‘This Week’ Transcript: Sen. Ted Cruz and Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates

This is a rush transcript for "This Week" on May 1, 2016

ByABC News
May 01, 2016, 9:09 AM

— -- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON May 1, 2016 and it will be updated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Starting right now on THIS WEEK with George Stephanopoulos. Trump unstoppable?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to win so strong.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfazed by dramatic new protests.


TRUMP: That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made. I felt like I was crossing the border, actually.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The billionaire frontrunner closes in on the GOP nomination.

So, will it be Trump versus Clinton?


TRUMP: The only thing she's got going is the woman's card.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did Donald just give Hillary a winning hand?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus, could a President Trump really negotiate a safer world?

Former Defense secretary, Robert Gates, weighs in.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama's last laugh -- we've got the star-studded moments from the president's final White House Correspondents Dinner.

From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.

Here now, co-anchor Martha Raddatz.


And now the stage is set -- President Obama bringing down the house one last time at that annual Washington ritual, the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Reflecting on his eight years, poking fun at the men and woman who want to take his place.


OBAMA: My eighth and final appearance at this unique event.


OBAMA: And I am excited. If this material works well, I'm going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year.


RADDATZ: This morning, it's all about who will succeed him.

Onto the future now and three big unresolved questions.

Will Tuesday's Indiana election breathe new life into Senator Ted Cruz's bid to take the race all the way to the Cleveland convention?

Or will it put a practical end to the 2016 primary season?

We'll talk to the senator in a moment.

The second question -- how rough will the next stage be?

We got a preview in the blistering back and forth over the so-called woman's card, the first salvo in a contest that's likely to get even nastier, even more personal.

And third, how wild that image of Donald Trump surrounded by a small army of Secret Service agents, clamoring over barriers to avoid angry protests -- a reminder of the passion behind the politics, that the anger that burned through the primaries could well intensify.

This week, a hard look at the campaign and the country and what's next.


OBAMA: You know I've got to talk about Trump,

RADDATZ: Last night's White House Correspondents Dinner and once again Donald Trump was the butt of the joke.

OBAMA: I heard that he's not here tonight.

What could he possibly be doing instead?

Is he at home eating a Trump steak, Tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel?

What's he doing?

RADDATZ: Rewind to five years ago, when Trump was in the audience. But he wasn't laughing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke.

OBAMA: In an episode of "Celebrity Apprentice," you didn't blame Little John or Meatloaf, you fired Gary Busich (ph).


OBAMA: And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night.


RADDATZ: Back then, he was just a reality TV star with a famous hairdo.

TRUMP: You're fired.

RADDATZ: But one year from now, Donald Trump could be delivering the punch line. He believes he's half way there.

TRUMP: I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely.

RADDATZ: And after sweeping five states in the Northeast this week, it's now clearer than ever that Trump will likely win the GOP race.

With just 10 states left to vote, Trump close to 1,000 delegates, closing in on that magic number of 1,237.

So hold off on that talk of a contested convention. If Trump can win Indiana on Tuesday, the math suggests he could win on the first ballot. And that's why more of the GOP establishment is inching toward him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). If Ted Cruz is our nominee, I will not vote for him.

RADDATZ: And even Indiana Governor Mark Pryor, who says he's backing Cruz in the Hoosier State, seemed to hedge his bets.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: I like and respect all three of the Republican candidates in the field. I particularly want to commend Donald Trump. I'm not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz.

RADDATZ: But Trump on Friday made this remarkable claim.

TRUMP: Ideally, we're going to be together. I think I will win even if we're not together. I mean there are some people I honestly don't want their endorsement. I -- I just don't want it.

RADDATZ: The Republican establishment that's rejected the upstart outsider since he got in the race now seems to need Trump more than Trump needs them.

TRUMP: Like with Ted Cruz, he's a wonderful guy. I don't want a -- I mean if he wants to endorse me, that's fine. But I don't care.

RADDATZ: On that, Trump need not worry. Team Cruz showing no signs of coalescing behind the frontrunner, Cruz instead making his last stand in Indiana.


RADDATZ: And we're joined now by Senator Ted Cruz.

Congratulations on your endorsement from Governor Pence.

You said on Friday that America is depending on the Hoosier State.

Can you win this thing if you don't win Indiana?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Indiana is certainly critical and I was honored to receive the support of Governor Pence. He is a trusted conservative. He's someone that Hoosiers respect. And he has a remarkable record here in Indiana of leading with common sense conservative values of cutting taxes, of lifting regulations and of seeing private security job growth as a result.

And -- and I think we need to bring that kind of Indiana common sense to the rest of the country.

RADDATZ: You say it's critical.

Is it a must-win?

CRUZ: It is an incredibly important state. Uh, we are competing hard. I hope we do well here. I can tell you, I'm barnstorming the state. We're in a bus with my family. We're doing everything we can to earn the votes of the men and women in this state.

We are going the distance. We are competing the -- the entire distance, and I'm encouraged -- you know, seeing Governor Pence come together, announcing this week Carly Fiorina as my vice presidential nominee, we're seeing the Republican Party unite...

RADDATZ: But -- but Senator Cruz, it's still mathematically impossible for you to clinch the nomination on the first ballot. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says if you take it to the second ballot, it could be perceived as a steal.

What do you say to Republicans who fear that?

CRUZ: Well, listen, Martha, nobody is going to -- going to clinch it on the first ballot. Nobody is getting to 1,237. I'm not but Donald Trump isn't either. It's way Donald Trump is so desperate to say the race is over now, to get his media acolytes to re--- to echo that.

We're going to go in -- into Cleveland. It is going to be a contested convention. And the reason Donald is so frenetic to say it needs to be over, it needs to be over is that I think Donald knows he can't earn the support of a majority.

And, you know, if you can't earn a majority, you can't unite the party. And that makes you a terribly weak general election candidate.


CRUZ: I believe at the convention...

RADDATZ: -- but speaking of uniting the party...

CRUZ: -- the highest total Trump gets -- it will be the first...


CRUZ: -- ballot and -- and that we are seeing the party unite behind our campaign.

RADDATZ: Speaking of that, there are GOP party leaders who are saying enough is enough and that the prolonged fight is helping Secretary Clinton.

In Colorado, a state where you got all the delegates, former state party chairman, Dick Wattums, told "The Washington Post," "People just want this thing to be over with and we need a nominee."

CRUZ: Martha, I recognize that that -- that will be echoed by the media. The media has given Donald Trump $2 billion of free air time.

What I can tell you is that people want a clear and meaningful choice. You know Hillary and Donald Trump, they are flip sides of the same coin. They agree on issue after issue after issue.

RADDATZ: So you believe a Trump presidency would be the same as the Clinton presidency?

CRUZ: I think a Trump presidency would be a disaster. It would continue us on the same roads.

Listen, Trump believes in government. Donald and Hillary are Washington insiders. Both of them have gotten rich using government power to further their personal interests. And if your fed up with the corruption in Washington, Donald and Hillary have been enmeshed in that.

RADDATZ: Senator Cruz, let's go back to that endorsement by Governor Pence. He says he likes and respects Donald Trump. Do you?

CRUZ: Uh huh.

RADDATZ: You respect him? So you would support his nomination?

CRUZ: I am glad Donald ran. I think he energized and excited a lot of people. But I think his views -- he is a big government liberal just like Barack Obama and just like Hillary Clinton.

Let's take, for example, foreign policy. Martha, you've got a lot of expertise in foreign policy. I'm sure you saw Donald's so-called foreign policy speech this week. Now, number one, by all appearances that speech was written by a bunch of Washington lobbyists. It says something that he outsources his major foreign policy address to Washington lobbyists who get rich representing tyrants in foreign countries.

But this speech was a speech that reflected a weak and naive view of foreign policy. In this speech, Donald Trump once again didn't stand with Israel. You know, that's what we've seen for seven years. If you like this administration not standing with Israel that's what Donald Trump has said he would do.

RADDATZ: That speech was praised by Senator Bob Corker, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, even ambassador John Bolton, who you've floated as a potential secretary of state, said it was right on target, very strong and impressive. Are they wrong?

CRUZ: What I can tell you is that speech -- on ISIS, Donald said he's got a plan but he's not going to tell anyone what the plan is. That's what Barack Obama says.

And listen, on Iran, Donald Trump said he would keep in place this disastrous Iranian nuclear deal. He agrees with Hillary Clinton on this. I am the only candidate running who will rip the Iranian deal to shreds on day one.

And let me mention, Martha.

RADDATZ: And then what would you do? If you rip it to shreds, then what do you do?

CRUZ: Then what you do is you make absolutely clear to the Ayatollah Khamenei he will not acquire nuclear weapons. We immediately reimpose sanctions. We use every tool we can to cut off their money.

They were hurting from the sanctions until Obama stepped in and sent him over $100 billion. You stop giving money to people who want to kill you. When the Ayatollah Khamenei chants "death to America" he means it.

And here's a very important point, these are really significant differences in policy. We ought to have a debate and discuss this.

RADDATZ: And Senator Cruz, I want to make a turn here to this week. And you know this weekend is the White House Correspondence Dinner. A lot of fun poked at Washington. Have you found any humor in this election, or can you poke fun at yourself in any way?

CRUZ: Oh, listen, you have to laugh. I laugh every day on the trail and have fun with it. And, you know, part of the reason I think that we have -- have gone to this point, why I'm the last man standing against Donald Trump, why we're united the Republican Party, is because we're running a joyful campaign. We're having fun. We're laughing.

And I think people can tell a joyful campaign. I'm very much a happy warrior. You know, even when Donald Trump engages in nasty attacks and personal slurs -- you know, I'm happy to just laugh it off and have fun, because when you're speaking the truth, when you're speaking from the heart, when you know what you believe, you don't have to fake it. And so, yes, there is humor every day.

Listen, I am sure you laughed out loud watching Donald Trump's speech on foreign policy where he talked about Tanzania. I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that country, Tanzania. You know, maybe that's where two Corinthians live, I don't know.

But, you know, I mean you've got to be able to laugh and have fun and enjoy it. And that's very much where we are -- what we're doing every day.

RADDATZ: Glad you're having fun. Thanks for joining us, Senator Cruz.

CRUZ: Thank you, Martha. God bless.

RADDATZ: OK, let's bring in the roundtable now for some instant analysis. ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, ABC News contributor and ESPN senior writer LZ Granderson, EJ Dionne of the Washington Post, and ABC News contributor and columnist for the Washington Examiner Kristen Soltis-Anderson. Welcome everybody this morning.

So, Ted Cruz seems to be still enjoying himself, but there's a new poll out just this morning shows Donald Trump about 15 points ahead. So, does Cruz really have a shot at stopping Trump?

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No. I mean, the bottom line he doesn't. And Cruz ought to take -- Senator Cruz ought to take his own advice, which he gave to John Kasich a month ago that says when you're mathematically eliminated, it's time to get out of the race.

Ted Cruz is mathematically eliminated -- even if Ted Cruz was to somehow surprise and take Indiana, he can't win this nomination at this point. The numbers aren't there. And you can just feel it, I think, in watching Ted Cruz in watching his folks that they understand that, that they understand this has slipped away. And maybe it's time to fold his tent.

RADDTAZ: But EJ, you wrote this week that Trump still isn't inevitable. Still think that?

EJ DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: I still think that, because of the opposition amongst so many Republicans and the deep split in the party.

I was struck this weekend, George Will on the one hand writes a column basically saying let's elect Hillary, hold the Senate and we can win it back in 2020. Peggy Noonan writes the Republican base no longer sees itself as conservative the way Washington writers define it.

And I think Republican politicians, yes, you have a lot of people who are afraid to come out against Trump now, but they know in their hearts that if he is nominated, the disaster in November could be extraordinary. So, I think there is opposition to him, people who are going to try keep him from taking it.

RADDATZ: But you heard Senator Cruz, he's still counting on Indiana. Do you think it's over, Kristen?

KRISTEN SOLTIS-ANDERSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The polls are now indicating, as you mentioned, that Indiana is not going to be easy for Senator Cruz. And the problem there isn't just that he wouldn't have Indiana's delegates, but that loss of movement, that sort of sense that he's just not going to be the guy, headed into these next few states by the time you get to June 7 in California, which would really be sort of Cruz's last stand, if he does not come out of Indiana with some kind of positive momentum, it's hard to see him string together the delegates he would need to take it to a second...

RADDATZ: And speaking of California, LZ, you're from California. It is the final big delegate prize in June. We saw those big anti-Trump protests, people coming out in masses to protest him. Could Cruz actually beat Trump there and still take...

LZ GRADERSON, ESPN: I doubt it. I mean, seeing protests and seeing...

RADDATZ: You're kind of in the minority here...

GRANDERSON: But the fact of the matter is, is that when Cruz lost the Bible belt, which was going to be the wind in his sail he was pretty much done after that, because one, I don't think he put enough stock into the other states that he needed to win in the event that he had lost. But then also it corrected the narrative that he had the conservative vote.

And so I doubt he goes to California and somehow shakes the entire script that's actually be written by the past 40 states.


DOWD: I think that what's happened now, and has happened post Wisconsin, interestingly enough when Ted Cruz got more media play than he'd ever had in the whole campaign, Ted Cruz now is disliked by more Republican voters than he is liked by them. Donald Trump has a 20 point favorability advantage over Ted Cruz among Republican voters now. And Ted Cruz has lost seven or eight points since his Wisconsin win, since he got all this media play.

So, he problem isn't, yes, is Donald Trump vulnerable? And yes would somebody like an option?

The problem is that the option isn't anymore Ted Cruz. And without Ted Cruz being the option, Donald Trump's going to win this thing.


RADDATZ: Tell me what they should have done to derail him, if Republicans wanted him derailed.

What did they do wrong?

DOWD: Get in a time machine and --


DOWD: -- go back to last December.

RADDATZ: What should they have done?

ANDERSON: I think for a very long time there were a lot of folks -- and I put myself in this category -- that sort of that Donald Trump was going to be a passing fad.

But by the time you got to last fall, at the point where he was getting into fights with FOX News, with prominent conservative luminaries and was winning those fights, that was sort of the wake-up call, that we have a lot of people in our party who don't necessarily consider themselves conservative, first and foremost, that they’re more interested in sort of whether it's Trump's identity politics or his focus on the working class that's separate from an ideological concern.

And I think that's something that a lot of folks miss. They thought you could just say I'm conservative. I'm conservative. And that would win --


DIONNE: I think that's right and I also think that they had a complete misunderstanding of their own self-interest. Everybody else thought if I can only be the last person standing against Donald Trump, I can beat him.

So rather than go at Trump early and say, look at the threat this guy poses to our party, to our values, they sort of hung back. I mean, Ted Cruz himself early on was the closest ally Trump had because he wanted to be there when Trump --


RADDATZ: I want to go very quickly to Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton.

Does he bow out quickly, do you think?

GRANDERSON: No. There's no reason for him to bow out because he's seen he has influence in terms of the platform that's happening right now with the Democratic Party.

I support his decision to stay in, even though mathematically it look like he's not going to win.

DOWD: Well, there is a reason for him to bow out, which is that he can't get the nomination.

Does he want to stay in to serve a different purpose?

Yes. He is another one just like Ted Cruz, he ought to see the writing on the wall.


RADDATZ: OK. You guys are all going to be back. We're going to have you back. We are just getting started.

But next, what would the world look like under a President Trump or a President Clinton?

Our exclusive live interview with Robert Gates, Defense Secretary under Presidents Bush and Obama is coming up.

Plus Trump and Clinton arguing over the so-called "woman card." We're sizing up what looks like a nasty November fight. Back with Secretary Gates in just two minutes.



OBAMA: Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe.


OBAMA: That was a slap in the face.


OBAMA: A clear breach of protocol.




TRUMP: My second favorite book of all time.

What's my first favorite book?

The Bible. The Bible.


RADDATZ: It may not beat out The Bible, but Donald Trump has been pushing his book, "The Art of the Deal" throughout this campaign to boost his bona fides as a leader. And with the prospect growing that he'll be the Republicans' pick for leader of the free world, Trump gave his first major foreign policy address Wednesday.

It made us wonder, does his experience as the best-selling guru of the give-and-take shape his approach to world affairs?



RADDATZ (voice-over): "The Art of the Deal," Trump's best-selling, chest-thumping business how-to from the go-go '80s, the title winks at that ancient battle book, "The Art of War."

Almost 30 years later, it's his best seller, a blueprint in his big foreign policy speech Wednesday, the GOP front-runner laid out international relations under President Trump.

TRUMP: It is the cheapest single investment we can make. In negotiation, you must be willing to walk.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Sounds a lot like business relations under Trump, the CEO. Just look at China: no talk of democracy, human rights, Trumpspeak is he thinks our trade imbalance is caused by Chinese currency manipulation.

TRUMP: We have the leverage. We have the power. Over China, economic power.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Or, as he put it a few years ago…

TRUMP: What can you do?

So easy.

Listen, you (INAUDIBLE), we're going to tax you 25 percent.

RADDATZ (voice-over): As he put it in "The Art of the Deal," sometimes it pays to be a little wild.

What about America's relations with its friends?

TRUMP: Our allies are not paying their fair share. The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense. And if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Or as he wrote in "The Art of the Deal," "What you never do is pay too much, even if that means walking away."

As for all those things Trump has said that shocked the foreign policy establishment…

TRUMP: A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

We're going to build a wall and Mexico's going to pay for the wall and you know it and I know it and they know it.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Does Trump's book hint we should take it all with a grain of salt?

The point is, if you are a little outrageous, the press is going to write about you. Controversy, in short, sells.


RADDATZ: And I'm joined now by Robert Gates, the former CIA director and Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush and President Obama.

You have actually served eight presidents. Thanks for being with us this morning.

You heard Trump's foreign policy speech this week. Tell me what you believe a Trump presidency would mean for the national security of this country.

ROBERT GATES, FMR. SECY. OF DEFENSE: I think based on the speech you'd have somebody who doesn’t understand the difference between a business negotiation and a negotiation with sovereign powers.

For example, he on the one hand says we need to be a more reliable ally to our friends. And then in the next breath he basically says we're going to rip up all those burden-sharing agreements that we've had over the decades with them and make them go their own way if they don't pay for everything.

He says some things that it's hard to disagree with. The allies ought to be doing more. But how do you get them there when you're dealing with 28 sovereign countries. And nobody argued harder for them to do more than I did, but how do you actually get these countries, many of which weak governments, to agree to things that are very difficult? And all I'm saying is he -- he doesn't understand that there's a give-and-take in international relations that is different than in the business community.

And just one further comment, he talks about walking. How do you walk away from China, a country that holds $1 trillion in U.S. treasuries and with which we have a half a trillion dollars in trade every year? And at the same time say we're going to launch a trade war against them at the same time we're asking them to pressure North Korea?

RADDATZ: But you've heard people campaign. You've heard people with no foreign policy experience come in and take over and do a little differently than their campaigns. So tell me what you're really (INAUDIBLE) -- if Donald Trump is elected, are we safe? Is the national security in good hands?

GATES: One of the things that worries me, Martha, is that he doesn't appear to listen to people. He believes that he has all the answers, that he's the smartest man in the room. And I've worked with some -- for some very different presidents. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Barack Obama. One of the things they all had in common was a willingness to listen to people who with -- who had experience, and then make their own independent judgment. Now, they've gone in different directions but they never assumed they had all the answers, and that's one of the things that troubles me.

RADDATZ: And how do you think foreign leaders would see him? They've seen this campaign and there's been some pretty outrageous things said. From your own experience, how do you think right now foreign leaders are saying, "What if Trump gets it?"

GATES: Well I think they've spoken for themselves. Many of them have -- have said publicly how worried they are about the possibility of Mr. Trump becoming president. His unpredictability, his lack of understanding of the complexity of international affairs, his threats, his claims that he's going to make other countries do things when in fact the president of the United States does not have the power to make them do things.

So I think -- I think a lot of leaders around the world, both among our friends and potential adversaries, are quite concerned.

RADDATZ: And let's talk about Secretary Clinton. You worked with Secretary Clinton. You're not endorsing anyone --

GATES: Absolutely not.

RADDATZ: -- at this point. How would her foreign policy be different than Barack Obama's foreign policy? Is she more hawkish? Do you see her that way?

GATES: I think that -- I think that she probably would be. She clearly has been on the record in favoring a more robust action in Syria, for example. So I think that she probably would be somewhat more hawkish than President Obama.

RADDATZ: President Obama has said his biggest mistake was not planning for after the intervention in Libya. How much responsibility does Secretary Clinton bear for that?

GATES: Well, I think just as -- as the case and inability to deal with post-invasion Iraq in the Bush administration, ultimately the failure to plan for a post-invasion or post-military operation really has to reside in the White House. It's the White House and the NSC that has to bring Defense and State, intelligence community, and others together in this planning process. It's the not the province of just one department.

RADDATZ: And I want to ask you about her e-mails. You've been in government pretty much your whole life

RADDATZ: And I want to ask you about her e-mails. You've been in government pretty much your whole life. Secretary Clinton has spent a good deal of time in government. I know there is lots of over-classification and people complain about that. But with your experience, if you read a document in an e-mail, would you have a pretty good idea whether it should be marked Top Secret even if it wasn't?

GATES: Sometimes not. The truth is, things are over-classified and sometimes I would get something and it would be classified Secret or Top Secret.

RADDATZ: Even the highest classification?

GATES: And I would look at somebody and say I'm about to tell a foreign leader what is on this of paper that's marked Top Secret. And that's going to do serious damage to the United States? Why are you giving it to me as a talking point if it's classified Top Secret?

So it is tough sometimes. If you don't have any markings on a piece of paper, it is tough sometimes to tell whether it's classified or not.

RADDATZ: OK. I, after all this talk, I have to move to something that was written in "The Washington Post" by Jennifer Rubin, an opinion page, who said, talking about an ideal third party candidate: "We need one who's strong on national security, solid in character, and possessing considerable executive experience as a plausible alternative to the know-nothing Trump and the ethically flawed Clinton. There is Robert Gates, who is among the most qualified public servants out there."

Would you consider that?


GATES: That's the silliest thing ever.

RADDATZ: I knew you were going to say that! The silliest thing.

GATES: Not a chance.

RADDATZ: Not a chance. OK, there's your quote. And how about vice president? Some talk of you as a possible vice presidential candidate to Donald Trump.

GATES: One of the problems with being vice president is that if you totally disagree with the president, you can't quit.

RADDATZ: OK. So you would totally disagree with him.


RADDATZ: Thank you so much for joining us --

GATES: My pleasure.

RADDATZ: -- this morning, Secretary Gates. We appreciate it.

Up next, it may have been the first shot fired in the general election. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparring over women. I'll talk to the Trump and Clinton campaigns about their fall strategies next.

And the roundtable's back with full analysis on Trump and Clinton's paths to victory.

Plus, Hollywood meets Washington. We'll bring you the best moments and the best jokes from President Obama's last White House Correspondents Dinner.


OBAMA: Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe.


OBAMA: That was a slap in the face. A clear breach of protocol.


RADDATZ: Donald Trump launched a new attack against Hillary Clinton this week, accusing her of playing the so-called woman card to win votes.

Trump critics quickly turned that term into a hash tag, prompting Tweets like, "If I had a dollar for every time we've used the woman card, I'd have about 77 cents by now," a reference to the gender pay gap.

So will Trump's rhetoric about women come back to haunt him on Election Day?

We'll take that question on right after this.


RADDATZ: Donald Trump launched a new attack against Hillary Clinton this week, accusing her of playing the so-called woman card to win votes.

Trump critics quickly turned that term into a hash tag, prompting Tweets like, "If I had a dollar for every time I've used the woman card, I'd have about 77 cents by now, a reference to the gender pay gap."

Trump, standing by his rhetoric.

So how will it all play on Election Day?

We'll take that question on right after this.



TRUMP: Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the woman's card.

CLINTON: Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.



RADDATZ: Even before the primaries are settled, the gloves are off and the fight over what's being called the woman card is one Hillary Clinton seems eager to join.

Trump is throwing out two ides -- that the only thing keeping Hillary Clinton's candidacy afloat is the fact she's a woman and that women don't like her.

There's a lot at stake.

Since 1964, more women than men have voted in every presidential election. And in this one, looking more likely by the day, Trump is starting from behind. The latest polls, 69 percent of women have an unfavorable opinion of him. Forty-five percent of women have an unfavorable view of Clinton.

So what's the strategy here for Trump?

Why risk making a bad situation worse?

One answer, outrage has worked for him so far.

Remember what he said about Mexicans in his announcement speech.


TRUMP: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists and some, I assume, are good people.


RADDATZ: Rather than sink his campaign, as some predicted, Trump's harsh rhetoric has won him the support of the majority of Republican voters.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.


RADDATZ: After that, widely criticized as un-American, even disqualifying, exit polls show nearly seven out of 10 GOP primary voters favor banning non-US Muslims from entering the country.


TRUMP: You know, when I made the statement about Muslims, banning Muslims on a temporary basis, I took such heat. Now people are saying, you know, Trump is sort of right about that.


RADDATZ: So would a tactic that worked fine in the primaries also work in a general election?

It's a huge question.

Joining me now to debate this, Trump campaign senior adviser, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She is the daughter of Mike Huckabee and managed his presidential campaign until he dropped out.

And Clinton campaign supporter, Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily's List, wish supports female Democratic candidates.

Welcome, ladies.

I want to start with you, Sarah.


RADDATZ: Trump has found success attacking Muslims. But -- but this is different. Since 1964, more women than men have voted in presidential elections.

So why is he doing this?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I don't think he's attacking women. I think he is pointing out something, frankly, that Bernie Sanders' campaign has been talking about for months, that Hillary Clinton's biggest thing that she's running on is the fact that she's a woman. She doesn't have a successful record to run on. And so she has to turn to the only thing I think that she thinks she has in her arsenal, and that is the fact that she's a woman.

RADDATZ: He's questioned her strength and stamina, accused her of shouting. Is what he's doing really try to make her just a woman and do exactly what you're saying? Is that your strategy right there?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don't think he's saying those things because she's a woman, I think that, again, the person that is playing the woman card is Hillary, not Donald Trump. And I think when you put them together on the issues, Donald Trump is going to win hands down, because Hillary doesn't have the strong record to run on.

RADDATZ: Stephanie, do you think he's attacking women? Could this galvanize Democratic women?

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK, PRESIDENT, EMILY'S LIST: I do think that Donald Trump is clearly taking on a strategy that is marginalizing women. I can't explain why he's doing that. But I know this, you know, Emily's List has been doing polling for a couple of decades now. Women voters are going to decide this election. And what women voters are looking for are candidates who are supporting equal pay, who are fighting for minimum wage, who are talking about paid family leave. Donald Trump has no agenda that's going to advance women's economic security, and Hillary Clinton has spent her entire career doing just that.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I couldn't disagree more. I think that that is exactly -- the one point I do agree with Stephanie on is that I think women will have a deciding role in this process, but I do think that at the end of the day they're going to side with Donald Trump, because I think it's almost offensive that Hillary Clinton and her campaign wants to tell women that these are the only issues that we care about. They want to put us in a box and say this is what keeps us up at night.

I'm a working mom. And frankly what keeps me up at night is wanting to know are my kids going to be safe when they go to school, are they going to be well educated. When they graduate, will they have a job. And Donald Trump is the only person talking about things that will grow our economy and keep our kids safe.

RADDATZ: Sarah, a pro-Cruz super PAC has released an ad about Trump's support of boxer Mike Tyson, who was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years in prison. Let's watch that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the leaders of the effort to keep Tyson out of prison is Donald Trump.

TRUMP: You have a young woman that was in his room, his hotel room, late in the evening at her own will, who was seen dancing for the beauty contest, dancing with a big smile on her face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you're endorsing Trump, essentially.

MIKE TYSON, RETIRED BOXER: I like, Trump, yeah. He should be president of the United States.

ANNOUNCER: Paid for by Trusted Leadership PAC.


RADDATZ: This is what your candidate said about Mike Tyson. Trump said at a rally in Indianapolis, Mike Tyson endorsed me. I love it. He sent out a tweet, "Mike, Iron Mike."

Is that the kind of endorsement that Donald Trump should be looking for?

SCHRIOCK: Look, I think Donald Trump is looking for the endorsement and the vote of every American. And I think that's why he's doing so well. He's not playing by the typical Washington playbook. And I think that's one of the reasons that he's doing so well in the primary and going to go on to win the general. He's not a Washington insider, which is the biggest contrast that anyone can make against Hillary Clinton. He's the ultimate outsider. She's the ultimate insider. And in the year of the outsider, I think he's going to do extremely well in November against her.

RADDATZ: Stephanie, there is a quote in the New York Times from Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster supporting Cruz, who said Trump is Swiftboating her by throwing shade on what should be a strength. She was referring to the 2004 attack on John Kerry's war record, which did divert attention from George Bush's vulnerabilities.

Do you think that's what's happening here?

SCHRIOCK: He may be trying, it's absolutely going to backfire, in fact. And you already see it in the numbers. You mentioned, Martha, at the beginning of the segment that 69 percent of women today have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. In fact, there's been polls that show it's up as high as 75 percent of women.

And again this election is going to be decided by women voters. And what...


SCHRIOCK: ...alienate men.

RADDATZ: If she keeps on this track and playing up the fact that she's a female candidate...

SCHRIOCK: Well, I think what she's doing is she's talking about a contrast between two visions. And she is a fighter for women and family.

She does happen to be a woman, that is true. But really this campaign has been focused on economic opportunities for women and families in this country on a whole wide breadth of issues. And I think that's incredibly important.

The Republican Party still hasn't embraced any of these policies that really can make a huge difference for women in this country.

RADDATZ: We're going to have to leave it there, but thanks very much. I'm sure we'll hear more about this.

Up next, we'll show you Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's similar paths to the nomination. What will it mean for their paths to the White House? The roundtable is standing by.



OBAMA: Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook. Dear America, did you get my poke? is it appearing on your wall?

And there's one area where Donald's experience could be invaluable, and that's closing Guantanamo, because Trump knows a thing or two about running water front properties into the ground.


RADDATZ: President Obama with a few more shots last night.

As the primary contest winds down and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump emerges, the likely nominees there's a pretty remarkable overlap in their paths to victory, according to The Atlantic magazine.

Take a look at this map, these are all the states that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won. Big wins in the Deep South and the northeast. And there in yellow are all the states that both lost, again overlapping from Alaska and Hawaii all the way to Maine.

So, what does this mean for the general election matchup? Both candidates are promising to shake up the electoral map in the fall with Trump hoping for victories in reliably Democratic states in the Rust Belt, states that he won in the primary.


TRUMP: I'll win places like New York. I'll win Michigan. I'll win places -- we're going to win Pennsylvania in the general.


RADDATZ: And Clinton is trying to make headway in Republican states she won in the primaries, states with growing minority populations like Arizona in the southwest and Georgia in the south.


CLINTON: Somebody said to me the other day, well, you keep taking Trump on, why are you doing that? I don't want anybody in our country or anywhere in the world to think he speaks for anybody but himself.


RADDATZ: So, let's bring the roundtable back in and focus on those paths to victory. First, let's start with Donald Trump. Each of you picked one path for Donald Trump to get to 271 electoral votes. Matt, you said one of his paths relies on the insider-outsider divide that's animated so much of this race. What do you mean by that?

DOWD: Well, I think the most fundamental thing to understand about elections and how they're going to go is what the political environment is, not necessarily who the candidates are, or their campaign tactics, but what the environment is.

And we are in an environment today that is very beneficial for the Republican, whoever that might be -- and let's say Donald Trump if he's the nominee. One, the wrong track of the country -- it's two-thirds of people think we're on the wrong track. A majority of the country thinks they want a next president who is not going to go along with what Barack Obama did. And fundamentally, they want somebody that's not Washington.

And in order for him to win, he is going to have to run on that track and run against that with Hillary Clinton, who has represented basically Washington for the last 22 years.

Is it -- is it going to work?


But is this the best thing to go -- going for him to say is the environment we are in today.

RADDATZ: LZ, we've got E.J., LZ --


DIONNE: We initials guys have to --

RADDATZ: -- overpowering everybody.

Does that outsider argument fade away when someone actually gets into the voting booth and says, boy, this is going to be the commander in chief?

GRANDERSON: I don't think so. I think what's important for Hillary Clinton, assuming that she does get a nomination to do, is to put up the fact that Donald Trump actually isn't a true outsider. The more he talks about how much he knows politicians, the more she can highlight the fact that the only way you can know politicians is by actually being on the inside, which you've been as long as I have.

So I think her strategy would actually be to put up the fact that he's not the outsider that they're looking for. But that narrative doesn’t go away.

RADDATZ: OK. E.J., back to the principal question. You say that Trump has another strong argument that has led to wins in the Democratic states in the Rust Belt. What's worked for him there and how well did that play out?

DIONNE: Trade, trade, trade, indeed industrialization. And that's his whole card. If he could win those Rust Belt states that are traditionally Democratic, he could win the election.

His problem is on Matt's point, the country may say we're on the wrong track. But Barack Obama's numbers have gone over 50 percent as he said last night. And if the -- Barack Obama is doing that well in November, it's going to be very hard for Trump to advance that argument.

And I think whatever he picks up among voters concerned about trade and those issues, he's going to lose with those massive negative numbers he has among women. So I think his path is very difficult. But if there is a path for him, it's in the Rust Belt and it's with young voters not voting in the same -- in the numbers that Hillary needs.


DIONNE: He helps bring them out --

RADDATZ: -- do you think it's really possible to flip states?

ANDERSON: I think it's going to be very, very difficult --

RADDATZ: Pennsylvania, Michigan --

ANDERSON: -- I think it'll be very hard. I think the only way we get there is if there is such dissatisfaction, such anger to Matt's point that voters are looking at Hillary Clinton and they see somebody who's too traditional. And they think I'm tired of using the traditional remedies. I'm going to go with the experimental treatment that has all the crazy side effects. And that's Donald Trump.

And I think that's the way that all of a sudden, you could have some of these states flipping. But I think it's very unlikely.

And, LZ, back to the principal question again, the path for Donald Trump, are there problems on the Democratic side that could give Trump a win in November, too?

GRANDERSON: Absolutely. And that is one in four Bernie supporters say they will not go out and support Hillary Clinton. I think part of the reason why you haven't seen her hit him as hard as she could because his record's pretty hittable, but she hasn’t gone after him is because she realizes she needs his supporters. And the supporters that are behind Bernie Sanders and not the ones that want to see Hillary Clinton in the White House.

She has to convince enough of those not to stay home, not to sit this out because she needs big turnout to beat Donald Trump. He's going to contend some names of people voting for him, the Bernie or bust people need to decide whether or not they want him in.

DIONNE: The interesting thing about that, Martha, is that I know Ted Cruz is attacking Donald Trump for being like Hillary Clinton.

In reality, on some fundamental things, Ted -- Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are more alike. They're more alike on trade. They're more alike on what's gone on with the middle class. They're more alike on war. They're more alike on a -- they're more alike on Wall Street.

They're more alike on a number of issues than he is with Hillary Clinton. I agree with LZ. It's problematic. But still, this path for Donald Trump and even Ted Cruz, but let's say it's Donald Trump, is so narrow in order to win a general election it's going to be really tough with all these headwinds.

RADDATZ: I want to go quickly to Kristen on what do you think the path is and what are problems maybe for Democrats?

ANDERSON: I think the path for Democrats is that, one, they're going to have demographics working in their favor. They've got groups like younger voters, where Hillary Clinton's favorables aren't great but they're certainly better than Donald Trump's. You had polling come out this week, showing that when you ask young voters which party they'll vote for, they prefer Democrats.

When you add the names Clinton and Trump, the gap grows even wider. And I think that is the -- has a real potential to make it tough for Donald Trump.

RADDATZ: OK. That's a great segue to Hillary Clinton, Matt. And look at the political map in November.

What gives Hillary the more favorable (INAUDIBLE)?

DOWD: Well, I think I'm going to pick up on something that was just said. Demographics in this country have changed over the last 25 years. And the groups in this country that the Democrats now rely on are the fastest growing groups in this country.

And the groups that the Republicans have traditionally aligned are dwindling. And if you take a look at the country, we're less like -- we're less married. We're less churched, fewer people go to church in the course of this. And we're more socially progressive, especially among Millennials and younger voters in the course of that.

When you look at those demographics, for any Republican to win nationally in this state, it's exceedingly difficult for Donald Trump. It puts at a huge advantage for Hillary Clinton.

One of the other things about this election that I think is very frustrating is that the two people most disliked by a majority of the country are about to end up running against each other. I mean, but for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton would set a record on the most disliked and distrusted, especially about independent voters. And that's the problem. They're going to have to choose between two disliked people.

RADDATZ: I got to quickly get to E.J. on the path to victory for Hillary Clinton among the demographics where she does not do well are those younger voters who support Bernie Sanders.

DIONNE: Right. And I think that Trump is the elixir that he needs. And it doesn’t have side effects, which is you look at the poll Harvard's Institute of Politics did. She beats Trump among young people 2.5:1. And so I think he is very helpful on the Bernie problem with a lot of the younger voters.

And I think the sort of outrageous over-the-topness of Trump on immigration is not only going to create a huge margin for Hillary Clinton among Latinos and also Asian Americans, but it's going to turn them out.

And so he is both a turner-offer of voters and a turnout machine for her.

RADDATZ: And, LZ, you've got 10 seconds to talk about the path for Hillary Clinton.

GRANDERSON: Well, it's her resume. At the end of the day, you ask yourself, a two-term congresswoman, who was also secretary of state, who has spent her entire life working for people, seems on paper to be a much more qualified person to run the country than a wild businessman with a string of infidelities and bankruptcies on his resume.

I mean, you look at it at (INAUDIBLE) face value, it's really hard for me to see rational people going, I'm going to go with the guy who's the TV star --

DIONNE: And the problem for Trump and Hillary is it's going to exacerbate divisions in this country as you yourself (INAUDIBLE).

It's going to be a men versus women election, unfortunately.

RADDATZ: OK. Thanks to all of you. Stick around because you're going to want to see this next piece. President Obama gets the last laugh after this from our ABC stations.


RADDATZ: Last night, Washington rolled out the red carpet at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. President Obama mingling with Hollywood's biggest stars for one last time while still in the White House.

As ABC's Nick Watt reports, the commander in chief's final turn as comedian in chief was an instant classic.


OBAMA: Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific.


NICK WATT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama's Correspondents' Dinner finale and Hollywood was here to witness history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little bit of Hollywood meets DC and there's going to be jokes flying.

WATT: Most were here for the entertainment.

OBAMA: In my final year, my approval ratings keep going up. My...


OBAMA: The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major.


WATT: Of course, the 2016 field was target number one.

OBAMA: Feel the Bern. Feel the Bern. That's a good slogan. Hillary's slogan has not had the same effect. (INAUDIBLE) see this.


OBAMA: They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world -- Miss. Sweden, Miss. Argentina, Miss. Azerbaijan.

WATT: Trump not there to hear it, but his sons made it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't worry, there's always payback.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guess what, next year we'll be doing it to somebody else.

WATT: The funniest president of all time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My understanding is that Abraham Lincoln was pretty funny. But I never saw him perform.

WATT: But amid the laughs, the serious note on an historic presidency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn't accept a black quarterback. And now, to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world...


WATT: And the president gets the final word.

OBAMA: Obama.



And Nick Watt joins us now on set.

We got you out of LA. It's the only way we could get you out of LA.

WATT: Yes.

RADDATZ: I've got to ask you, Nick, when you -- when you looked at it last night, were you kind of looking forward to what might happen next year?

WATT: Absolutely. I mean listen, if Donald Trump wins, as his son said, it's going to be payback time. If Bernie wins, he was the only guy who showed up last night. He can take it.

Can he dish it?


Is Hillary funny?

Split decision, I'd say.

One thing is for certain, the comedy world is happy that Barack Obama is gone. He -- as a -- as a standup comic, he is a hard act to follow.

RADDATZ: A terrible act to follow. Very hard.

Thank you all.

I know a few of you were there last night.

We're all a little -- a little late, but thanks for being with us.

Thanks to Stephanie and to you, Nick.

That's for -- all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.


And we'll see you back here network.

Have a great day.

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