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Meet the Press - April 10, 2016

Meet the Press - April 10, 2016

(BEGIN TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday, political hunger games in the G.O.P. Ted Cruz sweeps the delegates in Colorado.

TED CRUZ:

I think we will go in with an overwhelming advantage.

CHUCK TODD:

It looks more and more like we're headed to an open convention that could deny Trump the nomination. The man Trump just hired to save his campaign joins me. Plus, look who got nasty this week.

HILLARY CLINTON:

He hadn't done his homework.

BERNIE SANDERS:

I don't believe that she is qualified, if she is.

CHUCK TODD:

It's all the truth. But is the damage done? Joining me this morning, Bernie Sanders and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a key Clinton supporter. Also, Ryan's hope. Many Republicans want Paul Ryan to be their nominee. He says, "No." So what's this about?

PAUL RYAN:

So let's have a battle of ideas. Let's have a contest of whose ideas are better and why our ideas are better.

CHUCK TODD:

If Ryan doesn't want the nomination, why does this video look like a campaign ad to so many people? Finally, Kasich does the deli, Bernie pizza, Hillary rides the subway, New York, New York.

TED CRUZ:

I will simply say to everyone, "L'chiam."

CHUCK TODD:

If you can pander there, you can pander anywhere. And joining me for insight and analysis this Sunday morning are Matt Bai of Yahoo News, MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid, The Atlantic's Molly Ball, and Rick Lowry of The National Review. Welcome to Sunday. It's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

From NBC News in Washington, this is Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD:

Good Sunday morning. The Bernie Sanders winning streak keeps on keeping on. Sanders won the Wyoming caucuses yesterday. It's his seventh win in the last eight contest. But just how Byzantine is the delegate-selection process for Democrats? Hillary Clinton actually wound up with more delegates out of Wyoming than Sanders. In just a few minutes, we'll get to the Democrat race and worries that this week's nasty turn will only help Republicans in November.

Bernie Sanders and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, a Hillary Clinton supporter will join me. But we begin with a changing landscape in the Republican race. From the start, Donald Trump has played it big, made big speeches, draw big crowds, and win big in big primaries. And then let the details take care of themselves.

But the details aren't taking care of themselves. Ted Cruz is taking care of them. And he's piling up delegates in this Byzantine process. This weekend in Colorado, Cruz won all 34 of Colorado's available unbound delegates. He also had a big day gathering delegates in Iowa, South Carolina, and Virginia. It's just the latest development in this tortoise-and-hare race in which Cruz is playing the tortoise, slowly gaining, delegate by delegate, on a Trump campaign that's been sleeping on the job.

(BEGIN TAPE)

TED CRUZ:

When it comes to the grassroots, Donald has a very hard time competing.

CHUCK TODD:

The "Stop Trump" movement is turning to a new kind of ground game, working to out-organize Trump in the state-by-state battle for delegates. So far, it's working. Trump was shut out at this weekend's Colorado convention.

FEMALE DELEGATE:

For Ted Cruz.

MALE DELEGATE:

Ted Cruz?

FEMALE DELEGATE:

And also for Cruz.

CHUCK TODD:

And just one of 25 delegates selected last Sunday in North Dakota, said he plans to back Trump. Trump's Colorado state delegate director started in his job on Wednesday, after the previous director was fired.

MALE TRUMP SUPPORTER:

They've said, "Like drinking from a fire hose."

DONALD TRUMP:

It's a very arcane system. They have land mines all over the place. And I think it is unfair.

CHUCK TODD:

He has little margin for error. Trump must win 61 percent of remaining delegates to clinch the 1,237 delegate majority he needs to avoid a contested convention. Supporters dismissed questions about his organization's efforts in Colorado.

KENNETH RAY:

He probably wouldn't carry this state anyway. You know, you fight the battles you can win.

CHUCK TODD:

And Trump is depending on a big win in New York where he's polling above 50 percent.

DONALD TRUMP:

It's great to be home.

CHUCK TODD:

Hoping to sweep the Empire State's 95 delegates and completely shut out Ted Cruz.

DONALD TRUMP

Do you remember during the debate, when he started lecturing me on New York values, like we're no good, like we're no good.

CHUCK TODD:

Lukewarm feelings about Cruz have some "Stop Trump" establishment Republicans dreaming of none of the above. House Speaker Paul Ryan fueled the speculation this week by releasing this campaign-style value.

PAUL RYAN:

So let's have a battle of ideas. Let's have a contest of whose ideas are better.

CHUCK TODD:

While Trump dismisses any talk of campaign power struggles in public--

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, I had not heard anything about the inner-fightings of the campaign.

CHUCK TODD:

--in private, Trump's team is clearly worried, expanding the role of new hire Paul Manafort, a one-time Republican powerhouse Trump brought in to be his convention manager.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

And joining me now is Donald Trump's new convention manager, Paul Manafort a one-time delegate wrangler for President Gerald Ford, and campaign manager for Bob Dole, who's been brought into this campaign to stop this delegate bleeding. Mr. Manafort, welcome back to Meet the Press.

PAUL MANAFORT:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me start with what a Cruz official claimed to me this weekend, that there were 144 different delegate-selection events yesterday in 11 states. And they were stunned that essentially outside of Michigan, the Trump campaign was nowhere. Is that a fair assessment?

PAUL MANAFORT:

Not at all. First of all, Alabama, they caucused at this weekend, and we got on the committee spots, the convention committee spots have been assigned. In Michigan, as he correctly said, where they made a real effort, they failed. And in fact, we wiped him out. He's got no committee appointments out of Michigan.

And in Nevada, preview of coming attractions, Clark County went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, and they have the majority of the delegates for the state convention later in this process. And we're going to see Ted Cruz get skunked in Nevada.

CHUCK TODD:

But you acknowledge that they've been outgunning the Trump campaign on these weekend events?

PAUL MANAFORT:

I acknowledge that we weren't playing in Colorado and they did. I acknowledge that they've taken an approach to some of the county conventions where they've taken a scorched-earth policy and they don't care about the party. If they don't get what they want, they blow it up. That's not going to work.

And in fact, it's all secondary games, because when you're talking about delegates, you have to distinguish between actual delegates or Trojan delegates, which are people that are committed to support someone on the first ballot, regardless of who they're for.

CHUCK TODD:

And, you know, you have been very outspoken in saying, "Look, what Cruz is doing is going to be moot because you guys are going to win this on the first ballot." In fact, you claim you will clinch this nomination by midMay, that you won't need California to put your over the top. How do you do that? That's something--

PAUL MANAFORT:

No, I didn't say we'd clinch it. I said we could be the presumptive nominee.

CHUCK TODD:

Which means you would have the numbers.

PAUL MANAFORT:

That means you'd see the path.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, you won't be crossing the line.

PAUL MANAFORT:

No, we've got to go through to June. We've got to wait till the process is done. But I'm confident, we have several ways through June 7th to go over 1,237. And, you know, not counted in that at all are any of these unbound delegates who are getting selected, many of whom I feel pretty good about.

CHUCK TODD:

Now, look, there's been some talk about what's going on inside the campaign. Are you running this campaign now? Is that the fairest way to look at it?

PAUL MANAFORT:

Donald Trump is running this campaign. And I'm working directly for Donald Trump, but I'm working with the whole team as well. And a lot of what's being talked about is much ado about nothing. Yes, there's a transition, it's a natural transition.

Trump was doing very well on a model that made sense, but now, as the campaign has gotten to the end stages, a more traditional campaign has to take place. And Trump recognized that and is now reaching out not just with me, but with others as well that you'll start to see come in.

CHUCK TODD:

Now, Donald Trump has hired you because he says he needs an insider to help him who's experienced in this. But some could argue, it's been a long time since you've been a Washington insider. You yourself have said that. Do you know these delegates? The selection process may be the same from '96 or '76. Do you know these people? Some people say no.

PAUL MANAFORT:

You'd be surprised who's been calling me over the last week and where they're from. And do I know the 25, 30-year-old delegates? No. Do I know the people who push buttons in a lot of these states? Yes. But that's not even the point. There's a lot of residual support for Donald Trump out there that just hasn't been tapped. Whether it's me or somebody else, it's the process that matters. If you know how to use the process, the support is there.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to talk about some of the methods you're going to use to try to cajole these delegates. Let me play something your former business partner, Roger Stone, said. Get you to react to it.

(BEGIN TAPE)

ROGER STONE:

We're going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in this deal.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Appropriate rhetoric?

PAUL MANAFORT:

I'm not giving him my hotel room.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay. Though, do you sort of--

PAUL MANAFORT:

Roger is not an official part of the campaign.

CHUCK TODD:

Did he bring you in?

PAUL MANAFORT:

No.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

PAUL MANAFORT:

In fact, not at all. I came in a totally different way. I've known Trump for 30 years. And so when somebody started talking about the need to bring in additional people to deal with this process, friends of his who were not at all from the political realm even, he listened and then he reached out.

CHUCK TODD:

What is fair game to win a delegate? Is threatening a fair game? Is threats a fair game?

PAUL MANAFORT:

It's not my style, and it's not Donald Trump's style.

CHUCK TODD:

What is --

PAUL MANAFORT:

But it is Ted Cruz's style. And that's going to wear thin very fast.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think he's threatening delegates?

PAUL MANAFORT:

Well, he's threatening, you go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics--

CHUCK TODD:

Gestapo tactics? That's a strong word.

PAUL MANAFORT:

Well, you look at, we're going to be filing several protests because reality is, you know, they are not playing by the rules. But frankly, that's the side game. Because the only game I'm focusing on right now is getting delegates. And the games that have happened, even this past weekend, you know, are not important to the long-term game of how do we get to 1,237.

CHUCK TODD:

But is he, I guess what is fair game and getting a delegate? Is paying for their convention costs, is it-- golf club memberships? What's fair and unfair in this? What's ethical, what's unethical?

PAUL MANAFORT:

Well, there's the law, and then there's ethics, and then there's getting votes. I'm not going to get into what tactics are used. I happen to think the best way we're going to get delegates is to have Donald Trump be exposed to delegates, let the delegates hear what he says. He's done very well so far in putting himself in position by virtue of communicating.

You know, the key I think for delegates coming up, especially the unbound delegates, is the electability question. And right now, we're in a fight, and this fight is, you know, causes for negative for all the candidates. But there's no question in my mind, there's not one state you can look at that Romney won or lost in 2012 that Cruz can win. Not one. But Trump changes the whole map. As we get into those arguments, which is the endgame of the endgame, that persuasion starts to have an impact.

CHUCK TODD:

You have some controversial clients in your past, some current, some in the past. Has Mr. Trump asked you to stop working for certain clients, stop doing work in Ukraine if it's against America's national security?

PAUL MANAFORT:

Well, the work I was doing in Ukraine was to help Ukraine get into Europe, and we succeeded. But I'm not working for any clients right now other than Mr. Trump.

CHUCK TODD:

And are you going to make a promise in the future that if he's president, you'll be careful what clients you take?

PAUL MANAFORT:

I'm always careful what clients I take.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. I'll leave it there. Paul Manafort, new convention manager, thanks for coming on.

PAUL MANAFORT:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Let's bring in the panel now, Matt Bai, national political correspondent for Yahoo News, we got Molly Ball of The Atlantic, my colleague at MSNBC Joy-Ann Reid, Rich Lowry, editor of The National Review. Welcome to all. Okay, Rich, let me start with you. You've heard what's going on. I think the Trump campaign saw what was happening, Donald Trump saw what was happening to them in the states and they had to make this change. Is it going to work?

RICH LOWRY:

Well, this is a campaign that was built on media interviews, on big rallies, and on a Twitter feed. And even now that they're retooling, I doubt grassroots organizing will ever be in its DNA the way it is for the Cruz campaign. And there are still a lot of variables, obviously, if Trump's short, how far short, what's the margin with Cruz, what are his general election numbers look like in July. But we may be getting to a place where it's slightly more likely that Ted Cruz will be the nominee than Donald Trump. Because if it gets to a convention, that is very favorable terrain for Cruz.

CHUCK TODD:

But Molly, as Paul has made it clear both with me and in previous interviews, they're not going to get to a second ballot. To me, that's also an acknowledge that they need to get this on the first ballot.

MOLLY BALL:

And it may be. I mean, I don't think that's necessarily the subtext of what he's saying. I think that they are doing everything in their control to also make the second ballot feasible for them, if I should come to that. You know, you always want to say that you're going to win this thing straight out and that you're not going to need to get to that point.

But, you know, when he was talking about the Trojan delegates, and trying to make sure that the delegates that are committed on the first ballot are committed all the way through, that's clearly also an effort that they're making. So I think what the message that Paul Manafort is trying to send in that interview, and in a lot of other interviews, is that things are under control, that they know what they're doing, and that was very much not the case before.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, this weekend, I mean, Matt, I mean, that's what, you look at this weekend and, you know, the Cruz campaign is really pounding their chest.

MATT BAI:

Yeah, so there's a couple questions, like, can Trump get to 1,237? And obviously, that's going to be their first game. And we were talking about this, and I think it looks less and less likely. But then, you know, Paul Manafort said something interesting. He said, "We're going to let Trump be exposed to delegates." And I think this gets to sort of the heart of the issue, which is, let's say he gets really close.

The closer he gets to 1,237, even if he doesn't get it, that's why I'm here. All he's got to do is go out and convince a certain number of uncommitted delegates, or delegates on the second ballot, that he's a worthwhile nominee. If he can't do that, shame on him and he doesn't deserve the nomination.

RICH LOWRY:

Easiest way to get a trip to Mar-A-Lago is being an unbound delegate.

CHUCK TODD:

But, you know, Joy, it's funny that Matt brings it up this way and what Paul said, who has a better shot at winning over a room of 100?

JOY-ANN REID:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?

JOY-ANN REID:

Well, I think it depends because remember in the previous processes, they sent surrogates in to do it, right? And so Ben Carson was sort of the powerful surrogate who can knife his way into getting delegates on board. I think Ted Cruz then has a problem, because he's not exactly a personable fellow. So if they're doing the persuasion one on one, you'd think that Trump would gain some advantage.

CHUCK TODD:

Because you always hear that Trump is fun, right? You know, he has this way about him.

MATT BAI:

The Apprentice, I mean, if you can't get a room of a hundred with these ratings...

MOLLY BALL:

But this is the bigger question, about--

CHUCK TODD:

Go ahead, finish Joy.

JOY-ANN REID:

Well, no, I was just going to say, I think the thing is what we're seeing here, and it's fascinating to watch politics reassert itself, right? Because while Donald Trump has had sort of the air campaign, you've seen him just not playing in terms of the nuts and bolts of what you do to actually win a nomination. And Ted Cruz does not have that. He doesn't have the ability to be personable,

CHUCK TODD:

But it's a big--

(JOY-ANN REID)

-But he plays the game.

CHUCK TODD:

By the way, I thought the illuminating answer he said to me, I said, "Sir, who's running this campaign?" He said, "Well, Donald Trump's in charge."

MOLLY BALL:

Well of course he is.

CHUCK TODD:

The most honest statement there is. Yes, candidates are in charge of their own campaign, but in this case, he is.

MOLLY BALL:

To a very complete sense. And I spoke to Donald Trump a couple weeks ago, and one of the things I asked him was, "You haven't had anybody with, like, presidential campaign experience really. Don't you think you need some of those people? Or is this just a completely new model of campaign where those people are irrelevant now?" And he said, "Well, this has worked for me so far."

JOY-ANN REID:

And then he expects somebody who did Bob Dole --

MOLLY BALL:

-- And so now there's clearly been a realization on his part that it isn't working anymore, or at the very least, that there needs to be someone in the room who does know what they're doing.

RICH LOWRY:

And this question of Cruz and persuasion at the convention, I think it's a mistake to think that the convention's going to be, like, a luncheon at the Capitol Hill Club, where everyone's a senator and a lobbyist. These will be activists, they will be conservative, they are Ted Cruz's kind of people. And at every single one of these meetings, that campaign is making sure that they're going to be Ted Cruz kind of people.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah. You know who else they like? They're probably Paul Ryan type of people too. But that is a conversation. I'm just throwing a grenade in, let it explode, and we'll talk about it later in this show. But coming up, what if the Republican establishment manages to deny both Trump and Cruz the nomination? Would some conservatives simply stay home on election day? I'm going to ask the man who might know, radio talk show host and founder of The Blaze, Glenn Beck. But up next, the Democrats, Bernie Sanders joins me after his latest win in Wyoming, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Hillary Clinton supporter.

* * *COMMERCIAL BREAK.* * *

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. It was the same old story in Democratic caucuses in Wyoming yesterday. Bernie Sanders won the votes, the somehow Hillary Clinton got the delegates. Sanders won Wyoming by 12 points, 56-44. But that didn't help him in the delegate race. Clinton took 11 delegates to Sanders' seven, when you include the supers, the superdelegates.

And as you can see, Clinton still holds a large delegate lead combined pledged in superdelegates. Yesterday's voting came after a week of some unusually harsh sniping between Sanders and Clinton in anticipation of next Tuesday's make-or-break primary in New York State. The state where Sanders grew up and that Clinton has adopted. And Senator Sanders joins me now from his home state, New York City. Senator, welcome back, sir.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

Great to be with you.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me start with what happened in Wyoming. How frustrating is it to you that you have a double-digit win, that you won by double digits on Tuesday, and overall, Wisconsin and Wyoming, you're able to narrow the pledged-delegate gap all by just ten delegates total? That's not a path to the nomination.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

Well, that's what happens when you have proportional representation. But what is a path to the nomination is we have cut Secretary Clinton's lead by one-third in the last month. We have won eight out of nine contests, national polling and the last three polls, two of them have us ahead. We're running stronger against Donald Trump and other Republicans than Secretary Clinton. We have the momentum. I think we stand a really good chance to do well in New York State, in Pennsylvania, and as we head into other states. So we're feeling really good with a path toward victory.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, you have said, you've implied at rallies that you've got to win New York if you're going to reset this race. Is that fair?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

No. What's fair is to say that New York is enormously important. There are a whole lot of delegates there. I want to do as well as I can. The polling shows that we are narrowing the gap, and obviously a victory in New York State, Secretary Clinton's state that she represented in the Senate would be an enormous boost for us.

CHUCK TODD:

But can you win the nomination without winning New York?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

Yeah, absolutely we can. I think we're going to head out west, I think we're looking strong in Pennsylvania. We do think, Chuck, we've got a path to victory. Because the American people are responding to our message that it's just too late for establishment politics, establishment economics. We've got to stand up to the billionaire class. And that is resonating all across this nation.

CHUCK TODD:

As I implied earlier this week, there was a big tip about this issue of you calling Secretary Clinton unqualified, you since walked it back, you said that she is qualified to be president. But I want to play you something that Senator McCaskill said and get you to respond to on the other side.

(BEGIN TAPE)

SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL:

Calling Hillary Clinton not qualified is like fingernails on a blackboard to many women across this country.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

You know, both former President Clinton and Senator McCaskill there implied that had Hillary Clinton been a man, you never would have said that.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

Look, Senator McCaskill has been a strong advocate for Secretary Clinton from day one. And this business about attacking me in that regard is absurd. What the truth is is that Secretary Clinton has been going after us, along with her surrogates, very, very hard. There was, as you know, a headline in The Washington Post, "Clinton campaign arguing that Sanders is unqualified."

The point that I was making, which is absolutely correct, is that if you look at where she is getting her money from Wall Street and other powerful special interest, she voted for the war, she cited Henry Kissinger, in a sense, as a model for her. I think those issues will tell the American people that in many respects, she may have the experience to be president of the United States. No one can argue that. But in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.

CHUCK TODD:

So you believe she doesn't have the judgment to be president of the United States?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

Well, when you vote for virtually every trade agreement that has cost the workers of this country millions of jobs, when you support and continue to support fracking, despite the crisis that we have in terms of clean water, and essentially, when you have a super PAC that is raising tens of millions of dollars from every special interest out there, including 15 million from Wall Street, the American people do not believe that that is the kind of president that we need to make the changes in America to protect the working families of this country.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, you brought up the whole issue with getting money and the speeches to Wall Street. Would you be on higher ground if you released, you have released less about your taxes and tax returns than any other candidate running for president other than Donald Trump. Where are your tax returns, and wouldn't that put you on a higher ground in calling for Hillary Clinton to say, "Release these speech transcripts"?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

We are going to release, I think we've talked about it before. Actually, my wife works on our taxes, we've been busy. We are going to get all of our taxes out. Trust me, there is nothing that is going to surprise anybody.

CHUCK TODD:

Are you going to do seven, ten, 15-years' worth of tax returns? So far you've done one.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

We will do the best that we can. But yeah, we will get our tax returns out. Look, the issue facing this country, Chuck, and why our campaign is doing well, is the American people are tired of establishment politics in which the wealthiest people become much richer. And I would hope that we can focus on those important issues.

CHUCK TODD:

I understand that. I will leave it there. I know we're going to hear from you a lot in the next ten days. Senator Sanders, thanks for coming on the show.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

My pleasure.

CHUCK TODD:

You got it. Perspective on the other side here. I'm joined by the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, who of course was on stage with Hillary Clinton at an event in New York City last night, and he joins us now. Mayor de Blasio, welcome back to Meet the Press.

BILL DE BLASIO:

Thank you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you this. Why is Bernie Sanders resonating so well in New York State? He may not win, but he's clearly more competitive in Hillary Clinton's home state. Assess this. You're a strategist as well as an elected official.

BILL DE BLASIO:

Chuck, Hillary's going to win New York. I feel that more every day. She has a great operation on the ground, a great wellspring of good will from years representing New York. And the bottom line is, we're going to have a debate on Thursday where I think the contrast is going to be clear. I have great respect for both of these candidates. But Hillary is a person who can get things done, all kinds of things we need in this country.

Look, we have to tax the wealthy, we have to raise wages and benefits, we need things like universal pre-K nationwide. Hillary's the person who actually knows how to get things like that done. And that's what voters are looking for. They're looking for change in this country. But it has to be practical and it has to be real. So I feel very good about our prospects on April 19th.

CHUCK TODD:

You say that the country needs change. So I'm sort of, what change does Hillary Clinton provide from Barack Obama?

BILL DE BLASIO:

Look, the bottom line is, look at her whole career. I mentioned pre-K. Here's someone who went to work for the Children's Defense Fund right out of law school, has focused on the needs of children, children and families for decades, and understands we have to do something very, very different.

I have no doubt that a Hillary Clinton in the White House is the best route to national universal pre-K, for example -- something we're very proud we've done here in New York. Look at how she took on the health insurance companies in 1993 and '94. I remember that fight. It was a vicious attack on her by one of the biggest industries in this country. Well, that resonates with how she will be in a position to rein in Wall Street.

And by the way, her plan to rein in Wall Street is the one that's the most relevant, and I think it may raise the toughest. So you look at a history of fighting, of knowing how to stand up to powerful interests and having tremendous persistence. Those are the characteristics of someone who can achieve change. This is not about theoretical change.

This is about actual, tangible change the people of this country need. One thing we can say, Chuck, it is a year when the people in this country are focused on income inequality, they're making very, very clear they don't accept the status quo, but they need change that's practical and will actually be achieved.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you believe, you know, you took a while before you endorsed Hillary Clinton. Do you believe that if Bernie Sanders wasn't running, that Hillary Clinton would be speaking as much about income inequality the way she is now?

BILL DE BLASIO:

I think Hillary has a long history that speaks to these very same issues. As I mentioned, Children's Defense Fund, taking on the health care companies--

CHUCK TODD:

But has Bernie Sanders moved her in a way that actually makes you happier as a progressive?

BILL DE BLASIO:

I think Bernie Sanders has contributed a lot to the national discussion. There's no two ways about that. And I think he deserves a lot of respect for raising important issues. But you also have to say, look at Hillary Clinton's platform from day one. She came out very strong, the first major speech she gave was on addressing and ending mass incarceration and major criminal justice reforms.

And she went speech by speech, plank by plank, a platform, with a platform, bluntly, Chuck, it would be the most progressive of any president walking in the door of the White House in a generation. And that is very consistent with what she's devoted her life to. So look, I think Bernie Sanders has done something good in this national debate, but I think Hillary Clinton's the person who can actually achieve these changes.

CHUCK TODD:

Before I let you go, there was a lot of news involving your campaign for mayor a few years ago. The F.B.I. is now probing some campaign fundraising activities as part of an investigation of corruption in the N.Y.P.D. but apparently there's some potential campaign finance irregularities involving your campaign that's part of this investigation. Was-- Do you feel confident your campaign followed the law here?

BILL DE BLASIO:

I absolutely do, Chuck. We are very, very scrupulous about that. Everything we've done is appropriate and carefully done with many, many lawyers. I assure you. But I haven't heard anything about any investigation, there hasn't been any question posed to me or my team. And we don't have any evidence to--

CHUCK TODD:

And can you say definitively, just one other part of this, was any money from your non-profit, Campaign for One New York used in your campaign?

BILL DE BLASIO:

No, no. Totally separate things. Campaign for One New York was to achieve progressive change. Things like affordable housing, pre-K for all, that was a separate entity that worked on those issues.

CHUCK TODD:

So you believe you're going to be totally cleared of anything with this?

BILL DE BLASIO:

Yeah, and we have no information about an investigation happening to begin with.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City, Hillary Clinton supporter, thanks for coming on.

BILL DE BLASIO:

Thank you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. When we return, we'll go back to the Republican fight. Can the party take the nomination away from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz? And if they did, where would the conservative base go? And later, for years, presidents have been racing at the Washington Nationals game. Well guess what? There's a new president in town this year who will be racing. Can you guess who might it be? Here's a hint. His uniform number this year will be 31.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Today's Data Download, we're going to look at the Republican delegate fight, now that Ted Cruz has won a majority of the delegates in Wisconsin and Colorado this week. So where does that leave Donald Trump in his path to the nomination?

Well, that's what we're going to try to show you here. First, here's the most updated delegate count. As you know, the magic number is 1,237, so we're going to show you how Donald Trump can get there in his best day. He needs 61 percent of the remaining 798 delegates to do it, so how does he get there? Well, here's the everything-goes-right Trump scenario in the states that are left to participate in this process. The green states are where we expect Trump to do very well. Purple means he's likely to win some delegates, and red states are where we believe he will get shut out.

So beginning with the green states, let's for now go ahead and give all 95 there to New York, delegates to Trump. Assume a sweep of New Jersey as well, 51 more. A pretty good start. Maryland in this scenario turns out to be Trump country, wins almost all the delegates there, that's a big deal. Next Indiana, the assumption is momentum takes over, no one's sure what's gonna happen in there. But if momentum goes right, maybe Trump does well, its 39 delegates there, wins a majority out of Washington state too, again momentum being a factor, then on the last day of voting the assumption is Trump actually sweeps all 27 in winner-take-all states like in Montana but then wins a majority out in California.

Meanwhile Trump holds his own in the purple states, winning his share of delegates in places like Rhode Island, New Mexico and Oregon. Add it all up and Trump walks into Cleveland with 1,245. It's eight more than he needs, Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. But again that was a very optimistic rosey of rosiest scenarios.

But here is what we think is a more realistic map. Trump still does well in places like New York and New Jersey. But he does well in Maryland but not quite as well, a little less. Maryland looks a little more like say, Northern Virginia where he struggled, so we are gonna just give him 20 delegates, not 32. Indiana votes like nearby Wisconsin, we expect Cruz to win it, and maybe Trump only gets 12 delegates out of there. Montana then goes from green to red. Becomes a winner-take-all state for Cruz. Then Washington state happens again we expect in this scenario Cruz to win but Trump to get some delegates. And then California becomes a good state for Donald Trump, but not a great one.

So, add it all up and Trump winds up short on this scenario, 1,165. Seventy-two short of the magic number that he needs. And you know what? If Trump is short 72, you can be sure that he is not gonna win on the first ballot. And then we are looking at multiple ballots with Ted Cruz or maybe someone else. Could it be Paul Ryan parachuting in and taking this nomination?

In fact, how conservatives feel if the convention took it away from both Trump and Cruz. Will the right just totally walk? My next guest will have an opinion on that. He is the founder of TheBlaze. None other than Glenn Beck. Stay with us.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back, conservative talk radio has been on fire over the possibility of an open convention, that doesn't just deny the Republican nomination to Donald Trump, but to Ted Cruz as well. So just how would the conservative-based radio act to that outcome? Glenn Beck joins me now. He is the founder of TheBlaze.com. It's a conservative website and TV network. He's also endorsed Ted Cruz, by the way. Mr. Beck, welcome to Meet the Press.

GLENN BECK:

How are you, Chuck?

CHUCK TODD:

I'm good.

GLENN BECK:

Thank you very much.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me start with this concern. We've heard it from many people that are Cruz supporters and that Trump supporters over the airwaves, who are concerned that somehow the party establishment may deny both of them. What would happen do you think to, what would your listeners, how would they react?

GLENN BECK:

I think it would be the end of the G.O.P. I don't think it's going to happen. FiveThirtyEight.com just said that Ted Cruz has a 61 percent of chance winning California. Ted Cruz has won the last 10 in a row, with Utah, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Colorado. I just don't see it happening.

CHUCK TODD:

So you think if Paul Ryan is somehow plucked as the Republican nominee, that it would be the end of the G.O.P. --

GLENN BECK:

-- I think it would be very bad. You can't disenfranchise people. We've all gone out. We've been passionate about it. We've all been going back and forth and voted on the people that we believe. I really think it has to be one of the two frontrunners. I just think people would feel very betrayed, and that's why, quite honestly, that's why people like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are doing well, because people feel very, very disenfranchised and they are angry. And that's something we don't want to add fuel to.

When Roger Stone was calling and saying he was going to put out the hotel room numbers and encouraged people to go to the delegates' hotel rooms, and called for the Days of Rage which we all remember in 1968, that's really not a good thing. We don't want to play into the anger and the hatred and vitriol. We are in this together. Martin Luther King said we either going to live like brothers together, or we are going to perish together like fools.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think Paul Ryan is running? I want to play a quick clip for our viewers of a video he put out on Friday. Take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

PAUL RYAN: What really bothers me the most of politics these days is this notion of identity politics, that we are going to win an election by dividing people, rather than inspiring people on our common humanity and our common ideals and our common culture on the things that should unify us. We want people to reach their potential in their lives. Now liberals and conservatives are going to disagree with one another on that. No problem. That's what this is all about. So let's have a battle of ideas,

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

That could have easily been a general election ad for the Republican nominee. And that came from Speaker.gov. Do you think he is running an underground campaign?

GLENN BECK:

I don't know. I would like to take him at his word, but I don't take anybody really in Washington at their word anymore. I don't know what that ad is about. But again, if the G.O.P. doesn't find its principles, this isn't about a candidate coming up with some utopian future for us. This is really about finding our principles. And if they don't find their principles, the G.O.P. is going to be over. And disenfranchising people who have worked hard and gone out and campaigned for some of these people, I think would be a really bad mistake.

CHUCK TODD:

You were pretty aggressively on the "Never Trump" bandwagon. But under this circumstance, it sounds like you would prefer a Trump nomination if it's not Cruz over anybody else?

GLENN BECK:

No, no, no. I think a Trump nomination would be, I am a "Never Trump" guy.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

GLENN BECK:

I think a Trump nomination would be disastrous. With that being said, you can't disenfranchise people. If Trump wins the 1,237 or wins in the first, second, third ballot, it must go to him. And it can't go to dirty politics. You can't continue to disenfranchise people. I will never vote for Donald Trump. But if he's the guy that is picked with fair play, that's fine. But you have Reince Priebus saying that it will be somebody who is running right now. Okay, let's take the G.O.P. chair at his word. It's got to be somebody who's running.

CHUCK TODD:

Does that mean you'll support a third-party bid and will you actively try to get others to support a third-party bid if Trump's the nominee?

GLENN BECK:

I just don't think this is going to happen. And I haven't decided on what I would do. I know I will not vote for Trump. And I would probably go and just look for the strongest people in the House and the Senate that would keep Hillary Clinton at bay. Because Trump is not going to win the general. If you look at the polls, Todd, and you know this, no matter what you say, you look at the polls, Hillary Clinton wins every time with Donald Trump.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Glenn Beck, I'm going to leave it there.

GLENN BECK:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

From TheBlaze.com, appreciate it. Good to talk to you.

GLENN BECK:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Thanks for coming on. When we come back, our friends at S.N.L. had some fun with Hillary Clinton's efforts to prove she's a genuine New Yorker.

(BEGIN TAPE)

KATE MCKINNON:

In fact, my head is getting a little chilly. I better put on my favorite hat that I've worn so many times over the years. Here we go.

(END TAPE)

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

And we are back, panel is here let's get into the democrats a little bit. Bill Clinton had a run in with some protesters and it involved him still trying to live down the crime bill of the nineties. Let me play both his back and forth with the protestors, and then his walk back. Take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

PROTESTOR:

Your three-strikes law… your three-strikes law.

BILL CLINTON:

Wait wait wow wow, Wait a minute wait a minute. Ok I heard it, can I answer?

PROTESTOR:

No you can't.

BILL CLINTON:

Now you see, here's the thing. I like protestors but the ones that won't let you answer are afraid of the truth.

BILL CLINTON:

You are defending the people, who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth.

BILL CLINTON:

I know that those young people yesterday were just trying to get good television and they did. But that doesn't mean that i was most effective in answering it.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Joy, a lot of people assumed that was a Black Lives protester confrontation with Bill Clinton.

JOY-ANN REID:

Correct.

CHUCK TODD:

That was not.

JOY-ANN REID:

It was not.

CHUCK TODD:

As you were telling me and explaining to us earlier. But boy, that's still look like, did Bill Clinton miss the memo?

JOY-ANN REID:

Yeah, very awkward.

CHUCK TODD:

--On how to talk about his crime bill that everybody is now repudiating.

JOY-ANN REID:

Yeah, very awkward. They are a group called the Philly Coalition for Real Justice. It was a pair of people who said themselves, they are not part of Black Lives Matter. That said, the problem with Bill Clinton's oration and the problem with the way that he defended himself was that he was defending himself. And that Bill Clinton, I think, is living emotionally through the repudiation of much of his legacy, whether it's on L.G.B.T. rights or whether it's on this crime bill or on criminal justice.

CHUCK TODD:

You're right.

JOY-ANN REID:

His legacy is being relitigated in the negative. And I think it's hard for him to deal with it. But what he didn't understand is in the role of surrogate, it is not your job to defend yourself. And this complicated bill, that has no clean hands, by the way, no clean hands.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, and he took the bait on the protestors.

MATT BAI:

I think he understands it. But he's been, since he left the White House, in an incredibly difficult position of not being able to defend his legacy. I've had the personal experience in 2008 of, I was going to do a long interview with him about his own legacy and the Clinton campaign squashed it.

I mean, look, I've written this before and we've talked about it on this program. He's right. The crime bill is a much more complicated piece of legislation--

JOY-ANN REID:

Much more complicated--

MATT BAI:

Than it's talked about. Actually there's a lot of erroneous information--

CHUCK TODD:

Really there's nuance that we don't get correct about it in the media? (LAUGHTER)

MATT BAI:

And the victims that that bill was addressing, the people who are alive today who might well have been dead given the trajectory of crime at that time in the country, and I was covering it, were black and poor.

JOY-ANN REID:Right.

MATT BAI:

And he has every right to feel that his legacy is being distorted.

JOY-ANN REID:

And the people who were asking for it, I think we forget that there were many hands that were on that bill, including black mayors, including members of congress, more than half of the Congressional Black Caucus voted for it. But people struggled with it.

Let's remember Reverend Al Sharpton, our colleague, was one of the people opposing it to the end, because it did because it did contain death-penalty extension, it did contain things that we now look back on as bad policy. But there were a lot of hands on that bill, including Bernie Sanders, who voted for it.

RICH LOWRY:

I found Bill's performance quite invigorating, which is a sure sign it was a disaster in the context of democratic primary politics. But he's right. I mean, the bill came in a context of a three-decade crime wave that was devastating to American cities. And even if you think we've gone too far in incarceration, and I think there's a very good case we have, the increase is primarily driven by violent offenders and people who have committed serious property crimes. So this was not a policy that was born of racism or pointless matter.

MATT BAI:

And the crime bill did not crack down on non-violent offenders, which is--

CHUCK TODD:

By the way, I want to bring up something else though, Molly. I want to get you to react to something else, is Bill Clinton said, in his semi-apology, "Well, I know they wanted to get on television." And it came across as slightly condescending. I want to play something that Hillary Clinton said to me last week about Sanders' supporters. Take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON:

I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who, you know, believe this, they don't do their own research. And I'm glad that we now can point to reliable, independent analysis to say, "No, it's just not true."

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

This was on another issue where the fact checkers were on Hillary Clinton's side, not on Bernie Sanders' side. But it was the way she did that, and it was the way she did that and it was the way Bill Clinton did it. They seem almost resentful that young voters are not with them.

MOLLY BALL:

Well, I think what you saw Bill Clinton doing there was an extension of Hillary Clinton's mood. That she feels like she has bent over backwards to accommodate every demand of the Bernie Sanders people, the ideological liberals, the left wing of the party, the activists. Every time they have confronted her, she said, "You're right. I believe what you believe. We are all together."

CHUCK TODD:

Yes, I'm with you, right.

MOLLY BALL:

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes." And finally, she's snapping back and he's snapping back and they're saying, "You know what? No. We're going to defend ourselves. We think you're wrong about these things. I think that you're lying about my donations from the fossil fuel industry," as she said to that protester the other day. So you see the Clintons getting a little bit testy. And I think that was what Bill regretted. He didn't regret what he said. He didn't regret his message--

RICH LOWRY:

It's not as though young people are just tilting Bernie's way, they're voting at North Korean levels for Bernie Sanders. (LAUGHTER)

CHUCK TODD:

Well, on that note, let's take a quick pause. We're going to go to our endgame segment. We're back in 45 seconds. What happens when political pandering in New York gets completely out of control? We'll show you.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

(BEGIN TAPE)

KATE McKINNON (AS HILLARY CLINTON):

The New York City subway is the best way to get around. Let me try again it's been a while. Is this a working metrocard? Is it? I'll just go in the old-fashioned way. I'll take a cab. A cab is the best way to get around.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

End game time. And that was SNL's take on the pandering by Hillary Clinton ahead of the New York primary. But, let's give Hillary Clinton a break here. She's not the only one being accused of New York City pandering. Frankly, SNL didn't exactly need to create the parody the candidates themselves have been it. Take a look.

(BEGIN TAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON:

I love it because it's so convenient. It's just the best way to get around.

TED CRUZ:

Thank you, and I would simply say to everyone, l'chaim!

STORE OWNER:

Respect, respect. Bread's upside down. That's bad luck.

THE VIEW HOST:

Now show us how it's done. Yes, please. I can feel --

BERNIE SANDERS:

Are you all ready?

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

And by the way, it was The View folks that pushed Sanders to show how to eat a New York pizza. But, oh my god, Matt Bai. This is--

JOY ANN REID

First of all, Michael Che put it best on Saturday Night live, no one likes to ride the subway. Let's not pretend like we like to ride the subway. That will turn real New Yorkers off.

MATT BAI:

I have trouble, too, with the little swipe card. But here's the thing I didn't get. What is she doing on the subway? Where is she going? It's just like --

CHUCK TODD:

Well, I think she was trying to mock Bernie Sanders for talking about tokens, which of course they haven't used tokens in a while.

MATT BAI:

But don't you have anything better to be doing?

RICH LOWRY:

It's about time we have some New York pandering. It's always Iowa pandering, right? It's the state fair and the pork chop on a stick.

MOLLY BALL:

And politicians pander because it works, obviously, they do it over and over again. I also think that New Yorkers are so self-centered that there is no possible way to pander to them too much. There's no New Yorker that's going to be like, "Oh you like us too much it's over the top."

CHUCK TODD:

I absolutely agree, 100 percent. New Yorkers absolutely believe there is no pander too high. Hey, let me go back to the Republican side. Rich, your take on Glenn Beck and what he said about Paul Ryan.

RICH LOWRY:

I think he's right. It would be a very bad idea. Because if there's one thing we've learned about this process is Republican voters they're not interested in someone who's embedded in the party's leadership, they're not interested in someone who's donor friendly, and who's soft on immigration. And it'd be one thing if Ryan was a compromise between Cruz and Trump. He's a rejection of both of them and 70 percent of Republican voters. So a lot of this chatter is just the establishment still can not get its mind around the fact the choice before it is Trump or Cruz.

CHUCK TODD:

And Kasich's not a choice anymore?

JOY-ANN REID:

I'm still baffled by the fact that he's still there. I wonder who's giving him money. But can we just for a moment go back and pause on Glenn Beck and this sort of come together, we're sort of all in this together message?

This was the guy who launched the 9/12 movement on the anniversary of the March on Washington saying that they were the real heirs to King's legacy, and said that the President of the United States hates white people and hates the white culture. So, I find it interesting that he's now decided to take on this keen role in his own mind to bring the country together. But on the political sphere, I think he's right. I think the establishment can not answer a revolt from it's own base by saying we will give you this other establishment guy who's way better than the other establishment people.

CHUCK TODD:

It was an amazing box that I feel like Beck basically has put the party in. Saying you can't ever nominate Trump, I'll never support him, but hey, you better nominate him if it isn't Cruz.

MOLLY BALL:

Well, I think his argument actually contradicts himself. Because on the one hand he's saying we have to respect the will of the voters and if the voters feel disenfranchised it''ll have to split the party-- as if that hasn't already happened pretty much. But if we're assuming a brokered convention, which I think is probable, nobody has the majority of the vote. Some plurality is going to be disenfranchised. We'll have majority of Republic- this is not a Democratic process.

MATT BAI:

I object to the word disenfranchised only because I don't know where all these people got the idea that party primaries are constitutionally protected. They've always been this way-- you've got to get delegates.

CHUCK TODD:

I also want to remind people again that we're a republic. Actually, even these private organizations called the Democratic Party and Republican Party-- private organization not governed by the constitution chose to essentially mirror the constitution. The constitution says we're going to have an electoral college, a federal system decide who our president is, and the two parties agreed.

RICH LOWRY:

Right. And the delegates they're roughly analogous to -

CHUCK TODD:

We're doing American Government teacher's good today.

RICH LOWRY:

Representatives of Congress. You know --

MOLLY BALL:

Well, this was a relatively recent innovation. This wasn't always the case. And it's only in the last few decades that they've chosen to resemble more, the quasi-democratic --

MATT BAI:

However you pick the delegates, the fact remain it's always been the twos- Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, they didn't show up to the convention with the delegates. They had to go there, twist arms, and win delegates and earn it. And just because you're doing it with primaries and caucuses more now --

CHUCK TODD:

Shouldn't you, by the way, if you want to be the leader of the party, shouldn't you be able to prove that you can do some behind the scenes stuff, too?

RICH LOWRY:

Well, right. Organizing has always been part of politics and 1,237 is not an arbitrary number. It's a majority. It's the bare minimum requirement to show you have a majority consensus of the party.

JOY-ANN REID:

Also, the party, at least for the Republicans, their fundamental problem is not listening to the base of their own party. I think it would be the ultimate sort of irony if they attempted to fix that by once again not listening to the base of their party.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, I want to talk about -- we have a new president already here. I know we're talking about the election of a new president in 2017, but we have a new one, we're very focused on this one, this race. But we have a new president in Washington. In fact, the new president is in town or back in town starting today. He's a new old president.

Herbert Hoover, the nation's 31st president will debut this afternoon as the newest addition to the Washington Nationals racing president mascots that compete on the field in the middle of the fourth inning, and I got an exclusive interview with Herbie earlier this week. Take a look.

(BEGIN TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Are you going to be somebody that can actually win these races? Yes or no? Yes, you will win these races. And when you lose do you end up going into a Great Depression? Is that wrong? Is that wrong? Is it too soon?

(END TAPE)

(LAUGHTER)

CHUCK TODD:

Anyway, by the way, Herbert Hoover, actually that's his third appearance on Meet the Press, guys, because he actually was on twice as a former president. This all, by the way, is in association with the White House Historical Association has got a new ornament they're honoring the 1929 West Wing fire that took place while Hoover was president. The ornament that they're going to be selling and giving away to fans who get questions about Herbert Hoover right at Nationals games is this wonderful little fire truck. And, I have to say, that ornament is worth all of it. It's really cool.

RICH LOWRY:

I won't be satisfied until all the racers are late nineteenth, or early twentieth century Republicans--

MATT BAI:

I'm a real Yankee fan. You show up dressed like that to Yankee stadium and you've got a problem.

CHUCK TODD:

That's all we have for today. We'll be back next week because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.