'This Week' Transcript: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Paul Manafort, and Ken Cuccinelli

This is a rush transcript for "This Week" on April 17, 2016

ByABC News
April 17, 2016, 9:17 AM

— -- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON April 17, 2016 and it will be updated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stephanopoulos, war or words.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the convention fight looming, Donald Trump picking on his own party like never before.

TRUMP: The system is a bad, bad system and they've got to do something about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted Cruz punching back.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We shouldn't be intimidating delegates. And this shouldn't be controversial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're asking Team Trump how far they'd go to change the system and Team Cruz about those charges. They're perfecting the art of the steal.

Plus, Empire State showdown -- days before the New York primary, can Clinton shake off Sanders and clear the path to the nomination?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We don't need another diagnosis of the problem, we need solutions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or will Bernie score his biggest upset ever?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton is here exclusively.

And Bernie Sanders live.

From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.

Here now, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: Just two days before the big vote here in New York, Hillary Clinton hoping to stop the Sanders' winning streak in her home state. For Sanders, the delegate math makes Tuesday do-or-die and those high stakes made that last debate a shouting match.


SANDERS: I am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.

CLINTON: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute.

SANDERS: That told us (INAUDIBLE)...

CLINTON: Wait, wait.

SANDERS: That was not accurate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right after the debate, both candidates actually left the Empire State, Sanders for the Vatican and a brief greeting from the pope.

SANDERS: He is a beautiful man and there's a radiance that comes from him. It was a very -- a very wonderful moment to meet with him.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary to California for two days and two fundraisers hosted by George and Amal Clooney.

While back here in New York, Bill Clinton filled in...


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She was your senator, came here 47 times and did all those things I said. Think what she could do if she were president of the United States.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Sanders returned the heat with his toughest ad yet.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While Washington politicians are paid over $200,000 an hour for speeches, they oppose raising the living wage to $15 an hour. Two hundred thousand dollars an hour for them, but not even 15 bucks an hour for all Americans. Enough is enough.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Hillary Clinton joins us now from Los Angeles.

Madam Secretary, thank you for joining us this morning.

So, you know, we just showed that ad from Senator Sanders focusing on the speaking fees right there in New York on fundraisers in California.

Are you worried that those issues are giving him the ammunition he needs to take you on and to take you down?

CLINTON: No, I'm not, George. Um, you know, he knows very well that I have been supporting the fight for 15, that the whole movement behind fight for 15 that is really fueled by unions and activists, have actually endorsed me.

So, look, let's look at what's really at stake here. Uh, we're having a vigorous back and forth about raising the minimum wage, which we both support.

And the Republicans don't want to do that at all. In fact, Donald Trump has said that American workers are paid too much.

So I think at the end of a campaign that is certainly, um, hard fought, there are going to be a lot of charges and all kinds of misrepresentations.

But I don't think voters are confused by that. They know that I stood with Governor Cuomo when he increased the minimum wage in New York. They know that I've been supporting minimum wage increases and that I want to get from where we are, $7.25 an hour, uh, to the highest minimum wage we ever had nationally and keep urging states and cities to go even further.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But part of the confusion is that Thursday night, for the first time, you did say that you would sign a $15 federal minimum wage into law and in the first debates, you actually cited concerns about a $15 minute -- federal minimum wage.

I want to show a debate in November.


CLINTON: The overall message is that it doesn't result in job loss, however, what Alan Krueger said in the piece you're referring to, is that if we went to $15, there are no international comparisons. That is why I support a $12 national, federal minimum wage.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You cited that concern of Alan Krueger. The other concern he had is that in low wage areas, the increase to $15 would actually cost jobs.

So is -- is your opposition now to the $15 minimum wage, does it still stand on substantive grounds, or are you for it?

CLINTON: You know, George, I know everybody wants to make this some kind of big contrast. Well, it isn't. You know, Bernie Sanders came out and said the legislation passed in New York was a model for the nation.

And you know what model is?

That model is a phased in minimum wage increase to get to $15 in the city and surrounding areas, to get to $12, $12.50 upstate, but to be constantly evaluating the economic conditions so that there is no unintended consequence of lost jobs.

That has been my position. And that is exactly what New York just voted for. And for federal legislation, if it has the same kind of understanding about how we have to phase this in, how we have to evaluate it as we go, if the Congress passes that, of course I would sign it.

But again, I just have to underscore, I think their campaign is trying to make something where there is nothing. The people who are behind the fight for 15 support me, not him. The people who I have worked with to try to raise the visibility about this important issue stand with me.

And I want to do what has not been accomplished, and that is to overcome Republican opposition, including by the Republican candidates for president, to finally give hard-working people, the majority of whom are women, the kind of raise they deserve.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That also -- that ad also does hit, though, those speaking fees that you've had to deal with so many times and the question of whether or not you're going to release the transcripts.

Even your strong supporter, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand here in New York, says you should release those transcripts. You said you did it when everybody else does.

But what is the concern, that releasing those speeches would show you praising Wall Street?

CLINTON: No, I don't have any concerns like that. I'm just concerned about a constantly changing set of standards for everybody else but me.

You know, we have certain expectations when you run for president, one of which is rules all of your tax returns, ever since you've been in public life. That's what I've done and 33 years of them are in the public domain, eight years are on my Web site.

Now, all of a sudden, there is a new standard. And I've said when it applies to everybody, you bet. I will meet that standard, as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But not until then, even though Senator Gillibrand said you will release them?

CLINTON: Well, in accordance with the standard that I've set, I absolutely will do. I will do that. I've said that repeatedly.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The idea in that ad has actually been picked up by Donald Trump. He has a new nickname for you.



TRUMP: When I (INAUDIBLE), right?




TRUMP: And what does that mean?

That means I'm not controlled by the special interests, by the lobbyists. And they can control...


TRUMP: -- they control Crooked Hillary.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That's the new nickname, Crooked Hillary.

Your response?

CLINTON: I don't respond to Donald Trump and his string of insults, uh, about me. I can take care of myself. I look forward to running against him if he turns out to be the Republican nominee if I am the Democratic nominee.

What I'm concerned about is how he goes after everybody else. He goes after women. He goes after Muslims. He goes after immigrants. He goes after people with disabilities. He is hurting our unity at home. Uh, he is undermining the values that we stand for in New York and across America. And he's hurting us around the world.

He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I really could care less.

I'm going to stay focused on the issues, because there are stark differences between where I think our country needs to be headed and where he would turn us back and undermine the progress that we've been making.

So, when I talk about jobs, when I talk about climate change, when I talk about equal pay, when I talk about a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions and so much else, I know that he doesn't believe any of that and that in this campaign he wants to set Americans against each other and I'm not going to stand for it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One more issue that came up in the debate Thursday night, Bernie Sanders predicted he would actually win the nomination, then went on to say this.


SANDERS: Secretary Clinton cleaned our clock in the deep south. No question about it. We got murdered there. That is the most conservative part of this great country, that's the fact. But you know what, we're out of the deep south now.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, President Clinton called that a smearing reference to your wins in the south. And your supporter, Congressman Gregory Meeks, said it was demeaning to black voters. Is that how you took it?

CLINTON: I don't know what he was talking about, because last time I looked at a map of the United States, the south was a part of our country, like every other region. And I'm thrilled to have support -- you know, when you win Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, those are all states that we can put into play in the general election.

When you win Massachusetts and Ohio and Illinois and Missouri and Texas and Arizona and Nevada and a lot of other places from the north to the south from the east to the west, that illustrates how far ahead of him and why, because I value every voter. I'm not writing any individual, and I'm certainly not writing off any state or region of our country. That's why I have two to 3.4 million votes more than he does; and, by the way, 1.4 million more than Donald Trump, because I want to be the president for all of America.

And I particularly want to support Democrats in states that have been voting against Democratic candidates for awhile now to rebuild the Democratic Party. We're going to try to make Georgia competitive, and we're going to fight hard in North Carolina and Virginia and Florida.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, this race is getting increasingly nasty every week that goes by. Is it getting harder to heal the party?

CLINTON: No, I don't think so. You know, you remember I went all the way until June in 2008. And I had a lot of supporters who were incredibly disappointed when I dropped out. But I immediately endorsed then Senator Obama. I worked hard to convince my supporters to support him as well. I nominated him at the convention. And I moved for his nomination by acclimation in order to have a unified Democratic Party.

Let's keep in mind what's most important here, that is defeating whoever the Republicans put up.

I think the Republicans are going to play all kinds of games. They're going to try to sew discord among Democrats between our campaigns. I, for one, am not going to be fooled by that. I'm going to keep working hard in my campaign. And I'm going to hope to secure the nomination and then to work to win the support of the voters who supported Senator Sanders.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your senior senator here in New York, Chuck Schumer, sponsored a bill back by the 9/11 families that would give them the right to sue state sponsors of terror in federal court. Now it's opposed by the Obama administration. They say it's going to expose the U.S. and its officials to retaliation. So, who is right here, Senator Schumer or President Obama?

CLINTON: I don't really know about that, George, I'd have to look into it. Obviously, we've got to make anyone who participates in or supports terrorism pay a price, and we also have to be aware of any consequences that might affect Americans, either military or civilian or our nation. So I'm not...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't know about this issue? It's been around for several years.

CLINTON: Well, I know there's been an issue about it for quite some time, I don't know about the specific legislation that you're referring to. But obviously, I'll look into it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. So -- but you're not prepared to say now whether you support it or oppose it?

CLINTON: I can't, I haven't studied it. Unlike some people -- I do try to learn what's at the core of any question before I offer an opinion, because you know it's not enough to say what's wrong, I think you've got a responsibility to say how you're going to fix it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, on Fox News Sunday last week, President Obama defended you on the email issue saying he's confident you didn't jeopardize national security, even though you said there was carelessness in managing your emails.

Have you ever spoke to President Obama about this? And do you agree with his conclusion that you were careless?

CLINTON: I have not spoken to him. I appreciate what he said, because of course I never endangered national security, that's absolutely false. And I've said it was a mistake. It wasn't the best choice. And, you know, now we know Colin Powell had a private email account, aides to Condi Rice. So, I think that what's going on will be resolved, and obviously all of us will go forward knowing what we now know, and you know, making sure that no one can raise any questions in the future.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Confident of victory Tuesday?

CLINTON: I'm very hopeful. I love being in New York. I love campaigning in New York, downs state, upstate, everywhere in the state. We're going to work as hard as we can. Because I also elect Democrats. I am raising money to elect other Democrats. I'm a Democrat, and I want to see us take back the Senate. I want to see us have a very strong showing in the House. I want take back governorships and state legislatures all up and down the ticket.

So, I want to win in New York, of course. And I want to secure the nomination, but not just for me, I want to bring along a lot of Democrats because I want to protect and further the progressive agenda that President Obama has worked for and that I believe in.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Clinton, thanks for joining us.

CLINTON: Good to talk to you. Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get a response now from Senator Bernie Sanders. He's here live in the studio this morning. Senator Sanders, welcome back.

You just heard Secretary Clinton right there. Implicit defense of her fundraisers in California last night saying she's raising money for Democrats. By contrast, her campaign has said that's something you haven't done.

SANDERS: That's not accurate, George. We have over the years sent out a lot of letters for Democratic candidates.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not in this campaign.

SANDERS: No, not in this campaign. But in the past, we have, and raised millions of dollars for Democratic candidates.

But I think the issue is what is the future of the Democratic Party and how does raising money and the way you raise money reflect that future.

I believe that we've got to break away from super PACs. Secretary Clinton has several of them. She has received many millions of dollars -- as you know $15 million in her last reporting period from Wall Street alone, let alone other special interests.

We have done it very differently. We have received $7 million individual campaign contributions averaging $27 a piece, unprecedented in American history.

But the bottom line here is how do you revitalize American democracy. I don't think you do that by raising money from the top 1 percent and then say to working class people, or the middle class I'm here to represent you. That kind of doesn't past the laugh test. People see that. And that's why so many people don't vote, why they understand that congress ends up working for the people on top rather than their interests.

So, I think we need a revolution in this country, certainly in campaign finance, that means overturning Citizens United. For the Democratic Party that means an emphasis on getting more working people, young people, in the political process, dependents on small campaign contributions, not big money the way Secretary Clinton is raising it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard her answer there to your latest ad here in New York saying your campaign is trying to make something where there is nothing on the minimum wage.

SANDERS: Oh, no. She was -- she's just not being accurate on that. And I think, you know, one of the previous clips you showed indicated that. She has, at the beginning of this campaign, said we need a $12 minimum wage. I have said at the very beginning of this, my campaign, we need to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.

And that is kind of the difference between the way we do politics. I'm trying to set a high bar. I'm trying to be a leader, which is, let's go, America. Let's move in the direction we have to go, which she has --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- such a big difference, why does she have the support of the Fight for 15 movement?

SANDERS: Well, she doesn’t have the support for the Fight for 15 movement. We have the support of millions of working people. I have been on picket lines in Washington, D.C., out in the street, out in the rain with those people who are fight for $15 an hour and the right to organize.

But here's the point, George. The point is this, one thing that she just said, if a state passes 15, I'll be there. That's good. On the other -- the other direction is to say I'm going to help lead that effort. And that is a metaphor for what this campaign is about.

I am trying to be a leader, which says we have got to take on big money interests in this country. We have to have joined the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people through a Medicare for all single-payer program. We've got to have legislation in which makes the United States not the only country doesn’t guarantee paid family and medical leave. Got to make public colleges and universities tuition-free.

We can do that. We're the wealthiest country in the history of the world if we have the courage to take on the big money interests. And you can't do that when you're dependent upon them for your fundraising.

So I think the difference in the minimum wage discussion you're seeing goes beyond that. I am trying to lead this country in a different direction. What Secretary Clinton just told you is, well, yes, if the state does it, I'll sign the bill.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Or if Congress passes it, she said as well.

SANDERS: But I want to lead that effort, not just follow.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring up another issue that came up at the debate on Thursday night, the relationship between the United States and Israel. Here's what you said the relationship should be like going forward.


SANDERS: Of course Israel has a right to defend itself. But long-term, there will never be peace in that region unless the United States play a role, an evenhanded role.


STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE) that kind of evenhanded approach under President Obama?

SANDERS: I think he's done much better than his predecessors. But I think we still have a way to go. And I was not criticize President Obama; I was criticizing Secretary Clinton. She gave a speech to APEC. It's a long speech. It was one sentence, I believe, that even mentioned the Palestinians.

The point is that it goes, as I've just said, (INAUDIBLE), it goes without saying, Israel, we have to protect 100 percent Israel's right to exist, its right to live in peace, its right to live in security.

But you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people. And long-term, the only way we bring peace into that region --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- Secretary Clinton has ignored the suffering of the Palestinian people?

SANDERS: Well, I think if you listen to her speech, that was the major speech. She had one line on the Palestinian people. I said -- and let me repeat it again -- is that I think that Israel has every right in the world to respond to terrorism. But I think in the Gaza, it was a disproportionate response. You had some 1,500 civilians killed. I think you had 10,000 or so wounded.

That was a disproportionate response. And you can't just always nod your head to Netanyahu. He is long on occasion --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, the head of the ADL said that that comment, it plays into the hands of the image of the Israel's the main problem in this conflict.

SANDERS: Well, they can say what they want. I didn't say Israel's the main problem. All I am saying is you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people. And right now, as you know, in Gaza, there is mass destruction that has not been addressed right now. Poverty rate is off the charts; 40 percent people are unemployed.

We are United States of America. If we want to bring people together, we have got to address those issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me also ask you about the issue I asked Secretary Clinton about. She says she's not prepared to take a position on that legislation from Senator Schumer backed by the 9/11 families, which would give him the right to sue Saudi Arabia or other states who are held responsible for state-sponsored terror.

And their outrage is -- when I covered the "Daily News," New York "Daily News" this morning, the families responding to that threat from Saudi Arabia, that they would pull out $715 billion in assets from the United States if legislation like that passed, what's your position on that legislation?

SANDERS: Well, we can't be blackmailed. But, again, I have to tell you I am not -- I agree with the secretary on this one. But my nuance is different though.

I have said throughout this campaign we are not taking a hard enough look at Saudi Arabia and it's not only the people who came from Saudi Arabia and participated in 9/11. The evidence is pretty clear. Saudi Arabia is one of the most powerful and wealthiest families of the world.

That's why they can threaten to withdraw hundreds of billions of dollars from our economy. The evidence is quite clear that sections of that very large royal family have funded a Wahhabism; this extremely right-wing fundamentalist ideology, which is what ISIS is about, which is what Al Qaeda's about.

There are schools all over this world that are -- where children are being educated in this anti- -- this horrific fundamentalist ideology. That comes from --

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't support the legislation?

SANDERS: Well, let me look at it. Let me look at it. I mean, I am not all that familiar with it as well. But I do believe Saudi Arabia is playing a very dangerous role in fomenting fundamentalism all over the world.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, I know you hope to win here in New York. Polls show you behind right now.

The question I has this, is do you really have a viable path forward going if you do not win here in New York?

You'd have to win all the remaining states by huge, huge --


SANDERS: But this is -- this is -- the answer's we do have a viable role. And, no, that's not quite our -- we have to win by huge -- you know, the California, which is a very large state and we could pick up a lot of delegates there. And I hope, by the way, we're going to do better than the polls indicate here.

I think a lot of the delegates, both pledge delegates and super delegates, are looking at one very important fact: turns out that Hillary Clinton is not all that strong a candidate running against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich. In poll after poll, nationally and in statewide polls, we do a lot better than Clinton does against Trump, against Kasich and against Cruz.

I think a lot of people are saying, well, I may not like Bernie as much as I like Hillary. But at the end of the day, we must defeat Trump. We must not allow a Republican to get into the White House. Some of those people who will come over to us as the stronger candidate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders, thanks for joining us this morning.

SANDERS: My pleasure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Republicans up next, Trump poised for a big win here in New York. But Cruz picking up delegates in Wyoming, West Virginia, Georgia.

Can either side clinch before the convention in Cleveland?

We're going to dig into that delegate battle with both campaigns and our powerhouse roundtable.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The GOP delegates (INAUDIBLE). Trump says the system is rigged; Cruz says he's whining. All set (INAUDIBLE) explosive floor flight in Cleveland? The convention manager for both campaigns up next.



CRUZ: So we're in all likelihood going to have a battle in Cleveland to determine who the nominee is. If you don't want to hand the general election to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this plane.

TRUMP: The system is a bad, bad system and they got to do something about it. The Republican National Committee, they better get going. Because I'll tell you what, you're going to have a rough July at that convention.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both looking ahead to what could be a historic and raucous convention in Cleveland. Let's dig in about that now with Jon Karl. And Jon, we just saw Cruz pick up more delegates in Wyoming and some other small states yesterday, but Trump has a pretty healthy lead, poised for a big win here in New York.

The first question, can he actually get to 1,237 delegates he needs before the convention?

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: George, Trump can clinch this nomination before the convention, but he needs to go on a roll. He needs 481 more delegates. That's about 63 percent of those remaining.

Here's how he can get there.

First of all, you mentioned New York. Really, over the next nine days, all these contests in the Northeast, this Trump's backyard. He's expected to win. He's going to need to win big in all of those states, because then the month of May, the contest moves out West, the Pacific Northwest, Nebraska, not area that is not necessarily Trump's strength.

The most important state in May is the month of Indiana. He's going to need to do better than expected in May, because no matter what, we are headed to the last day of voting, June 7th. Several states, including, most importantly, the state of California, 172 delegates. If Trump is going to win this, even if he's going on a roll between now and then, he's going to need a big win in California.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But even if he doesn't get to 1,237, there are a lot of unbound delegates out there that he could negotiate with before the convention.

So how close is close enough?

KARL: Well, there are about 136 that will go into the convention completely unbound. These are free agent delegates. So if Trump is within 100 or so, these 136 free agent delegates become the most powerful people in the political universe. Trump is already working on identifying them and starting to reach out to them.

You can expect that they will be wooed in person by Donald Trump and, of course, by Ted Cruz, as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if no one has the 1,237 by July, all bets off?

KARL: That's right, because you have -- by the second ballot, 1,600 delegates who can vote for whoever they want regardless of how their states voted. And when you got to the third ballot, almost all of the delegates are entirely free agents, which is why you now see Cruz working so hard to get the actual people that will attend the convention, even if they're in states where they'll be bound to Trump, that they will vote for Cruz on the second and third ballot.


Thanks very much.

Let's talk about it then now with the convention managers, starting with Paul Manafort for Mr. Trump.

Thank you for joining us this morning.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So you just heard, uh, what Jon Karl went through right there. And you're coming off a -- another tough weekend, uh, swept in Wyoming by Ted Cruz. He also seemed to pick up some delegates in West Virginia, places like Georgia, as well.

Are you getting beat on the ground right now?

MANAFORT: Well, it's actually only picked up delegates yesterday in Wyoming and we didn't even play there, because it was a closed system and, uh, we didn't want to waste our money and deal with party bosses.

Um, actually, the dialogue and the narrative of this campaign isn't focusing on the real issues. The real issue is there's not going to be a second ballot. As your colleague just said, there is -- that -- many paths to 1,237 for, uh, Donald Trump be -- between now and the middle of June, not July.

And we are working all of those paths.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they have both included, as he pointed out, wins in Indiana, and, of course, a big win in California.

MANAFORT: Well, not necessarily Indiana. It does include California. But it also includes New Jersey, which is also on the 7th of June, and we're -- Trump is going to do very well.

The states that we've just finished, this is -- this was supposed to be the time when Cruz was ahead. We finished with the South. We finished with the rigged systems that were -- that have closed caucuses and don't have, uh, voters. I mean the profiles are now starting to show the appeal of the two candidates.

And if you just look at the states that Cruz won, the states that Trump won, what do you see?

With Cruz, he wins the reddest of red states, where you have voterless primaries, where -- where the -- the rules favor, you know, organization versus appeal to the voters.

Trump wins in states that we have to win to win the presidency. You have -- we have appealed to Independents and Republicans...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You and Mr. Trump keep talking about the rigged system. But -- but, you know, so far, Donald Trump has won about 37 percent of the vote and he's gotten 48 percent of the delegates.

You could argue that the system is rigged in his favor.

MANAFORT: No, no, no. When I say rigged system, I'm talking about closed system, a system that keeps the voters from participating, because, what this election has shown is that when voters participate, Donald Trump wins.

When the bosses participate, Donald Trump's interests are not there, because he's the outsider. He's the one making the case to change the banking system, change the economy, change the political system so that the people's interests start to get represented, not the establishment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've also said that the Cruz campaign is breaking the rules and said many times that they're -- they're doing that, that you're going to be filing protests.

What specific evidence do you have that they're breaking the rules and when will you be filing these protests?

MANAFORT: Well, we have to file protests within certain periods of time and the legal cases are being put together. I mean but that is the point. The Cruz campaign, even in the closed systems like Colorado, uh, like a -- like, uh, Missouri, they're not playing their own rules.

They're -- they're -- because they've had to muscle things.

And we'll -- we'll be filing protests. Missouri, we're going to be filing protests. Colorado, we're going to be filing protests.

And you saw in Colorado last week where the -- the voters were left out of the process, the -- a groundswell of support again the system.

But the point is not the rules of the national committee, the system that keeps the voters from participating in the political process.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But -- but you knew the rules going in.

MANAFORT: And we're playing by them. And we're winning. And that's the point. And there's only going to be one ballot.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the -- going forward, if you go to Cleveland, if you do not get the 1,237 before you get -- before the first ballot, I want to get a sense from you on what you think is fair game in trying to win over these delegates. There's actually a law on the books in Ohio, a bribery law, that says, "No person shall, before, during or after any primary, convention or election, give, lend, offer procure, or promise to give lend or offer any money, office, position, place, employment, influence or any other valuable consideration for a delegate elector or other person." in your view, what does that rule in and what does it rule out?

MANAFORT: Well, I'm not going to get into all the arcane nature of the -- of the -- the various laws. We have our lawyers. They've told us what we can do and what we can't do. We understand that. We're not violating any rules. We've played by the rules the whole time.

And, uh, and we'll have -- we -- we've got a delegate program. We understand how to do it. People are coming on board the Trump campaign now who have experience in the -- in this process. We're building our networks out.

And I want to point something out that you've stressed from the beginning of this -- this interview. You talked about Ted Cruz is winning delegates and you talked about a couple of places beyond where -- besides Wyoming.

Those are not votes he's winning. Those are bodies he's winning. And if there's a second ballot, yes, they may...

STEPHANOPOULOS: If those bodies vote for him on the second ballot, they're going to count.

MANAFORT: They maybe will. But if there's no second ballot, it's much ado about nothing. And the point is, as your colleague again said, there are many paths for Donald Trump to 1,237 before Cleveland.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if you're so confident about getting to 1,237 before Cleveland, why does Mr. Trump keep complaining about the rules?

MANAFORT: He's complaining about the system. That's the point that keeps getting lost here. He's saying we're playing by the -- we're playing to open up the process. We're trying to let voters decide, members of the Republican Party, Independents decide who the nominee should be, not the party bosses. That's the system of the 1920s, not the -- not 2016.

And -- and yes, there's history and conventions. But that history is ancient now. It's not a modern era presidency with the world opening up the way it has, with so -- the social media world opening up the way it has.

These rules have to change. And that's what he's saying. As president and as leader of the Republican Party, what he's saying is he's going to open up the system. He's going to end the nature that rigs it and keeps the people out. That's his point.

He's not blaming, you know, the chairman of the -- of the Republican Party or the RNC. He's blaming the process.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Paul Manafort, thanks very much for joining us this morning.

Now let's to talk to Ken Cuccinelli, the delegate operations director for Cruz for President. Mr. Cuccinelli, thank you for joining us this morning.

You just heard Paul Manafort right there; you may be doing well in Wyoming, you may be picking up bodies in other states, but they're going to get to 1,237 before July.

KEN CUCCINELLI, DELEGATE OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT: Well, you know, if they do, that's the threshold either side's got to get over. Then the race is over at that point. But we're aiming ourselves to get 1,237 by appealing to voters with Ted's vision for economic growth, more freedom, and getting government out of the way instead of getting more government going.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you know the math doesn't work for you.

CUCCINELLI: Common solution for Donald Trump.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know the math doesn't work for your campaign to get to 1,237 before July. The real question is can you block Mr. Trump from getting there?

And isn't that going to take wins for you in places like Indiana and holding very close, if not a win, in California?

CUCCINELLI: Well, look, you don't win the race without winning states. And we've been winning states. We've been winning delegate contests. We've been winning elections. And when we win, Trump whines. And that -- you heard more of it from Mr. Manafort there this morning.

And we just keep pressing ahead. We have a great grassroots network that's been inspired by Ted's vision and we're building on that. We're building on that in every state, no matter how competitive it is.

And that's why we're in this race. That's why we're going to win this race. And we're building on that foundation. And it's a foundation built on Ted's vision for America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you look at where this is going right now, it seems like even if Mr. Trump doesn’t get to 1,237, he's going to go into Cleveland with the most votes, having won the most states, having the most delegates and most Republicans think whoever meets those three criteria should be the nominee.

Why are they wrong?

CUCCINELLI: Well, first of all, you have to get a majority to be the nominee, period. That's a bottom-line rule; it's been the rule from the beginning. That's the measuring stick and Donald Trump hasn’t won a majority anywhere, not in a single state anywhere in the country.

Ted Cruz has. But Donald Trump has not.

So when we get to Cleveland, if no one has the 1,237, which appears most likely at this point, then you still have to get to 1,237. That’s the benchmark.

You know, football teams don’t get to get in the red zone and then demand a touchdown and then cry about it when you don't give them one. But that's what we're dealing with the Trump campaign. Lots of football teams get in the red zone and lose.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You also just heard --

CUCCINELLI: And we're aiming to win this by building -- by building up the number of folks who support Ted. And he's growing the coalition he needs to win.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You just heard Mr. Manafort say you're doing -- you guys are doing with the help of breaking the rules.

CUCCINELLI: Right. And you asked the key follow-up question: tell me one example. And he couldn't give you a single example.

I mean, they keep using this hyperbolic rhetoric that they can't back up and you said, well, you know, the lawsuits are coming.

He can't answer the question because we're playing within the -- within the rules established a long time ago and motivating voters based on Ted's vision. That's why we're winning now. That's why we're rolling through so many of these states.

That's why he didn't even bother to compete. Trump didn't just lose in Wyoming; he got stomped. And the same was true in Colorado: 65,000 people participated in Colorado. And Ted Cruz swept those -- that election. And he did it with his vision for economic growth, to make this country secure finally and also to expand freedom.


CUCCINELLI: And Donald Trump can't speak to any of those --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- you've used a similar kind of rhetoric. You've actually accused the Trump campaign of Gestapo tactics.

Name one.

CUCCINELLI: Yes, absolutely. How about calling for riots in the street?

How about threats: we're going to go to the hotel rooms of delegates; death threats to the Colorado Republican chairman?

I can give you answers to those questions, George, but they can't. And they keep using the rhetoric. This is a banana republic approach from the Trump team because they're getting beat on the ground. They have a media campaign that is -- you know, is -- gets a lot of media attention.

But Ted Cruz has built a grassroots campaign on people and people's vision across America and they're carrying this forward. You know, we're winning because thousands of Americans have risen up to Ted's message, to get behind that and to win in these conventions and in these caucuses and in these primaries and we're doing it.

And we're going to keep doing it through June 7th and then on to Cleveland.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Ken Cuccinelli, thanks very much for your time this morning.

CUCCINELLI: Good to be with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We have heard from the candidates and their campaigns. The roundtable is next with their take on what to look for in New York and how the GOP battle's going to play out on the road to Cleveland.


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Donald Trump toned it down on Twitter this week.

Was that Melania's doing?


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Do you ever want to say to him, "Put the mobile device down?"


MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD'S WIFE: If he would only listen. I did many times.


TRUMP: And I had to say, OK, do whatever you want.

He's an adult. He knows the consequences.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable weighs in next.



REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: So, let me be clear, I do not want nor will I accept the nomination for our party. Count me out. I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our party, to be the president, you should actually run for it. I chose not to do this. Therefore, I should not be considered. Period. End of story.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker Paul Ryan looking ahead to Cleveland saying he's not going to be a candidate. Shermanesque statement there from him. Let's talk about that. All the week's politics on our roundtable joined by our Matthew Dowd; Roland Martin, the anchor of News One Now on TV One; Democrat Robert Reich from the UC Berkeley, former Clinton labor secretary now supporting Bernie Sanders; and Republican strategist Mary Matalin, the co-host of Both Sides Now.

And Matt, let's begin with the Republicans. Everybody is looking ahead to Cleveland, that's why you heard Donald Trump this week talk so much about the rigged process. You just heard his convention manager there say the whole system is rigged, not the rules that they're playing under. What's your take.

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: They're right. The system is rigged. I mean it was designed to be rigged. It's been designed to be rigged, and it's rigged on both sides of the aisle in the course of this. How the system is set up, it's not set up that is transparent, open and to get all the voters involved in the course of this. So they're right about that.

The RNC is also right, and when they say the rules are there. They should have been known. You can plan around them. Both are right in that. But it is a rigged system.

I was looking last night at the data, that the voters -- the people that voted in the Republican primary in D.C., every delegate -- one delegate was chosen for every 100 people. The voters that voted in Michigan, one delegate was chosen for every 20,000 people. And when you cancel primaries in Colorado and say we're not going to do a primary now, we're going to do an entirely different system, they're right, the system is broken, the political system on both sides in broken. And it is a rigged system that it only benefits certain people.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, does that mean, Mary Matalin, if Donald Trump does not get to 1,237 and then is denied the nomination in Cleveland, you're going to have the party blow up?

MARY MATALIN, CO-HOST, BOTH SIDES NOW: The party is going to blow up anyway. It's been blowing up for a long time, because it's not representing -- has not been representing conservatives. So, all the conservatives are angry -- not all the angry people are conservatives.

But the way Donald is saying rigged is in this nefarious way. It is not rigged, it's based on -- as our electoral -- general election principles, are based on antiquity, Athenian antiquity -- the virtuous citizen, the one, the few, the many, so it's set in state (inaudible). That's why the states get to decide what is their best say to way to participate.

I also don't like the nefarious suggestion about these delegates, because they work hard. There's nothing in it for them. They are delegates because they are representative of the Republic and they represent and study issues in politics and policy.

ROLAND MARTIN, TV ONE: George, forgive me if I don't have any sympathy for a real estate developer from New York complaining about a process. This is somebody who talks about always, I know how to get things done. OK. The test to see you can get something done as a president is can you navigate a primary process, running for president. Guess what, if you become president you're going to be dealing with the same thing in other countries. You're going to be dealing with the same thing when it comes to business.

So, if you can't handle this process, you're unfit for being president. So shut up, stop complaining, have an organization. Because they're not going to hand it to you, you have to earn it.

ROBERT REICH, FRM. LABOR SECRETARY: I think the biggest issue underlying the Republican and Democratic elections this year is the upsurge in anti-establishment feeling. And so that what would ordinarily be in an other election year just an, oh yeah, they're insiders, there are rules, there are -- it's not rigged.

Now, it comes this year a major political issue, even in the Democratic Party, the super delegate issue, how people are talking about, they're angry about if they are certainly supporting Bernie Sanders, it is not something that's going to go away.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's definitely not going to go away. The question is, as Paul Manafort was talking about, can Donald Trump get there before the convention. Do you believe he can?

DOWD: I think he can get there before the convention. I think the question becomes is what number of delegates does he finish with on June 7 after California is done? I don't think he can get there by June 7, I don't think he can get to 1,237, the math if very hard. But if he's north of 1,100 delegates -- keep in mind that Donald Trump's lead over Ted Cruz is almost as big as Hillary Clinton's lead over Bernie Sanders both in popular vote and in delegates.

And I think Donald Trump understands -- and Paul Manafort understands -- that they have a timeframe between June 8 and the convention to get whatever the number of delegates they need at that point, 80 or 90 delegates at that point. I think they know that their best vote is on the first ballot. They don't get -- if they don't his 1,237 they don't get it.

I also think Ted Cruz's people are starting to understand their best vote is the third ballot. And I think that if they don't start significantly pick up in the aftermath, they're in trouble.

MATALIN: I'll tell you something, from the beginning of time Cruz has had two pitch -- I've heard all the pitches from all the primary candidates -- full spectrum conservative, consistent conservative, constitutional conservative. He's never gotten off that. And ground game, delegate game. It's not like Trump will be operating in a vacuum after June 7, Cruz will be doing all of the same activities. And his people are more entrenched into the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But after that Paul Ryan statement this week, isn't it almost certain that the nominee is either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

MARTIN: No. This is the same guy who said I don't want the speaker. Don't even come near me. I'm satisfied.

REICH: It wasn't until I heard Paul Ryan say I don't want it that I remembered what he had said about speaker of the House. I thought, well maybe...

MATALIN: May I interrupt your two liberals to tell you how this works. If there's a...

MARTIN: Oh, I'm sorry, there's no L on my shoulder.

REICH: But go right ahead...

MATALIN: I -- if they parachute in a white knight candidate, if it's not Trump or Cruz with the party that's already falling apart will spontaneously combust in Cleveland.

REICH: It may already combust...

MARTIN: But George, something happened this week that is critical: his meeting with Megyn Kelly. Donald Trump has a...

DOWD: That was critical

MARTIN: Here's why. Here's why. Donald Trump has a Margaret, Becky, Courtney, Ashley problem, conservative, suburban white women, which, in 1998, Republicans lost several seats, booted Newt out when they -- because they didn't like conservatives -- conservative white women don't like attacks on minorities or sort of the rancor (ph).

Bush comes in with compassionate conservatism. That's a problem for Trump when 47 percent of Republican women saying I don’t want this guy. He has to deal with that. And so if you're a Republican, you're going to the convention, you're still thinking about November. You want to win.

DOWD: To me, there's a problem on both sides and is regards that problem that they have, which is right now the leading Republican is despised by most independents, which is the largest group of voters in this country that are ultimately going to decide -- he's despised and distrusted -- the leading Democratic nominee is despised and distrusted by vast majority of the independents in this country.

So both parties are fixing to nominate the weakest candidates in this race. Bernie Sanders is a stronger general election candidate. I believe that. Donald Trump is a very weak general election candidate. And so they're both going to -- to me, all of this accelerates this process toward a complete disruption in the aftermath --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they've got women though.



REICH(?): -- John Kasich is so interesting because Kasich is not just a potential establishment candidate. He's also very popular. He's also reasonable. He's not crazy. And there may be a possibility, if you have a brokered convention for Kasich to actually --


MARTIN: -- I'm voting for Kasich in the Texas primary. So that's go your -- that goes your ell (ph).


MATALIN: The reason that Kasich is current in Iowa, John, I know John. John's a friend of mine. He came in the class of '94. He does have some conservative bona fides, good governor.

The reason he's popular is because he has -- he doesn’t have a chance and so nobody's really attacking him.

These guys have -- (INAUDIBLE) --


MATALIN: It's easy to be popular and have a strategy until you get on the battlefield. He's not really on the battlefield. He's not winning. He won one state.

REICH: He's running -- he's running second in New York. And I think after the New York primary, I think John Kasich is actually going to get a lot of attention. Some of it negative; but he's one of the few Republican governors who actually expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.


MARTIN: -- 14 percent of black male votes because of his stance when it came to also mandatory minimums and when it comes to citizen reforms. So --

DOWD: -- this whole problem again with the system it is, which is that the two candidates that would be the strongest candidates for each major party that can appeal to a broad spectrum of voters --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn't that just on paper, though, Matthew?

I mean, the fact that --

DOWD: -- well, it's on paper, which is --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- the strongest candidate --

DOWD: -- well, just look at Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's numbers. They're historically bad numbers when you look at the numbers. It's just historically bad.

Anyone on their own would lose a general election. But the fact that Hillary Clinton is going to run against Donald Trump, she probably wins this election because he's worse like than she is in the course of this --


DOWD: -- I think that this just demonstrates a bad system. John Kasich is as conservative as Ronald Reagan. He's as conservative as Ronald Reagan. That this year conservatives want somebody more conservative than Ronald Reagan and that's where Ted Cruz is. And Ted Cruz is not -- there's not this great ground sports or for Ted Cruz's stand on issue.

The reason why Ted Cruz is winning now is because he's not Donald Trump.


MARTIN: -- say Kasich is more palatable -- and, again, whether you like it or not, two years ago I've seen it, John Kasich was a guy to look out for --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very hard to win --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- hold on a second. We only have about a minute left. I've got to ask a question --

REICH: Last November, Lindsey Graham saying you know that -- if I had to choose between Trump and Cruz, it's like choosing between being shot and drinking poison.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Will the Republican Party, if Donald Trump gets to 1,237, will they actually close ranks behind him?

MATALIN: They will have to and they'll have to make -- they'll have to circle the wagons around issues that are important, the -- starting with the Supreme Court, starting with dismantling, really dismantling ObamaCare and all the other conservative issues that Trump has not espoused. We don't know where he is on any of that.

And we also will have to rally around him, closing ranks with the down ballot tickets --


DOWD: -- the base of the Republican Party is working class voters. And they still are nominating candidates that are advocating policies that don't appeal to --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all very much. We'll be right back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This week, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ruled out a 2016 presidential run.

Who was the only House Speaker to later serve as president?


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out WORLD NEWS TONIGHT" and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."

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