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Face the Nation transcripts April 10, 2016: Sanders, Kasich

JOHN DICKERSON: Today on FACE THE NATION, the campaign caravan moves from Wisconsin Nice to New York Nasty, as the front-runners stumble in the Midwest and try to rebound in the Empire State. Just like New York, the campaign is getting both aggressive--

BERNIE SANDERS: I don't believe that she is qualified.

JOHN DICKERSON: --and theatrical as all five presidential candidates spent the week as humans of New York. They rode subways, or tried to, showed off their baking skills--

TED CRUZ: I-- I love make--

WOMAN: All righty.

JOHN DICKERSON: --toured the 9/11 museum. And, of course, ate, both for the cameras or not for the cameras.

HILLARY CLINTON: I learned early on not to eat in front of all of you.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (Democratic Presidential Candidate/@BernieSanders): News bulletin, we just won Wyoming!

JOHN DICKERSON: Bernie Sanders has now won seven of the last eight states. He got in to see the Broadway hit Hamilton, but can he win enough delegates in the states to come. We'll ask him. And as John Kasich tries to score as many delegates as he does three-point shots, we'll talk to him about his strategy. With just ninety-nine days to the Cleveland convention, the clock is running down on him. We'll also look back at the first contested convention in the television era. And filmmaker Ken Burns will be here to preview his new film on Jackie Robinson. It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning and welcome to FACE THE NATION. Ted Cruz has picked up an additional thirteen delegates this weekend in Colorado's Republican contest, bringing him even closer to Donald Trump. On the Democratic side although Bernie Sanders won the Wyoming caucuses, due to the state's rules, he and Hillary Clinton, both picked up seven delegates. We begin this morning with Bernie Sanders who joins us from New York City. Welcome, Senator. Is the victory in-- in Wyoming kind of a picture of where the campaign is at this moment--a win for you, which sounds good, but then you look at the delegate numbers and you split it with Hillary Clinton?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, with-- John, that is the eighth victory that we have won in the last nine contests. There is no question and I think that we have the momentum. If you look at national polling where we started this campaign, we were sixty points down, some of the recent polls actually have us-- national polls have us ahead of Secretary Clinton. We are closing the gap in New York and Pennsylvania and California. I am feeling really great. And-- and I believe that we have a real path to victory and that at the end of the day we're going to win this?

JOHN DICKERSON: Let's talk about that path to victory, though, because you still have to make up that deficit in pledged delegates that Hillary Clinton has. And so the people who look at the math here say that that path requires you to have-- you really need really, really big wins. Do you think that's probable?


JOHN DICKERSON: How does that happen? What's the path?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, let me just say this, John--we have cut her lead by a third in the last three or so weeks. I think we're now two hundred and fourteen delegates behind. We used to be more than three hundred delegates behind. We've got some big states coming up. Look, when we began this campaign, we had to deal with the south, the Deep South, and that's a pretty conservative part of this country. Not a stronghold for me. We're out of the south now. We're heading to New York. We're heading west. And I think you're going to see us do very, very well in many of those states. And the reason is that our message is resonating. People really are tired of establishment politics, establishment economics. They do not believe that a candidate who receives huge amounts of money from Wall Street or other special interests like Secretary Clinton, really will be capable of addressing the major crises facing the working families of this country.

JOHN DICKERSON: You mentioned the south was not a stronghold for you. Let me ask you about your theory of the presidency, which is that you are going to be able to build the momentum that will swamp Republicans in those southern parts of the country, in conservative parts of the country, because you will build such a movement that it will overcome all of the political blockage that's kept things clotted up here in Washington. But if you haven't been able to win in the south doesn't that mean there's a limit to your appeal that won't be able to work as you'd like it to when you'd become president.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Look, John, that's not exactly what I've-- I've been saying. What I have been saying is that we are waging what we call a political revolution. And what that means is that no President, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else can do what has to be done for the middle class of this country, raise the minimum wage, pay equity for women, health care for all. Make sure that we're not the only major country not to guarantee paid family and medical leave, making public colleges and universities tuition free. I can't do that alone. What we need is a strong political movement where millions of people, working people, young people, stand up, fight back, and demand the government that represents all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors. And let me give you an example, a contemporary example of precisely where that is happening. I have believed for a while now that we need a fifteen-dollar-an-hour minimum wage. Secretary Clinton has supported a twelve-dollar-an-hour minimum wage. But what you're seeing all across this country is workers standing up, fighting back, and now you got California, Oregon, New York states passing fifteen-dollar-an-hour minimum wage because people demanded it. That's what our campaign is about.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about political movements. I was thinking about the 1980 Democratic race. Jimmy Carter won in the delegates, but Ted Kennedy said he had a movement. And so he contested it. Even though he had not won the majority, took it all the way to the convention. They had a big fight. And, though, Kennedy lost he really-- he won the platform fights. He really used that moment to-- to get across his message. Have you contemplated it or thought about doing anything like that?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, obviously, we will play an active role in shaping the platform. And what we're going to fight for is to demand that at a time of massive income and wealth and equality, the wealthiest people and largest corporations start paying their fair share of taxes. We're going to demand vigorous action in combating climate change so we leave this planet in a healthy way for our kids. We are going to take on the issue of poverty in America that very few people talk about. It is unacceptable to me that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth. We're going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create thirteen million jobs, improving our water systems and waste water plants, roads and bridges. Those are the issues that we will fight for to get on the platform whether I am the nominee or whether Secretary Clinton is the nominee.

JOHN DICKERSON: So what Kennedy did was he contested the actual nomination in order to get his message across. Is that something you've contemplated?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, our plan right now is to win this thing. And again, I think we are looking pretty good in New York, in Pennsylvania, in California, in Oregon. I think we have a real shot to end up with more delegates. And the other point that I would make, John, is that if you look at most, not all, but most of the national polling, what you find is that Bernie Sanders run stronger against Donald Trump and against other Republicans, sometimes by pretty large numbers than does Hillary Clinton.


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: And you're going to see-- I'm sorry. You're going to see a lot of delegates wanting to beat Trump and saying, you know what maybe Bernie is the guy to do that.

JOHN DICKERSON: Where are we on the question whether Hillary Clinton is qualified to be President? You said she was and then you said she wasn't. Give us the bottom line?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, we were attacked pretty harshly by the Clinton campaign who suggested that I was not qualified and we responded by saying, you know what, a candidate who receives an enormous amount of money from special interests, a candidate who voted for the war in Iraq, a candidate who voted for virtually every disastrous trade policy which have cost us millions of jobs, well, you know what maybe her judgment is not quite as high as it should be. But, John, I want to get away from this stuff. I respect Hillary Clinton. I've known her for twenty-five years. What I want is a debate about the real issues impacting the middle class of this country.

JOHN DICKERSON: But do you think her judgment is irrevocably broken in a way that makes her incapable of doing the job of being president?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: No. Look, she has enormous experience. Everybody who knows her knows that she is very intelligent. But I think her judgment, you know, for example, on foreign policy, let's be clear, the war in Iraq was the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of America. I heard the same evidence that Secretary Clinton did. She was in the Senate. I was in the House. I help lead the opposition to that war. She supported that war. I think that is something that the American people might want to take into consideration when you think about the judgment of the candidates.

JOHN DICKERSON: What the Clinton campaign would say is that they wanted people to take a look at your interview with the New York Daily News on your core issue of breaking up the big banks. The Washington Post, tough editorial, with the headline, "Mr. Sanders' shocking ignorance of his core issue." What's your response?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, let me be clear. The Washington Post, not one of my strongest supporters. Hillary Clinton and I have a difference of opinion. I believe that when three out of the four largest banks today are bigger than they were when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail, I think they should be broken up and I think we would reestablish a twenty-first century last legal legislation. By the way supported by John McCain and Elizabeth Warren, something that I think is the right thing to do. There are a number of ways to go about breaking up banks. We've introduced legislation to do it. I like my idea best.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Senator Sanders, we'll have to leave it there. Thanks so much for being with us.


JOHN DICKERSON: Up next is Ohio Governor John Kasich who joins us from Rochester, New York. Governor, let's start with your path to the nomination. Don't you have to win more delegates than you've been winning so far?

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH (Republican Presidential Candidate/@JohnKasich): Oh, yeah, we're going to win more delegates. And, I mean, that is our strategy. Here in New York, you know, we're running in second place here where I am right now the town of Greece. This congressional district I'm running even with Donald Trump, you know. And the crowds are growing, John. As we mentioned, I mean, I had, I don't know, three/four thousand people here today, this morning. We will accumulate delegates and we'll go into the convention, we believe with momentum.

JOHN DICKERSON: What happened in Wisconsin though? You had a smaller number of combatants. It was in the-- the Midwest which is good for you and you left the state with no delegates.

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Well, look, I think Wisconsin, first of all, in the Republican Party, is far more conservative than what we saw in Michigan or Ohio. Secondly, it turned into a Stop Trump effort. And Ted Cruz spent over a million dollars smearing me up there and we didn't spend the resources to fight back. We were prepared to live with that result. But now that we're going to be in New York, we're going to be in Pennsylvania, you know, we're-- the proof will be in the pudding. We will accumulate delegates and you'll see it and we'll go to the convention. And the interesting thing, John, is more and more people-- you know, the political establishment is beginning to look at two things. One, who can win in the fall. And I'm the only one that consistently beats Hillary Clinton in the fall. And there is great concern in the Republican Party that we're not just talking about the presidential race. That, frankly, if we get blown out in the fall, which I think we would with both Cruz and Trump, we could lose the United States Senate. We would-- we would lose seats all the way way from the statehouse to the courthouse. And I think this is going to be a big consideration at the convention. And, secondly, we're actually going to try to figure out who could be a good president.

JOHN DICKERSON: But you'll go into the convention with the least amount of delegates probably of the three people who were in this contest still. Is your main competition then Cruz and Trump or is it-- you know, people are talking about Paul Ryan. Some people even have talked about Mitt Romney. I mean who do you see your competition if it's as wide open as it will need to be for you to win?

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Well, I don't know that it's going to have-- look, here's what's going to happen, John. I don't want to get into all the process but I think you're going to see a significant changes (sic) in the delegates voting after the first ballot. And we have-- we have like the best people who can know how to manage a convention. The key for me there is going to make sure that I'm able to visit all these delegations. And, as you know, the process of picking delegates now varies from state to state. So, it's going to be very interesting and we'll have a full court press, we've got the people that know how to do this and the key for me is to be there. Now, here is what is interesting. I am the second choice of both the Cruz people and-- and also the Trump people. It's interesting. And also, as you know, we've had ten contested conventions, and only three times has the frontrunner won and I don't want to go back in history too far but I think old honest Abe went into the convention either third or fourth and-- and came out the winner. So we'll see.

JOHN DICKERSON: But people are looking-- people are looking at this now and they think-- well, the people who got more delegates, shouldn't those delegates have some value? You as-- you will go in with your delegates--


JOHN DICKERSON: --than anybody else. And--

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Sure. But you have to-- you have to meet the magic number. It's sort of like, you know, when you take a test if an A is ninety and you get eighty-five, you don't get an A. So, look, I've been talking about this for a month, as you know, even on your show.

JOHN DICKERSON: But-- but, Governor, you've having in there with sixty.

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Well, wait a minute we don't know what we have yet, John. We're going to have to have some momentum and accumulate more delegates and we will. And our strategy is to continue to move forward to accumulate delegates. And so we'll see what happens out of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut. We'll see what happens there. So don't be trying to predict how many I'll have because I'm not going to predict it but I'm going go to have more than I have right now and we'll be viable.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let's talk about--

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Well, John, at the end of the day, I'm the only person who consistently beats Hillary Clinton in the fall.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you--

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Okay. When are we going to pick somebody who can't win? I mean that's-- that would be nuts.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about Hillary Clinton. There was a debate on the Democratic side this week about whether she's qualified to be President. Do you think she is?

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Well, it's not my job to be running around questioning people's qualification, let the voters decide. I think she's-- look, I beat her in virtually every state all the time. And my biggest challenge now, of course, is this Republican primary. And we just have to keep moving on it and we get into the fall you talk to Democrats. Experts, they say, Kasich can attract crossover votes, those conservative Democrats and independents. And I've demonstrated an ability to do that in a general election. So we just got to get to that point. But I'm not going to start saying this person is not qualified or start attacking their-- I just don't want to go there.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you a question about something that your colleague, a governor in North Carolina did. He signed a law in North Carolina that banned anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation. It also mandated that transgender people use public bathrooms based on the sex indicated on their birth certificates. Would you have signed that law?

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Probably not. I mean, look, we are not having this issue in our state about this whole religious liberty. I believe that religious institutions ought to be protected and be able to be in a position of where they can-- they can, you know, live out their-- their deeply held religious purposes. But when you get beyond that it gets to be a tricky issue. And tricky is not the right word but it can become a contentious issue. But in our state we're not facing this. So everybody needs to take a deep breath, respect one another, and the minute we start trying to write laws things become more polarized, they become more complicated, obviously, I don't want to force people to violate their deeply held religious convictions but we'd have to see what that's all about. I wouldn't have signed that law. From everything I know I haven't studied it. But Nathan Deal, the governor of Georgia, vetoed another one. And, look, you just got to see what the laws are and what the proposals are. And why you need to write a law? Why do we have to write a law every time we turn around in this country? Can't we figure out just how to get along a little bit better and respect one another? I mean that's where I think we ought to be. Everybody, chill out, get over it if you have a disagreement with somebody. So, that's where I am right now, John. And unless there's something that pops up, I'm not inclined to sign anything.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Governor John Kasich, we appreciate you being with us.


JOHN DICKERSON: And we'll be back in one minute.


JOHN DICKERSON: We're back now with CBS News director of elections Anthony Salvanto, who is in our New York studio. Anthony, so you're in New York. Let's start with New York. What's the state of play there for Donald Trump?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, the polling has had Donald Trump up, John. But in New York, as we'll see in the story elsewhere, up isn't enough anymore. He has to win and he has to win big. Because what happens is New York will be giving out its delegates by congressional district and also proportionally within those district. So what it means is that for Donald Trump to get back on track after the loss in Wisconsin, after Ted Cruz has been cutting into his lead, as you said, he will need a large win in New York, probably watch if he can gets a two-thirds of the delegates out of it. That would be a rebound after falling short this week.

JOHN DICKERSON: So the polls have Trump up by a lot in New York. It's also not a state that really sets up very well for Ted Cruz. So what, though, does Ted Cruz do in New York? Is there a way he can grab some delegates from Trump and for that matter John Kasich following a similar strategy?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: There is. In fact, if you look at New York the way the campaigns will start looking at New York, it is, district by district, which means that candidates like a Cruz or a Kasich who may fall short overall are going to be going around and cherry picking pockets of places, places where there might be more conservative voters. And there are delegates to be head, maybe it's upstate, maybe it's in these areas of New York up here where if they can find more conservative voters and pull out some districts from those areas, their strategy will be, you know, stop Trump, to undermine little bit Trump's delegate count and try a little bit to cut into that lead by picking up delegates here and there.

JOHN DICKERSON: That's right. So the-- the goal now for Cruz-- well, let's just before we get to that, is the chance that Senator Cruz could get to the magic number of one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven? Is that really possible when you look at the math right now?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, right now only Donald Trump has a truly viable chance to get to the magic number of twelve thirty-seven. In fact, it's the size of Trump's overall lead that has people talking in terms like we're saying of slowing him down, of preventing him from getting to that majority. And then taking this on to what would be a contested or an open convention. So for everybody trailing Donald Trump that's the key. It's can they slow down Donald Trump enough, cut into his ability to amass delegates as we go forward enough that they deny him that majority and then we go on to Cleveland, John.

JOHN DICKERSON: You mentioned that Trump would need two-thirds of New York to kind of be on track, how would he have to do in all the remaining contests to have a shot for him to get the one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven and be done with all this talk of an open convention?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: It's going to take a while. Look, we have seen Donald Trump have big nights before. But he is going to have a lot of big nights from here out in order to make it. When we start looking beyond New York, when we get to the Atlantic States, we'll get to Pennsylvania. We'll get to Delaware and Rhode Island, for example. At the end of April, he'll need big wins there. And then after that we're going to head into the Midwest. We're going to head to Indiana. And then, eventually, on west to Washington and Oregon. In all of that, Donald Trump would have to win a majority of delegates in a majority of states in order to get back on path and even then he would just barely get above twelve thirty-seven after which, after which he would have to go out to California and then get, I think, about eighty percent of the delegates out of California just to get-- then get that magic number of twelve thirty-seven. So he has to keep winning, he has to keep winning big in order to get there.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let's switch to the Democratic side. What does Bernie Sanders have to do to shrink the delegate lead that Hillary Clinton has in the remaining contests?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: It's harder for Bernie Sanders because of, as you mentioned earlier, the rules. The way that Democrats give out their delegates is proportional, meaning that they give some to the winner but also some to the loser in all of the states. So, anybody who is trailing and in this case, of course, Bernie Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton, he needs to not just win but again he needs to win big. In fact so big that it would be the kind of wins that we just, frankly, don't see and haven't seen. Something like seventy-thirty or eighty-twenty. There's another wrinkle in all of this, too, John. And that is what Democrats call the super delegates. Those are represented in this part of the light blue bar, as you see and Hillary Clinton's lead right here. Super delegates are Democratic Party--

JOHN DICKERSON: All right, Anthony.


JOHN DICKERSON: We're going to have to interrupt you right there.


JOHN DICKERSON: We'll be back to you next week. Thanks so much. And we'll be right back with a look at contested conventions.


JOHN DICKERSON: With all the talk of a contested convention, we couldn't help taking a trip to the archives for a peek at the first contested Republican convention of the television age. It is the most catchy campaign slogan ever. And who wouldn't' like Dwight David Eisenhower. After all he led the Allies to victory in World War II and many consider his presidency the peak of American prosperity and harmony. But there was not harmony in Chicago in 1952 when Eisenhower sought the Republican nomination. Ike wasn't the choice of the party elites, he was the outsider but he claimed to be the candidate of the people.

PRESIDENT DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER: Mister Republican, Mister America, I present my friend, Bob Taft.

JOHN DICKERSON: The establishment candidate was Ohio's senator Robert Taft who rolled into the convention with more delegates than Eisenhower. That's because he stole them said Eisenhower supporters. Each man showed up with his own slate of delegates. For days men in boxy suits fought it out in the credentials committee to determine whose delegates were valid.

WALTER CRONKITE: There seems to be confidence in both camps today.

JOHN DICKERSON: A fresh-faced reporter named Walter Cronkite gave Americans their first look at the mechanics of how a party chooses its candidate. It might have all happened behind closed doors but Eisenhower insisted the proceedings be televised to guard against any more shenanigans and, indeed, the first round went to Eisenhower. But the establishment wouldn't let go and in the next round gave the delegates to their man Taft. That's where we'll leave things today.

In our next installment, Eisenhower fights back and makes history. We'll be back in a moment.


JOHN DICKERSON: We will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including our political panel and an interview with PBS filmmaker Ken Burns about his latest project, Jackie Robinson. Stay with us.


KATE MCKINNON: The New York City subway is the best way to get around. Let me try again. It's been a while. No. Is this a working metro-card? Is this? I'll just go in the old fashioned. I'll take a cab. Cab is the best way to get around.

JOHN DICKERSON: Of course, that's not really Hillary Clinton. It's Kate McKinnon from last night's Saturday Night Live. But it signals that we're turning to our political roundtable for some analysis. We welcome Jennifer Jacobs who's moved from the political fields of Iowa and the Des Moines Register to join the team at Bloomberg News here in Washington. Jamelle Bouie writes for Slate magazine and is the CBS News political analyst. Dan Balz is chief correspondent for the Washington Post. And Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for the National Review. Dan, I want to start with you. What's the state of play in the Democratic contest?

DAN BALZ (Washington Post/ @danbalz): Well, the state of play is this that Bernie Sanders has momentum and Hillary Clinton has mathematics. And right now momentum is prevailing at least in the narrative of the campaign. And so there is a lot of focus on (a) how is Sanders able to continue to, in a sense, perform better than anybody expected. I mean he's run a remarkable campaign by-- by any measure. And, yet, the delegate, the hard math of the delegates is-- continues to be in Clinton's favor. New York is very important to her. It-- it begins a period in which she will be able, she hopes, by the end of this month to be able to, basically, say there is no way he can become the nominee and in a sense give her a kind of a permission slip not simply to compete for the final delegates in the nomination but to turn her attention a bit to the general election.

JOHN DICKERSON: Yeah. To finally make that pivot.

DAN BALZ: Right.

JOHN DICKERSON: Jennifer, I was talking to somebody this week and said, you know, unless Bernie Sanders forces a major shift in the campaign that there's really-- even if he continues doing well, he's just not going to be able to do well enough. Is that right?

JENNIFER JACOBS (Bloomberg Politics/@JenniferJJacobs): All right. Bernie Sanders is just running out of real estate. And just the fact that, you know, she tied him in delegates in Wyoming even though he won is just-- it demonstrates how rough this road to going to be for him. And she's done that repeatedly. There've been many states where they tied or she-- he beat her and then she got almost as many delegates or if not more. So it's just-- it's going to be a rough road for him. And it seems like she is the presumptive nominee unless there's a major game changer.

JOHN DICKERSON: And, Jamelle, did we-- this week it got a little contentious. Bernie Sanders said she wasn't qualified. There was a lot of back and forth on that. It seemed maybe like they're both just ragged and tired from this process. But where do you get the sense of things? I mean are there starting to be irrevocable things said in this contest? Have they stepped back from the-- the-- the hottest part of this race?

JAMELLE BOUIE (CBS News Political Analyst/@jbouie/Slate Magazine/): I mean, I think-- I think they're attempting to step back. In your interview with Senator Sanders, he sort of-- kind of went on the unqualified drift a little bit but then caught himself aside. But, of course, I think she would be a fine president of the United States if she was nominated. I think it's worth noting, right, that in 2008 around this time, something like half of Clinton's supporters said they wouldn't vote for Obama in the general. So, even though, things seem contentious and sharp right now, once we get to the convention, regardless of who would be the nominee, I think the Democratic Party is going to pretty quickly unify, just-- just sensing an ability to hold on to the White House and-- and win quite a bit more seats in both chambers of Congress that I don't think anyone imagined was possible six months ago. And so that-- that fact that winning is really on the table here in a big way I think is going to be the force that really pushes everyone to unify.


RAMESH PONNURU (National Review/@RameshPonnuru): How happy would Reince Priebus be if the worst thing Republicans were saying about each other is that they're not qualified? I mean we keep talking about how contentious this debate on the Democratic side is but it's really almost comically restrained--


RAMESH PONNURU: --in the context of what's going on in 2016. What you have not seen from Sanders is an attack on Clinton on the basis that she's not honest and trustworthy, which is this line of attack that would potentially be fruitful because there are only a minority of Americans who believe that she's honest and trustworthy, but one that would give the Republicans something serious they could use in a general election. So far he hasn't done that.

JOHN DICKERSON: Yeah. That's right. Dan, do you think, in terms of Bernie Sanders, did he sort of step by talking about qualifications. He's-- he's had a good run. Did he give a gift to the Clinton campaign by talking about that? It seemed to get him off track this week?

DAN BALZ: Well, I do. I think it-- I think it hurt him in this way. He had a big victory in Wisconsin. He headed into a two-week period ahead of the New York primary with some wind at his back and, yet, all of a sudden he got caught up in a debate that did him no favors. And I think that-- I think that a lot of Democrats believe that he lost that week, a week that he needed to keep the momentum going. So I think it was-- I think it was a misstep on his part. In a sense he kind of took the bait from the Clinton campaign and-- and escalated beyond what it needed to be? I was struck again in the interview that he did with you that he can't quite let go of it. He knows he ought to. They seemed to pivot out of it late last week and, yet, again today he's kind of repeating some of the same lines. So I don't think it was helpful and he's got to kind of regain the momentum that he had a week ago.

JOHN DICKERSON: Jennifer, does it matter that he had a-- that Bernie Sanders had a bad interview on the specifics with the New York Daily News to his voters?

JENNIFER JACOBS: Yeah. I think it did. Actually, one Democrat pointed out to me that it seems like Bernie Sanders is earning more Pinocchios from the Washington Post, fact checkers these days, and he's earning delegates. And the thing about, you know, she said, quote, unquote, that "I am, you know, unqualified," was one of the things where he was fact checked as-- as false and there have been several other things--

JOHN DICKERSON: She didn't actually say that? Right.

JENNIFER JACOBS: She did not actually say he is not qualified. And there have been other things that, you know, he has been fact checked on lately that, you know, are-- are permeating into that-- you know, into the consciousness, and people are realizing that he doesn't always get his facts exactly right.

RAMESH PONNURU: You know I'm a conservative but I want to defend the socialist here. In th I think there have been a lot of cheap shots about that Daily News interview. You know when-- when Senator Sanders says we're going to put a cap on the size of the banks and it will be up to them to figure out how they meet that cap, that's a totally legitimate answer. That's the way a cap on bank size would work. And it's just silly for people to say, oh, well, why isn't he actually spelling out in detail what they're going to have to do.


JAMELLE BOUIE: I'm going to-- I'm going to agree there like if you-- reading that interview, Sanders has a clear idea of the kinds of policies he would want to pursue. He knows that laws like Dodd-Frank give the White House quite a bit of authority in determining how to pursue bank regulation. The fact that he can't give you chapter and verse I think is less important than the fact that he does have a broad sense of what his administration would do to approach these questions.

DAN BALZ: And what he's-- what he's got that has been effective is he has a diagnosis of what he thinks the problems in the country are and-- and-- and the basis from which that-- that occurs and a set of policies that are designed out of that diagnosis. She has-- she has a different one. She has a series of answers for specific problems. But that's a different thing than the kind of the theory of the case. And I think it's one of the reasons his message has been more succinct and, therefore, probably more effective than hers. What she's got is, you know, everything that the Clintons bring to the table which is--

JENNIFER JACOBS: His campaign is on fire. If he had been this strong before the Iowa caucuses that early on he would be the nominee now.

DAN BALZ: But there's another aspect of this which is-- which is what nobody quite likes to talk about and that's the super delegates. I mean she has a-- we know she has a big lead in super delegates. They have more super delegates than they have announced. I mean they have-- they have in the neighborhood of six hundred super delegates pledged. There are many of whom are not prepared to publicly say that yet. And, you know, if she-- if he doesn't have a majority of pledged delegates there's no way those super delegates are going to switch.

JOHN DICKERSON: Are going to switch over which is his theory.

Okay. Let's hold it there and we'll get back to the Republicans. But for right now, we're going to just take a little break. Stay with us.


JOHN DICKERSON: And we're back now with our panel. Jennifer, where do things stand on the Republican side of the race?

JENNIFER JACOBS: Well, Ted Cruz is getting reputation for outfoxing Donald Trump in that hand-to-hand delegate combat. So yesterday in Colorado, he swept up all of the available delegates there, now has thirty-four from Colorado. Iowa did the same thing. His people managed to squeeze themselves into all but one delegate slot in Iowa. And so he-- he really is-- is-- is just running circles around Donald Trump in this particular case. Now, obviously, this won't matter if Trump gets to the necessary number before the convention. And they know that they're going to have trouble in a few of the upcoming contests. They know that Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, possibly, Washington State, and Oregon are going to be trouble for them. But they do--

JOHN DICKERSON: Trouble for Trump?

JENNIFER JACOBS: Trouble for Trump.


JENNIFER JACOBS: Yeah. Sorry. But they-- the Trump people do think that they're going to do well in almost all the other states and that includes California and Indiana. And if they do all of this delegate wrangling that Trump-- that Ted Cruz is doing won't matter as much. Now, Trump is complaining that he thinks that this process is tilted. It seems like he's been more focused on the states that he's winning than, you know, how you actually, technically, win. But he's-- he is listening to the fact that, you know, he needs to do more. I have heard he is sending a crew down to the RNC's-- the Republican National Committee's spring meeting in Florida in ten days and their whole mission is to meet the-- the RNC members from the various states really work on building relationships and-- and telling-- you know, sending the message that they really want to work with the party officials.

JOHN DICKERSON: Ramesh, I want to ask you, Donald Trump has been tweeting on this question of fairness. He wrote a tweet that said, "Isn't it a shame that the person who will have by far the most delegates and many millions more votes than anyone else, me, still must fight?" He's making this case on fairness grounds. Forget the math, forget one thousand two hundred and thirty-seven, he's just got more "shouldn't it go to him?" How potent do you think that argument is?

RAMESH PONNURU: Well, look, if he gets a majority of the vote and majority of the delegates, he is going to be the nominee. And I don't think that the concept of majority rule is all that difficult or arcane for people to understand.

JOHN DICKERSON: What if he just gets the plurality though? He doesn't have the majority. It's an open convention. He's trying to say even that since he will have most of the delegates that would be unfair if he didn't get it.

RAMESH PONNURU: He can try to make that argument and maybe it will sway some of the delegates but I suspect it won't. I think he's got to do three things. One, get as many bound delegates as he can through the voting. Second, actually compete in this delegate selection process where so far Senator Cruz's people have been the only people showing up to the interview in a suit and a tie. And then, third, he's got to actually organize an effort to sway supporters of other candidates on a second ballot which you've heard almost nothing from, from the Trump campaign. Those are three very difficult things to do. If they had been trying to organize two months ago along those lines, they'd probably have this nomination wrapped up but they are getting to it very late.



JOHN DICKERSON: Go ahead, Jamelle.

JAMELLE BOUIE: I think Ramesh is right that Trump's, you know, I have the most argument, it may not sway actual delegates. But I wouldn't-- I wouldn't ignore the extent to which actual regular voters may find the entire process unfair if the person who won the most of everything but not quite the technical majority didn't get-- get the nomination. Just because the expectation voters have when going to these polls is not that some arcane process will determine the nominee but the guy who won will determine the nominee. And to that I wouldn't-- I wouldn't put-- put aside because that's potentially very important.

DAN BALZ: John, I-- I sat down Friday evening in New York with Paul Manafort who has been tasked by Donald Trump to be the convention manager and in a sense to be in charge of now the whole process of accumulating the delegates. They're clearly in the middle of a transition in that campaign. They have been, as Jennifer said, they have been outfoxed, out-circled, outrun by the Cruz campaign in all of these organizing things. I think the challenge ahead for them is can they now get their act together in this kind of hand-to-hand combat? But Manafort said, and, you know, he's laid down a marker that they will be able to accumulate enough delegates so that it is clear he is going to be the nominee before Cleveland. And he said by mid-May I hope we are in a sense the presumptive nominee. So they have set a very high bar for themselves given the difficulty that they have been having.

JOHN DICKERSON: I wondered about that word, presumptive nominee. I mean-- so I can claim on the presumptive nominee, even if I haven't gotten the majority of delegates. By this standard that-- that if you just have the most delegates of everybody that makes you presumptive, right?

DAN BALZ: Well, I think-- I think it's-- I think it goes beyond that. I think that's part of it. But I think it is a recognition on the part of the party that he is inevitable at this point. Now, you know, he-- he thought they should have treated him better back in March when he was on a winning streak. That didn't happen for all the reasons we know, about the questions about his-- you know, his qualification or his knowledge and whether he would take the party to a big loss. But they are hoping that if they can have a big night in New York and other states as we go forward that the party establishment, and the ways that Jennifer again was talking about, of kind of build those bridges, that people begin to coalesce.

JOHN DICKERSON: What do you make, Jennifer, of-- of Trump's tone change a little bit moving towards being presidential, is that happening?

JENNIFER JACOBS: Right. So a month ago he tried to do that and then everything fell apart. And so a month ago, you know, everyone was saying, okay, we think he is going to be inevitable so we all need to live in that Trump world and let's learn to accept it and-- and work with him and then that just disappeared. But, you know, people are starting to advise him, start off at square one again, go back to your original policy ideas where you're talking about, you know, the wall, national security, health care, you know, cleaning up Washington, DC, other people are saying, quit the Twitter addiction, just stop now if you're not going to do it when you're President, just quit tweeting now. And then really focus on the scoreboard and start racking up those delegates. But one thing about Cruz he doesn't get enough credit for this with all this delegate wrangling is it shows what a great micro organizer his team is and his-- his strategists say that, you know, that shows that he could be a really great general election candidate because he really knows how to--


JENNIFER JACOBS: --to organize and excite.

JOHN DICKERSON: We're going to have to leave it there. Thanks to all of you. Coming up next, PBS filmmaker Ken Burns previews his latest project, Jackie Robinson.


JOHN DICKERSON: We're back with filmmaker Ken Burns whose latest work is Jackie Robinson, which airs Monday and Tuesday nights on PBS. Simple starter question, why Jackie Robinson?

KEN BURNS (Filmmaker/Jackie Robinson/@KenBurns): He's the most important person in the history of baseball. He may not be the best player but he is the most important because he was this pioneer finally making the game what it had always claimed to be--the national pastime by being the first African American in the modern age to cross the color line. You know we don't focus too much. We say he'd crossed the color line but we don't talk about it and we felt it was important to tell a story that we, as my daughter Sarah Burns and the filmmaker David McMahon who we've been working for several years on this, deep dive, and not just the narrow story of what we're familiar with that 1947 turning the other cheek Christ like thing with the whole story from the birth in 1919 to his death in '72.

JAMIE FOXX (PBS/WETA/Florentine Films): If I had a room jammed with trophies, awards and citations and a child of mine came into that room and asked what I had done in defense of black people and decent whites fighting for freedom, and if I had to tell that child I had kept quiet, that I had been timid, I would have to mark myself a total failure at the whole business of living. Jackie Robinson.

JOHN DICKERSON: Tell us about where America was during this period to set the stage for him?

KEN BURNS: Well, it's roiling about race in ways that we are right now. And I think what's so interesting about this story of Jackie Robinson is it resonates with today in so many ways from Confederate flags, to driving while black to stop and frisk to all the things that we think are a modern stuff we're dealing with with regard to race. There was after World War II a real push, and there had been for many years in the black press and then the leftist press to sort of integrate baseball. This was the great symbol of America, the national pastime. And why didn't we live out the true meaning of our credent and-- and bring someone up. And through a whole set of very interesting accidents, Jackie became that person. And when you realize when he came up on April 15, 1947, Martin Luther King was a junior at Morehouse College, Truman hadn't integrated the military. There have been no Brown v. Board of Education. Rosa Parks hadn't thought of not giving up her seat though Jackie had done three years earlier in a military base in Texas, Fort Hood. He's really as-- as King himself said (INDISTINCT) freedom writer before a Freedom Rides.

JOHN DICKERSON: And what was their action?

KEN BURNS: Well, you know, it was in one area a sense of, wow, we could kind of reference our better angels. But, of course, the baser instincts which we notice all around us even today had their full say. So their death threats and black cats put on the field. The most, you know, withering racist stuff directed at him. And he found himself besieged at every corner. I mean one of the amazing things is if he hadn't been married to this extraordinary woman, Rachel Robinson, who is still with us, I'm not sure that Jackie could have made it.

JOHN DICKERSON: I want to get to that in a second. But, first, I want to play a clip here.

MAN (PBS/WETA/Florentine Films): Pitchers threw at his head. More than once runners sprinting towards first base spiked Robinson with their cleats. And a hard slide by Robinson would not go unnoticed by opposing infielders. Away from the field, Jackie spent little time with his teammates. On the road, he still had to stay at Jim Crow hotels and took his meals alone. Jimmy Cannon, writing in the New York Post called Jackie, the loneliest man I've ever seen in sports.

JOHN DICKERSON: The loneliest man in sport, talk about that loneliness.

KEN BURNS: When this man passed away at age fifty-three, he looks old and stooped like he's a white-haired retired Pullman car porter. It was from the load he carried. I'm sixty-two. He was fifty-three, you know. He didn't-- he carried something for so many of us and not just African-Americans, but as he was to say decent whites. People who were concerned with advancing the progress of America. And that's why the story is so important and the fact that lot of us talk the talk. He actually walked the walk. He got up every day and he went out to try to make lives better for everyone else and that was an amazing accomplishment.

JOHN DICKERSON: What did carrying all that weight, what kind of character did it require and what did it do?

KEN BURNS: We think of him as the guy who just Christ like turned the other cheek. But, in fact, he was angry and competitive and-- and-- and impatient with being told as African-Americans had for decades, just wait, be patient, be patient, be patient. It will all come and it wasn't coming. And he was pushing and pushing and pushing so the turning of the other cheek makes it more interesting. And I think our film is attempting to say there's a much more complicated person than the mythology. And, by the way, that complicated person is even more mythological in its status. And I think that has its cost. I mean to have put up with that day after day after day is an incredible burden to bear.

JOHN DICKERSON: When Branch Rickey, the Dodgers Club president, brought him on, signed him, his advice was get married.



KEN BURNS: Well, he knew that he'd need somebody as we all do to get through the-- the-- the dark nights of the soul that were inevitably going to come and, you know, and-- and Robinson sort of swallowed hard and said I am willing to do this if you're willing to take a chance on me. But he said marry and he, fortunately, had been seeing and was engaged to this remarkable woman, Rachel Robinson.

JOHN DICKERSON: Talk about her a little bit, the-- the-- her strength.

KEN BURNS: I don't think you could have had Jackie Robinson without Rachel. She was able to provide a kind of safe haven for him. To go out to the ballpark and could see what was happening and then they didn't have to bring it home. There wasn't a kind of rot that developed there. It's this film with anything it's this love story. It's a multi-generational portrait of an African-American family which you don't often get set across an extraordinary set of decades of change in the United States in our national pastime, in our politics and in race. But it's also an intimate story of two people negotiating very, very complicated shows and at ease in the course of his professional life.

JOHN DICKERSON: You've talked to President Obama and the first lady. So let's take a look at that clip.

(Begin VT)

MICHELLE OBAMA (First Lady of the United States): Just being able to find that solace and that peace to withstand all the negative energy, it's hard to do that alone. So there's nothing more important than family than-- than a real partnership, which is probably what made him such a great man because he had the judgment to find a partner that, well, I-- I think that's-- that's true.


MICHELLE OBAMA: I mean I think that's a sign of his character that he chose a woman that was his equal. I don't think he would have had Jackie Robinson without Rachel.

(End VT)

JOHN DICKERSON: So there is your point about Rachel Robinson. But the--the first lady and the President don't show up in a lot of documentaries.

KEN BURNS: No, they were very generous with their time. But I think what was so clear maybe to them as well as to us is that here you have four people, two couples, Jackie and Rachel and-- and the President and the first lady sort of hurdling through different times and spaces. And, yet, for a moment they're-- they're uniting and for a second Jackie and Rachel and-- and the President and the first lady sort of merge and they also seem utterly human.

JOHN DICKERSON: A couple of questions about the process here. What was it like having Jackie Robinson in your head?

KEN BURNS: I-- I find it incredibly moving. He was a doer and not a sayer and I think I spend way too much of my time talking and not doing. And he makes me want to make the world better not just make it better for my own little niche but make it better for others. And that is exactly what he wants. You know at the very end of the film, it's a little bit of a downer. He's not sure he's had it made actually in fact. Then you think that every April fifteenth, every single ballplayer puts on his uniform in every stadium in the major leagues, that it's the only number retired in every stadium. He appeals to the best in us and that's what makes it just not only a great story in sports but a great story in American history and in-- and in some ways a great human story.

JOHN DICKERSON: Ken Burns, thanks very much, and we'll be right back in a moment.


JOHN DICKERSON: That's it for us today. Thanks for watching. Until next week for FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.

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