'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders

A transcript for "This Week" on April 10, 2016.

ByABC News
April 10, 2016, 9:48 AM

— -- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON April 10, 2016 and it will be updated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now on THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, New York state of mind -- after both frontrunners lose big in Wisconsin...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the raucous race for the White House hits the Empire State.

For the Dems, it's a fight over who's qualified...


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I've been called a lot of things over the years, but unqualified has not been one of them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who's winning?

With Bernie picking up states, Hillary picking up delegates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton's top strategists both here live.

Plus, for the GOP, Trump feeling the heat -- out-organized by Ted Cruz, Trump shakes up his campaign.

But is it too little too late?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- The Boss's boycott -- why the rock legend is fighting that controversial new law in North Carolina.

From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.

Here now, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.


As we come on the air this week, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz both on a roll. Sanders taking the Wyoming caucus, his eighth win in nine contests. Cruz sweeping all the delegates in Colorado yesterday, after that big win over Donald Trump in Wisconsin.

The chances of a contested convention in Cleveland now higher than ever. We're going to have more on that ahead, but we begin with the Democrats.

Senator Sanders is here live in studio.

New York ground zero now.

And ABC's Cecilia Vega starts us off on Broadway -- good morning, Cecilia.


Good morning to you.

This battle right now is all about New York. It is an Empire State showdown and the fight happening on these streets right now is more heated than ever.




VEGA (voice-over): With his latest win, Bernie Sanders is on a roll, coming out on top in seven of the last eight states. But despite his 12-point Wyoming victory, the Vermont senator walked away with the same number of pledged delegates as Hillary Clinton. And that shows the uphill battle ahead. With the super delegates factored in, those delegates free to support any candidate at the convention, Sanders trails by nearly 700. His campaign is now, instead, focused on the much closer contest for pledged delegates, those delegates won and lost in state primaries. Clinton's lead there much smaller, 250.

Sanders says the contest is far from over.

SANDERS: We are on the way to pulling off the biggest political upset in the modern history of America.


VEGA: And his team is threatening a convention fight if Clinton doesn't clinch the magic number of pledged delegates before the summer showdown.

The most delegates up for grabs so far, 247, in New York, the next state up. The fight here nastier than ever -- a war of words over who's qualified to be president.

(on camera): You said, quote, unquote, "She is unqualified," and this morning, you said she's qualified. So which is it?

SANDERS: Well, in a sense, it's both. If you vote...

VEGA: It can't be both, can it?

SANDERS: Yes, it can, in this sense.

VEGA (voice-over): Bill Clinton pulled into the fight, too, defending his wife's use of the term super predator in the '90s, when confronted this week by Black Lives Matter protesters.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn't. She didn't.

VEGA: Overnight at The Apollo Theater, Sanders called for him to apologize.

SANDERS: The president owes the American people an apology for trying to defend what is indefensible.

VEGA: But as the Democratic rivals compete to show who is more of a New Yorker, a lighter moment overnight, Clinton laughing off her struggle to enter a Bronx subway station.

CLINTON: Will you just fix these MetroCard slots in the subways?




If it took me like five swipes, I mean, you've got to fix that.


VEGA: And overnight, Hillary Clinton says she needs to win big here in New York in order to secure the nomination, unify the party and move on to focusing on Republicans.

But Bernie Sanders says he is in this race to win it -- George, neither side is backing down on this one.


Senator Sanders joins us right now here in the studio.

And welcome, Senator Sanders.

It's good to see you in person.

SANDERS: Great to be with you, George.


So Wyoming last night, another win for you.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You've got a little bit of a streak going here.

But as Cecilia pointed out, you actually tied Secretary Clinton in delegates, so you're no closer to getting the nomination.

SANDERS: From Wyoming. But here's the point, George. In the last three and a half weeks, we have reduced her margin by a third. I think the proper number is about 220 delegates or so that we are now behind. We're moving to New York State. We're moving to Pennsylvania. We're heading out west to California, Oregon, a lot of big states out there.

We believe that we have the momentum. Well -- we believe that the polling is showing that we're closing the gap. Actually, as you may have noticed, of the last three national polls out there, we have defeated Secretary Clinton in two of them.

So there's no question I think the momentum is with us. We have come a really, really long way and I think we can win this (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, the -- the number you're talking about pledged delegates...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- you say 220. The AP says 250 her lead.

Is your position now and the position of your campaign that unless Secretary Clinton has enough pledged delegates to guarantee the nomination, just pledged delegates, then you're going to take a floor fight at the convention?

SANDERS: Well, here's what I think. I think at the end of the day, what Democrats all over this country want to make sure is that somebody like a Donald Trump or a Ted Cruz does not end up in the White House. And I think what more and more Democrats are seeing is that Bernie Sanders is the stronger candidate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: She's getting more votes.

SANDERS: Well, she's getting more votes. A lot of that came from the South. But if you look at the polling out there, we do a lot better against Trump and the other Republicans in almost every instance -- not every one -- than she does. And the reason is that we both get a lot of Democrats, but I get a lot more Independents than she does.

So I think you're going to see a lot of Democrats saying, look, what's most important is making sure that we defeat Trump or Cruz or whoever. Bernie Sanders is the strongest, uh, candidate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We saw that exchange you had with Cecilia Vegas over whether or not Secretary Clinton is qualified. You said this week once that she was unqualified.

Did your emotions get the best of you there?

SANDERS: We'll look, you know what I think, it's very clear and I'm sure you got the press releases and the memos from the Clinton people. After we won Wyoming, there was a change in tone on the part of the Clinton people. And essentially, they said we're not going to be very nice to Bernie Sanders anymore. We're getting beaten every week, uh, we're going to start beating him up when we go to New York City.

And that's what they have done. Their tone has changed. They used the word or their surrogates have used the word about whether or not I am...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- part of the headline. She didn't say you were unqualified.

SANDERS: Well, she didn't quite say that. But her surrogates implied that. And all that I meant by that is that if you vote for the war in Iraq, which turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of America, if you take, through your super PAC, tens and tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street and other special interests, if you support almost every disastrous trade agreement in this last 30 years...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, President Obama supported that.

Is he not qualified?

SANDERS: No, he is very qualified. But my point is, it is a question of judgment. It is a question of judgment. You know, fracking, um, Secretary Clinton supports a $12 minimum wage when the world is clear now we want a $15 minimum wage.

So I think the issue more is judgment.

Does she have the experience?

Is she extremely intelligent?

We all know that she is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's go on to some of the other issues that came up this week.

We just saw you saying President Clinton should apologize for that statement he made to the black lives protester.

The underlying issue there is the 1994 crime bill...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- which you supported.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So do you have any second thoughts about that bill?

SANDERS: Well, that bill was one of these bills that had good things in it and it had bad things in it. If I had voted against that bill, you would be asking me, Bernie, why did you vote against the ban on assault weapons, right?

That was in that bill.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right, that was in the Senate bill, the final passage, not in the original.

SANDERS: Well, it was in a bill that I have to vote for.

The Violence Against Women's Act, right, you would say, Bernie don't you -- aren't you concerned about domestic violence. But if you check the record, I was on the floor talking about many of the negative aspects of that, including the death penalty, which I strongly oppose.

Bottom line now, George, is that we need major criminal justice reform in a very broken system. As Americans, we should not accept the fact that we have more people in jail. We need reforms of local police departments all over this country. And I intend, if elected president, to work very aggressively about that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what exactly do you think President Clinton should apologize for?

SANDERS: Look, I think we all knew back then what that language meant. That was referring to young blacks. And I don't think in this country, elected officials or leaders should be using that type of terminology.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Also, on the issue -- the families of the victims of gun violence are calling on you to apologize on a press conference here in New York on Friday. And Erica Smegielski, whose mother was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting had this to say.


ERICA SMEGIELSKI, MOTHER KILLED IN SANDY HOOK SHOOTING: It's completely phony that Sanders didn't have the decency to respond to us when asked for an apology. Instead, he used us as political tools in order to attack Hillary Clinton.

I urge Senator Sanders to respond to the families of gun violence about his record of support for gun makers and to make an apology.


SANDERS: Well, you let me deal with that.

I get a little bit upset when one of the great and horrific tragedies -- not in American history, unspeakable, becomes a political issue. So, let me just simply say this: Bernie Sanders comes from a state that has virtually no gun control. I have a D-minus, D-minus voting record from the NRA.

Terms of assault weapons back in 1988, when I ran for congress, I was -- had to take on all of the gun people who disagreed with me strongly when I said we should ban assault weapons in this country. I strongly support President Obama's effort to improve the instant background checks that we make sure that people who should not have guns don't get guns. I strongly support doing away with this gun show loophole that allows people to circumvent the law, and this straw man provision, which allows people to buy guns legally and then sell it to criminals.

So, I will do everything that I can -- and by the way, coming from a state, a rural state, that has no gun control, I think I am in a position to create the kind of...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you know, they're talking about the issue your vote to shield gun makers from liability. They want you to apologize for that.

SANDERS: No, I'm not. In this sense, look -- and the American people disagree on this. All right, you're a gun shop owner in northern Vermont, you sell somebody a gun legally, a guy comes in, goes through the instant background check, sell him a gun.

This guy goes out and shoots somebody, should you be sued for legally selling him the gun?

You're a gun manufacturer, you do the same.

On the other hand, somebody walks in and says, like give me 10,000 rounds of ammunition and 14 assault weapons, should you know there's something going on? You should. And you should be sued for not responding, or calling up the police to do that.

So, that is my -- that is my view and I understand that not everybody agrees with me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about some economic issues. You called out Secretary Clinton yesterday for failing to endorse clearly increasing Social Security benefits and the tax increase to pay for it.

Now, you know, most people have to supplement Social Security, even with the increases you are talking about. So, what do you say to people who say -- you said the Wall Street who need to save -- you say Wall Street is based on a fraud, business model of fraud, is it too broken for people to invest in the stock market?

SANDERS: You're asking me two questions.

Let me go back to Social Security. There are millions of disabled veterans and seniors who are trying to make it on 11,000 or 12,000 a year Social Security and they can't. The Republicans in many instances want to cut Social Security, what I want to do is expand it. And what I said yesterday is we have legislation and it has good support that says you lift the cap on taxable income.

Right now, somebody makes millions, somebody makes $118,000, they pay the same amount into it. If you lift the cap starting at $250,000 and above -- $250,000 and above -- we can improve benefits for seniors earning $16,000 a year or less by $1,300 a year. Not insignificant. And extend the life of social security for 58 years. That is my view.

Now, that is a very similar view to what Obama said in 2008 when he ran against Clinton. She disagreed with him then. I am asking her now, do you believe that we should extend the life of Social Security and expand benefits? She has not responded to that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, and then on secondly, though, how about the broader issue of investing in the stock market? Is the entire model so broke that people should stay away?

SANDERS: Well, I don't think people call me up as a financial advisor as to what they should do with their money.

This is what I believe, we bailed out Wall Street, against my vote by the way, because as you recall they were quote, unquote, too big to fail.

Today, three out of the four largest banks in this country are bigger than they were when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail. The largest six banks have assets equivalent to 58 percent of the GDP of America. Yes, you're quite right. I believe that the business model of Wall Street is in fact fraud. As you know, a couple of months ago Goldman Sachs reached a $5 billion settlement with the United States government, because in fact they were selling worthless packages of sub-prime mortgages.

People do do what they want with their money, but I believe we will have a better and stronger financial system if we break up the major banks on Wall Street.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, tax filing deadline is this week. And the issue of tax returns has come up in this campaign. Donald Trump says he's not going to release his.

Secretary Clinton has released eight years of tax returns. You've released one years summary. Are you going to release more...

SANDERS: Sure, we are. Absolutely. You know, it's -- I know, the Clinton people are raising -- it will be fairly boring. I mean, the truth is it will be if my wife actually our taxes. She's been very busy doing a great job on the campaign. Yes, we will get them out. There will be nothing there that will shock you.

Sorry to have to tell you, it will not be a front, big story.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not like Donald Trump's returns?

SANDERS: I don't know what's in Trump's returns, but mine are pretty boring.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, New York must win?

SANDERS: George, I have been asked that question from Iowa, New Hampshire, every state in this country. Every state is a must win, in a sense. Clearly, New York has a lot of delegates. We are working really hard here. We want to win. We think we've got a shot to win. And if we win here, it will be a major boost in Pennsylvania, to other states and out west.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders, thanks for coming in this morning.

Move on now to the Clinton campaign. Cecilia Vega showed Hillary making fun of herself for that subway snafu this week. Saturday Night Live jumped on it, too.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The New York City subway is the best way to get around.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been awhile. Is this a working metro card? Is this -- I'll just go in the old fashioned way.

I'll take a cab. A cab is the best way to get around.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're joined now by the chair of the Clinton campaign, John Podesta. He joins us here in the studio.

So, let me start out with the question I just asked Senator Sanders, New York even more must win for Hillary Clinton?

JOHN PODESTA, CHAIR, CLINTON CAMPAIGN: We're going to win in New York, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...question?

PODESTA: Well, look, he's competing vigorously here; so are we. But people in New York remember what a great job she did for them as United States senator, that she got the job done here, whether that was reconstructing Lower Manhattan after 9/11 or investing in Upstate New York or getting the health care that the National Guard people in New York needed.

They know that she's someone who doesn’t make promises she can't keep and she delivers. So I think we're going to win New York.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what's behind this current slump, then, in contests out of the last nine?

PODESTA: Well, look, I mean he had the -- this is the best territory for him on the calendar. Most of those were Western caucuses. But when you look at what happened overall in this election, she's gotten 2.4 million votes than Bernie Sanders, a million more than Donald Trump, by the way.

We have 220 pledged delegate lead. We came out of February with a delegate lead, will be added to that in March. And I believe we will add to that again in April.

So we've got six contests coming up on the East Coast. They're more diverse. They're primaries, not caucuses. So has he done well in these Western caucuses, yes. But we think that when you get to bigger states, diverse states, primary states, we're going to do very well and I think we'll end up April in a better position than we ended up --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Could there be something deeper, though, going on here?

Senator Sanders talks about these issues: trade deals, Wall Street influence, the vote on Iraq.

Is Secretary Clinton out of step with the broader Democratic electorate on those issues?

PODESTA: No, I think that what, you know, he cherry-picks but he came and campaigned against her on the trade issues in Michigan. We lost that narrowly. She came back and said I want to build a future that's going to create good jobs. I will have your back. I will reject bad trade deals. I will invest in manufacturing. I want to see wages growing by having equal pay and she's put forward a plan that caused her to win those five states, primary states, including Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, North Carolina and Florida, and that's where we built up that very large pledge delegates.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw Senator Sanders not backing down on that call for President Clinton to apologize for that engagement with the protester --

PODESTA: Yes, I think --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- Philadelphia.

PODESTA: -- I think the president got a little hot. But I think that the charge is misled, because I think what the president has done has said that there were unintended consequences of the crime bill, that he regrets that, that we need to move on. We need criminal justice reform. That was the first speech Hillary gave.

And you ask him again, do you regret that -- he voted for this bill. He doesn’t regret it. He, in 2006, he campaigned for the Senate, saying I’m tough on crime.

What was his evidence?

I voted for the '94 crime bill.

So I think he's airbrushing history. He won't do what the president done, what Hillary has reiterated, which is to say that this thing has had -- made the problems worse in some ways; we need to fix it. And that's why she's put on a comprehensive reform to end the era of mass incarceration and to really get the job done when it comes to dealing with the problem of over-incarceration, what's that done to communities all across America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about this issue of Social Security benefits?

That does seem to be a clear difference now between Secretary Clinton and --


PODESTA: Well, I'll tell you where the difference is. You know, Hillary said we need to strengthen and expand Social Security benefits. And she said there's different ways to fund that --


STEPHANOPOULOS: But hasn’t come forward with --

PODESTA: -- one is -- one is to raise the cap on earned -- on wage income. The other is to go after taxing investment income.

Either way, the wealthy are going to pay to expand Social Security. Those are two different ways. She said, you know, she's open to either one of them.

But there is a difference on -- when it comes to Social Security. What she said is that she wants to concentrate the work to get rid of the gender discrimination in Social Security. Social Security program was created in the 1930s, when women weren't in the workforce in -- and they're discriminated against when their spouse dies. They're discriminated against because when they're taking time to be caregivers, they're not credited with any benefit.

And that's, I think, one of the things that she's really pointed to; he hasn’t said a word about that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There are polls this week showing that the number of Democrats is still in question, whether Secretary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, is high as it's ever been. And Secretary Clinton said this week she's still trying to figure that out.

Isn't it getting late in the game to try to figure that out?

PODESTA: Well, look, I think that what -- again, we're sitting here in New York; people have questions about her when she ran in New York. But they have no questions about her once she got into office.

As she has said, maybe she's better at doing the job than at campaigning for the job. But I think that what she can do, what she needs to do is go out, answer people's questions, be out and campaign. That's what she's doing here. She really enjoys campaigning in New York. She's been all over the city and all over upstate and she'll continue to do that until April 19th, when the primary comes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Probably need to clear away the questions about the e-mail server as well.

Have you made any arrangements for the interviews with the FBI?

And as a practical political matter, don't you have to get this wrapped up by the convention?

PODESTA: She's -- look, that's up to the -- Mr. Culmey (ph), which it's not in our control. She offered last summer to be interviewed, if that's what they like, if that's what they wanted. I think as has come out now, other -- Secretary Powell, top aides, Secretary Rice did the same thing. If they want to talk to her, they can talk to her. But they haven't asked for that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: John Podesta, thanks very much for joining us --

PODESTA: Thanks, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, we go inside the fact for delegates on the ground in Colorado and the battle inside the Trump campaign. Then our powerhouse roundtable weighs in on what it all means for the convention in Cleveland.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And be right back with the GOP delegate battle. Our correspondent on the scene for Ted Cruz's big win in Colorado, and we go inside the Trump campaign shakeup. That's next.



CRUZ: If we go into a contested convention, we're going to have a ton delegates, Donald is going to have a ton of delegates, and it's going to be a battle in Cleveland to see who can earn a majority of the delegates that were elected by the people. And let me tell you, in that scenario, I think we will go in with an overwhelming advantage.

In the last three weeks, we have beaten Donald Trump in 10 consecutive elections in four separate states.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Ted Cruz in Las Vegas last night after a big week, stopping Trump in Wisconsin, sweeping all the delegates in Colorado. It is now hand to hand combat for every single delegate, and ABC's David Wright is in Colorado Springs for an up close look at that unusual battle.


DAVID WRIGHT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A contested convention is now almost a certainty.

CRUZ: God bless the great state of Colorado.

WRIGHT: Senator Ted Cruz is banking on it. Quietly, in regional caucuses and state party conventions like this one in Colorado, elections that only party activists attend, he's on a roll.

CRUZ: If we continue to stand united, we are going to win this Republican nomination.

WRIGHT: It's a strategy that puts a premium on organization and ideology -- searching out the true believers and making sure they find their way to Cleveland. Case in point -- Colorado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- chair (ph) 292 for Cruz.

WRIGHT: Here in Colorado, there's no Republican primary. The delegate selection process here is more of a cattle call (ph).

(voice-over): On Saturday, 600 wannabe delegates had 10 seconds each to make their case. We gave a couple of them a practice run.

(on camera): Set, go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the political system, the game of chess needs to be played by a player, which is Donald Trump. The rest of, um, the rest of it...

WRIGHT: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Jimmy Sangenberg (ph).

I'm running for national delegate supporting Ted Cruz because we need a reliable, principled conservative in the White House.

WRIGHT: Seven seconds -- the Cruz people seem to have this stuff down. The Trump campaign not so much.

So this is Donald Trump's cheat sheet for the Colorado state convention -- his list of names of people he'd like to send to Cleveland.

And ABC's Ryan Struyk and Katherine Faulder (INAUDIBLE) reporters have been digging into it and you found some problems.

RYAN STRUYK, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the problem, David, is that five of the names on this list are incorrectly matched with numbers from the official state party list. So if the Trump supporters vote the Trump slate, they're going to be voting for some Cruz people.

KATHERINE FAULDER, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Ted Cruz's way and John Kasich's slate, there were no errors on theirs.

WRIGHT (voice-over): At a contested convention, some pledged delegates are eventually released to vote for other candidates. That's why former New Hampshire Senator John Sununu is here stumping for Kasich, even though 0 of the 37 Colorado delegates are pledged to him.

(on camera): Are you making promises?

Are you making...

JOHN SUNUNU: No. No, absolutely not.

WRIGHT: -- friends?

SUNUNU: No, no. This is about making friends, building relationships.

WRIGHT (voice-over): Those friendships could pay off if the convention goes to a second or a third round of balloting.

(on camera): It seems like Cruz is outmaneuvering Trump here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would really say it's the GOP outmaneuvering Trump.

WRIGHT: The fix is in in Colorado?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fix is in in Colorado.

WRIGHT (voice-over): But at a contested convention, it's a jump ball. The Republican nominee could well end up being none of the above.

For THIS WEEK, David Wright, ABC News, Colorado Springs.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And let's get more on this now from ABC's Tom Llamas, who covers the Trump campaign.

So is the Trump campaign getting outmaneuvered on the ground in a lot of states...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- not just Colorado. And that's why there was a big shakeup inside the campaign this week, Mr. Trump bringing in an old Republican hand, they say to take charge of the delegates, but it's bigger than that.

LLAMAS: That's right. The way it was described to me is that the campaign outgrew the leadership team. You know, it was no secret that Trump was operating and winning, we should say, with a very thin staff.

But right when the idea of a contested convention came up and that was going to become a reality, Trump realized he needed bring in a hired gun.

But the nail on the coffin was the loss in Wisconsin. A source inside the campaign tells me Trump needed to lose Wisconsin to win the nomination. And by that, they meant that he had to bring in some professionals, some experts who knew how to deal with a contested convention, but also the strategy going forward.

Now, Manafort has said he answers to the boss. That's a clear shot at Corey Lewandowski, who's the campaign manager, who does not nearly have the same power or influence he had when this campaign had started.

Now, Manafort has been described to me as Winston Wolfe from "Pulp Fiction." That was Harvey Keitel's character, who shows up in a tuxedo and says that famous line, I solve paw -- problems. He's going to solve problems for the Trump campaign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So Paul Man -- Manafort has worked on Republican campaigns going back to 1976, Gerald Ford.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The last contested convention.

Meantime, we saw this unusual front page in "The Boston Globe," uh, this morning, basically mocking out what they say the first day of a Trump presidency would look like. Deportations would begin. Markets sink. Talking about a new libel law targeting the press.

Any reaction yet from the Trump camp?

LLAMAS: Not yet. You know, Donald Trump, I can say, does not like to be mocked. He likes to be taken very seriously, so I'm sure he's not happy with that, uh, front page cover.

It is a fascinating front page cover. "The Boston Globe" had a lot of fun with that. It takes place a year from today, if Trump were to be president. Every article on that front page is a shot at Trump, he clearly would not be happy with that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, we've been seeing, actually, a lot less of Trump. Fewer Tweets going out overnight, fewer press conferences, canceled his weekend in California.

Is this a sign of things to come or just a break?

LLAMAS: Well, people who are working with the New York strategy tell me that he is going to be out on the campaign a lot this week. He is going to have a lot of events. They're expecting huge rallies, especially one a week from today.

That being said, maybe possibly with Manafort coming in and all those meetings that have taken place, he hasn't had enough time to have those press conferences and do as many interviews as he has wanted to.

But, George, as you know, everything in the campaign should be done with some type of strategy. I think we're going to see going forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Tom Llamas, thanks very much.

Up next, the roundtable weighs in on the Trump shakeup and what to expect in Cleveland.

And later, that new law in North Carolina that has big business and Bruce Springsteen joining forces.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Right back with our powerhouse roundtable and a brand new poll --- brand new polls showing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both way ahead in New York.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republican voters are setting records with voter turnout.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Participation was up more than 57 percent.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: Well, now the time has come for our generation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am asking you to believe.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: So that we can create greater opportunity for every American tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's why working together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can change this nation.

TRUMP: And we will make America great again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These candidates are going to come together and unify in Cleveland and get behind that nominee.

TRUMP: Join us.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what's the bet it's going to turn out like that? That's the RNC video for Cleveland. I'm going to talk about it now on our roundtable. Joined by Jon Karl, ABC's Jon Karl; Republican Strategist Kristen Soltis-Anderson, now an ABC News contributor; Errol Louis of New York 1, New York 1 political anchor; Alex Castellanos from -- the chair of Purple Strategies, let me get that out, also GOP strategist; and our own Cokie Roberts.

And Jon, let me begin with you and this whole idea of a contested convention. Clearly, the odds of that went up this week. But we have these new polls coming out just this morning from Fox News. Donald Trump with more than a 30 point here in New York, more than 20 point lead in Pennsylvania, both over John Kasich by the way, not Ted Cruz. And the Trump campaign, this new Trump campaign, says they can still wrap it up before Cleveland.

JON KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Trump is about to go on a role, not just those states, you also have coming up Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, all places that are likely going to be strong Trump, weak Ted Cruz.

But, look, he's got a problem overall outside of this region. He's been at 35 percent of the vote almost from the beginning. He won the New Hampshire primary with 35 percent of the vote. He lost the Wisconsin primary with 35 percent of the vote. So, Trump to close the deal needs to do better than he has been doing.

He's going to clean house in New York, we know that. He's going to clean house in Pennsylvania, we know that. But he's going to need to go out there and win much bigger than he has in places like Indiana and California.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS: And he's also going to have to not make a lot of mistakes, and that has been his problem up to now. It's not just the states ahead, it's what he says.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The mistakes he's been making, but also, Kristen Soltis-Anderson, the Cruz campaign is winning this below the radar fight for every single delegate, even as Trump complains about it, taking delegates who were supposed to be loyal to Trump.

KRISTEN SOLTIS-ANDERSON, CONSERVATIVE STRATEGIST: Trump is trying to make this case that the rules are not correct and that this is going to hurt him. But what Cruz is doing so well is Cruz understands the rules. Cruz has hired a team that gets how the system works.

And so they're able to kind of play Moneyball with this delegate situation. They can look at a state like New York, or a state like California, where huge sums of delegates are going to go to individuals congressional districts where there aren't very many Republicans. And they can figure out how to piece together delegates in places where, say, Trump is up by a lot here in New York, maybe Ted Cruz can pick off a congressional district here and there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, and Errol Louis, I want to talk to you about that. I was with Ted Cruz up in the Bronx this week. Got heckled, by the way, by a couple of people. But he is hoping not to win the state overall, and we just saw he was in third place, but to try and go into a few congressional districts and steal just a couple of delegates.


And that's where the analytics really come in handy. In some of those districts, maybe the one that you were visiting, there's something like 13,000 Republicans. And now that has the same three delegates as the district that has half a million, or a quarter of a million Republicans.

So, the Cruz folks have really tried to sort of figure out what's the best use of their time. And so when you see him going into some of these orthodox religious communities and some of these other districts where there's just a handful of Republicans, that you can literally almost call all of them up and just ask them to come out for you, it's just a good use of his time.

And is he going to win New York? I don't know if even his people would even say that. But could he pick up some delegates? That's what this is all about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Alex Castellanos, assuming, then, Donald Trump does not get to 1,237, Ted Cruz is clearly in second. Play out what it will look like in Cleveland those first couple of hours.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You have to, I think, respect the will of the voters, right. We've had 39 primaries and caucuses, a year of campaigning. Millions of votes. And in their wisdom, Republican voters have decided not to give any of these yo-yos 1,237 votes.

We're going to go in. Trump is going to be short.

He's going to recede, probably, on the second ballot. But (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, the Cruz campaign says the first ballot is the best ballot for Trump.

CASTELLANOS: For Trump. But guess what, the only value Ted Cruz right now -- he's the guy Republicans didn't want when this whole thing started, right. And these are party regulars. They don't want Ted Cruz. Guess what happens, Cruz's value evaporates when Trump is no longer a threat.

So, there's a very good chance this convention does not turn to Ted Cruz.

And then we get into a devolutionary process. Trump folks say I don't want a Cruz guy. Cruz guys say I don't want a Trump guy. And you begin to look for who is the least threatening candidate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that actually has brought Ted Cruz and Donald Trump together. T he one thing they agree on is that the ultimate nominee should be one of the candidates in the race right now.

CASTELLANOS: But you can't start there.

ROBERTS: And, you know, look at 1968 Democratic convention, you know, we had riots. And what happened going into that convention is Gene McCarthy had the most votes going into that convention. And a coalition of McCarthy and McGovern were really had the clearly the will of the people for the Democratic Party. Hubert Humphrey gets the nomination. And there were riots in the streets. And I think that you, you know --


ROBERTS: -- very similar --


CASTELLANOS: -- riot, though, is Republicans giving up their country club memberships -- we don't -- you don’t work that way.

KARL: -- already has nearly 2 million more votes than Ted Cruz. That number's almost certainly going to be -- even bigger. He'll have more delegates. He's getting out-hustled on the selection of those delegates. And I think that what certainly Trump didn't realize and what a lot of Republican voters don't realize is the votes that they cast in those primaries and caucuses in most cases had nothing to do with actually selecting the people that are going to be in the Florida --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- too late for --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it too late for Trump to catch up in this delegate fight, even though he's now brought in Paul Manafort?

ANDERSON: This sort of thing requires a ton of effort, a ton of work, a ton of meeting individual people and making sure that they are on your team. I'll disagree with Alex a little in that I don't think that a lot of these folks that are on the floor are your country club style Republicans. Look at the folks from your -- the clip earlier in Colorado. Those folks that were pledged to Cruz, they're going to be with Cruz no matter how many rounds of balloting goes on. This is really going to be fascinating. And it's going to come down to personal relationships.

CASTELLANOS: It doesn’t start with what people want to be in, which is whoever got the most votes; well, maybe they should get the nomination. It starts with what's next and that that is Trump may fall short. Cruz is going to go in with about 700 votes. That's a 500 votes away from 1,237.

That's a long way. That's a land war like World War I in the trenches. It may not be either of those guys.

ROBERTS: People really don’t understand that these are party decisions. And that's the thing that people --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- haven't been in more than 70 years.

ROBERTS: -- I keep getting asked, what does the Constitution say about this? Not saying no is not in the Constitution.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about the Democrats right now. We just heard John Podesta say Hillary Clinton's going to win here in New York. The new FOX News poll shows her up by 16 points over Bernie Sanders, 53-37, also up by 11 points in Pennsylvania.

Errol Louis, you know New York better than anybody.

Is it Clinton country?

LOUIS: It is Clinton country to a certain extent. We've got about a dozen congressional districts here inside New York City, with all or part of New York City and the same thing sort of applies.

We've got this proportional delegate system; Bernie Sanders' people have been going out, making inroads in one district after another. You flip it upstate, you've got a part of the upstate rural, allegedly more conservative district. But some of those districts border Vermont. And they actually sort of know and like Bernie Sanders.

We've got parts outside of the city that include places like Woodstock, you know, where there's kind of a counter culture that really becomes part of the equation here as well.

So she's going to have to fight for every single vote. She's got a lot of work that is being put in, you know, in advance of this debate that's coming up on Thursday, going to be in New York City. But it's really intended to sort of reach everybody in the state.

And the Clinton team, I think you've seen some of the frustration and some of the energy that they've put into this because although they think they have a durable delegate lead, the bragging rights that Bernie Sanders would have, as he told you just a few moments ago, would be enormous --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- want to bring to Cokie Roberts, I mean it's still -- you look at the math, even after New York lost for Hillary Clinton, she still has it all but wrapped up, just looking at the math.

But, boy, what a change --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- in the narrative.

ROBERTS: -- it's a huge change. And really difficult one for her because though he does have the momentum, he's right about that, even though it is little bitty caucuses in Western states and I think that that's been hard for her to handle.

And I don’t think -- I think the campaign has had one problem after another and President Clinton's outburst didn't help certainly. But it is true that she knows New York cold. I mean when I -- I covered her briefly --

CASTELLANOS: -- subway system --


ROBERTS: -- when she was running, though, the first time -- and she knew every pothole in the state. And she'd go and blow people away with the amount of information that she --

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the math end for Bernie Sanders if he loses New York.

KARL: Yes. It is a must-win for Bernie Sanders. No doubt. And even if he wins, the delegate math is incredibly difficult -- well, if he wins Wyoming and he comes out with --


KARL: -- delegates, doesn’t really help him. But what a story for Bernie Sanders to be where he is. I mean I just talked to one of his top (INAUDIBLE) in the beginning, I thought maybe we could win New Hampshire. And look what he's done. He's won, what, 16-17 states. He may end up winning more states than she --

ROBERTS: Alex says he wants to drink what he's drinking because the --

CASTELLANOS: Red Bull, it must be; at his age, doing what he's doing, but you know, is this going to be a shotgun wedding for Hillary Clinton?

Are they -- the Democratic Party's going to marry her because it has to?

But her heart belongs to someone else. And that is the general election. It has been true a lot. But in a general election, that matters. That's turnout.

ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) I think is that Sanders continues to build steam. But it's not as though he got through Iowa and New Hampshire and then faded after he did poorly in South Carolina in the South. He's out-raised Hillary Clinton by a factor of, I think -- he's raised like 50 percent more than she has, over $40 million in the last two states -- or last two months --


ANDERSON: -- remarkable.

LOUIS: We spend so much time talking about the transformations and the conflict within the Republican Party, there's something similar -- it's a little bit less rowdy on the Democratic side --


STEPHANOPOULOS: The one big difference, though, is that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are looked on favorably by an overwhelming majority of Democrats. You can't say the same if you look at Wisconsin exit polls of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

It's all we have time for today. Thank you all very much.

Up next, Bruce Springsteen boycotts North Carolina after that state passes a new law pitting religion liberty against discrimination. That debate is next.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And there you see protesters (INAUDIBLE) Mississippi governor this week, taking on a new state law, allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians on religious grounds.

Mississippi, the latest state to enact this kind of law on the heels of a similar effort in North Carolina, which also requires transgender individuals to use public bathrooms according to the biological gender on their birth certificates.

Supporters say these laws are preserving religious liberty and decency. Opponents insist they promote discrimination. We're going to take on that debate after this report from Ron Claiborne.


RON CLAIBORNE, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Boss often belts out that he was "Born to Run," this week North Carolina is the place he's running from. Bruce Springsteen canceling a concert there, protesting that the state's new law specifying that sex on a birth certificate determines which bathroom facilities can be used discriminates against transgender people.

Saying in a statement, "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry is one of them."

For band guitarist Stevie Van Zandt, the boycott wasn't a hard decision.

STEVIE VAN ZANDT, MUSICIAN AND ACTOR: Yes, you got to hurt people economically to have them do the right thing morally.

CLAIBORNE (voice-over): North Carolina is just one state that has enacted so-called "religious freedom" laws, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision forbidding gay marriage in 2015. Mississippi is the most recent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honest people who have a legitimate objection to what's going on, a religion objection, have a course of action now.

CLAIBORNE (voice-over): Many of the laws allow businesses to refuse service on religious grounds to gay or transgender people, restrict local communities from passing anti-discrimination laws and specify who can use which bathroom facilities.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, nearly 200 variations of these bills in 34 states have been introduced since last summer.

In response, big business has reacted decisively. More than 120 businesses, including Intel, Uber and YouTube calling on North Carolina to repeal its new law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Georgia is a welcoming state.

CLAIBORNE: In neighboring Georgia, the governor vetoed similar legislation there after boycotts were threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia.

CLAIBORNE: But with new laws being enacted, this latest battle in the culture wars is now headed back to the courts.

For THIS WEEK, Ron Claiborne, ABC News, New York.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're joined now by a supporter of these laws, Kristen Waggoner, the senior counsel of The Alliance Defending Freedom and opponent John Corvino, chair of the philosophy department at Wayne State University, also, author of the upcoming book, "Debating Religious Liberty, Tolerance and Bigotry."

And miss. Waggoner, let me begin with you.

Respond to these boycotts from Bruce Springsteen, from the big businesses, who say this kind of legislation is just a license to discriminate.

KRISTEN WAGGONER, SENIOR COUNSEL, THE ALLIANCE FOR DEFENDING FREEDOM: Well, that's absolutely not true. And we should dispel the notion of service right now.

There is no evidence that those who identify as gay or lesbian have been denied service.

But what there is evidence of is how these laws are being used against real people, creative professionals who simply want to live peacefully and consistently and create custom work that is consistent with their religious beliefs.

All Americans should have the right to live consistently with their religious beliefs. This is not about any type of denial of service, but simply the ability to engage in the creative profession consistent with one's convictions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Uh, you use that phrase, creative profession.

John Corvino, take that on right there.

Why should a -- a baker or a photographer be forced to work at a wedding they don't want to work at?

JOHN CORVINO, CHAIR, PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, one of the things that's important to recognize is these laws aren't just about the creative professions. The law in Mississippi is so broad, that it covers discrimination in housing, in employment. It covers discrimination on the basis of, um -- any time a person offers a religious objection.

And when you think about it, people have religious objections not just to same-sex marriage, but some people have ruling objections to inter-faith marriage, some people have religious objections to remarriage after divorce.

Um, people should, of course, have the right to, um, believe what they want to believe and to practice their religious beliefs, but when they enter the public arena, when they are opening a business that's supposedly open to the public, it's not right for them to discriminate in services and goods.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Kristen, I saw you shaking your head.

I want to give you a chance to respond.

But there's also a revision in the North Carolina bill that strips the ability of people to sue under the state discrimination law. And opponents of the law have said if you're fired because of your race or gender or religion, you no longer have a basic remedy.

WAGGONER: Well, that's absolutely not true. That's not the case.

And first of all, if we want to talk about, um, what these laws actually do, North Carolina specifically, there are two components of the North Carolina law.

The first is a commonsense provision that would restrict men from accessing girls' locker rooms. It's for the safety and security, for privacy of not only our women and children, but our men. We don't want to have to undress in front of someone who is of the opposite biological sex.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you be...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- you both had a -- how is that going to be enforced?

Do you have to go back to the you can only use a restroom that is the restroom of -- that's on your birth certificate, how are -- how is the state going to enforce that?

WAGGONER: The same way that they're enforcing it and have enforced it the last 200 years. You simply respond to complaints that are received.

But what we have seen, when these types of laws have been passed in other states, that allow men to access the women's restroom, those laws are misused and they violate the safety and security of people.

We should have a reasonable expectation of privacy to go into a locker room and not have to undress in front of someone of the opposite biological sex. It's commonsense.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the answer to that, John?

CORVINO: The idea that this is all about safety and security is kind of like when somebody says that they ate all the ice cream in order to make room in the freezer. I mean it's just obvious that that's not the real reason.

This is about discrimination, particularly against transgender people. And one of the reasons that's really sad is that our nation's history of protecting religious liberty has traditionally been about protecting minorial -- marginalized groups, protecting people of minority faiths against the majority, who try to marginalize them.

Instead, we have a perversion of the notion of religious liberty to further marginalize people who are already vulnerable.

There are absolutely no cases of transgendered people trying to use these laws in order to commit assault or to threaten people's safety in bathrooms, whereas there are many cases of transgendered people suffering, uh, bullying and assault and violence, uh, because they can't have a safe and comfortable bathroom to use.


WAGGONER: That is absolutely not true. There are multiple cases of those who -- who may not be transgendered, but those men who are using these laws to gain access to women and children in restrooms. These...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are they using these laws?

WAGGONER: -- these cases are documented.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- how are these -- if a man goes into a restroom to assault somebody, that's against the law. That has nothing to do with prohibiting transgendered people, who just want a safe and comfortable place to use the bathroom, from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

WAGGONER: Then they can use the bathroom in a private facility, just as everyone can. These laws are -- are gender-neutral in terms of -- they're not -- they're not discriminating on the basis of how one identifies. They're simply saying that you go to a restroom or a private facility and you have a reasonable expectation of privacy there.


WAGGONER: But I want to get to the real (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I wish we could, but I'm afraid we are out of time.

We are -- we're going to have to come back to this issue.

Thank you both very much for your time this morning.

And we'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.


And I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."

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