Donald Trump Jr. “Ted Cruz has no chance of winning this without bribing the delegates.”
April 24th, 2016
12:56 PM ET

Donald Trump Jr. “Ted Cruz has no chance of winning this without bribing the delegates.”

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president, the Trump Organization and son of presidential candidate Donald Trump, joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss the tone of his father’s campaign, appealing to delegates, Ted Cruz and more.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

 

Donald Trump Jr. on State of the Union: Full Interview

 

CNN STORY

Donald Trump Jr: Ted Cruz has to bribe delegates to win

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Donald Trump Jr. on campaigns potential shift:  Well listen Jake, I think there's aspects of things where he'll take things to a level that they need to be taken to be able to draw attention to it, I mean if you look at any of the issues that he's spoken about, he'll take about them in a way that no one else has spoken about them, he'll take them to a certain level, and guess what? An issue that was taboo or that no one wanted to touch, all of a sudden people are actually talking about it. So it's not that it's An act, but sometimes he does have to talk about things in a certain way to be able to draw the requisite attention hat that topic actually needs. No one else will touch it if he hasn't done that, so I think for him this is a very natural evolution, he's switching over, getting focused on the general election where's going to have to talk to that broader audience, so I think it's a very natural progression [TAPPER] So when he talks about building a wall, or when he talks about deporting 11 million people in this country undocumented immigrants, is that just playing a part or is that to be taken literally? [TRUMP JR] No, it think that's to be taken literally, he's the only person that's been talking about it, he's the- everyone else jumps on the bandwagon after he says it. He says it- three weeks later, everyone else, once he's taken all the heat, once he's taken all the criticism, once he's taken all of that, then everyone else jumps on and says 'hey wait a minute, this is actually a winning idea, this makes a lot of sense,' and then they do it because he's the only one of the candidate that actually ever had an original thought in years. [TAPPER] So the bottom line is we should take him at face value but there might be some rhetorical flourish in there. [TRUMP JR] I think without question, yeah, I think that's only natural. I see that in politics all the time, everyone pretends that's not the case, but that's very much what I've seen.

 

Donald Trump Jr. on appealing to delegates: [TAPPER] “So are you or your sister Ivanka, or Eric, or any other member of your family, are you planning to help your dad woo delegates one by one on behalf of your father?” [TRUMP JR] “you know I think we'll do some of that, I think that's natural, but you know I think his biggest thing is wanting to change the process. The fact that the average voter doesn't even know that their vote may not matter, or that their vote matters but if you don't talk about the delegates, you know my father could do more wooing than anyone- he just doesn't want to play the game that way, he doesn't think that's right for the country. Why should a couple people who are establishment elitists get to go on beautiful vacations, I mean he could send his private plane and send them down to Doral, they could play golf for a week and then we win that delegate. That's not the way this country should be run, Jake…. I think we're going to do what we need to do to win, to a point, but I think we want to win without having to do that. You know, Ted Cruz has no chance of winning this without bribing the delegates. That's his game at this point, okay, he's mathematically eliminated, but that's been his game from day one because he's not an appealing candidate to the general election voter, so he'll try to get there, he'll do this, he'll lose more states than Mitt Romney, because I can't name a single state that Mitt lost that Ted can possibly win. So, I think at this point the Republican establishment would much rather just hand the things over to Hillary, hand the reins over to her, let her run it, because guess what? There's no accountability in the party.”

Donald Trump Jr. on the establishment embracing Ted Cruz as nominee: “you know, there are decisions being made and there are things that I see and actions happening that make me really question whether they actually want someone who could actually win. When I see all the people in this state, because I'm in Pennsylvania today, who've switched over and the hundreds of thousands of people all over the country who have switched over from being Independents to being Republicans, who've switched over form being democrats to being Republicans, and they don't embrace that, instead they want to try to push someone else who has zero chance of winning anywhere else, it doesn't make any sense to me. I have to certainly question their motives.”

Donald Trump Jr. on if his father has begun vetting potential vice presidents: “Well listen we have some time, we want to get there probably without it so we have a decision whenever we need to not just before the convention. I think there are a lot of viable candidates out there and I think some of them could have been people that have run against us in this. I think my father's been clear that he wants someone that has navigated the D.C. waterways a little more than he has to be in there. I think he's the disrupter but you're still going to need someone that has that understanding. I think there are a lot of good options but we haven't started the serious vetting options because we'll get there on our own without having to make that decision today.”

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Joining me now from right outside Scranton in Pennsylvania is Donald Trump, Jr. Thanks so much for joining us, Don, we really appreciate it.

DONALD TRUMP JR: My pleasure, Jake. How're you doing?

TAPPER: So take a look at what your father's new campaign manager told the Republican National Committee this week according to the New York Times. Quote, "Addressing about 100 committee members at the spring meeting here, many of them deeply skeptical about Mr. Trump's candidacy, the campaign chief, Paul Manafort, bluntly suggested the candidate's incendiary style amounted to an act. 'That's what's important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he's been playing is evolving,' Mr. Manafort said..." Unquote. SO, Don, you know your dad better than almost anyone in the world, what part of what we see is the part he's been playing?

TRUMP JR: Well listen Jake, I think there's aspects of things where he'll take things to a level that they need to be taken to to be able to draw attention to it, I mean if you look at any of the issues that he's spoken about, he'll take about them in a way that no one else has spoken about them, he'll take them to a certain level, and guess what? An issue that was taboo or that no one wanted to touch, all of a sudden people are actually talking about it. So it's not that it's An act, but sometimes he does have to talk about things in a certain way to be able to draw the requisite attention hat that topic actually needs. No one else will touch it if he hasn't done that, so I think for him this is a very natural evolution, he's switching over, getting focused on the general election where's going to have to talk to that broader audience, so I think it's a very natural progression

TAPPER: So when he talks about building a wall, or when he talks about deporting 11 million people in this country undocumented immigrants, is that just playing a part or is that to be taken literally?

TRUMP JR: No, it think that's to be taken literally, he's the only person that's been talking about it, he's the- everyone else jumps on the bandwagon after he says it. He says it- three weeks later, everyone else, once he's taken all the heat, once he's taken all the criticism, once he's taken all of that, then everyone else jumps on and says 'hey wait a minute, this is actually a winning idea, this makes a lot of sense,' and then they do it because he's the only one of the candidate that actually ever had an original thought in years.

TAPPER: So the bottom line is we should take him at face value but there might be some rhetorical flourish in there.

TRUMP JR: I think without question, yeah, I think that's only natural. I see that in politics all the time, everyone pretends that's not the case, but that's very much what I've seen.

TAPPER: A Republican committeewoman from Maryland had some advice for your father I want you to take a listen.

(TAPE) AMBROSE: My advice to Mr. Trump is be Mr. Art of the Deal. It is up to you to win those delegate votes – vote by vote – and fight for them.

TAPPER: So are you or your sister Ivanka, or Eric, or any other member of your family, are you planning to help your dad woo delegates one by one on behalf of your father?

TRUMP JR: you know I think we'll do some of that, I think that's natural, but you know I think his biggest thing is wanting to change the process. The fact that the average voter doesn't even know that their vote may not matter, or that their vote matters but if you don't talk about the delegates, you know my father could do more wooing than anyone- he just doesn't want to play the game that way, he doesn't think that's right for the country. Why should a couple people who are establishment elitists get to go on beautiful vacations, I mean he could send his private plane and send them down to Doral, they could play golf for a week and then we win that delegate. That's not the way this country should be run, Jake. I'm here with two congressmen from the state of Pennsylvania and we have to print out cards because every district from the hundreds of districts in the state have three people that could serve as delegates for us or for someone else, so you could actually win the state in a landslide and of the 70-something delegates that are there you only get 17. The other 50 and change they're up for grabs for whoever bribes them, I mean, this isn't America, this isn't a country, I mean this is the way it's been, and some of these systems, I understand, they made sense 200 years ago when everyone lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere, but I have the library of congress in my iPhone, I have all the information I could possibly need. Most people still have cable television or certainly access to news, they know what's going on, they don't need this archaic system. But the establishment, and the guys like Ted Cruz, they love this system because they don't actually have to appeal to the voters. They don't have to care what the voters say. They just have to go grab these umpteen people who have been party loyalists and do whatever the party says and that's the problem in Washington, that's what creates the stalemate-

TAPPER: So-

TRUMP JR: And let me finish, because the one thing I'll say is I know guys that have been involved in the political process in this state and other states for a very long time, and they had no idea, I mean these are people that have supported at a high level congressmen, senators, various, and they had no idea that this was the process, that basically people could be bought this way. And the American people are finally catching on, they should be and they are disgusted, Jake.

TAPPER: So you don't like it, I understand you don't like the system, but I guess what I don't understand is are you going to try to woo delegates according to the system and then try to change it, or is your dad saying 'no, we're not going to do that?'

TRUMP JR: Well listen, I think we're going to do what we need to do to win, to a point, but I think we want to win without having to do that. You know, Ted Cruz has no chance of winning this without bribing the delegates. That's his game at this point, okay, he's mathematically eliminated, but that's been his game from day one because he's not an appealing candidate to the general election voter, so he'll try to get there, he'll do this, he'll lose more states than Mitt Romney, because I can't name a single state that Mitt lost that Ted can possibly win. So, I think at this point the Republican establishment would much rather just hand the things over to Hillary, hand the reins over to her, let her run it, because guess what? There's no accountability in the party. You lose, it doesn't matter, you win, okay great you win. Because everyone's in on the same thing, all their job is to do is to protect the little cliques that they've formed, to keep the big paychecks rolling from their special interests, and that's the same thing with the delegate process that we're seeing today.

TAPPER: Don, do you think, so just to reiterate something you just said, do you think that the Republican establishment would rather run Ted Cruz and lose with him than have your father be the nominee?

TRUMP JR: you know, there are decisions being made and there are things that I see and actions happening that make me really question whether they actually want someone who could actually win. When I see all the people in this state, because I'm in Pennsylvania today, who've switched over and the hundreds of thousands of people all over the country who have switched over from being Independents to being Republicans, who've switched over form being democrats to being Republicans, and they don't embrace that, instead they want to try to push someone else who has zero chance of winning anywhere else, it doesn't make any sense to me. I have to certainly question their motives.

TAPPER: Ted Cruz launched a web video this week attacking your father for saying that transgender individuals should use whichever restroom they feel is appropriate. Take a look:

TRUMP JR: "People go. They use the bathroom they think is appropriate.

ON SCREEN: It's not appropriate. It's not safe. It's PC nonsense that is destroying America. Donald Trump won't take on the PC police.

ON SCREEN: "He's one of them."

Donald Trump won't take on the PC police that ad said, he's one of them. What do you make of that? What do you think Cruz is trying to say?

TRUMP JR: (laughter) Honestly Jake, give me a break. This is how desperate Ted Cruz is, he doesn't have any support for anyone. My father has taken on the PC police since day 1. The issues that Ted Cruz is now trying to make his own, whether it be immigration or other things, these were all my father's issues. These are the things, my father would take the heat, he'd take the incoming fire from everyone else and then Ted Cruz will run along and say 'hey! This is this great idea I have!' I mean it's such a joke. If there's one person that anyone who's an America, if you ask them who's the most un-PC candidate running for office right now, it's my father. So this is a typical Ted Cruz soundbite, he can't win with the popular vote he can't win with the people. He wins by basically bribing delegates. This is more of the same Jake, it's actually laughable when I see it. I hadn't seen the ad until you mentioned it to me, but it's pretty ridiculous in my mind.

 

TAPPER: You've described your dad as a "BLUE-COLLAR billionaire."The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. For a full-time employee, that works out to $15,080 a year.  Do you think your father would be willing to make a deal to raise the minimum wage?

TRUMP JR: You know I don't know, there's a lot of different places, there are areas in the country where equal wages is different. I live in New York City, it's a very different area that you can live by. I think you'd have to ask him directly as it relates to his policy on the minimum wage. I think what he wants to do is he wants to bring jobs back to this country. He wants to bring back so much of the industry that's been pushed away. Whether it be by terrible tax incentives by this country, whether It be just bad guys running the businesses. He wants to bring manufacturing back to this country, he wants to bring jobs back to this country. He wants to employ Americans again and when you have a robust economy you don't have to worry about a minimum wage. People will actually be paid wages. But you need those jobs.

TAPPER: Your father's campaign manager Paul Manafort says that your father has NOT started any sort of vetting process to look for a running mate, a vice president – in contrast to Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Is there a deal to be made with the VP position? Maybe to bring Rubio, Kasich or one of those other candidates on board. Is that why the vetting process hasn't begun?

TRUMP JR: Well listen we have some time, we want to get there probably without it so we have a decision whenever we need to not just before the convention. I think there are a lot of viable candidates out there and I think some of them could have been people that have run against us in this. I think my father's been clear that he wants someone that has navigated the D.C. waterways a little more than he has to be in there. I think he's the disrupter but you're still going to need someone that has that understanding. I think there are a lot of good options but we haven't started the serious vetting options because we'll get there on our own without having to make that decision today.

TAPPER: Donald Trump JR, thank you so much for joining us today. Really really appreciate it.

TRUMP JR: my pleasure Jake, thanks for having me.

 

###END INTERVIEW###


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