Rep. Steve Israel dismisses Hillary Clinton's high negatives

Key Democratic lawmaker and Clinton supporter: Things change


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 12, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Let's talk to a Hillary Clinton supporter, Representative Steve Israel from the fine state of New York.

Congressman, good to have you.

REP. STEVE ISRAEL , D-N.Y.: Hey. Great to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Negatives are negatives. And in a race that has Donald Trump as the most negative candidate, Hillary Clinton can take some solace that she isn't as negative.

But do you worry, sir, when one out of three Democrats just wouldn't support her? Ostensibly, they're a Bernie Sanders supporter, but they wouldn't not hop over to her.

ISRAEL: Well, number one, we are in one of the most unpredictable environments that I have ever seen.

I have been in Congress 16 years. I have never seen terrain as unpredictable as it is. So, you can't take anything for granted. And, secondly, Neil, people say a lot of things. Emotions run high.

But when it comes down to it, and people actually begin formulating some very strong opinions based on fact, on who they want to vote for, or who they won't vote for, things change. We're going to have to make sure that we unify Democrats coming out of the convention behind Hillary Clinton.

That's going to be very important to do. And I'm confident that we will be able to do it.

CAVUTO: You know, you might be right and bygones will be bygones once we get to a convention and after, not all the time, but it does happen enough.  You're right.

But when I was talking recently with a number of Sanders supporters, they didn't seem to smitten at the prospect their guy making not make it. I want you to listen to this, a big Sanders backer.


CAVUTO: Would you be OK with Hillary Clinton?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under no circumstances.

CAVUTO: And who would you vote for? Who would you vote for? Or would you sit it out?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I could stay home. I know I have spoken to a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters that have said that they might stay home.

CAVUTO: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are predominantly young Democrats that had previously supported Barack Obama. I'm in that camp.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so we may either stay home, or we might cross over for the right Republican.


CAVUTO: What do you think of that?

ISRAEL: Well, I'm going to put him as firmly undecided.



CAVUTO: Touche. Touche.

ISRAEL: Look, there's no question you're always going to have people, on the Republican side and on the Democratic side, who are very passionate right now.

But we still have several months to go. And minds change. Whether that particular individual's mind will change, I'm not sure.

CAVUTO: Well, I don't know about his. I don't know.

But, you know, Congressman, it is weird, right, where we have so much antipathy in both parties about their front-running candidates. And I wonder if they just sort of cancel each other out in the general election.

ISRAEL: Well, here, I disagree.

I think, if you take a look at the polls on both sides of the equation, the animosity toward Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is significantly higher than the second-guessing and the doubts toward Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

CAVUTO: I wouldn't say significantly. I wouldn't say significantly. But we will see, we will see.

Congressman, thank you. You have a very good sense of humor too.

ISRAEL: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: I appreciate it.

ISRAEL: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Steve Israel, fine state of New York. We will see how it sorts out.

ISRAEL: You bet.  

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