tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 16, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
a thanks for watching. i'll join you back here tomorrow night. good evening. on the presidential campaign side after decisive super tuesday, donald trump has the upper hand and the republican party is feeling the strain especially after he warns of rioting if he's denied the nomination at a contested convention. and republicans convene in cleveland this summer. ted cruz is licking his wounds and marco rubio, of course, is out a whole new landscape, as we said. democrat hillary clinton got four, possibly five states last night. in the meantime, the current president did what all presidents do that senate republicans citing principle and precedent say this president
should not do, unleash a new supreme court nominee. two main story lines. one big night. we begin with cnn's phil mattingly with the big developments today after donald trump's big wins. >> reporter: after a dominant performance last night, donald trump started today with something of a threat talking to cnn's "new day," trump warning if he keeps his sizeable delegate lead and republican leaders turn to a different nominee -- >> if we're 100 short and we're at 1100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we're way ahead of everybody, i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think you'd have riots. >> reporter: just days after his rivals criticized him for encouraging violence as his rallies. after a huge super tuesday showing, trump pledged today to skip the next scheduled gop debate monday night. >> how many times can the same people ask you the same question? so i was very surprised when i heard that fox called for a debate.
nobody told me about it and i won't be there, no. >> reporter: with john kasich baulking at a trumpless event, fox news pulled the plug. trump's dominant victory in florida was the final, crushing blow to marco rubio's once promising campaign. the florida senator leaving the race with a clear message to republican voters. >> america needs a vibrant, conservative movement. but one that's built on principles and on ideas, not on fear, not on anger, not on preying on people's frustrations. >> reporter: trump's only setback tuesday night, coming in ohio where home state governor kasich picked up a convincing win, his first of the campaign. >> we are going to go all the way to cleveland and secure the republican nomination! ♪ >> reporter: kasich hitting the trail today in pennsylvania. >> for the first time, people are actually beginning to see my name, my face and hear my message.
kasich claims the gop fight is still a three-man race. >> only two campaigns have a plausible path to the nomination. ours and donald trumps. nobody else has any mathematical possibility whatsoever. >> reporter: and pitching a renewed pitch for party leaders to unite behind his campaign and take out trump. >> we're saying republicans should unite behind our campaign because we're the only campaign beating donald trump over and over and over again and we're the only campaign that can and will beat donald trump. >> phil mattingly is joining us now. trump is warning leaders about a contested convention. are you hearing that that is the direction that this race is headed? >> reporter: yeah, anderson, across the party operatives claiming that cleveland is the place where this may be figured out and a lot of people want that to be the case against donald trump but also the simple math here. up to this point, donald trump has won about 44% of the delegates that have been allocated out. that is not a pace that he can
keep if he wants to reach that 1237 number, 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch that nomination. the delegates will be allocated in a different way, a lot of winner-take-all states. there's a lot of variables in place but right now donald trump needs to tick up his delegates quickly or it looks like a contested convention may be the only answer. >> phil mattingly, thanks. president obama chose the supreme court leader to replace antonin scalia's seat and it continues to have little precedent in modern american history. the president picked merrick garland who is on the d.c. court of appeals. before that, he was at the justice department where he prosecuted the oklahoma city bombers. he's widely someone who republicans, legal luminaries praise highly and also someone who orrin hatch once spoke highly of as well. in fact, just this past friday, senator hatch told news max that
president obama, quote, could easily name merrick garland, a fine man, and then quickly added he probably wouldn't because this is about the election. however, now that president obama has named him, neither senator hatch nor his gop colleagues will hold hearings or meet with the man. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell talked with him by phone only to say that there will be no meetings or hearings. pamela brown is joining me now. what more do we know about this judge? >> anderson, merrick garland lost out to kagan and sotomayor. he's highly regarded on both sides of the aisle. he's considered a centrist who doesn't view his job as legislating from the bench. he's a graduate from harvard law school. president obama talked about the fact that he worked as a shoe clerk and tutor so he could pay his way through school and then after that he went on to serve in private practice in the
government as a prosecutor. garland is 63 years old, which is on the older side for the supreme court nominee in history but this could potentially be something that helps with the gop since he wouldn't serve on the court as long as someone younger, obviously. but i think, anderson, what his selection shows is that president obama was really focused on his legacy here, not the election, and he thinks garland is really his best chance of putting a third justice on the high court. >> some republicans, who are still in office, approved his confirmation to the d.c. appeals court years ago. are they supporting a nomination? >> that's right. there were seven republican senators who voted for him in 1997. most of them -- when i say seven, i mean that are still in office. most of them are taking the hardline approach of not holding a hearing. senator hatch, you pointed out, praised merrick garland in 1997, came out today and said he still thinks very highly of him but the nominee should be decided after the election.
however, the only senator to really break away in that seven is senator collins who has said that she wants a judiciary hearing and will meet with him. she called him a capable and accomplished jurist. we've been hearing that praise from across the aisle ever since the announcement was made. anderson? >> how does the process continue from here? >> almost immediately after the announcement, merrick garland spoke by phone to chuck grassley and mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell has said he's not going to meet with him but we're told that grassley is considering meeting with him. other senators have said they will, including senator collins. and so that's what's going to happen. he's going to go to the hill tomorrow, meet with senator leahy and other democrats and really -- we'll have to see if the republicans change their tune. i think the white house is still holding out hope that with public pressure, they will give in and eventually hold a hearing. anderson? >> pamela brown, thanks. let's get perspective on both top stories from atlantic media contributor, peter beinart, on the liberal end of the spectrum,
gloria borger and senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. from the right, margaret hoover, jeffrey lord and tara setmayer and jonathan turley. professor turley, let's start with you. what do you think this says about the nominee and what president obama is trying to do? >> it's a very interesting choice. it's a restrained choice. this would not be a legacy appointee in the sense of changing the court necessarily or necessarily being on the court a long time. he will move the needle to the left just by the fact that scalia was so far to the right. there are things about his background that will not please the left and many that will not please the right. i think there's an end-game strategy here that they hope that the republicans will change their mind with pressure. i think that's unlikely. but there's always the
possibility that if hillary clinton is elected, you have that window of opportunity where the republicans can say, all right, well, maybe we'll take the moderate we know, then the liberal we don't and go ahead forward with it. but he certainly maximizes the chances of a successful confirmation. it's just -- you know, this is a case, unfortunately, of the unmoveable object, you know, facing the irresistible force and he's right in the middle. >> jeff toobin, nobody is really questioning his qualifications from either side. >> not at all. he really is one of the most admired appeals court judges in the country. and that is something very much in his favor. but the key fact about this vacancy is that there are now four democratically appointed justices, four appointed republican justices. this is the most important vacancy in a generation and the republicans recognize, i think, that they are going to take some heat for not hold hearings but it's worth it to them. it's worth it to keep the possibility alive of a
conservative majority on the supreme court and that's what -- they are willing to pay a political price. >> and you know, you have republican politicians who have been reading the same exit polls that we've been reading and what's the main message from the electorate? we feel betrayed by our elected officials. this is one way washington elected officials can say, you know what, we're not betraying you because we're not going to let anyone other than a conservative on this supreme court. we're going to do everything we can to block the president. so they believe they've got the politics on their side. >> peter, do you think this is really an issue that will drive people one way or another? >> if donald trump is on the ballot, i think that's going to overshadow everything. but gloria just encapsulated what the republican problem is in a nutshell. in order to show that they are not betraying them, they have to do something, which we know from polls, is unpopular with americans as a whole. so you have a situation where republican senators are still
more worried about getting primary challenges, from ted cruz clones than they are about the fact that they could lose their seats in november because the country as a whole doesn't like the idea that someone doesn't even get a vote. >> jeffrey lord, let me start with you on donald trump and sort of this warning that he said on "new day" about riots if he doesn't get the nomination, if he gets close. >> well, as i think gloria can vouch and you can vouch, on our panels here over the last several days, months, years, however long this process has been, a lot of us has suggested that there would be hell to pay if the scenario that he invokes where he gets to about a thousand delegates and then -- >> right. >> -- nobody is close, that there would be a problem. there would be a revolt. a number of us have said that. i don't think he said any remarkable. he's just sort of observing the truth. if his folks feel they have gotten all the way there and there's a scheme by establishment folks to take this away --
>> i guess the problem is, tara, after all the other things -- the violence we have seen at rallies, after other comments he has made about punching people, if somebody throw as tomato, deck them, is, you know, saying riots, even if you say it as a joke in your voice, is that presidential behavior? >> of course not. but there hasn't been presidential behavior since he decided to run for president. he made that comment on purpose. he used that term riot. he knows that's another way of saying, listen, do not deny me or there's going to be hell to pay. he's laying that foundation. he didn't use that word by accident. this is all very strategic. >> he said it twice. >> correct. that's what he does. he's going to continue to repeat that and it's dangerous. he had surrogates on today. his mouth piece is coming out reinforcing that. scottie was saying very proudly she has no problem with riots and wolf blitzer called her out on it and said, you don't really
mean that and she had to walk it back for about three minutes. this is a clear strategy that they are putting forth to try to push forth that this inevitability, you are not going to deny us. >> margaret? >> i totally agree with tara. he's shaking the beehive but that's how he runs. he rules with this threat of authoritarianism. my way or the highway. ask paul ryan. i'm going to get along with him or else. the other republicans who have said that they would meet with him are kelly ayotte and susan collins because they are in blue states that barack obama won and they know that they need to meet with him because their electorate does not like obstructionism. people get the argument that the next president should decide. the risk with the republicans, do you really want hillary clinton appointing a more
liberal justice? >> ted cruz has been saying for a while that americans shouldn't trust donald trump to appoint someone to the supreme court. it's being used as a wedge within the gop primary. >> i think that's right. you know, you have to give mitch mcconnell some due. he may be right about the political dynamic. the republicans have more skin in this game. they have more to lose. you know, the democrats will gain from a moderate or a liberal appointee but the conservatives are going to lose a lot more. and that may drive people to the polls. i mean, this is a very serious issue. the republicans are right. this could be transformative. and, you know, also, this particular nominee has won big problem for republicans. and that is, he voted to reconsider the case that became heller. it's gospel for conservatives. he's viewed as a nonbeliever because of that vote. now, he can try to explain it
but that could be a serious wedge issue for him personally. >> professor charlie, always good to have you on. everyone else here on the panel, stay with us. donald trump warning about violence and the reaction to it. also, hillary clinton's big night and where it leaves bernie sanders and his support. we are a nano-business. windows 10 really helps us get the word out about how awesome bugs are. kids learn to be brave and curious and all kids speak the language of bug. "hey cortana, find my katydid video". oh! this is so good. (laughs) if you're trying to teach a kid about a proboscis just sketch it on the screen. i don't have a touch screen on my mac, i'm jealous of that. (laughs) you put a big bug in a kids hands and change their world view. (laughs) i am a lot of things. i am her best friend. i am her ally. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr to her current treatment
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so, carolina governor nikki haley put out the word today that her hope and prayers for ted cruz to stop donald trump and when asked whether that meant she was endorsing him, she said, i don't think i need to formally endorse. donald trump today on "new day" warned of trouble if anyone tries to stop him at the convention if he doesn't have the 1237 needed for the nomination. >> i think you'd have riots. i think you'd have riots. i'm representing a tremendous -- many, many millions of people. in many cases, first-time voters. these are people that haven't voted because they never believed in the system. they didn't like candidates, et cetera, et cetera. if you disenfranchise those people and say, i'm sorry, you're 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short, i think you'd have problems like you've never seen before. i think bad things would happen. i really do. i think bad things would happen.
>> we're back with the panel. gloria, there he is saying i wouldn't lead it but bad things will happen. >> yeah. he didn't say he wouldn't be a part of it or anything else. he wouldn't lead it. look, his voters would have a right, if he were within 100 delegates, they would have a right to feel disenfranchised completely. if the -- >> especially if it's gop leaders disenfranchising them. >> exactly. they already feel angry and betrayed, right? if they pulled somebody out of the hat -- paul ryan today said he wouldn't do it. but if they pulled a mitt romney out of the hat, then they would have a real right. now, if he is 4, 500 delegates back and there is a three-way race going on, you know, that's a whole different story. so i think it's very difficult at this point to predict. but he's the clear favorite when you talk about delegates. he only has to win 50% of the delegates. i think cruz has to win 80 and kasich 100% of the delegates coming up.
so he's the clear favorite. and if this pace continues, he will be close to that 1237. and then i don't see how he doesn't get the nomination. >> here's why i don't think they can stop him. assuming he continues to win, the republican establishment has shown no ability whatsoever for the last nine months to unify to stop donald trump. so why should we think they will today? if he comes in 100, or even a couple hundred, he has a lot of power. some of those people will want something from him. he can dangle things in front of them. he's good at doing that. he bought chris christie already and he got ben carson. so why shouldn't he be able to do that with a couple hundred delegates? i think if he continues to win, i think he's very hard to stop. >> do you agree with that? >> i think a wildcard in all of this, we still don't know what the rules are of the republican convention. >> because the rules can be rewritten. >> exactly. the rules can be rewritten. so the idea that the precise
number of delegates is known and what the obligations are of those delegates to vote for the candidate in the primary, some of that stuff is still in the air. so he is at some risk of not having as many delegates as he thinks he has and all of that, i think, is going to play into how the convention unfolds. >> it's interesting, though, because you have a spokesman for the rnc saying that donald trump -- he thinks donald trump was speaking figuratively. are you in the figurative camp here? >> i would like to believe he was speaking figuratively but i am not that optimistic. there's nothing to suggest that donald trump gives a lot of thought to what he says before he says it anyway and he -- you know, look, i am not -- >> tara was saying it was thought out. >> no. i think -- well, i don't know if -- look, that's more than what i would put him. i think he has this belligerent instinct that roles off the tongue and sometimes while he's
figurative, he doesn't think about the consequences of his words. this is how hillary is going to run against him. he's erratic. that matters if you have a leader of the free world. >> what do you think it would be if there was a brokered convention. >> if this convention goes down like the 1976 convention with ronald reagan and gerald ford, reagan lost on the floor by 117 votes, i don't think there will be a problem. if this convention becomes like the 1912 republican convention where teddy roosevelt was, you know, furious and made accusations of theft and they stormed out of there and went and formed a whole new party -- i'm not saying that but if that kind of scenario developed, absolutely. there's a difference between the two, tara. >> i would take it back even further.
some folks may remember the stop seward campaign in 1860. in 1860, governor seward of new york was the front-runner and they went to the republican convention in 1860 in chicago and there were four rounds of balloting and guess who ended up being our presidential nominee? abraham lincoln. >> and guess who was third going into that. >> he was considered a dark horse and guess what else happens? there was jockeying with delegates. this process has been going on for a long time. >> we've been arguing over an election from 1860. that's kind of interesting. it's a sign of where we're at. >> it's important to understand that this is historical and -- >> cnn's coverage of that was -- yeah. nobody holds a candle to the coverage of 1860. the candidates woke up to a new political landscape. the question is, is her lead now insurmountable? bernie sanders still says he sees a path ahead. what might that be?
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super tuesday three may be a turning point. hillary clinton scooped up delegates last night. bernie sanders, though, is not giving up. not by a long shot. he still see as path to the nomination. however it is by any measure, a much steeper path tonight. here's joe johns with the latest. >> thank you, florida. thank you, north carolina. thank you, ohio. >> reporter: hillary clinton sweeping super tuesday scoring four victories in four states with missouri still too close to call. >> we are moving closer to securing the democratic party nomination and winning this election in november. >> reporter: clinton's big night gives her a clearer path to the democratic nomination and blunts bernie sanders' momentum. clinton holds an insurmountable lead, nearly doubling sanders.
she now stands 795 delegates shy of winning the nomination. >> next week is a very important election. >> reporter: sanders is looking forward to future contests and not letting up on his rival. >> my opponent raises money in a slightly different way. she has a super pac which, among other special interests, has received $15 million from wall street. >> reporter: clinton will likely need support from sanders' base to win the election, possibly one reason she's shifting her focus squarely on the current republican front-runner, donald trump. >> when we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up
12 million immigrants, banning all muslims from entering the united states, when he embraces torture, that doesn't make him strong, it makes him wrong. >> reporter: trump is eager for the fight, firing back at clinton this morning. >> i think she's an embarrassment to our country. she's under federal investigation. she doesn't have the strength nor the stamina to be president, frankly, as far as i'm concerned. >> reporter: the war of words offering a preview of a potential november showdown wean the two. trump also targeting clinton on social media posting a video saying clinton isn't a leader, she's a punch line. on wednesday, the hillary clinton campaign rolled out through new ads targeting arizona. cnn, joe johns, phoenix. joining me is a former obama official.
gloria, let me start with you. going after hillary clinton as a punch line, they are both often the subjects of humorous retorts, i guess you should say. >> the thing about that ad, it's an instagram video which was done to gin up the base. listening to her, not strong but wrong, speaking in rhyme. and donald trump tone -- his tone is so bombastic and her tone is sort of studiously, you know, we want to make our country whole, we don't need to make it great. we are great. strong. there's going to be such a difference if they end up in a faceoff against each other and tone will be so important in this race. particularly, i would argue, with women voters. i mean, trump does well with republican women. but overall, he has a huge gender gap when you look at the entire electorate and that's going to be important.
>> but there's tone now and then there's tone in the heat of a battle. do you guys have any doubt, jeffrey, that this is just going to be -- if it is hillary clinton and donald trump or even bernie sanders and donald trump, just an all-out scorched earth race? >> every year we say we've never seen a more negative race. donald trump has taken negative campaigning to a new level. i mean, the way he has treated his republican opponents, little marco and lying ted cruz. the level of vitreal he has used is more than certainly mitt romney did four years ago or john mccain eight years ago and hillary clinton is certainly going to get that treatment. what's interesting, though, is that it's not clear what the best response is. marco rubio has one to match trump, insult to insult. i think the clinton people are going to have to see what's the best approach. >> hard for a woman to do that, right? >> peter?
>> the clintons certainly have experience in tough, tough political fights. >> right. and they have surrogates who can do some of that stuff. i mean, the negative campaigning against donald trump, you know, the skeleton in the closets are an embarrassment. you don't know where to start. the danger for her, now that's she's virtually secured the nomination and she'll have a long period with not much to do, that's when she gets into trouble. it's these long stretches where basically there's a tendency within the clinton operation to self-sabotage these areas, to lose their discipline and that's what they need to be worried about. >> van, that's been one of the arguments that clinton supporters point to to bernie sanders staying in the race. obviously sander supporters want him to win. he's making her a better candidate and keeps the race in the headlines on the democratic side. >> well, absolutely.
first of all, you just can't overstate the positive impact of bernie sanders on this party and on hillary clinton. can you imagine if you had had a normal challenger where they were kind of both debating about normal policy stuff, the entire democratic party could have missed this upsurge, this uprising in the country. bernie sanders delivered that to her door and said what are you going to do about this? you have people who are in real pain, who are really upset and who want big answers, big solutions. they don't want a nuance, double-talk. and she had to respond. the reality is, a lot of bernie sanders people are mad at hillary clinton because hillary clinton said bernie is a single-issue candidate because they say she stole all of bernie's ideas and she really did get better. so i think that's a very good thing. with this thing about trump, a hillary/trump matchup is going to be so interesting because of the cultural differences. you know, you have with trump this kind of, you know, almost a
hip-hop sensibility of the braggers, naming his opponents and wrestling and all of these different pop culture sensibilities and she's more like velcro and he's like teflon. she wants to be the good girl. she wants to be the good student. he doesn't care. it's going to be a situation where i'm not sure how she responds when he starts seeing the things that he says on a live stage but she's got to be getting a room with some rappers and some people who just say anything and let her get ready for this. it's going to be weird. >> gloria, yet they have these -- they have both lived a life in a bubble. they are both extremely wealthy. he's given money to her. she went to his wedding. it's not as though they are complete strangers to each other. >> yeah. and they have both been attacked mercilessly and they both know how to attack. the thing about hillary clinton,
if she's smart -- and i think she is -- she can use the sort of velvet glove and she could go after him on, you know, whether it's trump university or whether it's on his business -- other business practices or whether it's on things he said and she can do it in a way that kind of gets to him and if she can go to him, which i think she probably can, that might work to her advantage in a debate. she very skilled at this. really skilled. >> the panel is going to stick around. the republican field has shrunk. just three candidates have survived super tuesday three. john king joins us at the magic wall to break it down by the numbers. "credit karma says my credit score just went up!"
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wall to break it down. the fact that this is a three-race, does it make it easier or harder to stop donald trump? >> a lot of republican strategists think harder. john kasich staying in keeps it a more crowded field. ted cruz says, let's go one on one, the next month is critical if they are going to stop donald trump. let's take a look at what we get. next tuesday, we go out wednesday and we get arizona and utah. then we move to wisconsin primary on april 5th. then, we have some caucuses in the west, wyoming and colorado, conventions out there. then on the 19th, new york state primary. over the next month, 295 republican delegates. that's fewer delegates than last night but 295, big if you look at the numbers. here's where donald trump is today. he's actually a little higher than this. we have delegates from last night and missouri and illinois to allocate. watch how this could play out.
let's assume that trump wins in arizona and we'll give utah its caucuses, we give this to ted cruz, he seems to do well in caucuses because of grassroots organizing. then we move to the next set of contest. wisconsin primary will be key. it's a winner-take-all here in the midwest. after winning illinois and michigan, we favored trump so give that to him. he starts to approach the 800 mark and then you finish the next phase of the next month out. the new york primary, you'd have to say in a three-way race, donald trump would be primary. we give -- no reason donald trump couldn't win one or more of those but for the sake of argument, we give them to ted cruz. but look at that, anderson, a month from now, donald trump could be somewhere in the 840, 850 mark of delegates. getting close. he would need about 54%. if he runs it here, he'd need about 53, 54% of the rest of the delegates to clinch. >> so if kasich can't win wisconsin, which is not far from ohio, does he quit?
>> that's a great question. there would be a lot of pressure on him to quit. if he can't come in wisconsin and take a state away from donald trump and say, look, i'm the blue collar bunch bucket guy, he would still be way back but give him the moral reason to stay in. if donald trump wins in john kasich's neighborhood, again, if you will, there will be pressure to get out and make it a one-on-one race with ted cruz. but john kasich's argument is most of the campaign plays out over here in the east and he's from pennsylvania. so i suspect he would make the case, give me one more shot at pennsylvania but the establishment would say, please get out. >> and where does cruz win? >> that's another fascinating question. look at the region i just circled. donald trump all around with the kasich win. cruz did well in texas and oklahoma. we suspect they will do well in these caucus and convention states out west. do you see ted cruz in new jersey, connecticut, rhode island, northeastern states and
especially if kasich stays in the race, it's hard to see cruz winning and some say a lot of republican strategists think even though the effort to stop trump, this is favorable territory for mr. trump. >> now that rubio is out, what happens to his delegates? >> that's a great question that you can't answer today in the sense that marco rubio has 171 delegates, a still more to be allocated. every candidate wants them. every candidate still in the race wants them. some states, they are bound on the first ballot still to marco rubio. others are unbound. here's one thing that i know is happening. the cruz campaign is already reaching out to them saying whether you're free at the beginning of the convention or free after the first ballot, we want to be your friend and recruit you. that will be an effort that goes all the way through the convention in july. the other candidates still in the race trying to make friends with the rubio delegates. >> a lot of friends all of a sudden. john, thanks very much. >> deals to be made. >> back with the panel, margaret, is there a viable path ford with ted cruz? >> he was supposed to sweep the
southern s.e.c. primary and all of the voters were going to rally him forward to the nomination. is there a path forward? yes. is there a path to 1237? no. for cruz, kasich, for hope of a nontrump candidacy, they are hanging their hat on a prayer that there will be a contested convention. it's unlikely. >> and if they do get to a contested convention, still, donald trump would get the nomination? >> that's right. that's right. history tends to show that people in donald trump's position think of barry goldwater in 1964 who came -- there were fewer primaries then but came out of california having defeated nelson rockefeller. and generally speaking, the person who was far ahead wins. >> what happens to barry goldwater? so, i mean -- >> he made the basis for the conservative movement. >> i understand that. >> that's another argument, though.
>> i get that. but i'm saying i think that argument, people will remember a lot of the folks that are determining the delegates and things will remember what happened when they decided to go with barry goldwater and i don't think, given the fact that this country is at a crossroads now with this election, that it's so important that they are willing to turn the keys to the kingdom over to donald trump and risk that slaughter. >> what do you see happening other than trump? >> well, i mean, i think that as the we get closer to the convention, i think you will see ted cruz has a lot of presentation problems that turns people off. he might be a good conservative. people don't like him. >> not just the establishment. i mean, like ted cruz has hardcore supporters, he's a good conservative on issues but has to work on presentation, right? we all saw the speeches last night. i was sitting there going, he's got to tighten it up. he's got to speak in easier -- >> my sense is he's worked on presentation quite a lot. >> cruz is the same as goldwater. >> not necessarily. i think that ted cruz has a challenge in a general but i
think that it would not be the same as trump once the hillary machine -- >> go ahead, peter. >> look, the republicans are screwed no matter what because there is a three-way race no matter what. if trump is a nominee, some conservative is going to run as a third-party candidate to get people to go to vote for senate candidates. if donald trump is denied the nomination after getting the most number of delegates, he's going to find some way to be running as well. there doesn't seem to be any realistic scenario by which he get a republican nominee who is not trump with a one-on-one shot against hillary clinton. we have to take a quick break. if the math doesn't work in donald trump's favor, we could be buckling our seat belts for a very contested convention in july. it hasn't happened often. it has happened in the past. we'll look at what kind of mess we could be in for, next. ♪ i love to take pictures that engage people. and to connect us with the wonderment of nature. the detail on this surface book is amazing.
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gary tuchman looks back. >> the republican party presents a united front. >> reporter: contested conventions, once coined smoke-filled back rooms where handshake deals and general jockeying took place has a long history in american politics from hayes to eisenhower. the rules for contested conventions have been in place for nearly 150 years and would apply to this year's conventions. after the first round of voting by candidates, the convention is considered open and the delegates are then free to cast ballots for which ever candidate they want. and the summer of 1976, president gerald ford battled former president ronald reagan for the nomination. ford came into the convention
leading in delegates but set up a reagan insurgency within the party trying to move delegates to his side. >> i am honored by your nomination and i accept it. [cheers and applause ] >> reporter: ford managed to fend reagan off but only after delegate swapping and deal making. >> after the scrimmages of the last few months, it really feels good to have ron reagan on the same side of the line. >> reporter: after which ronald reagan gave a stirring endorsement. >> i believe the republican party has a platform that is a banner of bold, unmistakable colors with no pale pastel shades. >> reporter: even with reagan support, many within the party wondered if a contested convention had hurt the republicans. and their fears were soon realized as a relatively unknown peanut farmer from georgia, democrat jimmy carter, won over ford. four years later, president carter faced off senator ted
kennedy for the nomination. kennedy hoped supporters would defect to him in the convention but when the ballots were cast, carter prevailed. >> with gratitude and determination, i accept your nomination. >> reporter: walter mondale, a clear front-runner over challenger gary hart came into the democratic convention 40 shy of winning the nomination. >> my fellow citizens, i present to you the next president of the united states, walter mondale! >> reporter: but monday dale lost in a landslide to ronald reagan in the general election only winning minnesota in the district of columbia and this election season, donald trump has made his stance clear, whether or not he clinches the required 1237 delegates come july he expects to be the nominee of the republican party.
gary tuchman, cnn, atlanta. >> a lot of history there. coming up, what a clinton/trump race may look like. we're getting it from the two candidates himself. and president obama's supreme court choice and the battle that begins. we'll take a look at that when we return in a moment. those new glasses? they are. do i look smarter? yeah, a little. you're making money now, are you investing? well, i've been doing some research. let me introduce you to our broker. how much does he charge?
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hint of a what trump/clinton nomination may be like. we're getting an early preview of the kind of race they may be running against each other. details from brianna keilar. >> reporter: hillary clinton fresh off a sweep last night. >> this is another super tuesday for our campaign. >> reporter: the democratic front-runner bringing home victories in four states adding to her delegate lead over bernie sanders. >> we are moving closer to securing the democratic party nomination and winning this election in november. >> reporter: with the math and the momentum in her favor, clinton is looking to the general election. >> our commander in chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it. >> reporter: she's taking aim at gop front-runner donald trump, treating him as the presumptive nominee. >> our next president has to