Bill Clinton: Hillary Held to a "Different Standard"; War of Words Between Sanders and Top CEO; Trump Off The Campaign Trail For



Words Between Sanders and Top CEO; Trump Off The Campaign Trail For

Second Day in a Row; Suspected Paris, Brussels Attackers Captured

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[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the fallout over whether Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president as Bill Clinton suggests, the question itself is sexist. Is he right?

Plus, Bernie Sanders takes someone of America's most powerful man worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Why Sanders as he is destroying the moral fabric of America? And Donald Trump two days in a row off the radar? What is going on inside this campaign? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett OUTFRONT tonight. Hillary Clinton addressing Bernie Sanders qualifications to be president. Campaigning in Buffalo today, Clinton asked point blank, do you think he is qualified to be president? And she said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe he is qualified to be president?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, you know, as I said, I would take him over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz any day.


BURNETT: This coming days after the battle of qualifications started. Sanders claiming Clinton's position on the Iraq war and the support from big banks made her unqualified. Bill Clinton just 90 miles away today in Erie, Pennsylvania defending his wife. He was asked today, is the question of whether she is qualified sexist?


BILL CLINTON (D), 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think she would be the best president. I think it's obvious by a country mile, and that's all it matters to me. Yes, I think there are some different standards, some of them are subconscious.


BURNETT: A short time later Hillary Clinton was asked about it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it would be better if you were a male candidate?

CLINTON: You'd have to ask him.


BURNETT: Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT today with the Clinton campaign in Rochester, New York. And Suzanne, Clinton speaking right now behind you at the rally where you are. She is expected to address this issue again of qualifications?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, she is here at the Community College in Rochester and earlier in Buffalo to show that the race, the fight for New York is bigger than New York City. She is making the case that the things she did as senator including bringing high tech jobs makes her more than qualified to be president.


MALVEAUX (voice-over): Hillary Clinton today, not letting go of charges from Bernie Sanders that she is not qualified to be president.

CLINTON: You may have heard Senator Sanders say I'm unqualified to be president, well, seriously, seriously, I have been called a lot of things over the years. But unqualified has not been one of them. He doesn't really believe that. This is all pretty silly.

MALVEAUX: The rebuke from the Democratic frontrunner comes as Sanders backs off her earlier criticisms of Clinton's qualifications.

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Does she have the experience? Obviously, she does. She was secretary of state, U.S. senator, I thought an outstanding first lady in many respects, breaking the mold.

MALVEAUX: Clinton returning the favor late today, when asked if Sanders is qualified.

CLINTON: As I said, I would take him over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz any day.

MALVEAUX: Sanders though is insisting that Clinton's judgement is still fair game.

SANDERS: We all make mistakes. But I regret less than she does, because I had the courage to vote the right way even when it was not necessarily popular.

MALVEAUX: A sign of the tough battle under way in New York, ahead of next Thursday's CNN debate in Brooklyn and the state's April 19th primary. Both sides are playing up their empire state connections.

CLINTON: I'm really going to try to win the New York primary because I love New York.

MALVEAUX: While the Brooklyn-born Sanders paid a visit to his childhood home. SANDERS: I spent the first 18 years of my life in an apartment to see right here.

MALVEAUX: Thursday, Bill Clinton fire an exchange with "Black Lives Matter" protesters in Philadelphia.

SANDERS: You are defending the people who take the lives you say matter. Tell the truth.

MALVEAUX: Today, the former president trying to move beyond his comments during a campaign stop in Erie, Pennsylvania.

SANDERS: I did something yesterday in Philadelphia, I almost want to apologize for. But I want to use it as an example of the danger threatening our country. We all have different experiences, we cannot learn anything unless we'd listen.

MALVEAUX: Back in New York, with Sanders hopes to maintain his momentum, after a string of recent victories, his campaign says it is making plans for an open convention.

JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: In fact, in all likelihood, there will be an open convention.


MALVEAUX: And back here in Rochester this gymnasium is filled to capacity. There are thousands and thousands of people here who are essentially waiting for hours in the freezing code. There is an overflow outside of this building, as well. People say this is an indication that there is momentum and enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Suzanne. And OUTFRONT now, Hillary Clinton supporter, Congressman Steve Israel, Bernie Sanders supporter, former Ohio State Nina Turner and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast John Avlon. OK, great to have all of you with me.

Congressman, let me start with you. Sanders explanation for why he said Hillary Clinton was unqualified to be president. He said, OK, she's got the resume, but she doesn't have the judgment, he said. So, she doesn't have a judgement on issues on Wall Street deregulation, her vote on the war in Iraq. Is it a fair argument that you can be unqualified because of your judgement not your resume?

[19:05:24] REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: No, absolutely not. Look, this is New York, people aren't interested in the theory of what makes you qualified. This is New York, they want to know what have you done? Do you have my back? And they know that for eight years as a senator Hillary Clinton delivered for New Yorkers when it came -- when 9/11 occurred, it was Hillary Clinton that made sure that there was $20 billion in funds to reconstruct ground zero. She took care of the 9/11 recovery workers, she took care of the veterans, she hope passed legislation to protect the Long Island sound. So in New York it's not about judging who is more qualified, it's about, do you have my back? Did you get it done? And New Yorkers know that Hillary Clinton has gotten it done.

BURNETT: Nina, not qualified based on her judgment?

NINA TURNER, BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: Well, you know, Senator has clipped that to rest today. I mean, listen, the constitution decided a long time ago who is qualified to be president. Thirty five years of age by the time he take office.

BURNETT: Talk about --

TURNER: So, I mean, so you know, but he said what he said, and he said what he said today, they both have been going back and forth to one another. But I will say this. Senator Bernie Sanders made it very clear that he would not going to be a pushover. And the fact that he has won seven over the last eight contests, and the Clinton campaign decided that they were going to do all that they could to put that kind of question mark in the minds of the voters whether or not he was in fact qualified to be in office. He responded to that.

JOHN AVLON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: I don't know that that is what they did. Right? I mean, you know, she has been baited to say he is unqualified. She resisted taking the bait. And what Bernie Sanders did was not just a gaffe, it was repeated riff in a speech that was written, it was done with intent, and it was clearly a mistake, because you can say a lot of things about Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders is great when he's talking about idea, but when he goes to insults he is really out of his depth. And it is fundamentally obvious to everyone watching that if you've been Secretary of State and twice elected senator, you're imminently qualified to be president.

TURNER: However, but from the beginning of this campaign, Senator Sanders could have taken issue with the e-mails. He did not take that bait. Secretary of State said those things about Senator Sanders and has been saying those kinds of things about him from the beginning, that one, he wanted to destroy the Affordable Care Act, just because he is fighting for universal health care, that he wanted to take away chip programs, they did in fact say those things.

BURNETT: OK. So, that did not stand-up to the fact checkbooks. Let me just ask you, because you said he did bring up the e-mails. But he did something a little Donald Trump-like on that front.

TURNER: Oh, Erin.

BURNETT: Hear me up. Hear me up. Here is Bernie Sanders.


SANDERS: How often have I talked about Hillary Clinton's e-mails? Have you heard me? Not a word. How often have I talked about the Clinton Foundation's fundraising? Have you heard me say one thing about it during the campaign trail? I have tried to stay away from personal attacks.


BURNETT: OK. OK. He didn't.

But, you know, I mean, Donald Trump, you know, is sort of the master of saying, you know, I'm not saying you're wearing a blue tie, I'm not saying it. I'm just asking, some people are saying you're wearing a blue tie. Doesn't it sound exactly like that?

TURNER: No, he is nothing like Mr. Donald Trump. I mean, let's be real.

BURNETT: E-mail is not a word but he just --

TURNER: No, he is nothing like Mr. Donald Trump at all. The fact of the matter is, it's just ironic to me that the Clinton campaign wants to cry foul when they brought out almost every member of the Congressional Black Caucus to say that Senator Bernie Sanders did not fight in the civil rights movement. Those kinds of things discredit him all along the way and now he responds?

ISRAEL: We should let Donald Trump -- let's leave these attacks to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and the 57 different Republican investigative committees that House Republicans are set up to investigate Hillary Clinton, you know, baselessly. Let's let Republicans be the ones to engage in attacks. As Democrats, we have a responsibility to focus on issues that matter. That is what people wants us to be focusing on. And I am hopeful that Senator Sanders learns his lesson and will stay on the high road and talk about National Security, gun violence, what are his plans to increase wages. What are his plans to expand infrastructure. That's what people need to be talking about.


BURNETT: -- the war in Iraq, those are issues. Those are serious issues.

TURNER: Well, I hope the Secretary will do the same thing. I mean, this is not a --

AVLON: What is fascinating about this, you're seeing between the Clinton Sanders campaign and their surrogates, the Democratic Party has a deep ideological divide of the con they have not had to confront in decades. And that's what's going on right now. It may not be right now compared to Republicans but this is a sign to come in attractions.

TURNER: This is a disruption election and that's what worry you, the left or the right.

BURNETT: All right. What about the issues of sexism? Hillary Clinton has raised this before with Bernie Sanders. Right? When he said she was yelling. Today you just heard Bill Clinton say in terms of qualifications I think she would be the best president. Yes, I think there are some different standards when he was explicitly asked if it was sexist to Bernie Sanders --

[19:10:02] TURNER: Senator Bernie Sanders is not sexist. Was it sexist for President Bill Clinton to tell Black Lives Matter, young woman, call them girls yesterday? Was that sexist? We know good and well. Senator Bernie Sanders is not sexist, we are in a heated primary right now, period. That is what is going on here. But to say that, for anybody to imply that Senator Bernie Sanders is sexist is wrong.

BURNETT: Congressman, would you say? Have sexism in it?

ISRAEL: Well, Secretary of State, First Lady, senator in New York, getting it done constantly, bringing people together to suggest for a moment that that makes you less qualified and then have to retract that, I think it's a real double standard and it's a kind of double standards that Republicans apply constantly.

TURNER: I mean, Democrats are not -- let's be honest here, Democrats are not pure. OK. Republicans have their problems but Democrats are not pure. I mean, let's talk about policies in the '90s that put the African-American communities in peril at the hands of Democrats. Let's talk about the poverty, overwhelming amounts of poverty in urban areas at the hands of Democrats. So now, we want to talk that talk, this is about who is fighting for the heart and the souls of the citizens of this country, who is going to lift the poor in this country, who is going to create opportunities for this country? Our party is supposed to be a big party, that is what we esquire to. And so, we have to continue to push our values which makes us the Democratic Party.

BURNETT: All right. Well, we of course, we'll continue to see this battle go on. It is a battle indeed on both sides. And Clinton and Sanders will be facing off in CNN's debate in Brooklyn Thursday night at 9:00.

OUTFRONT next, why is Bernie Sanders slamming GE's CEO? His campaign manager is going to be my guest right after this.

And Donald Trump silent off the campaign for two days in a row. What is going on?

Plus, the fight for delegates, how nearly 200 people could make or break Donald Trump.


[19:15:51] BURNETT: Tonight, Bernie Sanders and the CEO of GE both refusing to back down after a series of personal insults. Sanders suggesting, GE's Jeff Immelt is destroying the fabric of America. Immelt accusing Sanders of lying about his company. So, who's telling the truth?

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with tonight's big number. Tom, you have been fact-checking the Sanders' claims, including whether GE is slashing jobs in the United States? And what have you found? TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have found that there is a lot of confusion here, Erin. Look, here is the basic claim. One of the things that Sanders is saying is that GE is basically getting rid of American jobs. GE says they are a global company with more than 330,000 employees around the planets with 180 countries. And even though they have expanded their workforce a lot over the past 20 years, look what's happened to the American share of that? If you look at all the GE employees in the world, 68 percent were in the United States in 1995. By 2005, look what happened. It was down to about half. And now that share of American jobs for GE is down to just 38 percent.

Of course many critics say they're just offshoring everything. Many companies in fairness have gone looking for cheaper labor elsewhere. But you do have to consider this into this equation, it's only fair GE has also restructured a lot of things in that 20 years. So parts of the company have been wholesale sold off to other companies within the United States. So those jobs didn't necessarily go away, they just went to a different company altogether. Still, if you take the narrow statement of what Sanders had to say, is GE reducing the share of its jobs that are in the United States? You have to say that is true based on the numbers alone, as long as you have that narrow focus. Another claim that Sanders has out there is aimed at email more directly, he is basically saying, this guy is making too much money when so many people are struggling out there. He says that about a lot of the CEOs.

We took a look at this website by company called Equalar (ph) which tracks all of this complex contracts that come over the pay for these CEOs. And if you include all of his bonuses and stocks and everything else, it comes out to more than $18 million a year. That makes him the 85th best paid CEO in the country. Some other sites have him listed even higher. But as a point of reference, compare that to a typical American family of four out there, if they wanted to earn the same amount of money that he earns in one year, they're going to have to work about 340 years -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Tom. So, Immelt and GE are hitting back pretty hard on all of this, have they been able to land any solid punches on Sanders?

FOREMAN: Well, it turns out, the GE is a pretty big employer in the state of Vermont which has a lot of rural areas there. In fact the employer well over a thousand people, they've spend tens of millions of dollars upgrading some facilities there, particularly some that are involved in airplane part manufacturing. And one of their complaints, is they say for everything that the Senator has said about this. He has never even come to visit these workers at their plant and see what GE is actually doing in his home state -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Tom, thank you very much. And OUTFRONT now, Bernie Sanders campaign manager, Jeff Weaver. So thank you very much for coming on and talking about it.

JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Glad to be here. BURNETT: This is something that has gotten very heated this week. Look, part of the reason that Jeff Immelt wrote the op-ed responding to Bernie Sanders is that plant. That plant in Rutland, Vermont. That he personally feels doesn't understand why Bernie Sanders has never come to visit that plant and perhaps make his own personal opinion on GE and what they're doing. Why hasn't Sanders -- and visited the plant in his home state?

WEAVER: Well, let me tell you, let me say this. Bernie Sanders when he's not running for president, spends every weekend home in Vermont holding town hall meetings all across the country, all across the state. I guarantee you that he has met almost every single worker in that plant, he doesn't have to go to the GE plant to meet with those GE workers. So, I'm confident that he's going to --

BURNETT: So you think he understands their situation, their point of view without actually going and seeing the plant?

WEAVER: Yes, absolutely. Look, the broader point that Bernie was making which is the correct point which is that company after company has been offshoring American jobs either by moving things, out- sourcing things or shedding pieces to companies overseas, that is the reality in this country. And we have lost, you know, tons of manufacturing jobs, good paying jobs and it's really in a race to the bottom.

[19:20:08] BURNETT: So now, GE, Jeff Immelt, Bernie Sanders mentioned specifically is $58 million retirement package that Bernie Sanders says he's going to get. What happened to Jeff Immelt if Bernie Sanders were president? Do you guys take that away? Do you -- what do you do?

WEAVER: Well, I'll take it away. But look, his taxes would go up. As you know, I don't know about Jeff Immelt in particular, but you know, CEOs have effective tax rates which are less -- so their taxes are going to go up. There's no doubt about it. They're going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes.

BURNETT: So, you're not going to do claw backs, you're not going to cap CEO pay, that's not.

WEAVER: No, I don't think you have to do that. I think if you set an appropriate tax rate --

BURNETT: Then it would work. OK. So your campaign told us last night, you know, in this response of back and forth, and I'll read just the quote, because I want to read it exactly. If the CEO of General Electric wants to know how his company is destroying the fabric of America, he should take a good look in the mirror. And of course earlier in the week, Sanders did this interview with the New York Daily News. In that interview, he was also asked about another company, not GE Apple. Apple has $158 billion right now overseas, obviously they're not paying U.S. taxes on that money.

WEAVER: Right. BURNETT: It's the biggest cash stash that this country knows off. Here is what Bernie Sanders told the Daily News about whether Apple is destroying the moral fabric of America.


SANDERS: Apple is not destroying the fabric of America. But I do wish they would be manufacturing devices here in the United States rather than in China. But I do wish they would not be trying not to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.


BURNETT: So, the point of is, GE is not paying taxes and GE is offshoring jobs and why is GE destroying the moral fabric of America and not Apple?

WEAVER: Well, I can't speak that because I wasn't with the Senator when he made those comments. But I would say, you know, the point is the same with Apple in terms of, why are they not manufacturing those products here in the United States? Why are they not paying their taxes in the United States? You know, we had to make sure that one of the parts of Senator Sanders tax plan is companies that hide money overseas. We'll have to pay taxes, whether they bring it back or not. Right? So, that would deal with this process?

BURNETT: So, he is going to come down hard on Apple, too?

WEAVER: Absolutely, if you're hiding money overseas, you're going to pay taxes on it.

BURNETT: All right. Today, I want to ask you about one of the thing. President Clinton was asked about Secretary Clinton and whether it was her gender that played a factor in why Bernie Sanders originally said, she was not qualified to be president. And he responded, I quote him, I think there are some different standards, some of them are subconscious. So obviously directly, and that was directly in response to whether this was sexist, what is your response to him?

WEAVER: Well, let me say this. Was the Clinton campaign -- what was the subconscious thought when the Clinton campaign in 2008 suggested that Barack Obama was not qualified to be vice president? Was there something subconscious involved in that? Of course that's a ridiculous statement on the part of the President. Look, the Secretary and her campaign were the ones that started attacking Senator Sanders' qualifications. So, it was obviously not a gender thing because they were attacking -- he's happens to be a man, they were attacking his.

I mean, Jeff Zeleny of CNN reported on Election Night in Wisconsin that the Clinton campaign's strategy, going into New York, they were tired of Sanders, and they wanted to disqualify him, defeat him and then pick up the pieces later in terms of the party. So, look, this is something that started on their side, obviously was not a gender -- gender related thing. BURNETT: You know, you did say earlier this week, it was fair to bring up this issue of qualifications, whether she was qualified. Now, of course Senator Sanders is saying, he meant judgment, he didn't mean qualifications.

WEAVER: Right.

BURNETT: I mean, the use of the word qualified wasn't -- hasn't played that well for all of you. All that's why, Bernie Sanders said he wished he used the word judgement. You obviously also used the word qualified. Do you wish you used another word? Do you regret using that word?

WEAVER: Well, I think to qualify in the sense of disqualified is opposed to unqualified, correct? I mean, I think those are different meanings, right? I mean, obviously, the secretary is resume- qualified, she has a distinguished resume. There is no doubt about that. No one can take that away from her. Right? But on terms of judgment and the things she supported over the year for the war in Iraq, you know, the way she funds her campaign with special interest money, you know, her support of this disastrous trade deals, you know, these are all broadly speaking about quote-unquote, "qualifications," but not in the sense, the narrow sense of resume qualifications.

BURNETT: So disqualified, not unqualified. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Good to talk to you, Jeff.

WEAVER: Good to talk to you.

BURNETT: And Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton going to be on State of the Union on Sunday morning at 9:00. You don't want to miss that.

And OUTFRONT next, Ben Carson on Donald Trump's quote, "problem," he says its Twitter. And meet one of the few people who could determine whether Donald Trump gets the nomination.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should be able to freely express yourself, especially in a vote.


BURNETT: Plus, two major terror arrests today. Two of the most wanted men in the world. We are live on scene.


[19:28:30] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump, MIA, instead of out hunting for votes, Trump is off the campaign trail. It is two days in a row. Now, this is unbelievable, right? This is not what you expect from Donald Trump but it comes as newly named convention manager is speaking out for the first time to CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you the boss's boss now?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that is it. You only have one guy you listen to and it's Trump.

MANAFORT: Well, I listen to everybody, but I have one man whose voice is louder than everybody else.


BURNETT: Sara Murray is OUTFRONT. And then Sara, of course, that is the new boss's boss. Trump loves the media. But this is the second day in a row he has not held a campaign event, he is virtually absent from the media. And even with that new high profile addition for his campaign, Trump is actually silent?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I know, it's amazing, Erin. I think we're used to seeing Donald Trump show up on every television screen all over the country. But he did take to Twitter today to give us a hint about what he is doing here in New York. He said, so great to be in New York catching up on many things. Remember, I am still lying a major visit while I campaign and loving it. So, fairly he's getting a little bit of work done while he is in town. But I also think Erin, this reflects the fact that his campaign is going through this recalibration, they are trying to figure out where he should be best spending his time to get the delegates they need, to end up in Cleveland as the nominee. And who knows, maybe they are going to try to take a more disciplined approach to Donald Trump himself. We'll see if they're able to pull that off, Erin.

BURNETT: And, Sara, Paul Manafort becoming the convention manager is obviously a very big deal.

[19:30:05] It's perhaps the biggest move within the campaign since it started.

What do you know about what he's going to be doing?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: It is a big deal, Erin, because when we talk about the campaign manager, we're not just talking about being behind the scenes, going to these state conventions, fighting to get the delegates he wants on these slates. And we're not just talking about planning for Cleveland.