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OTR Interviews

Is the GOP prepared for a potential Trump third party problem?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 24, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: In the meantime RNC chairman Reince Priebus spoke to the Donald just days ago. He joins us. Nice to see you, sir.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Hey, Greta, how are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: So what's with all the name calling in The Republican Party.

PRIEBUS: Well, look, I believe in Reagan's 11th commandment. I think as a party we have got to keep our eye on the price. We have to be unified as a party. And the prize that we need to be keeping our eye on is Hillary Clinton.

I'm tired of the name calling, from everybody. And I think it needs to stop. I think from whatever source, from every place, the name calling needs to stop and we have to be united as a party.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you doing anything and making any calls, because, I mean, there are a lot of words to be throwing around. You've got Donald Trump throwing a lot. You've got other candidates biting back or taking the first swing.

PRIEBUS: Well, look, I don't really talk about personal calls to candidates because, otherwise, who would want to talk to someone that reveals their calls.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it sounds like it's herding cats right now. Your job is herding cats.

PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, it's a little bit like that. But then when you look at polling and you see that Hillary Clinton is losing to candidates in key battleground states straight up with her 100 percent name I.D., I kind of like where we are sitting.

I think that having a varsity squad on the field, having 16 candidates, and none of these candidates are pushovers. I mean, we have got two term governors, senators, a successful business people. I think that it's a lot for our party to handle but I also think that it's a great opportunity.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, if you've got your eye on 2016, the G.O.P. has this autopsy of post 2012. And it says --

PRIEBUS: You say autopsy, I call it the growth and opportunity report.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, whatever. Anyway, one section about Hispanics it says in part if Hispanic Americans hear that the G.O.P. doesn't want them in the United States, they won't pay attention to our next sentence. It goes on to say if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. Now you have got Donald Trump out there and he has raised this issue about the Hispanics and many feel quite insulted.

What are you going to do about that?

PRIEBUS: Well, look, I think a lot of Hispanics actually agree that illegal immigration is something that we need to get serious about in this country. So I don't think it's one of these issues where, you know, it's one size fits all.

But what I would tell you is that the RNC itself, the committee that's in charge of putting in the infrastructure to win a presidential election has been fully committed for many years. I'm not just talking about talk.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you do about the Hispanic? I mean, he's out there swinging --

(CROSSTALK)

PRIEBUS: I will tell you -- here is what to do. We have to be in communities all across this country. And it's not just talking about it we are message obsessed as a people. But what we're not, I think, and what we are trying to do as a party is be a party that puts the infrastructure and connection between the message and the people on the ground. It's not just talk. This is millions and millions of dollars of people in Hispanic communities, 10 people every 10 blocks, telling Hispanic voters, Asian voters, black voters across the country, what we believe in as a party. And that's really what's going to change.

And, look, we almost won the Hispanic vote in Colorado. We got 28 percent of the black vote in Ohio. And we are changing, I think, our success in these communities.

VAN SUSTEREN: What if Donald Trump runs as a third party candidate. Do you have any --

PRIEBUS: Well, listen, I don't think he is going to do that. I think he knows that if you are going to beat Hillary Clinton, if Hillary Clinton is going to get beat, there is only one party that's going to beat her. It's the Republican Party.

VAN SUSTEREN: And look at our poll, 67 percent of the viewers agree that he is not going to run as a third party. So they are with you on that. I mean, in your belief, in your belief on that.

(CROSSTALK)

PRIEBUS: 16 candidates on our side know that the only individual that is going to beat Hillary Clinton is going to be a Republican, if she is going to get beaten, period. And everyone in America knows that that's true.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reince Priebus always nice to see you, Mr. Chairman.

PRIEBUS: Thank you.