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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 17, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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that does it for us. thanks for watching. we'll see you again at midnight eastern for another edition of "360." "trump's talk of riot if he doesn't get the nomination has the gop up in arms. >> nobody should say such things in my opinion. to even hint at violence is unacceptable. >> i'm don lemon. president obama strategizing to make the case against trump. is it all too little too late? plus a political ad that everybody is talking about. >> when the head of the ku klux klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either
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they're not republicans or i'm not. >> but it's not from today's campaign. it's from 1964, and that's not the only weird parallel between the long-ago election and today's campaign. lots going on tonight. let's begin with cnn's national political reporter mave restin. hello to you. the anti-trump political force gathering steam but is it too late? >> that's the big question here. as we look ahead to the next couple of months, they have had such a short amount of time in which to pour a ton of money into defining this candidate. everyone is trying to figure out whether the attacks that led up to tuesday night actually worked at all or if they departmeidn't time to sink in. there's a big conversation among donors about whether or not to
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keep the donald trump funds coming in. some said choosing between donald trump and cruz is like choosing between poison. is that a measure of the desperation to stop trump right now? >> yes, it is i think. there's a lot of desperation out there to stop trump. just talking to political strategists over the last couple of days, everyone right now is hitting the books, trying to understand the delegate rules in each of these states, whether or not if they can deprive donald trump of that 1,237 number, whether they can organize their forces at the convention. everyone's studying the history of course of '76 and other times when they've gotten close to these kind of cataclysmic moments for the party. so it just a big moment where the republican party has to figure out whether the risk is greater by allowing donald trump
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to be the nominee or completely fracturing the party at the convention. of course he and ted cruz would like to win outright, which would save a lot of trouble for the party, but it's looking tougher and tougher for this to happen. >> pardon me for that. marco rubio suspended his campaign but he's still speaking out. he told reporters today there's still time to stop trump and he's also talking about his own political future. let's listen. >> reporter: would you consider being cruz's vice president? >> i'm not interesting in being anybody's vice president. i don't mean that in a disrespectful way. i'm nothing going to be governor of florida. i'm going to finish out my term, we is things we want to achieve and then i'll be a private citizen in january. >> you know how things go. do you think we'll see a cruz-rubio ticket or endorsement? >> we could see a rubio
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endorsement pretty soon. the thing he has to balance is his own political future going forward, whether at when point it makes sense for him to really get in. but there is going to be tons of pressure on rubio because, of course, he has delegates that he's won through the course of these contests and kasich and cruz would like to sweep up all of those people as well as other rubio supporters in future states. we'll have to see what he does. i think, you know, there's not a lot of love for ted cruz. that's what we've all been talking but everyone thinks that it's just a very, very narrow path for john kasich to the nomination. so we'll have to see what happens. >> speaker of the house paul ryan continues to field questions about the possibility of becoming the nominee in the event of a contested convention. let's listen to that. is there it's not going to be me. it should be someone running for president. people are out there campaigning, there's caucuses
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and primaries. >> didn't he say something similar about being speaker of the house? do you think he could be persuaded? >> this is a whole different ball game. you've been to these trump rallies. you've felt the lekto telectric those crowds, how much passion there is for donald trump, the people are supporting him. the fact that we're even talking about paul ryan being drafted as the republican nominee or any other number of people is another crazy, mind blowing moment in this cycle. the question is how much of a backlash would there be toward the party as all of these republican party elders continue talking about others. what happens to he is support, right? >> could there be riots, as trump says? >> well, i think that will definitely would be protests. i spent a lot of time in florida over the last week. his rallies, talking to his people about what they would do if the republican party tried to
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block him at the convention. and a lot of them said i will be all in, i will do whatever it takes to help this man get elected. we've seen violence at very sort of unsettling moments at a lot of trump's rallies. so, you know, at this point anything is possible and the party has a lot to think about, about how they keep everything under control at the convention if you do end up with a contested convention. >> maeve reston, appreciate that. >> hugh hewitt. >> good to see you. >> is it too little too late? >> donald said he's the great uni unifier. he has brought ted cruz and lindsay graham together so i think he's right. i think what you're going to see is it's not going to be speaking donald trump, ted cruz or her - governor kasich. and of those three, as i step
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back, i haven't endorsed anyone, i'm not in favor or against anyone, i think ted cruz is likely to be the nominee because all of the forces coming to bare on donald trump are constitutional. strange things have happened. when you have lindsay graham step out and wins an a-2 basketball game it's just a matter of time until the cling-ons hit the earth. it's such a we're set of circumstances. the institutional best interests of the republican party seem to point towards a ted cruz nomination. ted cruz is making a quick trip to arizona to go down to the border next week. that means that his people might think he has a chance to pull it out. a rubio endorsement would help. that might come as early as tomorrow, according to mark caputo, who is reporting for politico. watch scott walker, one of the most influential republicans, he
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withdraw with dignity with his political capital in tact and the be wisconsin winner-take-all primary is going to be the make it or break it day for ted cruz. i think he's going to win in wisconsin. >> i have a lot of things to talk to you. i'm interested in what you're saying. you said it's pointing towards a ted cruz nomination. did you just say in a? >> yeah. i project on factor. if you look at three stocks, don't tell moo what they were valued yesterday, don't tell me what they were valued last year, tell me what they're going to be worth ten weeks when i get to california. i interviewed today mike schroeder, the past chairman of the republican party. he wrote the rules in 1998 as to how california's republican delegates will be allocated. so he kicked them in in 2006. it works this way, you win three delegates for every congressional district you win. the maxine waters district gets
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three delegates, dana roarback's dis -- district gets three delegates. but that interview is fascinating, a shameless plug for information. i don't see anyone except the stock that is rising right now is ted cruz's. i think donald trump has peaked and will stay the same, but right now i see cruz rising. >> john kasich has been reluctant to criticize trump. y he responded to the riot remarks. "donald trump said there could be riots if he denied the gop nom. that's more unacceptable language. this explicit -- implicit
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acceptance of violence is the kind of rhetoric that's pulling people apart. a true lead are urges peaceful debate over violence. do you think we'll see a war of words between john kasich and donald trump? >> we have memories of violence at kent state. i have a very vivid memory of that. john kasich is naturally react against anything that talks about violence. at the same time, i think he wants to keep lines of communication open and i think it's unfortunate donald walked away from the next dee baibate. we need more debates. we don't talk about violence and political speech in the united states. i salute the governor for saying th that. i'm sure donald trump will tell him he doesn't want violence. the key thing is kasich went to
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utah, which is interesting since mike lee, the senior senator, backed cruz. kasich may be trying to keep them under 50%. it you do the math and get way in the weed, there's a question of whether or not rule 40 will even be broken because -- it's how many states you have to win to be nominated. cruz people and trump people may work together to keep cruz from being nominated and all those unbound delegates, what happens to them? great piece in "time" magazine today, it's a rodeo. it's a rodeo without rules and we haven't seen it before. >> i want to ask you about this group of faith leaders and fiscal conservatives that met to come up with a strategy to deny trump the nomination. there's talk of unmasking trump in ads, even the possibility of a third party unity ticket. does any of that sound like it's going to be effect of or is it even realistic? he just won florida despite $15 million in ads against him.
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>> it's not realistic, though it is realistic to signal where conservatives are. mike ferris is one of the most respected educators. eric eriksson is my colleague on the radio. they're all signaling vote for ted cruz. i'm not doing what on my show. it's stillbelgium before the wars. i'm not sure who is going to invade but they're all welcome there. if marco rubio comes out for ted cruz and others follow lindsey graham's lead, you'll find the center right alliance come behind ted cruz because he's more electable. >> thank you. >> happy st. patrick's day. >> you, too. >> is there a new republican candidate waiting in the wing? and alerts you. as
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the move by conservative republicans to stop donald trump from getting the nomination becomes more urgent by the day. i want to talk about this gop race with jeffrey lord and margaret hoover. jeff riff joins me via skype. nonetheless, we'll try to talk to him as well. >> and happy st. patrick's day to you, don. >> i'm wearing green but you'll have to figure out where it is. anyway, rnc's reince priebus
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insists a nominee will be in ma place soon and there will not be a brokered convention. is he right, margaret? >> nobody knows. the hook that everybody is hanging their hat on who is not a trump supporter is this outlier possibility and it is an outlier possibility still. donald trump has to win 50% of the remaining delegates. ted cruz would have to win 80% of the remaining delegates. >> 50 speakers not that hard, is it? >> no, he's winning every demographic group. we have to get grounded in reality here. our time to stop the trump train was months ago. >> i'm glad you said this because why is everyone kind of sitting here saying, oh, this happened, this happened. we pretty much know what's going to happen. >> because people like me who worked in politics who thought
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the republican party was for certain things are horrified that we've let this person, who is not even by any stretch of the imagination a republican, let alone a conservative, right in the front door and is going to drive the train away from the station. they're still this denial about it. >> it is kind of denial. we're sitting here pretending like it's going on trump. jeffrey, no? >> from an historical p perspecti perspective, i looked back at all the races since john f. kennedy in 1960, in every single case the guy leading going into the convention became the nominee. there are no exception to this. whether it was barry goldwater, nixon in '68, hubert humphrey in
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'68. gerald ford beat ronald reagan. the law of averages here is pretty much on the side of donald trump. >> you said what we both are saying. what is the likelihood a of a new candidate being introduced at brokered convention in. >> i think that's even lower. a contested convention is not outside of the house. even though paul ryan says it won't be me, he acknowledges there is this possibility that donald trump get to the 1,237 beforehand, in which case you do have to have a contested convention and multiple rounds of voting. in that case, it has to be somebody who has run for president. he says of course it's not going on him, but it seems uncredibly unlikely. >> who else could it be? couldn't be anybody else? >> the only other person is paul
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ryan who could potentially do it. even as an ardent paul ryan supporter and fan wouldn't want him to do that. the republican party as fractured as it is right now, we don't win as a party if we're not unified. we just simply don't and we are not unified now. i would hate for that to happen to paul ryan or any of these candidates. not only will it damage the party, it will damage the person who is running. >> i want you to listen to donald trump on "new day." >> i think you'd have riots. i'm representing a tremendous, many, many millions of people. these are people who never voted because they didn't believe in the system, they didn't like candidates, et cetera, et cetera. if you disenfranchise tohose
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people and say, i'm sorry, you're 100 votes short, even though the next person is 500 vol votes short, i think bad things would happen. i wouldn't lead it but i think bad things would happen. >> do you think people are putting too much stock in those words? >> yes. i've been on panels on anderson's show where more or less a number of people on -- analysts and commentators alike agreed there would be an open revolt in donald trump got close and there was a scheme to steal the nomination. my answer was if this were like '76, with reagan and ford, that's one thing. if it becomes like 1912 where roosevelt was accusing the other side of theft and stomped out,
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big problem. you don't want to go down that road ever. that's just not a good place to be. >> margaret, were you disagreeing that people are putting too much stock in it? >> it's the choice of words, the riots and the continued pugilistic language in an environment that is like a tinderbox and it is incredibly irresponsible, i think, of donald trump to continuoousin c violent language. >> if you're in a contested election, it's the difference between poison or being shot. you're still dead. >> i'm going to be doing a fund-raiser for senator cruz.
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he's not my preference but he's a reliable republican conservative, which i've had many differences with. i doubt donald trump's conservatism and i think he'd be a disaster for the party. >> and i thought the news business -- now he's hosting a fund-raiser for ted cruz on monday. >> there is more to the story. when we were in las vegas for the cnn debate, senator lindsay graham approached me personally and said he could never under any circumstances vote for ted cruz and that he would be more than happy to support donald trump. now, here we are, you want to know why lindsay graham lost the south carolina primary and why anything he says has no credibility? i mean, he told me that --
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>> he didn't lose the south carolina primary. >> he looked me right straight in the eye and said he preferred donald trump over ted cruz. now he's saying exactly the opposite. >> i got run. >> really quickly, look, lindsay graham doesn't think ted cruz will win the presidency. he's saying i'd rather have my lot in at least whatever it is we lose, we can rebuild the republican party rather than putting somebody who is not a republican in. >> thank you both. up next -- >> when the head of the ku klux klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they're not republicans or i'm not. ♪
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a political ad going viral on social media, it's from 1964, but there are eerie similarities to today's gop race. the ad is called "confessions of a republican supporting lyndon
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johnson in the battle against senator barry gold water." thank you very much for coming on. may i call you bill? >> i wish you would. >> we're going to may the entire ad. th l let's listen to it. >> i don't know just why i wanted to call this a confession. i certainly don't feel guilty about being a republican. i've always been a republican. my father is, his father was. the whole family is a republican family. i voted for dwight ieisenhower the first time i voted and nixon the second time. but when it comes to senator goldwater, it seems we're up against a very different kind of a man. this man scares me. now maybe i'm wrong. a friend of mine has said to me,
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listen, just because a man sounds a little irresponsible during a campaign doesn't mean he's going to act irresponsibly pup know th . up know that theory, that the white house makes the man. i don't buy that. you know what i think makes a president, aside from his judgment, his experience, the men behind him, his advisers, the cabinet, and so many men with strange ideas are working for goldwater. you'll hear a lot about what these guys are against. seem to be against just about everything. but what are they for? the hardest thing for me about this whole campaign is to sort out one goldwater statement from another. a reporter will go to senator gold water and will say on such and such a a day you said blah, what, blah, whatever it is, end quote. and then goldwater says, well, i wouldn't put it that way. i can't follow that. i just don't get it. a president ought to mean what
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he says. president johnson, johnson at least is talking about facts. he says, look, we got the tax cut bill and because of that you get to carry home x number of dollars more every pay day. we got the nuclear test ban, and because of that will's x percent less radio activity in the food. but goldwater, often you can't -- often i can't figure out just what goldwater means. i read now where here says a craven fear of death is sweeping across america. what is that supposed to mean? if he means that people don't want to fight a nuclear war, he's right. i don't. when i read some of these things that goldwater says about total victory, i get a little worried, you know? i wish i was as sure that goldwater was against war as he is against other things. i wish i could believe he has the imagination to be able to
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just shut his eyes and picture what this country would look like after a nuclear war. sometimes i wish i'd been at that convention in san francisco. i wish i'd been a delegate, i really do. because i would have fought, you know. and i wouldn't have worried so much about party unity. it you unite behind a man you don't believe in, it's a lie. i tell you, those people who got control of that convention, who are they? i mean, when the head of the ku klux klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they're not republicans or i'm not. i thought about just not voting in this election, just staying home, but you can't do that
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because that's saying you don't care who wins and i do care. i think my party made a bad mistake in san francisco, and i'm going to have to vote against that mistake on the 3rd of november. >> vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> interesting. what a performance, first of all. >> that guy was terrific. >> that guy is you. does that take you back? do you remember the day did you that? >> oh, yes. there are some things that i don't remember. one of the things that i was talking about before i think i mentioned it to kristy answered ju -- and i just mentioned it to rachel, as far as i know, this was only shown once, but it made a tremendous impression. >> and you're talking about kristy and rachel, those are my
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producers you talked about. >> yes. >> you came from a republican family. you did that because not because you were an actor but you believed that. >> unfortunately the last republicanism voted for was john lindsey. >> really? >> yes. those days the republican party was the party of lindsay, to a somewhat lesser degree, nelson rockefeller. now i feel about almost all the current nominees the way i felt about mr. goldwater. no, worse than that. because senator goldwater was a very good senator. he did a lot of good things, he was a blessing to the people of arizona, and i don't see that. >> why do you say worse now? in that ad you said this goldwater scares you.
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you talk about the political climate then. what about the political climate now? >> it's worse. >> worse than goldwater? >> yes. in goldwater's time essentially the only major threat that we had was russia. russia had all the same reasons for not going to nuclear war than we did. now we got isis, we've got -- i can't remember the names of all these -- >> al qaeda, isis -- >> yeah, yeah. and a lot of them are producing suicide bombers. give a suicide bomber a hand grenade, that's one thing. give th >> does trump scare you? >> yes. >> why? >> because i think his ego is
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essentially uncontrollable, and that means that he could be badgered into something that would be truly outrageous and very unfortunate. >> the ads you refer to the 1964 convention, you talk about the kkk and other extreme groups, we just talked about that, about other groups. did it bother you when trump seemed to waffle? he said he denounced them. when he seemed to waffle about the kkk, did that bother you? >> yeah, a lot. i don't understand why -- i don't understand how he could be more dismissive of the guys that were running against him than he could be against the head of the ku klux klan. it just doesn't make any sense. >> what are the parallels between goldwater and trump that you speak of? >> well, first the ku klux klan. second, the -- he said trump.
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he said he would bomb the bee ge gees -- bee gejesus out of them. >> as long as you have the right to vote, i think you have the obligation to use it in a way that you think is going to be best for the country. and i don't see any way, as successful as mr. trump has been, i don't see any way that
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he could be a great force for the country. >> william bogert, bill as you said, thank you for coming on. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. i'm very flattered when we come right back, the gop was a house divided in 1964, but are things even worse today? ♪ when it's go, the new choice privileges gets you there faster. and now, stay two times and you can earn a free night. book now at
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who would have thought that a 50-year-old ad would be so relevant today? joining me now to discuss is it carl bernstein and bill carter, the author of the war for late night. this is so fascinating, gentlemen. when this confessions of a republican ad first surfaced, many people thought it was a fake made to look real. but it's not. it is so relevant to today. >> some of the lines you'd think were written today. the thing about not voting for a guy you can't believe in, the thing about the ku klux klan. it's just remarkable. i'd never seen this ad. i didn't know it existed. i was amazed by it. >> he said "if you unite behind
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a man you don't believe in, it's a lie." carl, you heard him say that american was grappling with the threat of nuclear war. what was america's frame of mind back then? >> we had just gone into the vietnam war and goldwater was saying we should possibly consider use be nuclear weapons in vietnam. and lyndon johnson very effectively used that against goldwater and also goldwater was a very principled man through his whole career, and ideologue ideologue, and he was the head of in new movement. >> do you see the similarities now in the political climate
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between then and now? >> no. i think donald trump is an authoritarian, he's not an ideologue, he's not a principled man in the way that goldwater was. i this i there can be a very rancorous convention in which there forces that would like trump not to be the nominee, just as there were forces that wanted goldwater not to be the nominee and tried to impose after governor rockefeller lost the primaries to goldwater, they tried to make government scranton of pennsylvania an alternative to goldwater and they failed. i think the times are different and i think the people are altogether different. >> bill, in this ad, though, you heard bogert say that he scared him meech said i can't sort one goldwater statement from another. does that sound familiar? >> it does. it sounds like the same criticisms you hear about trump. i agree with carl.
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it's a different kind of thing. goldwater was a very functioning, political veteran, he was a senator and had all this background. trump is a wild card, very unpredictable. >> i can hear it now, the trump campaign saying is it really fair to compare donald trump to barry goldwater? >> no. >> go ahead, bill. >> some people would say that's unfair to goldwater. >> go ahead, carl. >> let me go back to goldwater being a principled man. goldwater led the opposition of his party to richard nixon and eased richard nixon out of office and told nixon that his crimes were too many and that he would lead the republican party against nixon in a senate trial. all together different. donald trump is about donald trump. he's not about any political philosophy. he's not about anything but his
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own objectives. and that is one of the reasons why people are afraid of him, not because, yes, they're afraid of him with his finger on the nuclear trigger obviously, but not because of his ideology. >> i want to play this. goldwater won the nomination easily. i you want to listen to a key moment of his acceptance speech. >> i would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no bias. and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. >> so, bill, those words alienated moderate republicans and likely cost him the election. trump has said many outrageous things, nothing seems to stick. >> this ad basically played on that and said to people this guy is scary, we got to stay away
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from him. everyone remembers the daisy ad. this ad was more sophisticated than that. this brought home a child that was going to be blown to pieces. the ad we played today, which i was totally unaware of before, it was a sophisticated, cogent argument that we made. >> i don't remember the time it played but i remember people playing it years ago during election. you were ahead of your time, carl bernstein. >> that morning, the morning of that speech, goldwater had taken his ham radio equipment as a b hobbyist and i interviewed him over ham radio. >> thank you, gentlemen, i appreciate it. coming up, the end of the world as we know it?
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trump surprise everybody and unify the party? is this the end of the gop as we know it? >> i'm an optimistic guy. i like to believe that we'll come together. but i think look at the very legitimate open question. it's a very raw political moment. will we pull together behind a nominee and beat hillary clinton, who i think is very beatable. the one thing that is very destructive is people saying i'll never vote for cruz ever and people saying i'll never vote for donald trump ever in he's the nominee. both sides have to realize one of these men is going to be our nominee. >> okay, but, matt, it's a little odd, one must admit you have this guy who has the momentum, who seems to have a clear path to the nomination, yet most people in the party are saying, no, not that guy, he's not the one! why not, you know, coalesce
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around your guy, you know, some sort of unification, get hypbeh him and say, all right, let's do this? >> first of all, most of the people who are voting or at least these pluralities are getting behind donald trump. i know there are people have a visceral reaction against donald trump but there's no substitute in politics for winning. he's racked all up a these delegates. i don't know if some of these people took math in common core but he seems to be leading in delegates and that impactful. there's a chance he could get to this minute number number of delegates before cleveland. i would encourage all these candidates, ted cruz, donald trump, john kasich, leave it all
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on the field, go claw at each other but when we get done, it needs to be #neverhillary and not one of these guys. that's a mistake for the republicans. >> so will there be riots if donald trump doesn't get the nomination? >> sometimes up need tear gas outside the convention hall but i wonder if we'll need it inside the convention hall. i think those words are unfortunate. i don't think he meant that. it would be extraordinary -- let's think through this. it would be extraordinary for the person leading in the delegate count to end up not getting the requisite number of delegates. ford/reagan is our big controversy back from 1976. ronald reagan came in from that convention just behind gerald ford about 100 delegates short and didn't end up getting the nomination. that's the typical way things roll. >> but didn't everybody think in
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the republican party that was a mistake that reagan didn't got et nomination? >> all of us conservatives certainly wanted reagan to get it pu it. you got to follow the rules. there was a bargain with the mississippi delegation. it's got to be open, it's got to be transparent and donald trump has to get to this minimum numbers. those are just the facts. >> since romney's defeat in 2008, they were going to reach out do an autopsy of the republican party. do you think that's over? >> i think dead is wrong. there's difference voices. conservatives with barry goldwater with sending a very ideological message to washington about the size and scope of our lives.
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what's happening with ted cruz is they're sending a message they want to up end the order of things. it's very threatening to people who are used to being the insiders. your question on the autopsy, does this mean trump can't win a general election? when you have a realignment, certain givens will not take place in 2016 as expected. i think donald trump is going to reach out it different voters than the republican party has ever been able to reach out to if he's going to get the nomination. >> thank you. >> thank, don. >> why many people donald trump may be one of the top risks to global security.
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what barack obama is saying about hillary clinton and bernie sanders. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. >> donald trump is saying i have a very good brain and i've said a lot of things. just how worried is the rest of the world? could foreign policy be trump's downfa


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