The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 4/20/2016

Katie Packer, Sarah Isgur Flores, Alex Isenstadt, Ann Lewis, Jonathan Lewis, Rick Tyler, Howard Dean, Bill Springer, Pete Seat

Date: April 20, 2016
Guest: Katie Packer, Sarah Isgur Flores, Alex Isenstadt, Ann Lewis,
Jonathan Lewis, Rick Tyler, Howard Dean, Bill Springer, Pete Seat

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Donald Trump recently – that sort of saying(ph)
and the floor color and the ruckus and the public nature of it all and the

Then electronic voting of some kind or probably take away some of that
excitement and some of what we can show you.

Donald Trump recently said this year`s convention should have more showbiz.
He said the last one was the single, most boring convention I`ve ever seen.

Electronic voting probably won`t help with the showbiz matters of it, but
there`s also the question of maybe it`s screwing things up.

Maybe it crashes in the middle of proceedings, right? Nothing like a
technology fail to rile up 2,472 frustrated souls in Cleveland.

Not to mention the suspicion created by some centralized electronic new
voting process controlled by the RNC – so, it was so even more doubt about
the process.

So, we`ll see, one more thing to debate. Should we e-vote? Eighty nine
days to Cleveland.

That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now, it`s time
for the LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell.

Lawrence, I`m sorry to be 44 seconds late going to you.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Oh, listen, that was fantastic. I have a
feeling there will be booing –


O`DONNELL: At the Republican convention. There`s just going to be a
little somewhere or maybe a lot.

MADDOW: Whether there`s clicking, there will be booing.

O`DONNELL: Now, Rachel, before you go –


O`DONNELL: An almost personal question. I`ll take it one step away from
personal. Can you imagine – can you imagine breaking up with someone over
how they vote?


O`DONNELL: You can`t?


O`DONNELL: OK, well –


O`DONNELL: I`m sorry –


O`DONNELL: Well, then you – then you want to take your time –

MADDOW: Yes – no, it`s hard, though, no –

O`DONNELL: Yes, it`s –


O`DONNELL: Yes, OK, you have to –


But you have to think about it.


O`DONNELL: Well, in tonight`s election confessions, you`re going to hear
from someone who had to think about that.

MADDOW: Oh, it hurts already –

O`DONNELL: And she made a real decision based on how the boyfriend voted -

MADDOW: I have heartache in advance.



O`DONNELL: It`s one of those years.


MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel –

MADDOW: Good night.

O`DONNELL: Also tonight, in the war room, the Indiana mystery, not a
single poll has been taken in the state that could determine the Republican
presidential nomination.

And an explosive charge today against the Bernie Sanders campaign from
president Obama`s former campaign strategist.

But first, the “Stop Trump” movement continues even though the only win
they had in the entire state of New York last night was in Donald Trump`s


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our country is going to hell.


TRUMP: Get him out of here.

CRUZ: You don`t hear me up here complaining and whining.

TRUMP: I think it`s such a bad system, it`s so unfair.

process. But let`s just let it play out.

CRUZ: Because he`s helping Donald Trump.

KASICH: I`m not interested in his opinion.

TRUMP: Never ends. It never ends.

CRUZ: We don`t want to hand the general election gift-wrapped to Hillary

TRUMP: We will fire Hillary. Hillary, you`re fired! You know, I did well
with that you`re fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a time to be alive.


CLINTON: The race for the Democratic nomination is in the homestretch and
victory is in sight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think that that`s the case. Look, we`re going
to go to a convention.

path towards this victory, which we are going to fight to maintain.

TRUMP: Who would have known this was going to happened.


O`DONNELL: Everything happened exactly as expected in the presidential
primary election last night in New York.

But even when everything happens exactly as expected, the news media has a
way of getting very excited about it, as if it`s, you know, big news, that
everything happened exactly as expected.

The two New York residents came out winners in the Democrat and Republican

Anything else would have been really big news. The biggest news according
to the “New York Times” front page photo placement and headline was, “Trump
Wins Big”.

But a closer look shows, not as big as you think. Donald Trump did win 60
percent of the Republican vote, but by winning 58 percent of the Democratic
vote, Hillary Clinton won more votes than Donald Trump and all of the
Republican candidates combined.

By winning just 42 percent of the Democratic vote, Bernie Sanders won
238,000 votes more than Donald Trump.

Donald Trump`s big win made him the third biggest vote-getter in the state
of New York last night.

Winning big in New York State is not winning the 525,000 votes that Donald
Trump won.

Winning big in New York State is winning millions of votes, like Chuck
Schumer did in his last Senate re-election campaign, when he won 67 percent
of the vote.

In Hillary Clinton`s Senate re-election campaign, she won 67 percent of the

That was a tradition established by her predecessor, Democrat Daniel
Patrick Moynihan in his Senate re-election campaign in 1988, when he won 67
percent of the vote.

That`s what winning big in the state of New York looks like, two thirds of
the vote. Millions of votes.

Last night, Donald Trump did not win enough votes to be elected mayor of
New York City, but he did get a lot closer to the Republican presidential


TRUMP: We don`t have much of a race anymore based on what I`m seeing on


TRUMP: Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.



O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz is doing everything he can to keep the race alive.
Today, Ted Cruz made a late addition to his campaign schedules, stopping at
the Spring meeting of the Republican National Committee in Hollywood,

“Time Magazine” reports that members of Ted Cruz`s campaign, including his
campaign manager Jethro(ph) and delegate hunters, Ken Cuccinelli and Sam
Amuzzis(ph) met with members of the Republican National Committee to make
the case for Ted Cruz as the party`s stronger Republican nominee.

Here is Ted Cruz today.


CRUZ: What is clear today is that we are headed to a contested convention.
Nobody is able to reach 1,237.

I`m not going to reach 1,237, and Donald Trump is not going to reach 1,237.
We`re going to arrive in Cleveland with me having a ton of delegates and
with Donald having a ton of delegates.

And at that point, it is going to be a battle to see who can earn the
support of a majority of the delegates elected by the people.

The only condition in which I would leave the race is if it was clear there
was no path to victory. At this point, we are headed on a path to victory.


O`DONNELL: At a rally in Indianapolis today, Donald Trump continued to
attack the Republican nominating system.


TRUMP: It`s a rigged, crooked system that`s designed so that the bosses
can pick whoever they want and that people like me can`t run.

It`s a rigged system. It`s rigged for the lobbyists. It`s rigged for the
donors, and it`s rigged for the special interests. It`s dishonest.

They can take the delegates, they can put them in airplanes and fly them to
resorts. They can have dinners with them.

They can put them in hotels. Essentially, what they`re saying is they can
buy the election.

And I can buy more elections than they ever thought of, believe me, but I
think it`s such a bad system.

It`s so unfair, and it really is. I call her crooked Hillary. I can tell
you, this is a crooked system.


O`DONNELL: Today, the John Kasich campaign complained about the “Stop
Trump” movement`s failure in New York, saying they have to do better next

They said, “the “Never Trump” movement missed opportunities to take
delegates away from Donald Trump in more than half a dozen New York
congressional districts last night by not engaging in any serious ways.

A repeat effort by “Never Trump” forces on April 26th would put Donald
Trump on track to win the nomination on the first ballot.”

Joining us now, Katie Packer; founder of Our Principles, an anti-Trump PAC.
She was the deputy campaign manager for the Romney campaign in 2012.

Sarah Isgur Flores, former deputy campaign manager for the Carly Fiorina
for president and a former RNC deputy communications director.

Alex Isenstadt, a reporter for “POLITICO” who is outside that hotel where
the Republican Party`s Spring meeting is occurring in Hollywood, Florida.

Katie Packer, I spoke to you last night asking what you made of the
situation in New York.

I wasn`t able to report your reactions in all of the other stuff we had to
deal with last night on the air.

But was this a failure of the “Stop Trump” movement last night in New York?

something that you don`t actually try. And we didn`t actually try to
succeed in New York.

We saw the handwriting on the wall early that this was Donald Trump`s home

It was the state where he enjoyed a lot of, sort of notoriety and – you
know, he was able to attack Senator Cruz for his New York values comments.

So, it was just a state that wasn`t particularly fertile ground for us, but
in all of our calculation, we didn`t anticipate Donald Trump losing any
delegates out of New York.

So, the fact that he lost five was actually, sort of, you know, good news
for us.

And looking forward, our math hasn`t really changed regardless of New York,
because New York wasn`t something we looked at as something that we had to
win in order to keep him under 1,237.

So, we feel very confident that we`re on track to keep him under 1,237. We
will be going to an open convention.

And it`s not rigged. It`s hard to imagine that he thinks that the
establishment would rig this for Ted Cruz.

It`s not a rigged process, the people have voted, and he just doesn`t like
the outcome in a few of those places.

But we are going to go to an open convention and the delegates that have
been elected from their states are going to represent those states and
we`ll see who they choose to be the Republican standard bearer.

But I don`t think it will be Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: But Katie, what about John Kasich`s accusation that you guys
could have possibly changed the story in six congressional districts in New

PACKER: I think what John Weaver from the Kasich campaign meant to say is
thank you for all that you`ve done so that we`re still in the race at this
point, because Donald Trump would have this if it weren`t for our efforts.

And so to that, I`ll just say you`re welcome, John Weaver, we`re happy to
be part of the team.

O`DONNELL: So, Katie, your position is sorry, those congressional
districts were out of reach, there was nothing we could have done.

PACKER: Well, you know, I think that the Kasich campaign has plenty to
keep them busy with their campaign.

You know, we`ve got a strategy, we know what our resources are, and we`re
looking to use those resources in the most efficient way possible and be
good stewards to the donors that have contributed.

And we just didn`t think that it was a wise use of our resources to try to
play the way that John Weaver thought we should play. So, I think he
should focus on their campaign and we`ll focus on ours.

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to what Ted Cruz said today about
getting John Kasich out of this campaign.


CRUZ: John Kasich has no path whatsoever to the nomination. He has lost,
now I think it`s 31 states, he`s won a total of one, his home state.

His plan apparently rests upon losing 49 states going to the convention and
having all of the delegates say the guy that lost every state in the union
except his home state, that should be our nominee.

That quite simply is not going to happen.


O`DONNELL: Sarah, Ted Cruz is talking about the only guy who took
delegates away from Donald Trump last night.

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, John Kasich is running fourth in a three-man

His argument was that he could prevent Donald Trump from getting
significant delegates in the northeast.

I think him now complaining that the rest weren`t helping him out Katie
Packer gauger, otherwise is a little bit of whining after the fact.

John Kasich is still the spoiler in this race, it`s just that he`s become
more and more irrelevant. I guess we all are happy that he took five

But that doesn`t even move him to third place.

O`DONNELL: But Sarah, if John Kasich was not in that race last night,
Donald Trump would have had 100 percent of the delegates. Ted Cruz
wouldn`t have taken one.

FLORES: That may be true in New York, Donald Trump`s home state. Even
John Kasich was able to win his home state.

But look at all the races we`ve had so far, Ted Cruz has got more votes in
Wisconsin than Donald Trump got in the entire state of New York.

So, and obviously same in Texas as well. John Kasich is siphoning off
votes, and I do think it`s time for him to sort of see the writing on the

He said he`d win Michigan, he came in third, he said he`d be a formidable
candidate in New York, that wasn`t true.

O`DONNELL: Alex, I just had the Kasich team and the Cruz team making the
case in Hollywood, Florida, today. How did it go for them?

ALEX ISENSTADT, POLITICO: Well, look, I mean, both teams spent their
entire day here. I mean, you had the upper echelons of the Kasich – of
the Cruz campaign, Jeff Roe spent the entire day here in Florida.

You had a lot of Kasich advisors, and then both candidates came in. And so
that really just goes to show you how high the stakes are for both of these

They`re really making a play for a contested convention, and they`re really
trying to make a play for delegates.

And all the members of the RNC, all 168 members are here this week and
they`re all going to be delegates at the convention.

O`DONNELL: Any plans for Donald Trump to show up down there, Alex, that
you know of?

ISENSTADT: It`s not expected that Donald Trump is going to show up. But
what we do know is that two of his top aides Paul Manafort and Rick Wiley,
who have really taken control of this campaign, they`ve kind of pushed
Corey Lewandowski to the side a little bit.

These two veteran politico hands are going to be giving a presentation
tomorrow, and I can tell you that Rick Wiley was roaming the halls today.

And it goes to show you how, even as Donald Trump bashes the system of the
RNC delegates, he is making moves to work delegates.

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to what John Kasich had to say today
about his candidacy.


KASICH: I`m not interested in stopping anybody. I`m interested in helping
this country to get on its feet and have progress and economic gains and
economic prosperity.

I`m not interested in running a campaign against anybody. I`m not
interested at all in being against somebody.

I`m for me and for the ideas and the team that I can put together to get
this country moving in the right direction.


O`DONNELL: Katie Packer, that`s the same candidate whose team said where
was the “Stop Trump” movement when we needed them in New York?

PACKER: You know, I`m not going to tell the Kasich campaign how to run
their campaign.

You know, there are smart people, there are Beth Hansen, whose campaign
manager is some – was actually my first boss on a presidential campaign.

Somebody I admire a whole lot. They`re going to – they`re going to run
their campaign and they have to make their decision, and the candidates has
to make their decision about what they do moving forward.

You know, we`re very interested in stopping Trump. But I think it`s
remarkable that Trump is attacking the system, talking about lobbyists.

He`s the only guy that has a lobbyist as a campaign manager.


He`s brought in a guy, you know, Rick Wiley, who`s certainly been part of
the establishment and you know, somebody that ran a disastrous campaign and
drove Scott Walker`s candidacy into the ground.

Somebody that was a bright shining star for our party. You know, these are
the people that he`s entrusting his effort to.

And you know – and you know, when it comes to organization, they just, you
know, haven`t been able to organize themselves out of a paper sack so far.

So, you know, we`ll see how things go in the next few weeks, but we feel
very good.

O`DONNELL: Katie Packer, Sarah Isgur Flores and Alex Isenstadt, thank you
all for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

FLORES: Thanks –

ISENSTADT: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: Coming up, breaking campaign news tonight, President Obama`s
former campaign manager who has endorsed Hillary Clinton says that the
Bernie Sanders campaign is perpetrating a fraud, that`s the word he used,

Now that the – that the Sanders campaign has lost New York and is
continuing to fundraise with no path to victory, that`s the accusation made
by David Plouffe.

And the campaign war rooms are where the sleep-deprived strategists try to
figure out their next move in a constantly changing campaign environment.

There`s no pressure quite like it. We will take you inside the war room
tonight with two campaign pros, who`ve been there to plot what happens



SANDERS: There are five primaries next week, we think we`re going to do
well, and we have a path toward this victory, which we are going to fight
to maintain.


O`DONNELL: That was Bernie Sanders last night. The senator was at home in
Vermont today, taking the day off from campaigning when President Obama`s
former campaign chief strategist said that the Sanders campaign is
perpetrating a fraud now by fundraising after they have lost any path to
victory after last night`s loss in New York. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: In an explosive charge today against the Bernie Sanders
campaign, former Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe tweeted this,
“Sanders has run a stunningly strong campaign fueled by passionate

But raising money, stating you have path to nomination is fraud.”

There has been no direct response from the Sanders campaign to the charge
of fraud by David Plouffe, but just an hour ago, Sanders campaign
strategist Tad Devine said this to Rachel Maddow.


a commitment to go through to the end and I`ll tell you why.

Because millions of people are part of this campaign. They`ve contributed
to it, literally millions.

They`ve participated in it as volunteers. Making phone calls on behalf of
the campaign. More than a million people have come to events that we had
around the country.

So, all of those people that have been such a big part of this campaign, he
wants to give them an opportunity to vote for him.

If we think we can win in more states, we think we can prove to the
Democratic Party leadership when this process is over, that he will by far
be the strongest candidate in the general election.

And if we can make that case and win it, then we would hope the party would
endorse him.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Ann Lewis, who was a senior adviser to Hillary
Clinton`s presidential campaign in 2008.

Also with us, Jonathan Alter, Msnbc political analyst and a columnist for
the “Daily Beast”.

Ann Lewis, what is your reaction to David Plouffe`s accusation of fraud for
the Sanders campaign continuing to raise money now that, as David sees it,
and I think as the Clinton campaign sees it, is Sanders campaign after last
night has no path to victory.

CAMPAIGN: Let me say first, I have great regard for David Plouffe.

I had great regard even before the campaign of 2008, and now then I saw how
smart he is.

Now, this is somebody who should be listened to and I hope people, they can
take him seriously.

Don`t just disregard what he has to say. Senator Sanders and his team have
some very tough decisions to make.

Yes, as David said, they`ve run a very strong campaign, but now, let`s look
at the bottom line. Look at the numbers.

Hillary Clinton has gotten 10 million votes so far in this primary. The
first candidate on either side to do so, despite I might say some of the
excitement about some of those other candidates.

She`s gotten more than 2 million more votes than Senator Sanders, and yes,
she has 240-plus more pledged delegates.

Now, overcoming that in the coming weeks, as I look at those states, as I
look at where the territory is, where the rules are, I don`t see how you
can do that.

So, as I say, that`s going to be up to Senator Sanders and his team. I
hope as they`re thinking about this, they will also be thinking about what
Hillary said last night.

You know, what unites us is so much larger and so much more important than
what divides us.

O`DONNELL: Ann, do you agree with David Plouffe, that it is fraud for the
Sanders campaign to continue to raise money?

LEWIS: I`m not going to use a judgmental word, so, I`ll say I have great
regard for David, but I think that`s his word.

I`ll let other people make their own decisions about how they go forward.
I just want them to think about what the facts are.

And then how do we go forward together? How do we go forward in ways that
ensure that we – the next president, we elect a Democratic president.

Someone who is going to build on President Obama`s record, not get to the
White House and try to tear it up.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, that was quite a bomb to toss into this thing
and the fraud is the strongest possible word David Plouffe could have used.

JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: Yes, I don`t think it`s really the
right word for this political circumstance.

Fraud implies, you know, some sort of violation of the law, which doesn`t
seem to be the case.

This is a judgment call. But it`s just funny the different positions that
everybody is in. So, I remember in 2008, it was the Obama people, people
like David Plouffe making this argument to the Hillary people.

And people like Ann Lewis and others who were on Hillary side to that 2008
were saying, don`t tell us this is over.

You know, we`re going to –

O`DONNELL: Right –

ALTER: Keep fighting and fighting and raising money and taking this all
the way to the end of the primaries.

And now the Hillary Clinton folks are singing a little bit of a different

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said, Senator Clinton said
in 2008. This is April 2008.

This is where this campaign was at this time in 2008.


CLINTON: I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made
about people in small town America.

Senator Obama`s remarks are elitist and they`re out of touch. They are not
reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans.

Certainly, not the Americans that I know, not the Americans I grew up with.


O`DONNELL: And Ann Lewis, you remember those days well and –

LEWIS: I do –

O`DONNELL: As we know, Senator Clinton did not drop out of the campaign
until every vote was counted until after the final primary, I believe it
was around June 8th or so that she stepped aside.

So, it seems there will be kind of difficult for the Clinton campaign to
expect something different from the Sanders campaign this time.

LEWIS: Well, let me say, one, I absolutely remember those days and I know
how hard it is.


LEWIS: When you`re in this kind of campaign, you`ve worked so hard.
Everybody around you who has worked so hard.

And then you sit down and you look at the numbers and you have to think
about where you`re going to go and how you`re going to get there.

And I think if you look again at Hillary, look at her in 2008, how she
started thinking about, OK, what is it we do from here on out?

Because again, what`s going to be important at the end is what unites us.
But for my friends in the Sanders campaign, for people I don`t know who`ve
been excited about this campaign, and yes, there are millions of people who
have gotten into it, that`s great.

That`s, you know, what campaigns should be about. I understand what you`re
going through. Maybe, as I said, just earlier.

Hillary say, well, your (INAUDIBLE) is so important, maybe there`s one more
thing that unites us.

We`ve been through this experience of being in a campaign that is finally
not going to succeed.

And there comes a time when you have to start thinking about how not do you
go forward? Yes, you`re going to go forward.

People do have the right, they should have the right to vote. But how do
you go forward?

O`DONNELL: Right –

LEWIS: What issues do you talk about? What language do you talk about?
That`s going to be very important.

O`DONNELL: Last word –

ALTER: It`s quite true that Hillary through the end in 2008, at the end of
the primaries, she did start pulling her punches some, in a sensible way.

She didn`t try to deck Obama since she was pretty sure that he was going to
be the nominee.

And Sanders will face that issue. He also has an opportunity because
unlike 2008, there are big differences on platform issues, on the issues.

And so, for instance, he could say, look, I want to devote a lot of time
and attention to this free college idea.

Push an idea, get that in the Democratic platform, have the Democratic
Party stand for that, and maybe get some smaller victories that aren`t the
nomination to show for all of his efforts.

Jonathan Alter and Ann Lewis, thank you both very much for joining us
tonight, really appreciate it.

ALTER: Thanks a lot.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

LEWIS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we`re going inside the war room to plot the next
steps in the presidential campaign.


O`DONNELL: Last night was a late night for all of the presidential
campaigns, but every night is a late night in the campaign war rooms. We
will be going inside the “Last Word” war room tonight with two veterans of
presidential campaigning to plot the next moves in a state that could
decide the republican presidential nomination, but where not a single poll
has been taken.

Here is the rule for getting into the “Last Word” war room. You have to
have been in a real presidential campaign war room in order to get in to
our room. Here is the way it looked out on the campaign trail today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: It is a very tough loss. Bernie Sanders is
off the campaign trail today



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: She practically has put this race out of
reach for Senator Sanders.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Aides are plodding the next step.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: He would have to win every single state
moving forward by almost double digits.



BILL CLINTON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: We had a great primary last night.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Secretary Clinton, her supporters last night
energized in a way that we have just not seen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Donald Trump is looking harder and harder to



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Trump has the math on his side.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: They want to come into Indiana with five,
six wins in a row under their belt.



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had a great night last night,
I want to tell you, that was something.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Your name is Jake America. I have checked his
driver`s license. That is actually his last name



TRUMP: America first, folks. It is called America first.


KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: What is more important for the country?
Your becoming the republican nominee or stopping Donald Trump from becoming
the republican nominee?

JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The most important thing that we
need to do in this country is get this country moving again.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: This is the most definitive Cruz has been
about moving to a contested convention.



TRUMP: We are not going to let the stupidity happen.



CRUZ: We are headed to a contested convention.



TRUMP: Because, you know it is a rigged system.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you agree that the system is rigged,
senator? What do you think?



CRUZ: What I agree is that the democratic process works.



TRUMP: Lying Ted. Lies, oh, he lies.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: The rules have not been tested in this way in
more than a generation.



CRUZ: Donald`s desperation that shows that he is scared when the people



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: They are hand shaking and photo ops and



CRUZ: Do you want to do an interview? Do you want something to tell the
people of America?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: This is life on the campaign trail.



O`DONNELL: Tonight in the campaign war room, battleground Indiana. Next
Tuesday, five north eastern states, where Donald Trump has a big lead will
be voting: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
But Donald Trump`s first stop today was Indiana.


TRUMP: You love Indiana, right? The Hoosiers. The Hoosiers. You know, I
was not supposed to be here today. I am supposed to be here in two weeks,
you know that. But I had to come early. I came early. I said what are we
doing? Let us go to Indiana.



O`DONNELL: He had to come early, because Indiana is the biggest delegate
prize on the campaign trail before the final primary in California on June
7th. If Donald Trump loses Indiana, then he might have no chance of
securing the republican nomination on the first ballot at the convention.

That is why Donald Trump`s first stop today was in Indiana, and that is why
the first thing on the agenda today in the Trump campaign war room, the
morning after the big win in New York was Indiana. And, Donald Trump`s
first stop in Indiana was a very private event.

Cameras could only get close enough to see the black SUVs pulling up to the
governor`s residence, where Donald Trump met with Republican Governor Mike
Pence. Chris Christie, who was nowhere to be seen last night at the big
Trump celebration in New York was with Donald Trump at the governor`s
residence to provide the introduction of the republican presidential front-
runner to the republican governor of Indiana.

Joining us now, two people who have been in the war room, Howard Dean is a
former governor of Vermont, former DNC Chairman, and a former presidential
candidate. A Hillary Clinton supporter. He is also an MSNBC Political

Also joining us Rick Tyler, a former National Spokesman for republican
presidential candidate Ted Cruz and an MSNBC Contributor. Rick Tyler, in
the republican dynamics, tell us the importance of first stop Indiana,
first stop Mike Pence.

that has a lot of delegates, 57 at stake. The reason they get so many for
a small state is because they have been so good to the Republican Party,
they continue to win – Indiana continually votes for republicans over
democrats in the general election.

But Indiana, look, I think is a little bit of a risk for Donald Trump,
because it is a winner take all state. Indiana looks a lot like Iowa that
has a lot of evangelical voters, has a very conservative – probably
arguably has the most conservative governor in the country.

But at the same time, you have to argue that if Donald Trump concedes those
delegates over to Ted Cruz and makes his path to winning the 1,237, very,
very difficult. And, if I am in the war room for Donald Trump, I have to
make sure I get to Cleveland with the majority of delegates, because if I
do not, it would be tough for me to have the nomination.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, you have been the governor, the super delegate
governor, would the candidates come in to genuflect too? You have been the
presidential candidate, who needs those kinds of people in your corner.
That first stop, you saw it today in Indiana, Donald Trump going to the
governor`s mansion, what do you make of that in terms of the strategic move
of the day for him, beginning his day that way?

This is the most interesting part of this campaign. As you know, I have
been wrong about Trump every week, but he ran on his gut for a very long
time. Now, he has to run from here. This is tough for him.

I mean, he has a lot of people around here, longtime strategists in
Republican Party. I think this is absolutely fascinating. The republicans
are always fascinating, because they have winner take all states, which we
do not have.

He has got to do this in Indiana, and he has got two weeks to do the whole
state with 57 electoral votes. I mean that is 57 delegates. That is a
huge number for the Republican Party. I think this is absolutely fantastic
– fascinating to watch the conversion of this guy who was so outrageous.
He got $2 billion worth of free media time.

O`DONNELL: But, is not this also a sign, Howard, of the
professionalization of the war room.

DEAN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Because, I am not sure they had a war room three weeks ago.

DEAN: Absolutely not.

O`DONNELL: And, it was not going to have a governor on the calendar.

DEAN: He cannot win without doing this.


DEAN: And, I am just amazed – if he is able to pull this off and
discipline himself, I think it is extraordinarily will actually be a fairly
decent candidate, much better than most people think.

O`DONNELL: Rick Tyler, I do not think we have seen anything like this.
They are going into a crucial presidential campaign state without a poll.
How do you go in there without a poll? How do you know where to go?

TYLER: You know, what is fascinating about the Trump campaign is they do
not seem to do any internal polling. I mean, the Cruz campaign has
consistently done internal polling, occasionally we leaked them out –

O`DONNELL: So , Rick, let me stop you right there.


O`DONNELL: No question if your mind that a professional campaign like the
Cruz campaign has polling of Indiana that it has not released to us.

TYLER: Absolutely.


TYLER: That is absolutely correct. They want to know – because when you
are plotting out your delegate strategy, I have got to know, first you got
the Intel on what is going on the state, and what is the delegate
allocation. Is it winner take all? Is it too risky?

Like New Jersey is a winner take all state. Is Ted Cruz going to spend a
lot of research? Probably not, because he is probably not going to win New
Jersey. So, he is going to think, I could not take winner take all in
Indiana. I could pick off South Dakota, Montana.

There are two interesting states, Washington and Oregon, who are largely
done voting, because there are male in ballots, so if you organized there,
then you are generally well. If you are not organized there, there is
really no point of going there.

But then the big question is going to be California. And, I think it is
all going to come down to California because they have 172 delegates and
that is going to decide whether Donald Trump actually is going to get that
number or he is not going to get that number.

And, if he risk going to Indiana and not to California, you know, like I
say, it is a dicey proposition. But, I will tell you this, Lawrence. I
will tell you the conversation I think that will happen in the war room
yesterday with Donnell Trump with his new senior advisor is Donald, you won
New York, because you showed some discipline, and you need to continue this
on. They are really on him about looking more presidential. And, it was a
little better today than in March, so we will see –

DEAN: Well, what is most impressive is that he appears to be listening.

O`DONNELL: Well, last night, he gave a speech that was, you know, as
presidential Donald Trump –

DEAN: Yes, that is right.

O`DONNELL: “Lying Ted became Senator Cruz.” And, Hillary Clinton was not

TYLER: – because he did not call him any names and he did not say
anything outrageous.


O`DONNELL: Right. But, today in the campaign trail, he went back, so they
do not have control of him verbally on the campaign trail yet.

DEAN: But, he has got to walk a very narrow path here. Because if he is
not his usual self, he does not get all those angry people who are really
thrilled to have somebody tell it like it is, as they say. But, if he goes
over too far, he does not get the professional political class. And, the
professional political class as the convention gets closer is more and more
in charge.

TYLER: Lawrence, there is a parallel campaign and that is these delegates
and especially these delegates – if he does not get there on the second
ballot, the number one thing I can tell you, the delegates are going to ask
him is, “How are you turn around these negatives?

If you have 74 percent women against you, 80 percent Hispanics, 85 percent
of people under 24 against you, those numbers are so high. How can you
beat Hillary Clinton? That is the number one question that delegates are
going to be asking him.

O`DONNELL: And, Howard, no matter what they are talking about in the war
room, there is a map of Indiana up in every war room and there is a map of
California up in every war room.

DEAN: Right.

O`DONNELL: And every minute their brains are switching back and forth.
You have got to win Indiana, but it does not matter if you do not win

DEAN: That is right.

O`DONNELL: Both are extremely complex.

DEAN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: California is a hugely expensive state to campaign in.

DEAN: It is unbelievably expensive. This is where Trump has a big
advantage. Everybody knows who he is, because his behavior has been so
outrageous. He has got an estimated $2 billion worth of free media.
Nobody can match that.

O`DONNELL: Rick Tyler and Howard Dean in the war room. I really
appreciate you joining me.

TYLER: Great to be here.

DEAN: Sure.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, have you ever broken up with someone because of who
they voted for? It is happening this year. It really is. Election
confessions is next.



O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s “Election Confessions.” We need to dim the
lights for this one. We have a secret ballot in this country, but how
secret are you about who you are voting for this year?” It seems more
people are keeping more secret about this election than ever before.

And “Election Confessions,” an NBC news experiment is collecting those
secrets. You can call our text your election confessions to 424-353-2016.
You must be 18 or older to vote and to participate in “Election
Confessions.” Message and data rates may apply. OK. That is your

And, now, here is just a small sample of what we have collected so far.
Number one, “My boyfriend is voting for Trump. Too embarrassed to tell my
family and friends. Good judgment, character and decency really do matter.
He has shown me who he really is by his vote. It is over!” Wow, this
campaign is breaking up relationships. This is how bad it has gotten.

All right, here is another one. “I have always been a democrat and all of
my friends think I am a democrat, but the truth is I am voting for Trump.
I am afraid to tell my friends, because they will not accept it but I am
voting for him.” Wow. These secrets that are out there. And, then there
is this. I am going to vote for Bernie, but I am pulling for Hillary.”
Figure that one out.

And, here is another confession we found. “I discussed Trump as a viable
candidate with republican friends, but in actuality he terrifies me.
People think I am conservative, but I am a closeted liberal who voted for
President Obama twice, and will vote democrat in the next election as
well.” No indication of where that person lives, so we do not know why
that person is closeted about being a liberal.

And, our last election confession tonight. “I want to vote for Hillary,
but fear too many Bernie supporters may vote for Trump if she gets the
nomination. So, for first time in my life, voting strategically for
Bernie! Never Trump.”

You know, there is such a think as over thinking this stuff. You can see
more “Election Confessions” at Voting
strategically. I do not think I have ever done that. I think it has
always been, you know, from – well, the heart and the head, but not

All right, coming up, a Trump delegate will join us, along with an Indiana
delegate hunter for John Kasich.



primary, you know, gets delegates, momentum and most importantly two
tickets in the front mezzanine to see “Hamilton.”




O`DONNELL: Even though voting in the Indiana presidential primary is two
weeks away, republicans have already chosen delegates in Indiana. John
Kasich`s campaign has claimed victory in the fight for Indiana delegates.
Today, Donald Trump called on Indiana voters to fight what he always calls
a rigged system.


TRUMP: The only way we can beat the dishonest rigged system is by you
continuing to come out and vote. You are going to get your chance in a few
weeks. Come out and vote and vote big league.


O`DONNELL: Joining us is Pete Seat. He is a consultant for the Indiana
John Kasich Campaign. Also with us Bill Springer, a longtime Sullivan
County GOP Chair and a delegate for the 8th congressional district, who
favors Donald Trump for president.

Bill Springer, tell us how this delegates election process worked, and – I
just want to clarify for the audience right off the bat. If Donald Trump
gets a big win in Indiana, those delegates that he wins will be pledged to
him on the first ballot. And everything – all this maneuvering is about
who are these delegates loyal to on the second ballot. Is that a fairway
of describing what we are talking about tonight?

it is. That is – that is it in a nutshell, yes.

O`DONNELL: So, Bill, tell us about the process and how you felt it worked
in terms of a good representation of this group of delegates.

SPRINGER: Well, I personally am in the 8th district, and I am for Donald
Trump, but if Ted Cruz wins the election in the 8th district, I will
support Ted Cruz, whether it goes one ballot or 1,000 ballots.

But, we have got most of the people that seems like have already made up
their minds before the first ballot has been cast and have been put in
articles and and “The Indianapolis Star” about they would not
vote for Donald Trump or this one or that one on a bet. So, I do not see
how these people can – it is the people`s vote. It is not the personal

O`DONNELL: And Pete Seat, you were working for the Kasich Campaign and
apparently successful by all accounts of having rounded up more Kasich-
leaning delegates for that second ballot possibility than anyone else got.

could take a credit for it, Lawrence and say it was my handiwork. But the
reality is delegates in Indiana, the individuals chosen, want to win the
White House. And. if you look at the polls, the last 15 polls, head to
head between Hillary Clinton and John Kasich, he wins in a huge numbers.

You cannot say that about Donald Trump. You cannot say that about Ted
Cruz. So, if a second ballot happens, the job of delegates and the mind of
Indiana delegates is to pick the person who can win in November, and then
do the job of president. And, that is why so many of them are inclined to
support John Kasich.

O`DONNELL: So, Bill, what is your reaction to that? I am hearing two
types of definitions –

SPRINGER: Well, I will tell you –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

SPRINGER: In Indiana, we have got what they call the 465 beltway that goes
around Indianapolis. And, those people in Indianapolis, it is a sorry
thing to say they have not won an election in 15 years in Indianapolis.

And, I am just stating the facts, but if Mr. Seat and some of the other
paid consultants would get out in the Hinterland and listen to what is
going on, Trump is bringing new voters right and left to the Republican
Party, so how can he even question that he would – he would be far better
than Hillary.

O`DONNELL: Well, Bill, that is not what he said, though. Let me try to
focus you on what Pete just said. He said that all the polls show, and
they do, that Donald Trump is the worst candidate to send into the general
election against Hillary Clinton or against Bernie Sanders.

They both beat him by a bigger margin than anybody else in the field. And,
so, when you as a delegate are presented with that projection in that poll,
is your reaction that you are not here trying to select a winner, you are
here trying to follow the dictate of the voters?

SPRINGER: I am going to follow the dictate of the voter. As a matter of
fact, John Kasich who come in dead last in Indiana, so why should he have
the majority of the delegates?

O`DONNELL: Pete, your answer?

SEAT: Well, I respect Bill`s beliefs and opinions, but there is no point
to this entire exercise if republicans do not win the White House in
November. And, here is one point I would make, too. If Donald Trump is to
win the state of Indiana like he believes he will, he actually should be
thanking the Indiana Republican Party.

Because according to their rules, the rules they submitted to the RNC, the
at large delegates are bound on the first ballot, but that is contrary to
state law. The state law of Indiana does not bound at large delegates at
all on any ballot. So, if he wants to complain and whine and moan about a
rigged process, he actually should be thanking the Indiana GOP if he ends
up winning the state.

O`DONNELL: All right, we are going to have to leave it there for tonight.
Pete Seat and Bill Springer, thank you both very much for joining us. I
really appreciate it.

SEAT: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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