tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 17, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
we begin with growing signs of a gop freak-out over donald trump. breaking news in what was the unprecedented effort by leading republicans to keep their primary front-runner from winning the nomination. that battle expanded to include conservatives gathering in washington to plot a trump takedown. but a ted cruz/john kasich unity ticket, a contested convention and of drafting paul ryan to replace him. there was that and also this. republican lawmakers who openly deeply and comprehensively detest senator cruz are now beginning to endorse him. dana bash has the latest on all of that. she joins us now. let's talk about this closed door conservative meeting today. >> i just got off the phone with somebody who was part of that meeting. there were about 30 people there. these were leaders in the conservative movement both on the social conservative side and the fiscally conservative side. and the discussion was, as you said, how do they, first of all,
stop donald trump, but tactically what is the best way to go about it. and behind the scenes, the real feeling is the best way to do it would to be try to consolidate around ted cruz. but that given the reality that at this point his biggest opponent or only opponent left, john kasich, doesn't appear to want to get out of the race and has no intention of doing so. it's going to be a delegate dance to do that. they expect if that doesn't happen they'll go to the convention. it will be a contested convention. a lot of to'ing and fro'ing about how they get down to the votes. probably several ballot votes through all of these delegates. it's going to be a lot of political chess in trying to figure out how to stop donald trump. if they don't, there was a discussion that a lot of these conservatives who have been the backbone of the republican party for the last couple of decades may bolt and go to the libertarian party or
constitution party. others that are already on ballots in all 50 states. >> you spoke to lindsey graham today who famously had said that choosing between ted cruz and donald trump was like choosing between getting killed between a gunshot and poison. he seems to have picked poison. >> you're right. there was no question about lindsey graham's feelings about ted cruz. they are republican colleagues but very different in approach, tactics and even points of view. but they are down to the wire and for the same reason these conservatives have been meaning to stop trump, lindsey graham has one guy left who he thinks could beat donald trump or help stop him and that's ted cruz. i asked about that. >> the states coming up in terms of voting and i didn't like trump. i'd vote for cruz. >> i've known you and watched you particularly with ted cruz over the last several years. i'm waiting for pigs to start flying down the street. >> it tells you a lot about where we're at as a party. >> it sure does.
>> i have doubts about mr. trump. i don't think he's a republican. i don't think he's a conservative. his campaign is built on xenophobia, race baiting. i think it would be a disaster for our party. senator cruz would not be my first choice but i think he's a republican conservative who i think i could support. >> it's not just that he's backing ted cruz because unclear how much of an impact that would have for any one senator, especially lindsey graham who is part of the establishment to do so. he's going to headline a fund-raiser for ted cruz on monday here in washington with a lot of graham's deep-pocket donors who have been very pro-israel and thought that graham has been with them on that issue. and that matters for somebody like ted cruz who needs to go the long haul in order to have potential convention fight and needs to have deep pockets to do so. a lot of money in his coffers.
so having lindsey graham help with that is pretty huge. and even he you can see was a little surprised that it had come to this moment where he was suddenly helping ted cruz with a presidential bid. >> the cliche is politics makes strange bedfellows. this is prime example of that. >> ultimate. now more on how a stop trump battle would be fought at the convention in cleveland and who would be on the front lines fighting it. sunlen serfaty has the latest on what may be the most exciting political story in generations. >> we have to bring our party together. >> reporter: tonight paul ryan is brushing off the idea that he could be drawn into the presidential race. >> it's not going to be me. it should be somebody running for president. people are out there campaigning. >> reporter: but the house speaker is not stepping away from the prospect that his party might be heading towards a contested of convention. >> this is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before. so we're getting our mind around the idea this could become a
reality. >> reporter: trump's team encouraging republicans opposed to trump to rethink their strategy. >> we're going to get to cleveland. he's going to be our nominee. and, you know, some of these guys will have to decide how much damage they are willing to do to the party because they're not -- they don't like that. >> reporter: the potential for a contested convention is pushing the gop candidates into effectively waging two campaigns side by side. still working to win outright but also scrambling to prepare their backup plans if the nominating fight is still unsettled before republicans gather in cleveland this july. >> look, if donald and i come in and we're neck and neck and neither of us are at 1,237, then it's a battle for the remaining delegates. that's how a convention operates. >> it's unlikely that anybody is going to achieve enough delegates to avoid a convention. >> reporter: the campaigns are also closely watching the delegate math. candidates need to get to 1,237 delegates to clinch the
nomination before the convention based on the current delegate counts, donald trump would need to win a little more than 50% of the remaining delegates to reach that mark. ted cruz would need roughly 80% and for john kasich, it would be mathematically impossible. he would need about 108%. >> sunlen serfaty joins us. obviously, cruz has a closer shot at pulling this off, although still a pretty big long shot. what more can you tell us about his campaign to try to do that is. what is it? >> well, it's interesting. the cruz campaign is on two tracks right now. they are very separate. first they are still trying to win this primary outright by getting to 1,237. advisers believe they have a better than 50% chance of that happening. they are laser focused on the upcoming states that are caucuses, closed primaries. all of which they believe benefits them in the end. but the second track, they are behind the scenes starting to
plot and plan for this to go to the convention floor. they are lining up staff and scenarios of how this would happen and make sure the delegates they have committed to them are firmly in their corner. also they are playing a little offense here. very interesting going after rubio's delegates, of course. all of this really laying the groundwork if this extends to july. >> fascinating. sunlen serfaty, thank you. on the panel tonight, bill press, clinton supporter bakari sellers, gloria borger and kayleigh mcenany, margaret hoover and ross douthat. ross is a conservative op ed columnist for "the new york times." and with us is romney 2012 campaign strategist stuart stevens. you obviously have been very much against donald trump for a long period of time. very outspoken on this. where is your head at in terms of what's going to happen over the next couple of months and what an open convention might
actually achieve. >> well, i have to take back everything i said about donald trump not bringing people together. if he can bring lindsey graham and ted cruz together, we're clearly close to the rapture here. should get on that palestinian problem next. look, i wrote a novel that's coming out in june about a brokered convention. i didn't think it would actually happen. i would have written it more carefully. i think it's going to be more likely than not that no one is going to get to 1,237. i agree with speaker ryan, this idea that somebody would come in from outside seems like a moment from another era. it will be someone who is running, i would think. but this idea, people have actually thought about this before. there's a lot of rules here of what you're going to do. and i think that those rules, as
long as we obey those rules and people vote, we just have to let the process play itself out. what i think donald trump, god forbid i should give him advice, but i think he should look at this as a testing period. people are looking to him now in a different way. a front-runner for a presidential nomination. and i think that it gives him a chance to show that he can handle that moment. i don't think he's handling it very well so far, but this is going to be a high stress moment for everyone and a real test. >> let's turn to our republicans here first. kayleigh, the idea of an open convention, brokered convention. any doubt that donald trump should automatically get the nomination if he has the most number of delegates? >> no, there's not a doubt. i don't think we'll get to a brokered convention. he's won nearly 50% so far. >> you think he'll get enough delegates? >> i do. we're heading into winner take
all, winner take most territory. it will get easier for hum going forward. if we get to a brokered convention, it's hard to see how if donald trump has the most delegates of any candidate, which he will. i think ted cruz is going to shrink. he's not poised to do well in the states going forward. it's hard to see how anyone else has a greater moral mandate. it's hard for me to see how jockeying for delegates is the new name of winning the republican nomination, not winning the most of the american people's votes. when the american people speak, that's where it should end. >> margaret hoover? >> the guy is a dealer. he knows how to make a deal. >> by the way co-wrote. tony schwartz, the co-writer has tweeted out, i wrote the book, he read it. >> forgive me. i'm just quoting donald trump. i rely on kayleigh to be the fact checker. >> i want writers to get the credit as someone who did write a book. >> here's the deal.
if you are going to be the nominee, presumptively, if you are in donald trump's position, you have to deal with the fact that somewhere between 35% and 40% of people who self-identify as republicans and show up at this convention say they'll never vote for donald trump. that's a tough starting point. what is he going to do about it? this lindsey graham and ted cruz reunion is extraordinary because what lindsey graham is saying, is i know ted cruz is going to lose but i'd rather go down lose with ted cruz because i know he's a republican and we can rebuild from within if that's the context of the loss. if donald trump takes over the republican party, it's over. >> ross, why shouldn't donald trump, if he has won the most states, the most races, has the most delegates, i mean, if i was a donald trump voter, i would be outraged that suddenly the gop grand poobahs are coming in telling the voters they don't know best?
>> they are telling about 38% of their voters, if trump keeps doing better. they are telling a plurality of their voters that they don't know best which is how the rules of the convention and political parties have worked basically for 200 years of american history. we didn't have conventions when it was federalists and republicans but there isn't some moral mandate that comes from winning 38% of the vote in a contested primary, right? >> gloria? >> i think where the question would come in is do you take somebody from the outside like a paul ryan who keeps saying he doesn't do it. he won't do it but he didn't want to be speaker either and now he's speaker of the house. can you do that? and i think that's a much more difficult, honestly. >> but i think that -- >> you think that's -- >> no, it's clearly not easier. but if we're talking about moral mandate, what trump supporters
can reasonably say is, it would be ridiculous to give it to ted cruz since trump did beat him fair and square. that's the case for saying, well, you need an outsider who can unify the party because clearly these jokers running thus far haven't been able to. >> but even paul ryan has said, wait a minute. i haven't competed. that's not fair. you know, basically paul ryan came out and said that. >> i think i find this whole conversation crazy. >> well, it is. >> the person who gets -- >> says the sanders supporter. >> that's right. and i enjoy -- i've never enjoyed politics more than watching the republicans eat each other alive. i have to say that from the beginning. clearly, whoever, in my mind, whoever gets the most delegates should get the nomination of the party. >> why? >> whoever crosses the finish line. >> there's contradiction that the republicans are saying obama, we can't have a supreme court nominee. let the people decide. and now at the convention, no, don't let the people decide. let the poobahs decide.
>> back to stuart. >> that's the contradiction i was going to bring up. the republican party has found themselves in this pretzel of just -- they don't have any moral clarity. and you risk, if you deny donald trump you risk take away all of the energy that you have in this primary season. >> oh, come on. >> let's go back to stuart. >> go ahead, stuart. >> i have been in a lot of delegate hunting meetings before and it's the first word moral has ever come up. this is an amazing conversation. listen, think about it. in 2008, hillary clinton got more votes than barack obama, but barack obama got the nomination because he had more delegates. in 2000, some reason to believe that george bush got fewer votes than al gore but he became
president because that's the way the system works. so here are all these republicans now who are arguing for trump, and they should have been arguing for gore. they are making these arguments. it's the will of the people, it's not the electoral college. we have a system. we have rules. we should stick to those rules. >> the system is broken. that's the point -- >> that's what they said in 2000 about the electoral college. >> this is why republicans are rebelling against the establishment because it's been the establishment's will and now for the first time, voters are rebelling against what's the establishment wants and the establishment can't take it. they are having back door closed meetings to topple trump. >> we're going to continue this conversation and also look at john kasich who launched against trump. and hillary clinton's good super tuesday showing just got better. late word on results in the show me state. "ow..." "are you okay?"
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welcome back. marco rubio saying donald trump would fracture the republican party and conservatives calling for a unity ticket or third party effort to stop him. and republicans dislike ted cruz are beginning to endorse him. getting deep into the gop night scenario. michael gersten posting on facebook. republicans, he writes are looking to the abyss when it comes to donald trump.
harry reid says the party is simply reaping what it sowed. >> republicans' leaders created the drought conditions. donald trump has simply struck the match. republicans began charting the path to donald trump eight years ago. >> you can certainly disagree or agree with the diagnosis. we've been seeing a sizable portion of the republican party is treating this like a potentially deadly infection. the notion that democrats relish the idea of trump being the republican nominee. the fact is you don't know what to expect with him. >> you understand he's going to be a drag on the ballot. there are going to be a lot of united states senators now lobbyists from kirk to ron johnson to rob portman. >> you think he'll bring down senatorial candidates? >> i believe the republican party for all intents and purposes is giving up on winning the white house in 2016. they are trying to save the party. they understand they really
don't have a good shot at winning the white house with donald trump or ted cruz. ted cruz is an easier candidate for democrats because he fundamentally does not change the map and donald trump changes the map because you have to defend the areas where trade is a big issue in the midwest. donald trump is an anchor beyond anchors, beyond anchors on the rest of the ticket. >> not necessarily in house races. i have to tell you, i talk to a lot of republicans who say that donald trump runs very well in their conservative districts. in the senate, the control of the senate is at stake and that's why you see harry reid tying mitch mcconnell to donald trump because as much as he is playing for control of the senate. >> a quick point to bakari and other democrats. i've got to be careful about being too cocky or overconfident against running against donald trump. >> a lot of gop candidates, about 16 of them, who were very confident about it. >> this man has broad appeal today because of economic injustice out there, whatever it is.
he's speaking to some issues that resonate and particularly the blue collar workers, white collar democrats, reagan democrats, whatever, donald trump could be a real danger. >> do you believe donald trump is a drag on senate candidates in the gop? >> i think he's an absolute crushing blow to the senate candidates. if you look in 2012, only one senate candidate in a serious race won in a state that romney lost. that was heller in nevada and he won by 0.03% in a three-way. you have to really ask yourself, how are these senate candidates going to do at a top of the ticket if they -- if that top of the ticket isn't winning or doing very well in these states. i'm of the opinion that donald trump will be an historically weak candidate. i don't see his ability to expand the base. for all these white males he's getting and more that are registering, you are also losing white voters. and look.
this is what's i call the last -- lost tribe of the amazon theory. if you just sort of paddle up far enough up the amazon and beat the drums loud enough they'll come to the river and vote for us. there's not enough white voters out there in america today to put together a winning national coalition. mitt romney got 59% of the white vote. that's more than ronald reagan got at a higher percentage of the white voting. he carried 24 states. ronald reagan got 44 states with 57% of the white vote. you just can't get there without building a broader coalition in today's america. >> kayleigh, what do you say to that? he makes a tough argument against donald trump. >> donald trump can do exceedingly well among minorities. i talk to minorities every day who say they are supporting donald trump because they think he'll bring back jobs. people underestimate that a lot of minority communities and
millennials, two big vote blocs donald trump needs to win part of are facing double digit real unemployment. >> you think he can do better among minority employees than mitt romney did? >> yes, absolutely. i absolutely think he can. >> i fit in that category. i'm going to throw that out there. being a minority and millennial, i do fit in that category. he's going to be the best go tv candidate that the democratic party has had. there's so much anger in this day for the xenophobia, the race baiting. and i'm quoting lindsey graham saying that. >> i was struck by the comments of lindsey graham. the words he's using against donald trump, the words the naacp was using. to hear lindsey gram using these words against a gop candidate. >> if you are donald trump and look at the polls and the polls tell you you're winning you have to look at the polls. if you believe that you have to win additional -- you can't just get the missing white voter which is what ted cruz premised his entire campaign on.
if you can find those white voters and get them to the polls you'd be able to win. donald trump succeeded in finding them. they aren't voting for ted cruz but donald trump. it's still not enough. and if you look at -- >> the reality is i'll disagree a little with stuart. there were a lot of white voters in midwestern states who stayed home in 2012 who were turned off by sort of the image of mitt romney, the corporate raider but also didn't want to vote for barack obama. if trump could just take the romney coalition and add those votes, he may not get over the top but would get closer. the problem is that in the course of winning some of those voters, he's not just burned bridges everywhere else. he's torched them, pushed them up the river and -- >> you talk about this lost tribe of the -- >> stuart, can i speak to this? >> you talk about this lost tribe of the amazon theory. there are millions watching donald trump debate and gop
candidates debate who probably never watched before. aren't some of those people, no doubt, trump supporters who have yet to vote and are going to come out to vote? the viewership, the interest in this is huge. >> yeah, but you just start running up against these historic levels. how many white voters are going to turn out? you have to start looking at things are going to happen that have never happened before. mitt romney got 17% nonwhite vote. by most calculations, you're going to have to knock that upwards to at least 25%, probably 30% to win an election. so here you have donald trump. how is he doing? he has the highest unfavorable ratings among african-americans and hispanics in the history of polling. but why? it's not necessarily his policy on immigration. others have the same. it's because he's calling
mexicans rapists. and they consider that sort of like a negative thing. and it's because he's out there with this sort of snarling campaign of hate. and telling people, he's even threatening republicans that we're going to have a riot at the convention if you don't let him win, even though he doesn't have the delegates. this is an absolute road map to a disaster electorally. he can go out there maybe and win a nomination, but it's not going to be enough to win a general election. >> everybody wants to get in on this. we'll continue this discussion. a lot more to discuss. also the growing efforts by gop conservatives to stop donald trump. what a matchup between trump and clinton might look like. both sides bracing for that possibility. who would have the edge in a general election. bakari sellers seems optimistic. should he be? john king breaks it down by the numbers.
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woman:man: yes.a newspaper? woman: it's quaint. man: did you read about this latest cyber attack? woman: yeah, i read it on my watch. man: funny. woman: they took out the whole network. man: they had to hand out pens and paper. woman: yeah. man: could it happen to us? woman: no. we're okay. man: we are? woman: yeah, we brought in some new guys. man: what do they know that we don't? woman: that you can't run a country with pens and paper. it's not just security. it's defense. bae systems. tonight's breaking news, republicans trying to stop the leading republican vote-getter from getting the nomination and the stop trump meeting today in washington and lindsey graham endorsing ted cruz and the overarching reality of a possible clinton/trump face-off is looking more and more probable.
they both are clearly facing for a potential matchup. if it happens, buckle your seat belts. suzanne malveaux reports. >> reporter: brace yourself for a battle you've never seen before. >> our commander in chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it. >> she's been involved in corruption her whole life, whether it's whitewater. her whole life is corruption. >> reporter: forget about the snarky retorts of the 2008 campaign. >> you're likable enough. >> reporter: or the mild-mannered exchanges that made debate audiences roar. >> i did not mention his name. >> your husband did. >> well i'm here. he's not. >> i can't tell who i'm running against sometimes. >> you were practicing law and representing him in his slum landlord in inner city chicago. >> reporter: this general election will likely resemble a cage match with donald trump relentlessly pummeling hillary clinton over her honesty, energy
and e-mails. >> she shouldn't be allowed to run. what she did was a criminal act. she doesn't have the strength or the energy. >> reporter: clinton is already going after trump's character. >> i think all americans should be concerned. he is trafficking in hate and fear. he is playing to our worst instincts. >> dog, fat pig. >> reporter: ain't-trump republicans are fueling the feud by using trump's own words against him. >> this is how donald trump talks about our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. >> reporter: as both candidates prepare to go mano-e-mano, they are sharpening their attacks. >> when he embraces torture, that doesn't make him strong. it makes him wrong. >> hillary is a disaster, okay? hillary is a disaster. she is a disaster.
just ask hillary about libya. you just look at what's happened. >> reporter: the attacks are also playing out online. this on trump's instagram. [ barking ] >> reporter: a pro-clinton superpac delivering this counterpunch. >> i'm speaking with myself, number one because i have a very good brain and i've said a lot of things. [ laughter ] >> reporter: while both candidates are testing their themes. >> make america great again. >> make america whole again. >> reporter: political strategists are firing warning shots. >> i would advise hillary not to go down the gutter with trump. somebody has to stand on that stage and be the adult in the room. i think hillary clinton needs to resist the temptation of trying to outtrump trump. >> reporter: trump has warned clinton that nothing is off the table in their battle for the white house, including criticizing her for her husband president bill clinton's alleged past sexual indiscretions. to that, secretary clinton has said, no far, i have no response.
suzanne malveaux, cnn, washington. >> trump's rivals like to point out the polls show them doing better against hillary clinton clinton. come november, it is clinton versus trump, what does the math look like for each when it comes to winning the white house? john king is here to show us by the numbers. if it's trump and clinton, we know it's going to be fought on a different map than obama versus mccain or obama versus romney. >> let me give you a walk-through. first the numbers. seven months plus until election day. don't put too much stock in these. hillary clinton with an edge over donald trump in national polls. we elect presidents state by state. but she has a 6 to 7-point lead consistently. also she has the lead in some of the battleground states. these are nbc/"wall street journal"/marist poll. plus eight for clinton in florida, plus 6 in ohio and plus 25 in illinois. it's only early in the race.
if stuart is still watching, my apologies. let's go back to the presidential race in 2012 to take a closer look. michigan blue. michigan has been blue since after dukakis/george h.w. bush. up in the suburbs of detroit, blue collar mccomb county. used to be reagan democrats. trump thinks he can create some trump democrats. oakland county. that's where mitt romney went to school. trump thinks i can change these people into trump democrats. that's one place he thinks he can put michigan in play. he also thinks he can put pennsylvania in play. how? donald trump thinks he'll do better. maybe he won't win the pittsburgh area. but he'll do better with blue collar voters. donald trump thinks the old former steel part of the country, coal part of the country out there that he can do better with blue collar workers. anecdotally there's some evidence he could do better. not that hillary clinton couldn't counter him.
that puts michigan, maybe pennsylvania on the map as well meaning republicans would contest them in ways we haven't seen in a while. there's ohio. 51/48 last time. donald trump thinks he can win in places like this where you have blue collar voters. let's look at what happened the other night even when kasich was winning his home state. donald trump did very well in the youngstown area. blue collar voters here and across the southern part of the state. a lot of conservative democrats. white conservative men who were key in the hillary clinton/barack obama primaries years ago. one more place. let's pop it out and continue the conversation. the state of florida. donald trump just won it in the primary. if you come back to 2012 and look at the presidential race. always a battleground. 50/49 in the romney race with obama. donald trump, his base is down here in this part of the state. he thinks he can do a little better and put that state in play. will he? that's seven months away.
would the map be different? without a doubt. >> if trump puts some traditionally blue states in play for republicans, is there a flip side? does trump being the top nominee endanger any states? >> that changes the map. this is just a trump/clinton map. if republicans decide to launch an independent third party candidacy that would change more. if trump is the nominee, nevada and new mexico, traditionally swing states in presidential politics. they've gone blue the last two times. if trump is the nominee, democrats think they are ours. then you start looking at other states. here's one right here. north carolina, let me turn this up. romney won 51-48. obama won is 50/50 just barely. in the clinton campaign analysis they think this goes back to a race they can turn out more african-americans because donald trump is the nominee. they can put the 2008 obama coalition back together.
the other ones get more dicey. democrats often talk if we gin up democratic turnout more. if there's a third party conservative candidate, keep an eye on georgia. one other place is indiana. traditionally a conservative state but in 2008, obama was able to win it narrowly. democrats think if you have a high african-american turnout in response to trump and especially if there's a third party conservative candidate, that's a place to put into play. without a doubt for the democrats, their idea is defend florida and ohio. they think that's the path to protecting no matters who the republican nominee is. >> translate that into 270 electoral votes. >> let's start again. this is 2012. obama won with 332. 206. what if donald trump can put pennsylvania in play? what if he can put michigan in play? he'd have to win the state of florida. if donald trump could win florida and take michigan and pennsylvania, it's game over. i'm not saying that's easy. clinton would say i can win
those states. if he can do that, it's over. for democrats that think this one is in the bank, it's not so much. the republicans would only have to change a few states, three in this case, to get it done. not impossible. >> fascinating. john king, thanks. ahead, more breaking news. two more prizes for hillary clinton. one in missouri where tuesday's primary race has finally been call. the second from president obama. what he reportedly told some key democratic donors and how it could help clinton's campaign. if you misplace your discover card, you can use freeze it to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds. and once you find it, you can switch it right on again. you're back! freeze it from discover. get it at discover.com.
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hillary clinton has won missouri. it gives clinton a clean sweep including big wins in ohio. she now has an insurmountable lead in delegates. president obama told a group of democratic donors that the time is coming to unite behind secretary clinton. the white house is denying that report. "the washington post" is reporting that president obama and his top aides have been strategizing about how they can help democrats keep hold of the white house in 2016.
a lot to discuss with the panel. on the one hand, gloria, president obama needs to be sensitive to sanders and his supporters. at some point he's going to need to take a side. >> some time in january he said hillary clinton is qualified on day one to be president and then had to meet with bernie sanders to kiss and make up. it's very clear this president supports hillary clinton. hillary clinton is the candidate, if she wins, who carries on his legacy. she carries on one of his biggest issues which is obamacare. and bernie sanders doesn't want obamacare. so he's for hillary clinton. there is no doubt about it. i think the question inside the white house, people i talk to is, how do you put together the obama coalition again without obama? and one way you do it is you put him out there on the campaign trail. and that is exactly -- he is chomping at the bit to get out there but has to have a candidate. >> that's the fact. and the democratic party is
vastly different from the republican party in this one major key. and that we have a broker. and we have a bully. at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. barack obama and michelle obama's job will be to go after trump or cruz or whoever that may be and hillary clinton can play on this elevated playing field. one thing that obama does very well and has a 51% approval rating in gallup's recent polling. one thing he does really well is campaign. minority groups, they love barack obama. they'll be galvanized. >> bill press say sanders supporter. as president you don't want to alienate the sanders supporters. >> first of all, breaking news, right? the democratic establishment top to bottom is for hillary clinton. it's been that way. i go to the white house briefings every day. i've heard josh earnest time after time deny that the president has taken sides and yet four cab net members have endorsed hillary clinton.
that doesn't happen unless president obama says you can endorse her because i'm for her. the president is brilliant campaigner. he'll be very helpful in the fall. i think it would be a big mistake for him to make an endorsement. let the people decide. >> before the convention. >> let this process play out and then really jump in and in support of the nominee. >> he's not endorsing anyone right now. >> when do you expect him to? >> i don't expect him to full fledge endorse anyone. there's no reason -- there's no reason to come in now where the lead now that hillary clinton has over barack obama is two times -- has over bernie sanders is two times that of which barack obama had over hillary clinton. so this race, and don't get me wrong. bernie sanders can stay in the race as long as he wants. >> what the president can do is try and get the base excited because we've seen in turnout numbers that the base isn't that excited. the republicans have had much
higher turnout. and what president obama can do is gin it up again because there are questions about hillary clinton. he can be her chief character witness and say i trust her. which is a problem she has. and excite people about what will be a third obama term. >> bakari -- >> for the record, i do have to say, it could be bernie sanders versus donald trump and bernie sanders actually beats donald trump in all the polls higher than hillary clinton does. >> we've got to take a quick break. we'll hear more from the panel on the next hour. just ahead, a whole new world for sea world. the company announced it will stop breeding orcas saying society is changing and they are changing with it. how much is from the cnn documentary "blackfish." [ male announcer ] love drama? don't be a yes man.
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you may have ibs. bloating? ask your doctor if non-prescription ibgard is right for you. ibgard calms the angry gut. available at cvs and walgreens. hard to imagine a bigger 180 for a brand synonymous with killer whale shows. seaworld announced no more whales will be bred in captivity. the company is ending its breeding program because it's changing with society. seaworld is facing increasing criticism for his treatment of orcas after the film "blackfish" came out in 2013.
if you saw it, it probably stuck with you. the filmmaker calls it a defining moment. warren savage reports. >> reporter: the announcement is as big as the creatures it's about. seaworld is retiring its star performer killer whales after decades of shows and years of controversy over orcas in captivity. >> happening now -- >> reporter: the company revealing the surprise in a video tweet. >> the company who helped the world fall in love with orcas will end all orca breeding and transition away from theatrical orca shows. >> reporter: public attitudes have changed. >> it's about where society is shifting. i have seen clearly that society is changing their attitude about these unbelievable majestic animals being in human care. >> reporter: for years, animal welfare groups have blasted seaworld for their killer whale program saying the mammals were too large, too smart and too social a creature to be kept in theme parks.
>> we need someone to respond for a dead person at seaworld. a whale has eaten one of the trainers. >> reporter: but it was the cnn documentary film "blackfish" focusing on the death of dawn brancheau. it was a turning point. >> there will be no more ads mission tickets. >> mow more rides. >> no more teddy bears. >> seaworld never recovered from the public backlash. attendance declined. so did its stock price. now seaworld will focus more on its animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts. even partnering with one of its fiercest opponents, the humane society. >> we've been talking for the last three months very quietly. >> reporter: marine biologist naomi rose has worked more than 20 years for this day. >> this is really stunning news.
>> reporter: she's thrilled but says killer whales can survive for decades and wonders how and where the remaining 28 orcas at seaworld will live. >> they need to get out of those tanks. i don't think they're good for them. i'd like to continue a dialogue that explores options such as seaside sanctuaries, coastal sanctuaries where they'll be in more space and a more natural habitat. >> reporter: seaworld hasn't said specifically how it's going to care long term for its orcas. right now it's just content with taking a big step toward hopefully solving an even bigger controversy. >> martin savidge joins us. the orcas have a long time left in their lives. releasing them to the wild is not an option? >> not according to the experts. number one, they've been raised in captivity. they wouldn't know how to fend for themselves. they've been exposed to disease and other issues, including humans. and the way they've been bred, if they mix with the wild
species, well, it could be very bad. so nobody wants to see that. unfortunately they'll have to remain captive some way for a long, long time. it is worth pointing out that the benefit for seaworld was pretty quick. their stock was up more than 9% by the end of the day. >> martin savidge. "blackfish" airs this saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern. up next, another hour of "360." more on the breaking news from the republican presidential race. conservative leaders meeting in washington to discuss how to take down donald trump. we'll hear from the spokesman for conservatives against trump when we continue. rough night?
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uh, no thanks. i have x1 from xfinity so... don't fall for directv. xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. good evening from the battle field they call the 2016 republican primary. breaking news. a rear guard effort to keep the party's front-runner getting the nomination. it keeps generating headlines. today conservative leaders met in washington to essentially plan ways of stopping donald trump. quin hillyer is the group's spokesperson. your group conservatives against trump believe there's a candidate that can win by a clear majority that's not trump. how so? >> if we have a unity ticket, if the other candidates, including ones that have gotten out of the race, ban together and pool
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