Face the Nation transcripts May 29, 2016: Sanders, Johnson, Hickenlooper

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders talks with CBS' "Face the Nation" in an interview airing May 29, 2016.

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Donald Trump goes over the top with delegates needed for the Republican nomination, but the Democratic race continues. With just 10 days to go before the California primary, the window is closing for Bernie Sanders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are the campaign that will defeat Mr. Trump.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DICKERSON: How is he going to stop Hillary Clinton? We will talk to Bernie Sanders, plus Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson on troubles at the TSA, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

President Obama makes a historic visit to Hiroshima, but it's Donald Trump who world leaders can't stop talking about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements. But they are rattled by it, and for good reason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DICKERSON: Plus, a roundup of this year's most memorable commencement addresses.

It's all coming up on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DICKERSON: Joining us now to talk about campaign 2016 is Senator Bernie Sanders. He's on the campaign trail in Santa Barbara.

Senator, I wanted to ask you, it looks like debate with Donald Trump in California is not going to happen. Do you think he was ever serious about that debate?

SANDERS: Look, Donald Trump said he wanted to go forward. Then he changed his mind, said no. Then he changed his mind, said yes. Then he changed his, said -- and he said no.

Maybe we will get call in five minutes where he will say yes again. I think this is who Donald Trump is. And I think the American people should be very concerned about somebody who keeps changing his mind, not only on this debate, but on virtually every issue he's been asked about.

DICKERSON: When Donald Trump said he wasn't going to participate in the debate, he said -- quote -- "The Democratic nominating process is totally rigged." He went on to say: "Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win."

Do you agree with his characterization?

SANDERS: Well, I have been very touched by Donald Trump's love for me.

But, John, in all due respect, I think there maybe some aspect of this which he thinks will advantage himself. So, I do appreciate his love and his compassion for me, but I don't really accept his words.

Look, we knew when we were in this that we were taking on the entire Democratic establishment. No great secret about that. And yet we have won 20 states. We're in California right now. I think we have a good chance to win here. I think we have an uphill fight, but there is just a possibility that we may end up at the end of this nominating process with more pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton.

What has upset me, and what I think is -- I wouldn't use the word rigged, because we knew what the words were -- but what is really dumb is that you have closed primaries, like in New York state, where three million people who are Democrats or Republicans could not participate, where you have situation where over 400 superdelegates came on board Clinton's campaign before anybody else was in the race, eight months before the first vote was cast.

That's not rigged. I think it's just a dumb process which has certainly disadvantaged our campaign.

DICKERSON: You're going to try to convince those superdelegates, when it's all said and done, to go with you instead of Hillary Clinton. You have made a distinction between superdelegates from states you have won, that you think those superdelegates should go for you.

So, will you not try to convince any superdelegate who comes from a state that you did not win in the primary and caucus process?

SANDERS: Right. Look, this is what I think.

If I win or Hillary Clinton, if that is your point -- Hillary Clinton won Mississippi by huge vote. Should I convince superdelegates to vote for me when she won that state overwhelmingly? No, I shouldn't.

But we won states like Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire in landslide victories. And I do believe that the superdelegates, whether it's Clinton's or mine, states that we won, superdelegates in states where candidate wins a landslide victory should listen to the people in those states and vote for the candidate chosen by the people.

DICKERSON: As you make your pitch to the superdelegates, I want to ask you about the developments on Hillary Clinton's e-mails, because you have said that you are sick of hearing about them, but there's now been an inspector general's reports. Some new developments have now come out.

I wonder if you still have the same feeling about those e-mails, now that an official body has weighed in about Hillary Clinton's e- mails and her behavior.

SANDERS: Well, I'm just in Santa Barbara. We had a rally here with 5,000, 6,000 people just a half-hour ago.

The issues, John, that I have been talking about are the issues that really are the issues facing the American people, why the middle class is declining, income and wealth inequality, why kids are leaving school $50,000, $70,000 in debt, and the need to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, to expand Social Security, et cetera.

Those are the issues that I'm focusing on. And, frankly, what I think is that people in the democratic process want a real debate about the real issues. Now, you're right. The inspector general just came out with a report. It was not a good report for Secretary Clinton. That is something that the American people, Democrats and delegates, are going to have that take a hard look at.

But for me right now, I continue to focus on how we can rebuild a disappearing middle class, deal with poverty, guarantee health care to all of our people as a right.

DICKERSON: That's why I wanted to ask you, because in order to get to the issues and get them covered in the way you would like, you have got to be named president. I wonder if you in your pitch you're making to the superdelegates would say, this inspector general's report is sufficiently damaging that it might hurt Hillary Clinton in a general election, might give Donald Trump something to use against her and, therefore, as the superdelegates are making up their mind about who they want to carry forward on the issues, just as you have addressed, whether you think that is something they should be keeping in mind?

SANDERS: Well, John, they will be keeping it in mind. I don't have to tell them that. Everybody in America is keeping it in mind, and certainly the superdelegates are.

The point that I'm going to make to the superdelegates, many of whom, again, came on board long before I was in the race, came on board Clinton's campaign, is, your job to make sure that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. You have got to determine based on 100 different factors which candidate is the strongest candidate to defeat Trump.

If you look at every poll done in the last six weeks, that candidate is Bernie Sanders. We defeat Trump always and we defeat him by large numbers in states and in national polls, and almost always we do lot better than Secretary Clinton does.

Second of all, we have the grassroots activism. We have the energy and the enthusiasm in our campaign that Clinton's campaign, frankly, in my view, does not have, that can generate a large voter turnout in November. Democrats win when the voter turnout is high. We can generate that.

Republicans win the voter turnout is low. Frankly, I don't know that Secretary Clinton's campaign can create a high voter turnout.

DICKERSON: Superdelegates are thinking, if they look at you as a general election candidate, they might wonder how would you compete. You have not had an association with any super PAC.

In a general election, would you keep disconnected from super PACs? And if so, how would you compete against the billions of dollars on the other side?

SANDERS: Well, you're right. The Republicans and the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson and all these billionaires will pour a whole lot of money into the campaign.

We have done incredibly well so far in terms of fund-raising by appealing to the middle class and working class of this country. We have gotten almost eight million individual campaign contributions, $27 on average.

That is what I will do in the general election. And I think, instead of having two million contributors, that number will go up by five-fold.

So, I would -- we will win this campaign when you have eight, 10 million people contributing $25, $30 who are involved in the process who are prepared to take on the big super PACs and the billionaires who will fund Trump's campaign.

DICKERSON: And so just quickly to button this up, before I let you go, that means no super PACs for you if you are in the general election?

SANDERS: Right. We will continue what we are doing. We will depend on the middle class, and an incredible number of small individual campaign contributions is how we will fund our campaign and it's how we will win the national election.

DICKERSON: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks so much for being with us.

SANDERS: Thank you, John. (END VIDEOTAPE)

DICKERSON: That interview took place Saturday.

And we now turn to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ron Johnson. He is in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Senator, I want to get to the TSA in a moment, but, first, you're also on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And I wanted to get your reaction to President Obama, who said that Donald Trump has rattled some officials overseas. You talk to foreign officials. What response have you gotten in terms of Donald Trump?

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: Well, good morning, John.

Well, first of all, I think what you realize about Donald Trump, he's actually serious about rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS, securing our borders. If that rattles our allies, I'm not quite sure why it should.

We have to strengthen our country, so we can have a strong military, so we can actually defend this nation, defend our homeland. And you were talking to Senator Sanders about Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal. What isn't being discussed is how reckless and dangerous her private e-mail server was.

I have been in business a lot and I have done a lot of negotiating. I can't think of something more helpful than knowing the e-mail traffic between the negotiator and headquarters. And that's really what Hillary Clinton put at risk.

Did by -- you have to assume that our enemies and our adversaries had access to every e-mail that ever went over her private server. Did it affect their actions as results as it related to, for example, Vladimir Putin's invasion of Crimea or Eastern Ukraine? What about the negotiations with Iran? What about Assad?

So, we're not really discussing the real danger, the recklessness of Hillary Clinton's actions from that standpoint? That would give me far greater concern.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you. Your colleague on the House side, Michael McCaul, on the Homeland Security Committee over there, said that Donald Trump's suggestion of a Muslim ban, which he stalked about a lot in his campaign, was something that would be a danger because it would potentially radicalize by -- Muslims in the United States by making them feel apart and outside of American society.

What do you think about that idea?

JOHNSON: I don't agree with Donald Trump's Muslim ban.

I certainly am concerned about this administration not fully vetting refugees they might let in this country. I'm more concerned about the fact that our border is completely unsecure. And so if I list the worries I have of in terms of potentially ISIS operatives coming into this country, I'm far more concerned about our unsecured border, which again is something Donald Trump is absolutely committed to doing.

And administrations on a bipartisan basis haven't been. So, we have got to secure our border, not only to solve the immigration problem, but as an imperative for public health and safety and national security.

DICKERSON: Do you think Donald Trump helps or hurts your campaign? You're in a tough fight there in Wisconsin. What do you think his effect will be? JOHNSON: John, I'm just a manufacturer from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I'm a U.S. senator. I'm not a political pundit. I can't predict that. I really can't.

I think the political pundits have been completely wrong. I think what people are so upset about is Washington has not been working. And so I kind of look at Donald Trump as the political equivalent of a disruptive technology. Not exactly sure where it's going to take us, but I know he would definitely represent change.

It's certainly what I'm trying to do in Washington, D.C. I'm trying to shake up the system. Americans are justifiably angry that the federal government has not been working. It's a rigged system, by the way, but it's because government is controlling so many things, people are forced to play the game. And while they're there, they might as well rig it.

So, from my standpoint, the root cause really is the government that is doing so many things that it never was intended to do and doing it quite badly. Look at the VA health care system. We're holding a hearing in Tomah, Wisconsin, about problems that have been known since 2004. The bureaucrats, the Office of Inspector General did nothing to solve those problems.

So, I'm just hoping our fellow Americans take a look at what Bernie Sanders is trying to sell, socialism. Didn't work for the Soviet Union, in Venezuela, what should be the island paradise of Cuba. And look at the misery in North Korea.

So, we have got to wake up. Socialism isn't going to work. Big government doesn't work. Free market capitalism, combined with individual liberty, actually does work for this nation.

DICKERSON: What is your take on the TSA? They have had troubles. You mentioned the VA. The TSA has had its own problems.

What is the problem? What is going on there and can it be fixed?

JOHNSON: Well, it's also bureaucracy.

I don't envy Admiral Neffenger his task with trying to figure out how you keep this nation safe. The root cause, of course, is Islamic terrorists. Look at the cost. The TSA has cost America about $100 billion since its inception because of Islamic terrorists. So, I would go with the root cause. Let's defeat ISIS. Let's defeat Islamic terror wherever it resides. And what we do need to do is just be a lot smarter in terms of how we do airport security, layered defenses. We need to beef up the number of canine units we use.

No technology can be beat the benefits of the nose of a dog. So, there are things we can do. I think TSA is appropriately redeploying assets to really address the surge at some of these large airports. We are going to have Admiral Neffenger in our committee hearing on June 7. And we're going to really take a look what he's done in his first 11 months in terms of analyzing what is wrong with TSA and what we need to do to fix it.

DICKERSON: All right, Senator Ron Johnson, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

JOHNSON: Have a great morning and Memorial Day.

DICKERSON: You too. Thank you.

And we will be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: President Obama is back in Washington following a trip to Asia that included a stop in Hiroshima, Japan.

CBS News foreign affairs reporter Margaret Brennan was with him and filed this report earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It was a poignant moment, an American president embracing victims of the first atom bomb ever used in war while standing just 1,200 feet from the epicenter of the blast; 71 years after the attack, President Obama decided it was time for a commander in chief to confront history.

B. OBAMA: Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

BRENNAN: White House officials were insistent that this was no apology tour. But the president did reflect on the hundreds of thousands of souls lost as a result of President Truman's decision, justified then as a necessary evil to avoid a costly land invasion of Japan.

(on camera): The heat of battle has faded from memory, but the images of destruction endure. It was here in Hiroshima that death fell from the sky that August morning, ushering in a global nuclear arms race. (voice-over): While he has brokered significant arms controls deal, Mr. Obama hasn't made much of a dent in America's own nuclear stockpile, reducing it less than any post-Cold War president.

Today, a high-tech, bustling Hiroshima has arisen from the ashes. As that city has moved on, so have Japan's leaders. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered his own condolences to the American lives lost in World War II, a tacit acknowledgement that Japan first attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor.

For President Obama, visiting Hiroshima was an attempt to bridge a painful divide with a former foe. And it isn't the first time he's made point to break a taboo, having reopened long-severed ties with Cuba, lifting the arms embargo off Vietnam, and negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran.

But when it comes to bearing the remnants of war, there is nowhere he could have made his case more powerfully than here. This visit to the hallowed ground of Hiroshima was a call to action for that next generation to complete the work he will not finish and make sure a nuclear weapon is never used again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DICKERSON: Margaret Brennan reporting from Hiroshima.

For more on the president's historic trip, we are joined by "The Atlantic"'s Jeffrey Goldberg.

Jeffrey, let's start with the conversation I was having with Senator Johnson about this notion of being rattled. The president -- it was kind of extraordinary for the president to talk about the nominee of the other -- of another party in America. What did you make of have comment?

JEFFREY GOLDBERG, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE ATLANTIC": It is interesting that he would do that.

It's not since Eisenhower talked about Kennedy, I think, like that overseas that we have seen this. What is interesting, there's a small irony here, which is that the president himself has rattled America's allies in ways that we haven't seen by talking about free- riders, people who take our money, but don't do anything for us.

On the other hand, I think the president, on the continuum of rattling, foreign leaders understand, even though they are sometimes distressed by the things that President Obama says, they understand that he accepts and understands the post-World War II international order led by the United States.

And so when I talk to people from South Korea, Japan, Britain, France, other allies, they question whether Donald Trump even understands that post-war international order that has brought 71 years of stability and an absence of world wars to the planet.

DICKERSON: What is the practical reality of being rattled? In other words, if countries are rattled, what -- they could just be nervous and have another drink and move on. But what do they do?

GOLDBERG: We see that in the Middle East, to the extent that our allies in the Middle East are rattled by President Obama's decision to somewhat withdraw from their affairs.

We see them going to war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia going to war in Yemen, for instance, that the U.S. doesn't find helpful. That's a destabilizing thing. So what happens, when countries don't feel like they're protected by the United States -- this is the burden of being the sole superpower.

When they feel that they're not protected, they go off in their own directions, and sometimes those directions are dangerous to the United States.

DICKERSON: Yet Donald Trump says, though, it's good they're rattled. It's good that they're -- he talks about being unpredictable and that that keeps everybody on their toes. Why isn't he...

GOLDBERG: Well, there's one thing about being unpredictable to your enemies, right, not letting your enemy know what you're trying to do.

You want your allies, however, to know that you have their back, that you understand the importance of the alliance, and that, if you have problems with them, you deal with them diplomatically, you deal with them behind closed doors, but you don't let them think -- you don't let them go down the path of thinking that the United States is no longer there for them.

If that happens, they will find other allies, and that could be Russia, and China, and Iran, and people we don't want our friends to be friends with.

DICKERSON: Donald Trump met with Henry Kissinger.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

DICKERSON: When you talked about that -- the kind of foreign policy consensus, what do you make of that?

GOLDBERG: Right.

DICKERSON: Can somebody like Kissinger, who famously said to Governor Christie when he was thinking about running for president, look, you can learn the parts of stagecraft. Is that something Kissinger could tutor Donald Trump in?

GOLDBERG: Conceivably. Anything is possible, correct?

But one the issues is that you don't have any living secretary of state now who thinks that Donald Trump is handling foreign affairs portfolio in a responsible way. And it's very, very hard for me to believe that Henry Kissinger believes that this "fly by the seat of your pants" approach that Donald Trump is taking to talking about foreign affairs, that would sit well with Henry Kissinger, who is obviously a strategic thinking.

What we have seen from Donald Trump is not strategic thinking so far.

DICKERSON: Right. OK.

Jeffrey, thanks so much. We will have you back with us on the panel.

GOLDBERG: Thank .

DICKERSON: And now, if you will stay with us, we will be back in a moment to take look at this year's commencement speeches.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: On this Memorial Day, we bring you some of the wisdom and humor from this year's commencement speeches.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, FORMER JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN (singing): Start spreading the news.

Wait for it.

AUDIENCE (singing): I'm leaving today.

DEMPSEY: That was actually really well done.

(LAUGHTER)

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, ACTOR: My dear terrified graduates, you are about to enter the most uncertain and thrilling period of your lives. The stories you are about to live are the ones you will be telling your children and grandchildren and therapists.

(LAUGHTER)

MIRANDA: They are the temp gigs and internships before you find your fashion. They are the cities you live in before the opportunity of a lifetime pops up halfway across the world. They are the times you say no to the good opportunities so you can say yes to the best opportunities. They are the stories in which you figure out who you are.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: If you know who you are, you won't get caught up when times get tough and the naysayers try to stop you, or, to put it differently, as one of the great philosophers of our time has said, haters going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Knowing who you are helps you shake it off.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Don't worry too much about the plan. Go where you can make a difference. Sometimes, fulfillment lies in very unpredictable places.

As you get older, you will realize that life, it actually does follow a plan. It just may not be your plan.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: As I have walked this journey with Barack, I have gotten a pretty good look at what it means to rise above the fray, what it means to set your eyes on the horizons, to devote your life to making things better for those who will come after you.

That is the choice Barack and I have made. That's what has kept us sane over the years. We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds or souls for darkness.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And I know a lot of you today are thinking about, what am I going to do? What am I going to do?

Well, let me tell you something. You can think about that tomorrow. You are going to be thinking about it next week. And, frankly, you can think about it next year.

But what you can think about right here, right now, is, who do you want to be?

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's get something straight right off the bat. I don't like John Boehner. I love him.

I have read some accounts how John and I are old-school. We used to treat each other with respect, hang out with each other. John and I aren't old-school. We're the American school, where you have to restore, where progress only comes when you deal with your opponent with respect, listening, as well as talking.

B. OBAMA: Is it any wonder that I am optimistic? Throughout our history, a new generation of Americans has reached up and bent the arc of history in the direction of more freedom and more opportunity and more justice.

And, class of 2016, it is your turn now to shape our nation's destiny, as well as your own. So get to work.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DICKERSON: And we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including our panel and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. Joining us now, in addition to Jeffrey Goldberg, we have Ruth Marcus, who's a columnist and now deputy editorial page editor of "The Washington Post." Congratulations, Ruth, on your new role. Mark Leibovich is the chief national correspondent for "The New York Times Magazine." Peggy Noonan is a columnist for "The Wall Street Journal" and a CBS News contributor. And Ron Brownstein is senior editor at "The Atlantic."

OK, Ruth, I'm starting with you.

This was -- we're going to start with e-mails. A very tough inspector general report coming out of the State Department for Hillary Clinton. She went around the rules. When her staffers were asked about her private server system, they were told, do not ask about it again. What did you make of her and her campaign's response to that report?

RUTH MARCUS, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Less than helpful to her and her campaign. The campaign would like this report to be understood as old news, yesterday's news, nothing new here, let's move along. It is less than devastating, but it is also less than helpful. It's both a reminder to people of the doubts -- the pre-existing doubts that they already have about Hillary Clinton. She's not trustworthy. She doesn't think that the regular rules apply to her. And it adds some new information along those lines about the degree to which she never checked with anybody about what this was and about if she had bothered to check --

RON BROWNSTEIN, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes.

MARCUS: She would have been told no, this report says.

BROWNSTEIN: That's what's the most troubling, I thought, in this report. I mean kind of the insularity and the arrogance. Not so much the specifics of the e-mails, but about the kind of leadership style and what it says about how you might be as president.

I did a panel a couple of years ago when Jim Baker and George Mitchell were winning the Lifetime achievement Award from the National Academy of Public Administration, and they each said the same thing, the toughest thing was to find someone who could tell a president they were wrong. And what was -- what was -- what was, I thought, most apparent in this report was that there was no one around her who was willing to tell her that she was wrong. And when people tried to raise questions, they were told to be quite. That is a -- that was ominous traits for a president.

DICKERSON: Secretary Bob Gates said the exact same thing recently in an interview with him that we did, and then we asked Hillary Clinton about -- didn't somebody tell you that this was wrong? And she said, well, no, because it was allowed. This report obviously said it wasn't allowed.

PEGGY NOONAN, CBS NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, it wasn't business as usual. It was not approved. And when two professionals in state went to Hillary's people and did say, you know, we're concerned about this hacking, this isn't as it should be, there were literally told, don't come to us and say this again. That is terrible for a future president.

There's one good thing. Inspector generals or inspectors general in Washington, D.C., consistently do good work. Nobody had gotten it at all near the bottom of this story. I think state's IG did a good job.

MARK LEIBOVICH, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: I think -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

I would just say that -- that -- that Donald Trump, instead of -- I mean I think this was a great week for Donald Trump to not say anything. And, of course, I mean so much oxygen --

DICKERSON: Yes.

LEIBOVICH: Was taken by Donald Trump bring up Vince Foster and what he said about the Mexican judge --

DICKERSON: Right.

LEIBOVICH: In San Diego the other day. I mean this is a lot of oxygen being devoted to an issue that, you know, frankly, could have been spent talking about Hillary Clinton.

DICKERSON: Well, we'll -- we'll get to Donald Trump and some of the exciting things that he said. But, Jeffrey, let me ask you about this. We've been talking about the past and what this report says about the way Hillary Clinton behaved in the past. But I was talking to Democrats who have her interests so much at heart they are on her team and they are pulling their hair out at how badly this was handled. In response to this, that -- that when -- when this e-mail story first came out, somebody from her campaign said, well, she had behaved in the spirit and letter of the law. That is both not true. But in this week in response to this, the people I've talked to have been shocked at how poorly it's been handled.

GOLDBERG: Yes, I mean the whole Democratic establishment -- to borrow a term from Bernie Sanders -- the whole Democratic establishment sort of feels like it's on a Bataan Death March to the nomination. Obviously because of Bernie, because of a lot of other things. But -- but this is just -- made them -- made them think to themselves that they don't have this in hand. They don't -- and -- and the issue -- I was talking to someone this week who said that the issue is that they don't understand how they're perceived. To go back to this point that Ron and Peggy were making, they -- they don't understand how it's being interpreted. Nobody inside is telling them, guys, she has a credibility problem, she has an honesty problem. You have to grab this by the horns or else this summer is going to be very, very long, and possibly to use your word, devastating summer for her. So there's still a kind of discord or a dissidence between what the establishment is thinking about this handling and -- and the way they're doing it.

MARCUS: Well, Hillary Clinton doesn't help herself when she argues at -- when the e-mail story first came out and after this IG report this she has done nothing -- a, she has done nothing different than any other previous secretary of state --

NOONAN: Yes.

MARCUS: You know, stretching back, apparently, to Thomas Jefferson. And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had terrible e-mail (INAUDIBLE).

NOONAN: He got hacked.

MARCUS: And -- this is actually just not accurate. And, b, that she has been as -- even more forthcoming than anybody else because, look, she voluntarily gave over these things. That's just not accurate or it's not convincing. How --

DICKERSON: And she didn't talk to this inspector general.

MARCUS: And she didn't talk to this inspector general, which leads me to my next point, which is, this is a tremor compared to the earthquake that I don't think is coming but that could come in terms of the FBI, Justice Department investigation into not that -- you know, the handling of the e-mails, but whether there was misuse of classified information.

DICKERSON: Ron, let me ask you, we talked to Bernie Sanders and he said, well, this is of course something that super delegates will be thinking about, if they're thinking about it at all.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

DICKERSON: Assess for us whether you think Bernie Sanders' approach here, which is basically to try and convince these super delegates whether he has a chance in making that case and using this new information and the FBI investigation Ruth talked about in his case.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think there's -- there's something of an illusion at this point in the Democratic race. And -- and you look toward the general election polling, where Hillary Clinton is in the arena, is in the crosshairs and on many -- and her weaknesses are all out there for the public. I think Sanders is polling better, which is the core of his argument to the super delegates, I poll better. That is really an untested proposition because I don't think -- no one has really spent any money yet publicizing the vulnerabilities that Bernie Sanders would bring to a general election. In particular, by their own count, by -- by, you know, objective estimates, his agenda would increase federal spending by $1.6 trillion, 40 percent overnight to the higher level as a share of the GDP since World War II with taxes commensurate to do that.

You know, after a billion dollars is spent on television, Ohio and Florida and the suburbs of Denver telling people that, his general election numbers might look a lot different than they do now. Not to say that he would necessarily be less competitive than Hillary Clinton, although I think in the end he would be, but certainly he would be less competitive than it appears now. And the fact is, I think super delegates -- super delegates are doing what they were designed to do. They were created precisely after the McGovern and Carter experiences because the party wanted more of a handle on producing a nominee they thought could win and could govern. And the fact is that at least the leadership of the Democratic Party don't think that Sanders passes either of those tests as much as Clinton.

DICKERSON: Peggy, what do you think, the -- Bernie Sanders sticking around hurts Hillary Clinton how much, when Donald Trump is out there as the Republican nominee, for Democrats to rally around?

NOONAN: Well, I guess it hurts Mrs. Clinton's standing or the perception of her that she is Hillary Clinton, this behemoth with this organization, with this money, with everything, and she can't put this guy away. That is a challenge to her. That -- that tells everybody vulnerability, vulnerability.

But I still think the big story that we're talking about here in the e-mail thing is very, very simple. Americans don't really trust Mrs. Clinton to be forthcoming and truthful. That's all in the polls. I forget what words they are, but you know what I mean. When you look at the tape of Mrs. Clinton saying things about the e-mails that have been shown to not of them true in the IG thing, she has been -- I hate to say lied, but she has lied coolly and -- in a creamy, practiced way. It doesn't look good.

GOLDBERG: I would just --

DICKERSON: Go ahead.

GOLDBERG: No, I would just add to that, that in the hierarchy of worries, I would definitely put Bernie Sanders as lower down than the FBI. I don't --

NOONAN: Yes, so would I (INAUDIBLE).

GOLDBERG: I think it's -- I think it's -- I think Ruth is right, there's a slim chance that this becomes a huge legal problem, but -- but it's -- it's looming out there.

MARCUS: It's already a huge political problem.

GOLDBERG: It's a huge political problem. But legal problems are another thing entirely.

NOONAN: Yes.

DICKERSON: But take -- bouncing off of Peggy's point, Mark. What the Clinton people would say, and Democrats would say is, wait a minute, this campaign is not happening in a vacuum. The challenge here with the IG report is, it's Hillary Clinton versus the inspector general.

LEIBOVICH: Sure. DICKERSON: They would like it to be Hillary Clinton verse Donald Trump. Donald Trump also has very high, negative numbers in terms of honesty and trustworthiness.

LEIBOVICH: Yes, I -- I would say two things about that. I mean I think Peggy's point that it was not business as usual compared to past secretaries of state is apt, but I think voters see this as business as usual in the Clinton world. This is a classic Clinton M.O.

NOONAN: It's true.

LEIBOVICH: The arc of revelations, sort of dissembling, you know, spinning in a very professional way, you know, and really not convincing anyway. It confirms everything we've been talking about Hillary Clinton.

On the other hand, I -- I think, look, I mean the Clinton people would say, I think with some justification, that there's a complete double standard and honesty between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I mean I think if you were to look week to week at what Donald Trump says and what Hillary Clinton says or doesn't say, and part of this is --

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

LEIBOVICH: Just the visibility he -- he takes on, it's not even close. I mean Donald Trump -- just volume of stuff that comes out of his mouth and --

MARCUS: The volume of some things that come out of his mouth.

(CROSS TALK)

LEIBOVICH: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, and even -- and even with Sanders, right? I mean even what -- your interview with -- with Senator Sanders, I mean the fact is, he has run an incredible race, but he's lost the race. And not in the book room. He's lost it at the ballot. She's won three million more votes than he has. She's won 55 percent of the total vote if you look at all the primaries and all the caucuses. Of the 20 biggest states that have vote -- of the 20 biggest states, 18 have already voted. She's won 14 of them. Twelve of the 20 states he's won have been among the smallest. You look at the exit polls. They've split white voters. She's dominated three-quarters of African- Americans, three (INAUDIBLE). I mean he has run a great race, but she has beaten him. And -- and, you know, that is the reality that Democrats are facing here at the finish line.

DICKERSON: Let's pause here. We'll talk about the Republicans when we get back. So, stick with us and we'll have more from our panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: And we're back with our panel. Ruth, let's talk about the Republicans a little bit. Donald Trump and Paul Ryan have still yet to have their final moment of unity, but Republicans -- we saw with Senator Johnson, he's now -- he's on board with the Trump train. They've seem to have really come behind Donald Trump. All that talk we had about disunity, polls and otherwise seem to suggest people are on board.

MARCUS: People are on board and the ones that aren't on board are getting on board. We talked about this a few weeks ago when I suggested I was a little worried that I might be wrong, that before the Ryan-Trump meeting, that it might be the moment of peak anti- Trumpism. Turns out I was right. Everyone is getting on board. There's kind of Mitt Romney and a merry band of handwringing -- and I mean that in the best possible way -- columnists. Some of them -- some of them work for me.

GOLDBERG: And one Nebraska senator, Ben Sasse.

MARCUS: And -- and one Nebraska senator, who are kind of the remaining holdouts and both significantly both voters, Republican voters, and Republican elected officials and Republican fundraisers are coming on board.

LEIBOVICH: And the Bushs.

NOONAN: I have something very quick to say. It starts with the words, "party platforms," which is the most boring thing in the world you could possibly say on a talk show, and I'm about to proof that. But on the Republican side, you have Donald Trump saying essentially he doesn't care really about his party platform. But his big issues are at odds with longtime Republican orthodoxy, let's say. On the Democratic side, it fascinates me, Bernie Sanders' people, he has picked some people to write the platform who are left wing activists in a way that I think is usual and I think there will be a struggle there and I wonder if it will have implications for the Democratic --

GOLDBERG: Just what Hillary Clinton needs, by the way.

MARCUS: Yes, exactly.

GOLDBERG: Another -- another fun summer.

NOONAN: I think it's part of the story of Philadelphia.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

DICKERSON: We're talking about unity in the Republican Party. But then Donald Trump goes out and talks about the governor of New Mexico, Suzana Martinez, and is critical of her. I don't -- what do you make of that?

LEIBOVICH: Yes. Yes, I mean one of the big buzz words a few weeks ago was pivot. When will Donald Trump pivot?

DICKERSON: Yes. LEIBOVICH: I think he's showing over and over again that he's incapable or has no desire to do that. But I also think that a more important pivot maybe in this moment is Bernie Sanders' willingness to actually pivot into good soldier-hood at a certain point and actually bring a lot of the energy he's brought to this race, you know, as actually a surrogate against Donald Trump, the way that Elizabeth Warren has, and, frankly, as a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, Mark's point about Donald Trump and the pivot, I mean, Donald Trump has broken so many boundaries and has kind of --

LEIBOVICH: Right.

BROWNSTEIN: But even by Donald Trump's standards, what did he this week in San Diego, when he went off on an extended rant against the federal judge hearing a case against Trump University, Indiana- born federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who he described as a Mexican. OK, I mean, that is -- that is a striking use of language. I think it is comparable to what he did when he did not denounce David Duke the Sunday before Super Tuesday on CNN. I mean it is -- I mean this is --

GOLDBERG: (INAUDIBLE) dog whistling. It's not. It's -- it's human whistling.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, we're well beyond dog whistling and I think that -- I mean I think there is a -- it is a very legitimate question to Donald Trump, why is the ethnicity of this judge, who was born in Indiana, a graduate of Indiana University, why is that relevant? And why is a presidential candidate attacking a judge hearing a case against him?

GOLDBERG: You know why it's -- you know why it's -- you know why it's relevant to Donald Trump? Because when he did that, people cheered. That's why it's relevant. It works.

MARCUS: And here's -- here's Donald Trump's version of a pivot. Donald Trump's version of a pivot is, if you say something or do something, in the case of this judge, that displeases him --

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

MARCUS: He will pivot and turn on you because he is, as he's told us, the counter puncher. So it doesn't matter if it's somebody on your team, like the governor of New Mexico, who you might want, or somebody who's your opponent, like Hillary Clinton, or Elizabeth --

LEIBOVICH: Or a federal judge.

MARCUS: Or Elizabeth Warren, who he attacked this week as a big mouth Pocahontas. Not helpful.

BROWNSTEIN: Pocahontas.

MARCUS: Big mouth. Women don't like that. DICKERSON: Peggy, if I'm a Republican running a race and I see this, it's -- it's unprecedented and quite unpredictable for Donald Trump to have gone after Suzana Martinez. I mean, in other words, in a unity moment to pick a popular rising star in the party and go after them.

NOONAN: Yes.

DICKERSON: Isn't that the --

NOONAN: And the crowd in her home state loved it --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

NOONAN: Which was also a startling thing.

BROWNSTEIN: But that's his --

(CROSS TALK)

MARCUS: Just like Paul Ryan.

LEIBOVICH: Because she's a politician and he's not.

BROWNSTEIN: Right. Right.

DICKERSON: And it -- isn't that a level of unpredictability that's going to be -- that's what makes other Republican lawmakers nervous, that there's always might be one of those exciting moments.

NOONAN: Yes, that's the question for those running for the House and for the Senate that every day they'll have to be parsing their way through, oh, my God, how do I respond to this? They'll all have to be figuring a way -- out a way to deal with it. Donald Trump ought to do those men and women a favor and stop this, but it's not sure that he can. We talked about people around Hillary can't tell -- tell her the truth.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

NOONAN: Who around Donald Trump says to him, boss, stop this, don't do that anymore, it's not nice.

BROWNSTEIN: But -- but it's more than just random comments. I mean Donald Trump could have been defined to the public in a number of different ways. He could have been defined as the business guy bringing his private sector expertise to do kind of a rehab on the economy and government. He could have been defined as the outsider coming to clean up a corrupt political system. And those are both parts of his identity.

But the third part, the core, I think, of how he got to the nomination was his identity really -- this identity is kind of the embodiment of kind of racial backlash and kind of anxiety over changing demography. And he keeps going back into those waters, this week with Suzana Martinez and with the judge, and that -- and that kind of underscores the real problem. It's not holding together the Republican coalition, it's that the Democratic coalition, which is essentially diverse America and the portions of white America most comfortable with that, will turn out in big numbers. And even if the Republican coalition does turn out, he probably can't overcome that.

DICKERSON: Last world to you, Jeff.

GOLDBERG: Peggy, he's not going to stop insulting Mexicans and Native Americans, as he did this week, because it's working and he goes with what works. I think that's the simple -- the simple rule.

MARCUS: I -- yes, I -- I don't know.

GOLDBERG: It's working for -- it's working -- it encourages his base. It brings out his base and makes him --

NOONAN: But part of it also -- well, but part of the reason it does work with this base I think is that they kind of hate politicians, they hate the political class, they're not wild about us.

GOLDBERG: Right.

NOONAN: And when he makes fun of the official elites of America, in no matter what way, they kind of like it because they don't like us.

BROWNSTEIN: And Mexicans Americans are not the elites of America.

NOONAN: Under -- no, no, but a big personal like Martinez -- do you know what I mean?

BROWNSTEIN: The judge, I don't know.

DICKERSON: We'll have to leave it there. Thanks to all of you for that lively discussion.

We'll be right back with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Joining us now from Denver is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the author of "The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics."

Governor, you say your book is a call to action for nerds, but it's also very candid. Don't you know you're in politics? You're not supposed to be candid.

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: Well, but, you know, one of the reasons I wrote it was, you know, I got into politics because I wanted people to belief in government, believe in elected officials. And I thought, if you're going to write this book, put in warts and all, right? Be authentic. And I think hopefully that helps people believe in elected officials a little bit.

DICKERSON: If -- people are pretty cynical about public service, about getting involved. Give them -- make your pitch, make the pitch to people who watch a lot of our politics and think it's just bickering. Why should they get involved in a system that -- that looks so unappealing?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, and, again, there's -- there's some unappealing aspects of public life, but you get to work with the smartest people. You get to take on the most challenging issues. And you begin to -- if you work hard enough, you can make -- make an impact. You can begin to find solutions and create results. And, you know, that's part -- some of the best part in life is to have work that's real and work with, you know, wonderful, talented people.

DICKERSON: You are known, among other things, for having not run negative ads in your campaigns. We are facing a presidential election in which it's not that the ads are not only going to be negative, but it's on Twitter, it's in the comments. What -- what is your guidance and advice for the national campaign that's -- that's likely to have so much negativity as a part of it?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think you have to push back against it as hard as you can. You know, the example I always use in business, companies that are archrivals, right, that hate each other, right? Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Coke doesn't do attack ads against Pepsi because they'd work. Pepsi's sales would go down. Pepsi would have no choice but to counterattack Coke. Coke would counterattack Pepsi. You depress sails in the entire product category of soft drinks.

What we're doing is we're depressing the product category of democracy. And especially young people just tuning out. I mean we do that at our own peril. We let that happen at -- at our own risk.

DICKERSON: When you -- you are a super delegate. We talked to Bernie Sanders earlier in the show and he said that super delegates from states that he won should just go along with him. So he won Colorado. Are you going to take his advice and vote for Bernie Sanders when it comes convention time?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, you know, the super delegate thing, it was started 30 years ago. And the idea is that people that have been in elected office for a longer period of time maybe have a longer perspective on things, that they'll bring some stability. And we're looking at -- you know, I admire so many of the things that -- the issue that Bernie has raised. Senator Sanders has really pushed out, you know, why is it that we're not retraining people more rapidly for the new economy, why is it that kids are having such large debt when they finish college. But I think that Hillary is more likely to, in an incremental, kind of a hard, problem solving approach, is going to get results sooner I think than him. And I think that's where I'm intend -- I should support who I think is really going to get -- do the best job.

DICKERSON: He's arguing that the -- the latest revolutions about her e-mail -- private e-mail server are something that super delegates should take in mind. In other words, another shoe might drop and she wouldn't be in as good a position in the general election as he would be. What's your response to that argument? HICKENLOOPER: Well, a, I don't think there's another shoe that's going to drop. I think they've parsed this about as much as they can. I mean she was trying to protect family and friends from, you know, the unwanted scrutiny. She said she made a mistake, right? Let's move on. I think she's probably the most prepared person to run for high political office in this country in several decades. And some people say, and I'm not -- you know, you'd have to look at it, if she -- if she was a man, all this stuff wouldn't be the same at the same level. That there's an awful lot of criticism being used -- I mean literally millions of dollars of criticism against her every week over things that really aren't that -- you know, against a man wouldn't be brought up like that.

DICKERSON: But it would -- but the inspector general -- an inspector general's report doesn't have anything to do with gender, does it?

HICKENLOOPER: No, it certainly doesn't, but it points out that, you know, previous secretaries of state had done roughly the same -- had used -- had used their own servers, like Colin Powell, and no one had come out officially at the time and said, you know, that this is a bad precedent. And, again, she's admitted she made a mistake. I mean it's -- I don't understand the -- it's not -- it's not like the end of the world. Again, I understand it's been made a big deal because people have spent millions of dollars trying to throw it into this incredible flame. But look at -- compare it to Donald Trump, where he changes what he says every single day. He never says he's made a mistake, right? I mean who -- whose judgment do you want to rely on?

DICKERSON: Colorado is a purple state. It's going to be a big battleground in the -- in the general election. What -- what's your sense of the role of the Hispanic population there, 20 percent in the state, the role it will play?

HICKENLOOPER: I think it will play a huge role. And, again, I think every day that goes by and Don Trump says something more that alienates large segments of the American people, I think that's going to pay -- he will pay a heavy price there.

DICKERSON: All right.

HICKENLOOPER: I mean --

DICKERSON: Hey, governor --

HICKENLOOPER: We knew he was kind of a -- a blow hard --

DICKERSON: I'm sorry, governor.

HICKENLOOPER: That's OK.

DICKERSON: We're going to have to cut out you off there. Thanks so much for being with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: We'll see you next week. But on this Memorial Day weekend, before we go, we want to thank our nation's veterans who have served their country. We are very grateful.