINTON: Yes, we did a -- we had a great campaign in all the states. It felt good.

TAPPER: That night, Donald Trump said that he considers himself the presumptive nominee of his party. Do you consider yourself the presumptive nominee?

CLINTON: No. I consider myself as someone who is on the path.

And, obviously, I'm very far ahead in both the popular vote and the delegate count. So I think the path leads to a nomination, but, you know, I'm going to keep competing in the elections that are up ahead of us.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders issued a statement that night that suggested he's not necessarily running to win anymore. He's running to advance progressive causes on the Democratic platform, specifically named $15 minimum wage at the national level, Medicare for all, breaking up the banks, changing our trade policy, and passing a tax on carbon.

Are these issues where you think you could make a deal with Senator Sanders, find some common ground and get those issues on the platform should you be the nominee?

CLINTON: Well, I certainly look forward to working with Senator Sanders in the lead-up to the convention, in the lead-up to the platform that will represent the Democratic Party.

It will be a progressive platform. I have run on a progressive agenda. I really welcome his ideas and his supporters' passion and commitment, because the most important thing for us is to win in November. There is no more important goal.

And I was pleased when Senator Sanders said the other day he's going to work tirelessly, seven days a week, to make sure that Donald Trump is not president. And I really welcome back that, because that has to be our primary objective.

TAPPER: It's interesting, because of all of the people in the world, there's probably no one who knows what Bernie Sanders is feeling more than you.

CLINTON: Right. Right.

TAPPER: Take us back to 2008, what you think Senator Sanders is going through, because it's like, oh, I came so close, but...

CLINTON: It's hard, Jake.

You throw yourself into these campaigns body and soul. You work 24/7. Your family, your supporters, everybody is so invested in trying to win. And I'm very proud of my campaign, grateful that I have such strong support.

But I absolutely understand that Senator Sanders has been a passionate advocate for positions that he cares deeply about. I think that's been helpful to the Democratic primary process. He's brought millions of people into the process, which I think is also very good for the Democratic Party.


But there comes a time when up to look at the reality. In fact, in '08, I was much closer in both popular vote and pledged delegates to Senator Obama than is the case right now. But, eventually, I just decided that I had to withdraw and support Senator Obama because the goal was to make sure we had a Democrat in the White House.

I'm going to be very aggressive in reaching out to Senator Sanders' supporters. But we have so much in common and we have far more in common than they do Donald Trump or any Republican.

TAPPER: You talked about Donald Trump's foreign policy. He gave a foreign policy address recently. I'm wondering if you had a chance to see it or think -- or read about it and what you thought.

CLINTON: Well, I certainly read about it. And I think it's quite concerning.

His talk about pulling out of NATO, his talk about letting other countries have nuclear weapons, which runs counter to 70 years of bipartisan national security policy, his idea that he -- quote -- "has a secret plan" to get rid of ISIS and he's not going to tell anybody, I find it disturbing because I -- as a senator from New York for eight years, as secretary of state for four years, I know that the stakes are high, that we face some real challenges and dangers in the world.

And I don't think loose talks about loose nukes, I don't think turning our back on our strongest allies, I don't think pretending you have some sort of secret plan is a very smart way to go forward in leading the world, which is what we must do.

TAPPER: On some issues, it seems like he's going to run to your left, on a populist left, and one of them might be the use of force and military intervention, and whether it's Libya or Iraq, what will your response be when he says Hillary Clinton is part of the group that gets but into these wars?

CLINTON: Well, look, I think that I'm always someone who uses military force as a last resort. It's not a first choice.

As secretary of state, I talked a about smart power, about diplomacy and development. So, when you have somebody who says he's going to be tough and he's going to get results, but he doesn't tell you how he's going to do it, I think we will have a lot to contrast with.

TAPPER: He also said that, if you were a man, you would be at 5 percent in the polls. What did you think when you heard that?

CLINTON: You know, I don't respond to his attacks on me. I think it's kind of silly.

I was elected to the Senate twice from New York. I was someone who got more than 18 million votes the first time I ran. I now have two million more votes than Donald Trump has, more than 12 million votes to his 10. So, it doesn't really square with reality.

TAPPER: He has taken politics to a new place with his negative branding of people, whether it's saying that Jeb Bush is low-energy or talking about lyin' Ted Cruz.


TAPPER: And for his supporters, it's really worked. He has lately taken to calling you, I believe, corrupt Hillary. And he's had some rather personal and pointed tweets.

Have you learned anything from watching the way that Republicans dealt with him in the primaries that will inform how you will deal with such an unconventional candidate?

CLINTON: Well, remember, I -- I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.

I'm not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me. He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I could really care less. I'm going to stand up for what I think the American people need and want in the next president.

That's why I have laid out very specific plans. There's nothing secret about what I want to do with the economy, with education, with health care, with foreign policy. I have laid it all out there. And he can't or he won't. I can't tell which.

So we're going to talk about what we want to do for the country, and he can continue on his insult fest, but that's the choice he's making.

TAPPER: He will also try to attack you for the trade deals that he's attacked so many of his Republican rivals for. And he says he's going to try to redraw the map and compete in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan, appealing to white working-class voters who feel like most favored nation status for China or NAFTA hurt them.

What argument will you make to those white working-class voters?

CLINTON: Well, look, I won I Ohio, more votes than he got in Ohio. I won Pennsylvania, more votes than he got in Pennsylvania. I feel very good about where we are, because I have a positive agenda to create jobs.

And I have said very clearly, I will not support any trade agreement that I don't think creates more good jobs with rising incomes. That's why I'm against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's why I voted against the only multilateral trade agreement that came before me when I was in the Senate.


You know, I think that he can say whatever he wants to say, and he will, of course. But I have a track record of really helping people and standing up against China.

TAPPER: Do you think that the trade deals pushed forward in the '80s and '90s, ultimately, some of them hurt working-class voters in this country?

CLINTON: There's no doubt about that. And they were mixed. They helped a lot of people and they hurt people.

And one of the problems in our country is that we don't do enough for people who are hurt by trade deals. But just picture this. I was at an auto plant, a unionized auto plant, a UAW local, oldest local in the country, outside of South Bend the other day.

They are making Mercedes-Benz cars to export to China. They're making the only mobile vehicle for people with disabilities to export around the world. They make Humvees. They have a broad array of products they produce there, about 1,400 people, with 3,000 more in the supply chain.

So, they are in the global market, but they're in it in a way that advantages America. That's what I'm looking for. We're only 5 percent of the population. We've got to trade with the other 95 percent. We just have to be smart and tough in the way we do it.

TAPPER: Do you think Donald Trump is qualified to be president?

CLINTON: Well, the voters will have to decide. I'm going to lay out my qualifications.

TAPPER: Eleven years ago, when you were at the weeding of Donald and Melania Trump...


TAPPER: ... did you ever picture that you would be in this situation, with him as the presumptive Republican nominee, you as the likely Democratic nominee, running against each other in what is likely to be a very brutal and tough campaign?

CLINTON: Well, look, back then, I didn't think I would run for president. So, I can't speak to whatever was in his mind. But that's a good question.

TAPPER: But it's safe to say that sitting there, watching the two get married, it never crossed your mind, someday, he and I are going to face each other?

CLINTON: Never crossed my mind, no, not at all. Never crossed my mind.

TAPPER: All right.

Madam Secretary, thank you.


TAPPER: And congratulations again.

CLINTON: Thanks a lot, Jake.


TAPPER: Coming up: Could a strong showing in Tuesday's Indiana primary be enough for Ted Cruz to beat back Donald Trump, or will the Hoosier State be Cruz's last stand?


TRUMP: If we win in Indiana, it's over.




TAPPER: Welcome back.

After going zero for five during Tuesday's primary, Senator Ted Cruz tried to regain momentum. He announced his V.P. pick, Carly Fiorina. He was endorsed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence just days before the primary in that.

And he got compared to Satan by a fellow Republican.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Lucifer in the flesh. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in my life.




Cruz is trying to take the insult in stride going into Indiana's primary on Tuesday.

But a new poll out this morning shows Cruz well behind Trump in the Hoosier State, With Trump at 49 percent, Cruz at 34 percent and Kasich with 13.


TAPPER: And joining me now is Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Senator Cruz, thanks so much for joining us.

CRUZ: Jake, always good to be with you.

TAPPER: So, you got an endorsement from Indiana Governor Mike Pence. And you just recently got an endorsement from the former Governor of California Pete Wilson.

Will this be enough to help propel you to a position where Donald Trump does not get that magic number of delegates, and you force a contested convention?

CRUZ: Well, it's been a very good week for us.

We're seeing Republicans continuing to unite behind our campaign. Obviously, in Indiana, Governor Pence is incredibly well-respected. And having his support, I think, is very, very meaningful, as voters head into Election Day on Tuesday.

Here in California, having Governor Pete Wilson's support is a big, big deal. He's someone who has earned a lot of respect in this state, and it's very meaningful. California is likely to decide this entire battle. And then, of course, earlier this week, announcing my vice presidential nominee of Carly Fiorina, the energy and excitement we have seen from that has been incredible.

And our focus really, we have got to unite the party. If we're divided, we lose. And so we're working to bring the party together. And I think this week was a big manifestation of that.

TAPPER: Senator, as you know, there are those who look at you bringing on Carly Fiorina as your running mate and say that this is a desperation move.


CRUZ: Well, look, that was certainly the attack of Donald Trump. And nobody was surprised to see Donald attacking.

You know, he really has four responses to any outside stimulus. He either yells, screams, curses or insults. And so it's no surprise that he went with insult there.

The reality is simple. This is an unusual election, but I think it's important to give the voters a clear contrast, a clear choice. And I think you could not have a clearer choice between Carly and me on the one hand and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the other.

And Hillary and Donald, they're flip sides of the same coin. They agree with each other on issue after issue after issue. They're both big government New York liberals. They're both Washington insiders.

Hillary has made millions selling power and influence in Washington.

TAPPER: Yes. CRUZ: And Trump has made billions buying politicians like Hillary Clinton.

I think people are fed up with the bipartisan corruption of Washington that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton embody, and they want instead a positive, forward-looking, optimistic campaign...

TAPPER: Right.

CRUZ: ... based on real solutions to the problems people have faced.

TAPPER: But, Senator, when Carly Fiorina was on this very program back in January, she cast you in that same world. Take a listen.



FIORINA: Ted Cruz is just like any other politician. He says one thing in Manhattan. He says another thing in Iowa. He says whatever he needs to say to get elected. And then he's going to do as he pleases.


TAPPER: I mean, Carly Fiorina just a few weeks ago was saying that you were part of this cartel that you attack.

CRUZ: Well, that was more than a few weeks ago, but, sure, look, she was a competitor in this primary. She was fierce competitor.

In a primary, people take shots at each other. That's part of the process. We all remember when Ronald Reagan picked George Herbert Walker Bush as his vice president, and they had to explain why Bush had called Reaganomics voodoo economics.

Listen, that happens when you come through a primary and unite. I can tell you, Carly and I have spent weeks and weeks and weeks together on the road barnstorming the state of Indiana, barnstorming the country. And I have gotten to know and respect Carly.

She is an extraordinary leader. She rose from being a secretary all the way to being CEO of the largest technology company in the world, the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company in history.

And I think the contrast -- look, in choosing a vice presidential nominee, that may be the most serious and solemn decision any presidential candidate makes. I was looking for someone with knowledge, with judgment and with the character to step in and be president.

And I think the contrast could not be clearer between Carly and me on the one hand and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the other. And the similarities between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, you know, you know, they were highlighted this week when -- when John Boehner, as you know, took a shot at me. TAPPER: That's right. He called you Lucifer in the flesh.

CRUZ: And it was interesting.

TAPPER: Lucifer in the flesh, he called you.


CRUZ: Well -- well, you know, I think Boehner kind of let out his inner Trump. And it's some colorful imagery there.

But it's interesting. When Boehner was attacking me, he praised Hillary Clinton. He thinks she is terrific. And he praised Donald Trump. He said Donald Trump is his friend, is his golfing buddy, his texting buddy.

And there's a reason. If you like -- if you want to see the next president as a John Boehner Republican, then Donald Trump is your man. But if you look at Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and John Boehner, they're all part of the same corrupt Washington system, where the rich get richer, the powerful and the lobbyists use government power for personal benefit.

And Carly and me, on the other hand, our focus is on jobs and economic growth, bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, back to Indiana...

TAPPER: Right.

CRUZ: ... raising wages for working men and women, and expanding opportunity for young people.

People are fed up with Washington. And Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton embody the corrupt Washington system.

TAPPER: One of the other focuses you have had, Senator, is you have been hammering Donald Trump for saying that Caitlyn Jenner and other transgender Americans are free to use whichever restroom they think is most appropriate at Trump Tower.

This past week, Caitlyn Jenner actually went to Trump Tower and made a video taking Trump up on his offer. Take a look.


CAITLYN JENNER, FORMER OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: My God, Trump International Hotel. I love this.

OK, last week, Donald Trump said I can take a pee anywhere in a Trump facility. So, I am going to go take a pee in the ladies room.

Thank you, Donald. I really appreciate it.

And, by the way, Ted, nobody got molested.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: A little reference to you there: "By the way, Ted, nobody got molested."

I want to give you an opportunity to respond to people, to individuals like Caitlyn Jenner, transgender Americans who think your Web video and comments on the campaign -- campaign trail are making them all out to be child molesters.

CRUZ: Well, listen, Jake, in my view, this is not a matter of right or left or Democrat or Republican. This is common sense.

It doesn't make sense for grown adult men, strangers, to be alone in a restroom with a little girl. And this is the height of political correctness.

And, frankly, the concern is not the Caitlyn Jenners of the world. But if the law is such that any man, if he feels like it, can go in a women's restroom, and you can't ask him to leave, that opens the door for predators.

You know, I spent a lot of years in law enforcement dealing with child predators who are sick individuals. And that doesn't mean that that is the people who are transgendered. But there are predators in the world. And just saying that, if you're a man, you can go in the girl's restroom if you feel like it open the door -- opens the doors for criminals.

And the important point...

TAPPER: But I don't think that's what -- I don't think that's what the law is. The law is about not just like...

CRUZ: Of course it is.

TAPPER: ... if you or I -- if you or I want to go to...

CRUZ: Of course it is.

TAPPER: But you or I don't identify as female. You and I aren't transgender. We -- this law wouldn't be about you and me going to a woman's room.

CRUZ: But the law doesn't specify transgender. It's whatever you feel like at the given moment. And, in fact, that was Donald's position.

And, Jake, importantly -- but, listen, this goes to something much broader. Donald Trump is trying to perpetuate the biggest fraud in the history of electoral politics. He's pretending to be an outsider, when he's the ultimate Washington insider.

And, you know, his whole shtick is that he tells it like it is, he speaks the truth. And yet he also told us he could be the most politically correct person on Earth.

[09:25:00] This is the height of political correctness for Donald Trump to say,

yes, let grown men in the bathroom with little girls. And, by the way, his lobbyist campaign manager just a week ago told the top officials at the RNC, Donald is just playing a role.

TAPPER: Right.

CRUZ: This is all fake. He's pretending.

And -- and people are tired of politicians lying to us. You know who I feel the worst for? I feel the worst for Donald's supporters, who believe his role, but, every day, if he gets closer to the nomination, he starts taking his mask off, and behind the Donald Trump mask is Hillary Clinton.

TAPPER: That is a -- that is quite an image.

CRUZ: Donald Trump is a liberal big government Democrat. It is a terrifying image.


CRUZ: But there's a reason Donald has given seven contributions to Hillary. He gave two contributions to Hillary's presidential campaign.


CRUZ: Donald and Hillary both support taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. They both supported Bill Clinton banning guns nationwide, many of the most popular guns in America.

They both think we should be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. They both have said they would keep in place this Iranian nuclear deal, which is an absolute catastrophe. They both are promising to raise taxes.

You know, Donald Trump is campaigning on a 40 percent tax increase on every consumer, every taxpayer through a massive tariff. That would send us into a recession.

TAPPER: All right, Senator.

CRUZ: And so for Donald's supporters who want someone who will stand up to Washington, I -- in making the announcement this week, I wanted the contrast to be crystal-clear between Carly and me, focused on jobs and freedom and security, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, focused on big government and taking away your liberties.

And we can't get fooled again. And Donald has told us he's lying to us.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator Ted Cruz. Appreciate it.

Good luck in Indiana, sir.

CRUZ: Thank you, Jake.


TAPPER: Stay with us, because, just after the break, I will be joined by top advisers from all five remaining campaigns. They have never sat down together, until now. It's a special insiders edition of the roundtable coming up next.



TAPPER: Welcome back.

We're going to try something that has not been done in campaign 2016. At this critical moment in the race we've brought together top strategist from every single one of the remaining five campaigns with us Karen Finney, senior advisor for Communications and Political Outreach for Hillary Clinton, Jeff Weaver, campaign manager for Bernie Sanders, Trent Duffy, national communications advisor to John Kasich, Alice Stewart, communications director for Ted Cruz, and last but not least Rick Wiley who is the national political director for Donald Trump. Thank you all for being here.


TAPPER: Crossing my fingers. Let's see how it goes.

Let me start with you, Jeff.


TAPPER: Because you heard Hillary Clinton's reaction when I said, what do you think about these five, six things that Bernie Sanders definitely wants in the platform and you heard her remarks and her tone about Bernie Sanders, what did you think?

WEAVER: Look, this race is not over by any (INAUDIBLE) of the imagination, we're going all the way to the end, the senator has said that repeatedly. Obviously the platform is a concern whether he wins or loses, as is the whole process by which we elect the Democratic nominee.

So, this campaign is going on. We've got Indiana coming up on Tuesday and his going all the way to the end.

TAPPER: Karen.

KAREN FINNEY, SENIOR ADVISOR, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: You know, as you heard Hillary say to you she absolutely thinks that the senator should go, you know, as long as he wants to. But I think, the truth is the map is just not there. 260 more pledged delegates, 3 million more actual votes, you know, the senator would need to win 28 percent of everything that's left and the only place we've seen him do that is the home state of Vermont.

TAPPER: No, no. She would win -- she would need around 20 percent. She would need around 20 percent. He would need about 90 percent.

FINNEY: You're right. Sorry.

But what I would say is, you know, look, I think at some point, the point that she was making Senator Sanders and his supporters they have worked very hard and obviously have a great deal of respect for that. But at some point, you know, you've got the Democrats on this side and Republicans on this side. At some point if we want to make sure that a Republican does not win the White House, we are going to have to come together and I'm sure there will be conversations about the things that Senator Sanders thinks that are important in the platform, Secretary Clinton tends to agree on these issues. They may disagree on how we get there. So, I think there's a lot of agreement.

But, you know, one point I think is really important that I haven't heard Senator Sanders yet really acknowledge, his role in this will be critical. He's going to have to play a very strong role in saying to the people who support him and work their heart out for him just as with my colleagues here when they try to unify on the Republican side, the candidates themselves have to be part of that process. Hillary Clinton was no holds bar behind then Senator Obama and that's part of why it worked.


WEAVER: Look, Bernie Sanders has said he will endorse the nominee of the Democratic Party, there's no if and buts about that. But let's be clear --


TAPPER: But beyond an endorsement will he be enthusiastic assuming he does not get the nomination and I understand you're not ready to say that. But assuming he doesn't will be enthusiastically on the campaign trail for her?

WEAVER: Yes. There's nothing we want less than having a Republican in the White House. But let me be clear, the onus is on really on Secretary Clinton to bringing the Bernie people to her. She's the nominee. There's not a lot of, you know --


FINNEY: That's (INAUDIBLE) of (ph) him (ph) we keep hearing.

WEAVER: A lot of act in this campaign. There's a lot of denigrating of young people who supports Senator Sanders on his campaign. And that's all going to be soon forgotten. If the Clinton campaign does not reach out to those people and address many of the important issues that Bernie has raised. That she has --


FINNEY: ... seen her do that.

TAPPER: I want to bring in some of the campaign that we have here because there's a whole other party for (ph) us (ph).


FINNEY: Sorry, guys.

TAPPER: And the first thing I want to do is ask you two, there was supposedly a Cruz/Kasich alliance at one point where Kasich signified the simple -- he suggested that he was going to focus on Oregon and New Mexico and Cruz suggested he was going to focus on Indiana. But then that seemed to go a little bit off the rail. So I want to get perspective on what happened.


I mean, Kasich cancelled his campaign appearances in Indiana and he went straight to Oregon. He's been Oregon on the air there. We have ads there. So that is the focus. That's the agreement it was reached. It's about making sure that Hillary Clinton can't be elected president. And if Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket it's doom's day for Republicans so that's why this strategy was developed and that's why it's in place.

TAPPER: Do you agree?

ALICE STEWART, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TED CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT: Certainly, the point of this was to shift the resources to states in areas where they're best utilized. And this is an understandably and unconventional campaign and a lot of folks thought this would be decided at this point. But we felt it was in our best interest to look at the states where we should most spend our resources and time.


And we've spent a lot of time in Indiana. And having the, you know, the support of Governor Pence was great and we will be spending quite a bit of time there (INAUDIBLE) Tuesday and that was the point.

TAPPER: I get it. But I also know for instance, John Kasich said the following, and I think a lot of people in the Cruz camp were confused, if you can play that clip.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've never told them not to vote for me, they ought to vote for me.


TAPPER: Talking about Indiana voters there. And then Senator Cruz said something in which he kind of suggested that there wasn't a deal and John Weaver, the senior communications director -- senior strategist for Mister Kasich, for Governor Kasich wrote, "I can't stand liars." Seemed to be talking about Ted Cruz being a liar. So there does seem to be some sort of -- there was no moment of disappointment in the Cruz campaign for what Kasich said? STEWART: The purpose of the agreement was, as he said, to -- he was going to spend his resources in states where he felt was most beneficial and the same with us. And that's exactly what we've done. It's paying off in Indiana.

TAPPER: Rick, what do you say?

RICK WILEY, NATIONAL POLITICAL DIRECTOR, DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: This is an alliance between candidates in search of candidates who agree with this alliance.

I mean, this thing fell apart from day one, you know, the dueling (ph) press releases that came out at -- I don't know, 11:15 on Sunday night. You know, the next day Governor Kasich, it seems to me it was negotiated in -- at the RNC meeting but they kind of forgot to tell the governor about this. Then three days later, I believe, Senator Cruz said, there was no alliance.

So, this thing was doomed from the start because I don't think it was ever going to work. And you couple that with going to Oregon where all vote by mail, and there's pamphlet that goes out with the ballot. Governor Kasich didn't make that pamphlet. So --

TAPPER: What happened with that?

WILEY: Again --

DUFFY: He's on the ballot part.

TAPPER: He's on the ballot.

DUFFY: He's on the ballot. (INAUDIBLE). And we're going to do well in Oregon because the mail-in ballot is the way it works. He was out there for two meetings -- two town halls. It went very well.

TAPPER: But what happened with the thing they didn't get the information in on time?

DUFFY: He is on the ballot and he's going to get votes there.

TAPPER: All right.

WILEY: Got it. Look, I mean, at the end of the day, we're going to campaign in these remaining upcoming contests and we're going to be successful because Donald Trump has tapped in this vein in this country that they are frustrated and he's been able to connect with them and that's what you're seeing across the world -- the country. I'm (ph) sorry (ph).

TAPPER: Don't go anywhere. We have lots more to talk about. We have to pay bills the right now.

Coming up as Donald Trump picks up more wins, the protests against him get bloody. Is there more to come? Stay with us.



VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Donald Trump not only can win the presidency, he probably will win the presidency. And mainly because folks on the liberal side continue to say, it's over. They're actually depressing their own turn out already, demobilizing and demoralizing their own base by saying, well, this guys is so unelectable there's no point in us to even worrying about it. I say, au contraire.


TAPPER: That was CNN's own Van Jones on a Facebook rant warning Democrats to take Donald Trump seriously back with our panel, insiders all.

Do you share that concern that assuming Clinton does get the nomination, and I know that's not an assumption you're ready to give. But assuming it happens, do they take Donald Trump's weaknesses as a given and are too complacent about this?

WEAVER: Yes -- no, I think people are. I think Donald Trump can change the map. I think he can compete in ways other Republicans cannot, more traditional Republicans. So, I think he's a very, very dangerous threat to Democrats.

You know, Bernie Sanders has consistently and recent polls show it again, Bernie Sanders consistently runs better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton or any of the Republicans frankly for that matter. But one of the reasons why, I think, super delegates (INAUDIBLE) mentioned, are (ph) going (ph) to take a look at Bernie Sanders.

TAPPER: Karen, let me ask you. One of the biggest arguments from the Sanders campaign...


TAPPER: ... is that he is Sanders, more attractive to independent voters. That's factually correct. He's not Democrats but he is to independents.

FINNEY: Well, a couple of points I'd want to make though. That is now under the current circumstance.

I think, a lot of these polls don't really have much meaning until it's very real. When it's real Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, I think that is very different than when it's a theoretical conversation. And I think that -- there is no question, I think, the most important thing to say here is, we absolutely take Donald Trump very seriously. I mean, he would be very dangerous and divisive for this country. Not just in the context of our foreign policy which Secretary Clinton talked about.

I mean, this new strategy, of I'm not just going to tell you. I don't think that's -- I don't think anybody thinks that's a good idea. But then also on domestic policy. I mean, the way he has talked about Muslims. The way he has talked about women.

Hillary's point is well taken that it's not -- you know, she can take the attack. I mean, she's been attacked for years and she gets back up and keeps going. But what I think that they miscalculate is that I know a lot of women who know the feeling of being accused the only reason they're at the table or in the room is because they're a woman. So I think there are a lot of places where that divisive sexist bigotry, you know, that rhetoric is not going to resonate with people.

Now, that also means on the Democratic side, we still have to work hard to make sure that people turn out to vote, that people are, you know, coming out to vote because they feel they see a vision -- a positive vision. But then the third piece of it that I think is really critically important, is that we also protect the right to vote. Because I have every confidence that Republicans will do everything they can to suppress Democratic voters.

TAPPER: Rick, are you concerned at all, I had Senator Sessions on the show the other day, who's the only person in the Senate who has come out and endorsed Donald Trump, and I showed him the numbers of general electorate female voters. And it's something like 76 percent have a negative view of Donald Trump, 24 percent positive, something like that.

And I said, does that concern you? And he said, yes, we're going to have to -- we're going to have to address that. Are you concerned when Donald Trump says things like, Hillary is playing the woman's card? Hillary if she were a man she would be 5 percent of the polls. Are you worried at all that this language turns off potential Trump voters who are female?

WILEY: I think we are sitting here on May 1st and I agree with what Karen said where these national polls, general election matchups will change dramatically once we get through Cleveland and the Democrats get through Philadelphia.

The landscape changes dramatically. That the GWU Battleground Poll that was released last week, you know, shows us two points behind Hillary Clinton but running well. You know, 35 percent of the Hispanic vote was Donald Trump right there. So, it changes dramatically.


Look -- I mean, we had -- John King said it earlier today, you know, the "Stop Trump" movement is taking squirt gun to a forest fire. And -- but he has received, you know, an avalanche of negative ads run against him.


WILEY: Your negatives are going to be, you know, astronomically high until you've secured the nomination. And then we make the general election pivot where you start talking about -- I mean, look, we're down to three. And so we have survived this long and we're going to take this into a convention. But we're going to get 1237 before we get to the convention and then we go from there.

TAPPER: Trent.

DUFFY: Well, I agree with Karen that Hillary Clinton will destroy Donald Trump in general election match up with the 16 polls that show that John Kasich is still the only one that can win it.

To your point, Rick, I mean, these polls do kind of matter because Trump is going in the wrong direction. His negatives keep getting worse. His underwater rating keeps getting worse. And his support not just amongst women but Republican millennials will be a blood bath.

I mean, Donald Trump can do for the Democrats what they couldn't do for themselves, which is to win the White House and put Chuck Schumer -- majority leader, I think that's what the delegates are wrestling with. There has been 2.5 million more people that are voting against Donald Trump in the Republican primary process.

And the delegates, the fact that we're having an argument, the fact that we're talking about delegates going to be state convention and saying, I'm a little worried here is a direct reflection of the apprehension they have about a Trump candidacy.

TAPPER: Alice, I want to bring you in. One of the things that's so predictable about a potential Trump versus Clinton match up, and again I know that you don't recognize or accept that that's what it is going to be. But if it is that is that it's unchartered territory. We never had a candidate like Trump. We've never had a woman candidate.

How do you go after Trump, I mean, nobody has been effective at it? I guess it's fair to say, Cruz has been the most effective at it. He's the one that has beaten him more than anyone else has beaten him. Is he beatable?

STEWART: Well, here's the premise of this segment, I think is a little off, because he's not going to be the nominee. He's not going to be the one going against Hillary Clinton, because we put out an ad this week they are two sides of the same coin. The more we learn about Donald Trump and the more he puts his policies out there, the more he is like Hillary Clinton.

There's not a contrast between the two. He will not be able to prosecute his case against her, they share the same views on foreign policies issue, domestic issues, social issues, they are two sides of the same coin. And the fact that his nonstop insults to women is going to hurt him with the women voters.

And also, in terms of getting the necessary delegates, it's not about having the most delegates it's about having the majority. It's about majority plus one. And the fact that he is not continuing to work the relationships with these delegates at these state conventions and we continue to do well in our delegates that goes to show we have a better chance at the convention. TAPPER: I have to -- I have to go. Every one of you is invited back

by yourself the entire time just you, I promise, come on "THE LEAD" tomorrow. It's all you, you, you, you, you, we have five and we have five days in the work week. So come on back, thank you so much it was great.

For the latest campaign updates you can now get the "CNN POLITICAL APP." You can see who is up, who is down, breaking new, and the numbers break down to win the nominations on both sides. Make sure to download the app now on your mobile device.

Coming up, the president has stand up and he gave the audience what they wanted.


OBAMA: You know I've got to talk about Trump.


TAPPER: Obama takes on the Donald. Again, their comedic history, next.



TAPPER: At last night's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, President Obama mocked the media quite a bit, including CNN, but most of his toughest punch lines were reserved for Republicans.


OBAMA: On the Republican side, things are a little more -- how should we say this -- a little more loose. Just look at the confusion over the invitations to tonight's dinner. Guests we asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish, but instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan.


TAPPER: He really also went after Donald Trump, jokes about Trump, of course, nothing new for this president. And that's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."


TAPPER (voice-over): It was the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, or nerd prom, a few years ago when one person in particular stood out, Donald Trump.

Front and center a few years ago while considering a White House run against President Obama in 2012.

OBAMA: Donald Trump is here tonight. TAPPER: It was just days after the president released his birth certificate. Trump sat at the dinner stoically while the president mocked him.

OBAMA: He can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing?

TAPPER: Known only to a few people, the bin Laden raid was just minutes away, while the president, confident perhaps in that mind frame, mocked Donald Trump's leadership skills.

OBAMA: You, Mr. Trump, recognize that the real problem was a lack of leadership, so ultimately you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meat Loaf, you fired Gary Busey.

TAPPER: Trump responded later in fortuitous fashion.

TRUMP: I guess when you're leading in most of the polls, that tends to happen.

TAPPER: People close to Trump have said that the mocking at his expense that night fueled the desire to run for president. Some of it from the president, some of it from the evening's entertainment, Seth Meyers.


SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.

TAPPER: But as we now know it might just be Donald Trump who gets the last laugh.


TAPPER: And as we mark the fifth anniversary of the bin Laden raid, President Obama will give CNN the inside story of how the world's most wanted terrorist was brought down.

Be sure to watch tomorrow night at 8:30 for Anderson Cooper's special "We Got Him."

Thanks for spending your Sunday with us.

"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.