Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, joined senior White House correspondent & guest anchor, Jim Acosta.
For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, the full video, text highlights, and a transcript of the discussion are below.
MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on State of the Union-Full Interview
Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski’s response to comments made by an advisor from Jeb Bush’s super-PAC: “I think what you have is a low-energy candidate who really doesn’t excite anybody. You know, their super-PAC says that [Trump is really other people's problem, not Jeb Bush's problem], and then that same day in Alabama they fly an airplane over the stadium to try to talk about Jeb's accomplishments, which are so few. So I think what they say and what they do are two different things. I think if his candidacy was resonating, he wouldn’t have 125 people in New Hampshire seven miles away from Mr. Trump that has 25,000 people. So I think the crowds and the enthusiasm speaks for itself.”
Lewandowski’s response to the “white power” shout heard during Donald Trump’s event: “…nobody is condoning violence, and Mr. Trump would never condone violence. And I don't know about the individual you’re talking about in Alabama.”
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: It was literally the hottest ticket in Mobile, Alabama, this weekend, 30,000 people lining up around the block, all of them waiting in 90-degree heat to see the Republican front-runner.
Donald Trump also took in the view from above, of course, doing a flyby while the Rolling Stones roared over the stadium speakers. And when he landed, he doubled down on his controversial position to deny citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants. And with us live now is Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
And, Corey, just want to ask you about this. There's been a lot of back-and-forth about how Trump would execute this idea of taking away birthright citizenship. I suppose, down in Texas right now, there is a lawsuit that says some officials down there are denying that citizenship to babies that are born in Texas. How is this going to work?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, thanks for having me on.
And, first, we have to think about how big of a problem this really is. So, if you think of the term anchor baby, which is those individuals coming to our country and having children here so that their children can be U.S. citizens, there's 400,000 of those taking place on a yearly basis. To put that in perspective, that is the equivalent of the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 47th largest city in our country. We have a huge problem with illegal immigration. The first thing we need to do is to build a wall to stop the people from coming into our country illegally.
ACOSTA: And what happens if - let me ask you this, Corey.
LEWANDOWSKI: The second thing we need to do is enforce the laws we have.
ACOSTA: Let me jump in. Let me ask you, if somebody comes over from Great Britain, for example, a couple comes from Great Britain, and they have a baby in Manhattan, are you saying that that baby would also have its birthright citizenship taken away? In other words, it doesn't matter about what part of the world the parents come from? Or is this only about couples that come from Latin America?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, it's from anywhere. There was a story just recently about the women coming from China to come and have their children here. It is well-documented that the DEA and the INS has followed a number of women coming from China to have their children here, so that they can be U.S. citizens.
Look, we are the greatest country in the world. Everybody wants to come here. Everybody wants to be a citizen of our great country. There is a proper way to do that. In order to do that, we need to follow the rules. Just like many of the ancestors did, they came legally, they came through Ellis Island or they came through other places, and then they had children here and became great members of the society.
Coming to our country illegally is not an option any longer. What we see -
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about this -
LEWANDOWSKI: - is illegal immigration is permanent - excuse me, illegal immigration is coming through. We see the severity of the crimes that illegal immigrants are committing. We see that the catch and release program is a disaster. We see sanctuary city should be defunded because what has happened. We are see people like Jameel Shar and Kate Steinle and their families, who are first-class victims of these illegals, and no one wants to talk about it.
ACOSTA: All right, let me ask you about this, because -
LEWANDOWSKI: And it’s do something to put our country first.
ACOSTA: Right, I’m sure you heard about this. There were some reports that at the event in Alabama there was a man in the crowd at one point shouting "white power". There’s that situation in Boston that cropped up a couple days ago where these two men beat up an immigrant, said that Trump was right. Are you concerned that this rhetoric, this anti-immigration rhetoric, is going to spiral out of control and people are going to be hurt?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, look, nobody is condoning violence, and Mr. Trump would never condone violence. And I don't know about the individual you’re talking about in Alabama. I know there were thirty-plus thousand people in that stadium. They were very receptive to the message of making America great again, because they want to be proud to be Americans again. There’s nothing wrong with being proud to be an American.
Now, we would never condone violence. If that is what happened in Boston, then by no means would that be acceptable in any nature. However, we should not be ashamed to be Americans. We should be proud of our country, proud of our heritage, and continue to be the greatest country in the world.
ACOSTA: And let me ask you about Jeb Bush. An advisor at his super-PAC said that Trump is really other people's problem, not Jeb Bush's problem. What do you make of that statement? Are they being a little too confident that in the end it’s going to be Trump versus Bush?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well I think what you have is a low-energy candidate who really doesn’t excite anybody. You know, their super-PAC says that, and then that same day in Alabama they fly an airplane over the stadium to try to talk about Jeb's accomplishments, which are so few. So I think what they say and what they do are two different things. I think if his candidacy was resonating, he wouldn’t have 125 people in New Hampshire seven miles away from Mr. Trump that has 25,000 people. So I think the crowds and the enthusiasm speaks for itself.
ACOSTA: The crowds do speak for themselves. That is very true. Cory Lewandowski, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it. Good talking to you.