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Special Report

'Special Report' All-Stars place bets in Candidate Casino

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 12, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John Kasich expanded Medicaid for Obamacare. Many states didn't, including Florida. And as a private citizen I worked hard to make sure that Medicaid wasn't expanded. He is proud of it. I think it's the wrong thing to do. That's not attacking him.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He served on the board of the company that was an enthusiastic supporter of Obamacare where I think he got like around $3 million. So don't say you were fighting it like crazy. You should have resigned the board if that was your point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Jeb Bush, John Kasich at in it South Carolina ahead of the primary there. This is also a time when some candidates are making a move towards trying to get evangelical voters a much bigger bloc in South Carolina than in New Hampshire. Ted Cruz had an ad that was airing. He had to pull that ad because of an actress in the ad who has done some previous films. Take a look:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has anyone else here struggled with being lied to?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I voted for a guy who was a Tea Party hero on the campaign trail. Then he went to D.C. and played patty cake with Chuck Schumer and cut a deal amnesty.

AMY LINDSAY, ACTRESS: Maybe should you vote for more than just a pretty face next time.

It was a gig. But when I got the copy of what the campaign was going to be about, I knew that it was supporting a Republican candidate, which is definitely what I'm doing. I have no ill will against Ted Cruz right now. He's got a job to do, and I'm a middle class working girl, and I had a job to do.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BAIER: Amy Lindsay of some late night Cinemax movies, and Ted Cruz's campaign pulled the ad, saying in a statement "The actress responded to an open casting call. She passed her audition and got the call. Unfortunately she was not vetted by the production company. Had the campaign known of her full filmography, we obviously would not have let her appear in the ad."

OK, so that's where we start. Let's bring in our panel, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of National Review, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and Jason Riley, columnist with the Wall Street Journal. Jonah, that's not your average Friday in South Carolina.

JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: No. And let me just say, I'm a big fan of Amy Lindsay's work.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDBERG: I actually think this is kind of a nothing burger thing. It has become a thing. I understand why we're talking about it. But I think they could have run the ad. It almost makes me think they like the publicity because people are now running the ad for free, which is sort of useful. The idea that there were going to be a lot of evangelicals who were otherwise going to vote for Ted Cruz except for this mess-up I just find dubious.

BAIER: A.B., Marco Rubio, obviously Donald Trump is well positioned in South Carolina. He is attacking Ted Cruz on Twitter. He said "If Ted Cruz doesn't clean up his act, stop cheating and doing negative ads, I have standing for suing him for not being a natural born citizen." So some are taking the negative attack ads, obviously Donald Trump is taking to Twitter.

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: And when in doubt, sue. I think this is a, you know, Ted Cruz is, like in Iowa. They're not neck in neck. Donald Trump's lead is much bigger in South Carolina. But Cruz is in the steady second in all the polls. And so he doesn't want Cruz to gain in the next week and be a threat. And so he is punching back at Ted Cruz.

The real pileup, as usual, is positions three through five. You look at Rubio, Bush, and Kasich. In the polls right now, I saw one today with Rubio in third. But they're close enough that that is very volatile. And that could move around a lot in the days to come. And so of those three guys, they all want to be in third place, and that is going to I think be the most significant scramble. I bet Cruz comes out number two and without many big surprises, and Donald Trump probably wins. But it is that who is the non-Trump/Cruz person that we're all wondering continues in the race.

BAIER: Marco Rubio obviously ahead of tomorrow night's debate, a lot of expectations. We asked that question earlier. We'll tell you your feedback was. But here he is today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And there are big differences between the other side and us. There are. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Usually when you say that, people deny it or they say you're attacking them. He admits it, so at least he's honest about it. We don't want to be a socialist countries. There are literally dozens of socialist countries in the world. If you want to live in a socialist country, move to a socialist country. We want to be America.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: All right, Jason, Rubio's chances?

JASON RILEY, WALL STREET JOURNAL: What I think you're seeing are two separate races going on for the Republican nomination. You have this Trump versus Cruz rivalry. Obviously Cruz has something to lose in South Carolina. The expectations are high. And Trump showed in New Hampshire that he can win among evangelicals. He beat Ted Cruz among evangelicals in New Hampshire. So we will see who shows up.

Then you have the second race with the governors. You have Governor Bush, you have Governor Kasich, and you have Marco Rubio. And they're going at it I think in a very different race right now from what's going on between Trump and Cruz. And what you see among Trump and Cruz, to the extent they go after each other I think Rubio thinks that helps him. And then you have Rubio and Bush and Kasich knowing that combined their support is greater than Trump and Cruz, and so they can play that game as well.

BAIER: Dr. Ben Carson is still campaigning hard in South Carolina and obviously has some support in the evangelical community. I want to head down to a place we call Candidate Casino, and we do it every Friday that we can. This Friday we wanted to look back at this particular panel and just a review of where their bets have been on the Republican side.

(LAUGHTER)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RILEY: Still a three-man race, Rubio, Walker, Bush. Why no Trump? I still think that his poll numbers are largely name I.D. at this point.

STODDARD: I don't think Trump is going to be the nominee but I give him $15 because it's not impossible. But I think it's going to be a great surprise to all of us.

GOLDBERG: I think Christie is the most undervalued guy out there. I think he has the best chance, unlike Jeb Bush, to actually replicate the McCain strategy of catapulting out of New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

BAIER: OK, you had five on him. Let's see where the bets are today. Fast forward.

GOLDBERG: At long last, have you no shame?

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDBERG: I for the first time ever am putting Trump in the lead at $40, $30 on Cruz, $20 on Rubio. To paraphrase the oracle from "Princess Bride" he is only mostly dead, which means he is a little alive. And $5 on Jeb and $5 to tip the maid after I jump out of my hotel window.

(LAUGHTER)

BAIER: It's much better with wine, women, and song. OK, A.B., the bets that probably look a little different?

STODDARD: Jonah and I actually are in agreement. I have Trump at $40, Cruz at 30. Then I have Rubio at $15, Bush at 10, and $kasich is $5.

BAIER: OK, Jason?

RILEY: I also have Trump ahead with $35. I should say I have him tied with Cruz at $35. But I think he is the leader. He won by 20 points in New Hampshire. He has the most number of delegates. It is early, but he is leading in the delegate race. I give Rubio $30. I still think among that second race I spoke about earlier Rubio still has the best chance of coming out ahead.

BAIER: As Charles situations change so the chips change. The house always wins. We don't vote.

We're going to head to the Democratic side on Candidate Casino. After last night's debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, where do you put the chips today?

GOLDBERG: I have Hillary Clinton at $55. I have Bernie Sanders at $30, and I have an unnamed draft pick to be determined later at $15 because I think it is possible at this point that Hillary doesn't make it to the nomination and neither does Bernie Sanders.

STODDARD: I am giving Hillary $60. Bernie, I've raised it from last week from $5 to $10. And Biden/other is at $30. That's getting bigger.

BAIER: Why is that?

STODDARD: Well, I think that the legal jeopardy that could face Hillary Clinton is looking worse and worse with the new increments of the e-mail story and more investigations. There's developments every couple days now. And I think her losses to Bernie Sanders and potential loss of nonwhite voters in the contest to come could really scare the people who are keeping her campaign going.

RILEY: I have Clinton at $80. I still think the Democratic establishment has a lot resting on her and they really don't have number. I have Sanders at $15, and I have Bloomberg at $5 because I think if Hillary does falter, he is someone you can see jumping in.

BAIER: I just want to say Charles is really lucky he is giving a speech out of town. When I go to the retro Candidate Casino.

(LAUGHTER)

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