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Fox News Sunday

Donald Trump and Marco Rubio react to South Carolina primary results

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," February 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


Donald Trump wins big in South Carolina.  Where does the Republican race go from here?

We'll talk with the two top finishers and get the latest from the campaign trail.  


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  When you win, it's beautiful.  And we're going to start winning for our country.  


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  After tonight, this has become a three-person race, and we will win the nomination.  


WALLACE:  First, Donald Trump on the results and his battle with Pope Francis.  

TRUMP:  He actually said that maybe I’m not a good Christian or something.  It's unbelievable.  

WALLACE:  We ask Trump if he's truly Teflon Don.  

Then, Senator Marco Rubio on what's next for his campaign.  

RUBIO:  The state of South Carolina will always be the place of new beginnings and fresh starts.  


WALLACE:  We'll ask Rubio about his effort become the establishment alternative to Trump.  

Plus, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battle in Nevada.

Our Sunday panel on where the Democratic race stands.  

And our power player of the week -- the strategist behind Bernie Sanders' campaign.  

Are you surprised Sanders is doing this well?


WALLACE:  All right now on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in Washington.  

We begin with the results from yesterday's political doubleheader.  

In the Republican primary in South Carolina, Donald Trump scored a big victory, winning almost 33 percent of the vote.  It was a close race for second with Marco Rubio edging out Ted Cruz.  The bottom three were far back with Jeb Bush suspending his campaign.  

In the Nevada Democratic caucuses, Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Bernie Sanders with 53 percent of the vote.  

We'll talk with the two Republicans who had the best nights, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, in a moment.  

But, first, Fox team coverage starting with chief political correspondent Carl Cameron in Rock Hill, South Carolina -- Carl.


Donald Trump has now won the first two primaries, New Hampshire and last night South Carolina, back to back.  And he is looking to make good on his prediction to, quote, "run the table."


TRUMP:  Let's have a big win in Nevada.  Let's have a big win at the SEC.  Let’s put this thing away.

RUBIO:  But I want to begin by congratulating Donald Trump.  But after tonight, this has become a three-person race and we will win the nomination.  


CAMERON:  Marco Rubio grabbed second, coming back from fifth in New Hampshire and narrowly eked out a win, a fraction of a percentage point against Ted Cruz who came in third.  


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If you are a conservative, this is where you belong.  We are the only campaign that has beaten and can beat Donald Trump.  


CAMERON:  Jeb Bush, despite spending more than any other candidate, took fourth and bowed out.  


JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I’ve had an incredible life.  For me, public service has been the highlight of that life.  No matter what the future holds, here's the greatest safety landing if you can imagine -- tonight, I’m going to sleep with the best friend I have and the love of my life.  

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Now, folks, it's down to the final four.  We are going to travel all across this country.  I’m going to take you with me.  


CAMERON:  John Kasich came in fifth, far behind.  But because Jeb bush dropped out, he's now fourth.  Ben Carson came in last.  But Kasich and Carson have vowed to keep on going.

The next three weeks is going to be a frenzy of voting across the country.  More than half of the delegates will be selected by -- including March 15th.  

And on March 15th, there are winner-take-all states for the first time.  Donald Trump will be facing two big states -- Ohio, where John Kasich is governor, and Florida, where Marco Rubio is the senator -- Chris.  

WALLACE:  Carl Cameron, reporting from South Carolina -- Carl, thanks for that.  

Joining us now from Palm Beach is Donald Trump, winner of the South Carolina primary.  

Mr. Trump, congratulations, and welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

TRUMP:  Thank you very much, Chris.  

WALLACE:  With your big win in South Carolina, where do you think this race stands now?  You have talked about running the table.  Can you be stopped for the Republican nomination, or is this over?  

TRUMP:  Well, I guess you can always be stopped.  I have very good competitors.  They’re smart people.  You know, governors, senators, very talented people.  Ben Carson, Dr. Ben Carson, who's a tremendous guy and a talented guy.  

So, I mean, we have a lot of talented people.  

WALLACE:  Let me ask you, people are talking about this now as a three-man race.  So, let me ask you about your two chief competitors.  Thumbnail sketches, lightning round rules.  Ted Cruz?  

TRUMP:  Well, he's very smart, very sharp.  You know, I haven't been too happy with the way he's conducted himself.  I understand he wants to win, and it's a little bit tough.  

Did a couple of robocalls on me yesterday morning, that was the morning of the election.  They were tough calls.  I thought they were very unfair calls.  But they -- they were done.  

That's why I’m surprised I won by such a big margin.  You know, when I entered this, I wasn't expected to win South Carolina.  I was supposed to, you know, maybe not even think about winning it.  That was like a number of months ago.  

And then, all of a sudden, I made one speech.  They fell in love with me, and I fell in love with them.  

Those people are incredible, by the way.  They’re incredible.  We won't forget them.  

WALLACE:  All right.  Let's talk about Marco Rubio and his fitness to be president.  

TRUMP:  Well, he's a talented guy.  He's a good guy.  I like him.  We're going to have to see what happens.  

You know, I start off liking everybody.  Then, all of a sudden, they become mortal enemies.  So, we’ll see what happens.  But he's been very respectful, very nice.  I hope to beat him.  

WALLACE:  You had quite a week in South Carolina.  You pot into something of a flap which diminished, but were in a flap for a while with the Holy Father.  You went after George W. Bush.  While you won handily, by double-digit, you did poorly among who decided in the last week.  

And I wonder if you think those flaps hurt you.  Do you think you need to tone it down, do you think, as you become the frontrunner for the nomination, to act more presidential?  

TRUMP:  Well, probably I do.  I mean, I can act as presidential as anybody that's ever been president other than the great Abraham Lincoln.  I thought he was hard to beat --


WALLACE:  So, when are you going start?  

TRUMP:  I can act.  Well, pretty soon.  But, you know, don't forget, we started off with 17 people.  I’ve been hit from, you know, 97 different angles.  Now, we're down to I guess five.  And we'll see what happens.  

But I think, yes, I think I'll be very presidential at the appropriate time.  Right now, I’m fighting for my life.  I was fighting against the tremendous amount of very talented, very tough people.  And I didn't really have time to think about it.  

I mean, I had to be tough and smart and had to be sharp.  That's OK, too.  

WALLACE:  You took some strong positions this last week that you later had to walk back.  I'd like to explore a couple of them of the first, you said that President Bush 43 lied us into war in Iraq and took it back.  Here it is.  


TRUMP:  They lied.  They said there were weapons of mass destruction.  There were none.  

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN:  You would not say again that George W. Bush lied?  

TRUMP:  I don’t know.  I can't tell you.  I mean, I’d have to look at documents.  


WALLACE:  And here on the Obamacare mandate that all Americans must have health insurance.  Here that is.


TRUMP:  Well, I like the mandate.  OK.  So, here's where I’m a little bit different.  I don't want people dying on the streets.  

I’m the most conservative person in the world with getting rid of Obamacare.  


WALLACE:  Mr. Trump, question: do you support the individual mandate on Obamacare or not?  

TRUMP:  Right.  Let me explain to you.  First of all, I don't want mandates for anything.  I want people to get.  I don't want people dying in the streets.  

I was actually talking over Anderson Cooper, who I thought it was a great interview and he's a great interviewer.  But I was talking over him.  He was talking at the same time.  He mentioned the word "mandate", and I was talking about something else, to be honest with you.  It doesn't matter.  It’s not a very complicated --

WALLACE:  But, wait, you said "I like the mandate".

TRUMP:  I like -- I want people to be covered that cannot afford to be covered that are -- I don't want people dying in the streets.  That's not mandate.  That's me.  That's having a heart.  

I don't want people dying in the streets.  I don't want people to have no health care whatsoever and they're in the middle of the street dying.  And I talk about it all the time.  

And you know what?  When I give these speeches where I have 10,000 and 15,000 and 20,000 people and I talk as a Republican, as a conservative Republican, and I talk about that and I say, "I don't want people dying because they have no money," I get standing ovations.  

You know, the Republicans are not bad people.  I get standing ovations.  So, I think it's very important.  I’m not going to have people dying in the street if I’m president.  I can tell you that.  You can call it whatever you want.  

WALLACE:  To the larger point, I mean, whether it was lying or whether it was the mandate -- particular now that there’s going to be more and more focus on everything you say, do you think you have to be more careful?  

TRUMP:  Well, you know, that was the case where Anderson -- I don’t blame him at all, but we were talking at the same time.

The case of the war -- the war in Iraq was a disaster.  By the way, I was against it at the beginning.  And Joe Scarborough can show you do that because fortunately he found a clip.  But the fact that I said they a successful military operation, maybe it might have been successful as an opening operation, but I was opposed to the war.  

The war in Iraq was a disaster, OK?  It may have been the worst decision ever made, ever made in the country.  OK?  That’s how bad it was.

WALLACE:  But, sir, respectfully -- I mean, that wasn't the issue.  The issue is whether or not we were lied into war.  I don't necessarily --


TRUMP:  Well, right now that's for other people to term -- I don't say yes or no.  I’m not saying yes or no.  I’m saying let somebody else determine.  

I can just tell you, the war in Iraq cost us $2 trillion, thousands of lives.  We got absolutely nothing.  We have wounded warriors who I love all over the place.  

We got absolutely nothing out of it, Chris.  Now Iran is taking over Iraq.  We handed it to them on a silver platter, and they're going to take on far more than Iraq unless I’m president, of course.  

Look, the war in Iraq was a disaster.  The reason I won by such a large number is that while the pundits, including yourself, thought I made a mistake when I took on Bush on that issue -- and I have nothing against Bush.  I don't even know the president.  I never met him.  

But when I took on Bush on that issue, I never felt it was a bad thing to do because people that are smart know that the war in Iraq was a disaster.  And even Jeb Bush in the end admit that the war in Iraq was not a good thing.  

WALLACE:  New question, new subject.  When are you going to release your tax returns?  

TRUMP:  Well, we're having them made.  They're extremely complicated.  It's going to take a little while.  

I don't know if you ever saw the picture I gave, but I gave you a picture with about 2 1/2 feet of tax returns standing in front of me as I was signing.  They're having them done.  And we'll do at the appropriate time.  

WALLACE:  Well, reporters have been asking for months, and you keep saying the appropriate time.  You know, you -- I’m sure -

TRUMP:  Well, mine is not a one-page --


WALLACE:  You talk about your empire, I’m sure you have a ton of lawyers and a ton of accountants.  Don't voters deserve to get a look at your finances, sir?  

TRUMP:  Oh, I think so.  I’ve already given my financial statements more than anybody's given --

WALLACE:  No, but the tax return?  

TRUMP:  They turned out to be about five times greater than anybody ever thought.  No debt, very little debt.  Tremendous cash flow.  Some of the greatest assets in the world which is the thinking that our country needs to get rid of its $19 trillion, et cetera, and to make good deals.

WALLACE:  But the tax returns?

TRUMP:  But I’ve given -- tax returns, at the appropriate time.  There's no rush, at the appropriate time.  

WALLACE:  To use a business term, are you involved in a hostile takeover of the Republican Party?  

TRUMP:  No.  I’m not at all.  I get along with the Republicans.  There's nothing hostile about it.  I was a Republican establishment figure.  

And then the day I decided to run, I became an outsider -- and more so than I even thought.  People that were totally establishment that loved me, you know, I was a big contributor.  I gave $350,000 just before to the Republican Governors Association.  That was a major --

WALLACE:  But what's your view of the GOP establishment now, sir?  

TRUMP:  I think it's a mess.  I think it's a mess.  I think they'd better get their act together because they're going to keep losing elections.  

With the kind of thinking that we have, with the Karl Roves and Steven Hayes and these characters that can't get themselves arrested, if you want to keep people like that, if you want to keep listening to people like that, you're never going to win.  You're never going win.  

They're from a different age.  They're from a different world.  

WALLACE:  You raised the question again this week of whether or not you're going to honor your pledge, the loyalty pledge that you signed to run as a Republican and even if you lose or if you lose, not to launch a third-party campaign.  Is that a threat that you're going to keep wielding throughout this campaign?  

TRUMP:  No, because I want -- it’s asked by folks like you, you're bringing it up again as an example.  

No, the pledge is the pledge.  But the other side is not honoring it.  

Look, I signed the pledge.  I’m a Republican.  I’m the leading Republican by a lot.  And that's where I want to be.  

I don't want to run as an independent.  I’m not going to be doing that.  I think it's highly, highly unlikely.  But I’m not being treated right.  

When we go to the debates, the room is stacked with donors and special interests.  I’m self-funding my campaign.  I’m putting up my money.  I’m putting up millions and millions and millions of dollars, like throwing it out the window.  

So far, it's worked.  So far I’m also spending a lot less than other people that are spending, you know, $100 million.  I’m leading by a lot, and they're losing by a lot.  But I’m self-funding my campaign.  

I’m not controlled by special interests.  I’m not controlled by donors.  I’m not controlled by lobbyists, right?  So I’m doing that.  

But the rooms are stacked.  Every time I go to a debate, I walk in, it's like death.  And when other people -- I won't mention names, when other people speak, they say something stupid and get standing ovations.  

It's very unfair what the RNC is doing.  They're stacking the room.  And that's unfair -- with donors and special interests and lobbyists, and that's unfair.  

WALLACE:  Are we going to see you at the Fox debate on March 3rd?  

TRUMP:  Yes, I expect to be there.  Sure.

WALLACE:  Well, I like forward to seeing you, sir.  Mr. Trump, thank you.  Thanks for your time today.

TRUMP:  Thank you, Chris.  You too.

WALLACE:  Safe travels on the campaign trail, sir.

TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  

WALLACE:  Up next, we'll speak with Florida Senator Marco Rubio who finished second in South Carolina.  With Jeb Bush dropping out, can Rubio become the choice of the GOP establishment?  


WALLACE:  A look outside the beltway at the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia.

But joining us from Nashville is Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who scored a second-place finish in South Carolina.  

Senator, congratulations, and welcome back.  

RUBIO:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thanks for having me back.  

WALLACE:  You declared flatly last night that you're going to win the nomination.  But don't you first have to win a state?  And if so, which is the first state you're going win?  

RUBIO:  Well, we do, and we're going to find out and we have to win more than one.  It's been difficult up to this point because we've had a lot of people in this race.  I mean, so you have Donald Trump sitting at around 30 percent or so nationally and sometimes under, sometimes a little over.  And then you have 70 percent of the Republican electorate does not support Donald Trump.

But that 70 percent has been divided between five to seven people.  As this race continues to narrow, I think that will be easier and easier for that 70 percent to coalesce.  And so, that's why I feel so good, obviously about our result last night.  I give a lot of credit to Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott and Nikki Haley who came on board and helped us finish strong.  

But now, this race is getting narrower.  And I believe it's down to three people running full-scale national campaigns.  And I feel more and more positive going into the states, including where I am here this morning in Tennessee that our chances continue to grow now.  We will especially as we get into the winter take all sets coming up soon, we have to start winning states, and we will.  

WALLACE:  Let's talk about that.  Jeb Bush dropped out last night.  Are you calling on John Kasich and Ben Carson to also drop out so that the party, the rest of the party, that 70 percent, can begin to unite around you?  

And please don't give me the "it's up to them" answer.  I mean, would it be good for the party, for the others to drop out and make this a three-man race?  

RUBIO:  Well, first, I have to give you that answer because I’m no one to tell anyone to drop out.  I mean, John Kasich is out working as hard as I am.  He's been doing this almost as long as we have.  He has every right to make that decision himself.  

WALLACE:  But would it be best for the party?

RUBIO:  You know, the Kasich campaign is largely based in one place.

Well, that's for him.  I’m not -- I believe that the sooner we can coalesce, the better we're going to be as a party in general.  I mean, so certainly -- I’m not here to tell him to do whatever he needs to do.  It’s going to happen one way or another.  There's a natural process that’s going to take hold.

I think the questioning is the timing.  It's clear that John Kasich is going to focus I think entirely on Michigan.  At least that's what he's announced.  It's his right to do that.  

But we're going to continue to work everywhere.  Today, we’ll be in three states.  We finish tonight in Nevada after stopping in Arkansas, first starting here in Tennessee.  

We're going to compete everywhere.  We feel good about the coalescing happening in all those places where these other candidates are not.  

WALLACE:  All right.  You say this is now a three-man race.  So, I want you, lightning round rules to do a little comparison shopping.  Why should a voter who's undecided choose you over Donald Trump?  

RUBIO:  Well, I think one of the reasons is we have a sense of optimism about America's future.  I’m realistic about our challenges, but I’m very optimistic about our future.  We need someone that will restore, a campaign that will restore our confidence in who we are as a people and what we're capable of doing.  

WALLACE:  And Trump won’t do that?

RUBIO:  We also need real answers to real problems.  Rhetoric is not enough.

Well, I think Donald's campaign has largely been about how bad things are.  There’s no doubt we have to recognize how difficult things are.  But you can't just say you're going to make America great again, you have to explain how you’re going to do it.  

I mean, at this stage in the campaign, voters deserve to know in great detail just exactly how it is that you are going to achieve some of these things that you're saying you're going to achieve with specific public policy.  So, I look forward to having a policy debate if we can make it a policy debate.  And we'll see what direction he wants to go.  But I think that's a big difference in this campaign.  

And then, just a fundamental understanding of policy, which I think is critical for the commander-in-chief to have on day one to this point now, three states in, he still has not really demonstrated that.  But again, we’ll see.  As the weeks go on, maybe he'll learn more about it, we can have a debate about those issues.  

WALLACE:  And we understand the case you're making for yourself.  What about you versus Ted Cruz?  

RUBIO:  Well, Ted is very weak on national security.  He's voted repeatedly against budget items, regarding the defense budget, whether it's a Defense Authorization Act or voting for Rand Paul's budget that slashed defense spending.  So, he'll have to answer for that.  

And I just think voters are growing increasingly troubled by the tenor of his campaign.  He’s literally every day making up things.  You saw today, one of his supporters, I believe in Illinois, a member of his campaign said that they're becoming concerned about this and are thinking about maybe getting out of the campaign as a result of it.  

So -- and it's disturbing.  But, of course, on the record, the national security stuff, he's just very weak on national security issues.  

WALLACE:  Let --  

RUBIO:  I think that hurt him in South Carolina and is going to hurt him elsewhere.  

WALLACE:  Let me talk to you about the second side, because things seem to have gotten personal between you and Ted Cruz, with you accusing him of lying and his campaign of playing dirty tricks, and here's what you said -- I want to put these pictures up side by side.  This was the real picture on the left.  On the right was the photo-shopped version.  It appeared to show you shaking hands with President Obama and the idea that you two were together on the trade pact.  

Here's what you said after that:


RUBIO:  Picture's fake.  It's a Photoshop of someone else shaking hands.  It appears it isn't even Barack Obama either.  

So, I think this is now a disturbing pattern, guys.  It’s a disturbing pattern.  Every day, they're making things up.  In this case, they literally made up a picture.  


WALLACE:  Straight out, do you believe that Ted Cruz has the integrity, the character to be president, or do you think there's something missing there?  

RUBIO:  Well, I think certainly in this campaign it's missing.  I’ve never seen this behavior from him before up until he started running for president.  And in the last couple of weeks -- look, the other night a gentleman fainted at one of my events.  We stopped the event.  I stopped and said a prayer for him.  

And it was an hour, the campaign was sending out robocalls in South Carolina telling people that I had cut off my event short and had announced that if I didn't win in South Carolina, I would be dropping out.  

I mean, these are little things, but they add up.  They're important.  It's very -- you know, this sort of pattern is very, very disturbing.  

We're all used to rough and tumble and people playing on the edges.  But to just literally make things up -- in a week, he's been rebuked by National Right to Life on my position on Planned Parenthood, he's misstated my position on marriage.  You know, did robocalls in Spanish to English-speaking households in South Carolina, trying to I guess offend people against me.  

So, it's just very bizarre.  It’s an ongoing pattern.  It happened every single day now.  

He did robocalls on the Confederate flag against Donald Trump in South Carolina.  A difficult and painful issue in South Carolina that he wanted to reignite.  

So, bottom line is: you conduct a campaign like that, it's going to reflect on you.  It's going to reflect on your campaign.  I think ultimately if it continues, it does say something about your ability to govern this country.  

WALLACE:  Of course, while you are making statements, comparison shopping about the other candidates, they’re making it about you.  And one of the knocks is whether or not you are willing to do the hard work of government.  

And I want to put up a couple of statistics that came out this week.  There was a report that you missed 60 percent of the hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since you joined the Senate, and after 9/11, the Florida house, where you were then a member, set up a special committee on security lapses.  You skipped almost half the meetings and missed more than 20 votes.  

The suggestion, Senator, is that you're always more interested in the next job than the job that you currently hold.  

RUBIO:  Well, first of all, about the Florida house one, I was -- it was 15 years ago, I was also the majority whip.  So, I had significant responsibilities outside of the committee.  And you can't be in two places at once.  

And that actually explains, the people who wrote that about the Senate don't understand the Senate.  When it comes to the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, you could have three committees meeting at the exact same time, literally.  You could have an Intelligence Committee meeting going on at the same time as the Foreign Relations Committee.  

So, no one can go to every hearing 100 percent of the time.  It's literally impossible to do it.  It's not like you're out playing golf or at the spa.  It’s just that you have something else happening at the same time.  

So, I have to go back and look at the record of it, but for the most part, I can tell you that for us, the thing about being in the Senate is sometimes you can't be at every hearing because there was another committee that might be having votes, commerce committee or the intelligence committee.  And so, you have to be there instead of the other committees.  You just can't be in two places as once.

That wouldn't just be true for me.  That would be true for virtually anyone who’s in the Senate who serves in multiple committees as I do.  

WALLACE:  Finally, Senator, you got a big boost this week and a lot of late deciders went to you after you got the endorsement of the popular governor of South Carolina, who endorsed you over Jeb Bush especially.  A lot of observers think that the two of you would make a good ticket for Republicans, young members of minorities.  

I was struck last night at your statement.  Not only were you there as a member of minority and Nikki Haley, also Tim Scott, an African-American senator.  How attractive and appealing is that to present a different face of the Republican Party?  

RUBIO:  First, let me say that one of the -- obviously, Nikki Haley's endorsement was a big deal.  In the process, I also gained a friend.  

We've become friends over the last three days.  I’ve grown to like her and admire her.  We have a lot in common.  So, I think that really help us hit it off.  And I enjoyed very much campaigning with her and we look forward deploying her on the road to other places as well.

And Tim Scott is a dear friend and someone who also has a lot in common, in terms of kind of where we come from and how we grow up, although he faced some real difficult circumstances as a young child.  

So, as far as -- look, that's who we are.  I mean, that's what the Republican Party is.  I was on a town hall the other night on national television.  I was asked about it.  Someone made an allusion about the tone of the campaign with regard to appealing to minorities.  

I said, just today, I was endorsed by the daughter of Indian-American immigrations who’s the governor of South Carolina, along standing, alongside an African-American Republican U.S. senator, both of whom were there to support a Cuban-American U.S. senator.  

It's pretty amazing that the Republican Party is indeed the party of diversity.  It is the only party where you have so many people, so many different backgrounds on a national stage.  I’m very proud of that.  

WALLACE:  I’ve got ten --  

RUBIO:  We're going to continue to showcase it.  That's who we are.  

WALLACE:  I’ve got ten seconds.  

You say you gained a friend in Nikki Haley.  Did you gain a running mate?  

RUBIO:  Well, it's presumptuous to say that, but I think she's very talented.  And I think she's going to be on the top of everyone's list.  Whether she's interested or not, you have to ask her.  But she was certainly be on the top of the anyone’s list in my opinion.  

WALLACE:  She'd be on your short list?  

RUBIO:  I think she'll be on everyone's short list.  Whether she wants to do it or not, you'll have to ask her.  Her plate is full as she says.  She has her hands full in South Carolina and a young family.  

But I can tell you, she's incredibly talented, and I think whoever the nominee is, and I believe it will be me -- she's someone that people are going to be paying attention to.  

WALLACE:  Senator Rubio, thank you.  Thanks for coming in today.  Safe travels, sir.  

RUBIO:  Thank you.  

WALLACE:  Up next, the Sunday panel reacts to last night’s South Carolina's primary.  How does it reshape the Republican race?  

Plus, what do you want to ask the panel about the flap this week between Donald Trump and the pope?  

Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.  


WALLACE:  Coming up, Marco Rubio's plan to prevent a new face to the GOP and become the establishment candidate.  


GOV. NIKKI HALEY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA:  Take a picture of this because a new group of conservatives is taking over America looks like a Benetton commercial.  


WALLACE:  We'll ask our panel what Rubio's strong finish means for the 2016 race, next on "Fox News Sunday."



TRUMP: There’s nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful.

CRUZ: We are the only campaign that has beaten and can beat Donald Trump.

BUSH: Tonight, I am suspending my campaign.


WALLACE: Well, that's a taste of the reactions last night from the winner and some of the losers in the South Carolina Republican primary. And it's now time for our Sunday group. GOP strategist Karl Rove, Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress, Laura Ingraham, editor of LifeZette, and Julie Pace, who covers the white House and the campaign for the Associated Press.

Karl, I just want to make sure you know that Donald Trump sends his best this morning.


WALLACE: OK. Where -- I’m glad to hear that. Where does the Republican race stand this morning? How strong is Trump and how do you handicap what sure is -- what is looking like a three man race?

ROVE: Yes. Well, I think it is a three man race as of today. And, look, he had a very good night last night after having a bad last 10 days. I mean he peaked on February 11th in the Real Clear Politics Average at 38, 40 if you take out the undecideds. He ended up last night with a very solid 32 and he took -- because of the party rules, all 50 delegates in the only winner-take-all contest out of the 28 contests between February 1st and March 14th. So he had a very good night.

And looking ahead, he has a couple of very good weeks ahead of him in all likelihood. He's found a way to unglue blue collar evangelicals, thereby deeply damaging Ted Cruz's chances to sweep these six southern states that are going to be voting on March 1st. And the rest of the contest, he's going to do pretty well because if he takes a third in the vote, he will probably get slightly more than a third of the delegates. They're all proportional contests between now and the 14th of March. And he's going to have a divided opposition.

On the other hand, there are big challenges for both parties. And -- and in the Republicans probably bigger challenges. If he becomes the nominee, we will have nominated the guy who has the -- the -- who has tied for having the worst favorable unfavorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic alike. The only other candidate who's as bad is Hillary Clinton. And if we don't nominate Trump, the party will be equally divided because he's made it clear, if he doesn't get the nomination, that's his definition of being treated unfairly.

WALLACE:  Laura -- and talking primarily about the Republicans post South Carolina and this three man race, what do you want to add?

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, "THE LAURA INGRAHAM SHOW": I think it's interesting to look at Rubio’s hierarchy in this campaign. Most of them are based in South Carolina. Warren Tompkins, of course, has -- and the firm, his partner, both working for Rubio, super PAC, and the campaign manager position as well. You have to ask yourself, if Rubio, with all of the expertise in South Carolina, can't deliver more than two counties in South Carolina and no delegates, where does Rubio go on to win here?

So I know everyone’s like, well, Rubio has momentum going out of this race, I don't see where he wins. So I think Karl's on to something here. You go into Nevada, Trump’s going to win that. SEC primaries, I think he's going to roll through the SEC. He’s doing a big speech today in Atlanta. We saw the huge crowds turn out for him in Alabama where, you know, Jeff Sessions hasn't endorsed him, but he’s, in my mind, he's all but.

So I think Trump has momentum, but if he must -- has to unify the party. I think it's interesting that he hasn't gone after Rubio. And I know Rubio hasn't really gone after him. But I can see something in the offing here where if Trump keeps going, the compromise to the establishment, whatever you want to call them and the grassroots could be a Trump/Rubio ticket. I know people are horrified to hear that maybe, but that's what I'm seeing if I have to have a crystal ball right now.

WALLACE:  And just briefly, how about Ted Cruz, because some people would say, look, 70 percent --


WALLACE:  Of the voters there identified as born again or evangelical, and that would seem to have been, if he can't win there, where can he win?

INGRAHAM: I don't want to count out Ted Cruz. I think he has an amazing campaign operation. But he has 11 delegates. Trump has 61. And at this point, Ted Cruz has got to have to do some soul searching, too. If he can't start chalking up more than victories than just in Iowa, he’s going to have to make a decision. Is he going to throw in with Rubio or is he going to throw in with Trump? So he could be the sweet spot for both the establishment and more of the grassroots candidate here.

WALLACE:  If we remember one thing from this week a month from now, a year from now, my guess is it may be the fact that this was the week that Pope Francis, the holy father, became a participant in the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina. When you thought you'd seen it all, you saw this.


POPE FRANCIS (through translator): A person who only thinks about making walls again and again and not making bridges is not a Christian.

TRUMP: For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful.


WALLACE:  We asked you for questions for the panel and we got a lot of comments like this one from Mike on Twitter, "who is paying the pope or directing him to drum up votes against conservatives in America?"

Julie, a lot of people think that in fact the pope's comments helped Trump in heavily evangelical South Carolina.

JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think it's possible that it did help Trump for this reason. The thing that Trump has been saying consistently throughout this campaign that has really gotten him support across the country is his positions on immigration. And you've seen moments in the campaign where he veers off into other topics. But every time he can come back to immigration, remind people of his tough position, he gets stronger. And so the pope gave him an opportunity to do that. I think that -- you know, the pope is someone who has taken some pride in trying to rile up politicians on immigration, on climate change. I don't think he was trying to do anything specifically to stop Donald Trump. But, you know, it's another great example of how Donald Trump is a masterful politician. He took something that could have been -- that was quite controversial and I think turned it into a positive for him.

WALLACE:  Neera, before we get into the craziness in your party, how much are you enjoying what's going on with the Republicans?

NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: You know, I mean I think it's an interesting time in American politics on both sides. I was surprised that you could have a kind of Twitter war with the pope and still survive. I do think the one thing going forward really for both parties, although there are differences in both parties, is that if you look at the exit polls in South Carolina, 53 percent of GOP voters are anti-establishment. Really feel betrayed by their party. Not just anti-establishment, feel betrayed by their party. So how a party produces a Marco Rubio or -- or a kind of traditional candidate when you have that much anger at the GOP establishment, where they feel, like use the word betrayed, is something we look at. There are -- there is factors like that in the Democratic Party, it’s just not as high. Much lower.

WALLACE:  Yes, but I want to pick up on that because it -- clearly that's something that -- that Bernie Sanders is tapping into.


WALLACE: We're going to get into that in the next segment. In that sense, does Donald Trump, if he ends up as the nominee -- and I know there are some Democrats, I don't know about you, who are kind of licking their chops at that --

TANDEN: Yes. I’m not licking my chops.

WALLACE:  You have to be careful what you wish for. I mean he -- could he tap into that both on the Republican side and the Democratic side, that sense of, we're going to just burn the whole place down and start over again?

TANDEN: You know, I think he has -- he has definitely -- he seems to be driving the numbers on the GOP side. I think people should recognize that there is higher numbers in turnout yesterday in South Carolina. That is something that, you know, Democrats should be worried about.

Now, he might polarize other folks as well, college-educated folks who go the other way, but he is transforming American politics. And you have to see how much it's actually going to mean and whether it would depress Republican voters if he went with a pro-establishment candidate. That’s something that (INAUDIBLE).

WALLACE:  And -- and one last, quick thing, Neera. That tableau -- and I talked about it with Marco Rubio, when he's on the stage with Nikki Haley, with Tim Scott, young, minorities, if that were to be the -- the face of the Republican Party, doesn't that become pretty tough for Democrats in the sense that it -- it explodes the kind of traditional stereotypes?

TANDEN: Sure, but we also have to see that the rhetoric on the trail has gotten so much -- so much more polarizing on immigrants and other issues. So that's the real question. This debate -- this debate in the GOP will decide, where does the party want to go? And can you attract candidates who are anti-establishment, angry at what's happening in the country, really angry at what's happening in the country, and still be a diverse party? That's the question.

WALLACE:  OK. We have to take a break here. But when we come back, Nevada’s Democratic caucus and Hillary Clinton’s narrow win.


WALLACE:  A look at the neon lights on the Las Vegas Strip.

With the results from the Nevada caucuses, the race for the Democratic nomination is still tight. Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry in the silver state with the latest.


ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Hillary Clinton, last night, seized the momentum in this race and took a big step toward beating Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, yet there are still danger signs this morning for Clinton. Obviously still under FBI investigation. And entrance polls show that for voters whose top concern was honesty and trustworthiness, Sanders crushed her, 84 percent to 11 percent. Sanders also won big again with young people, made gains with Hispanic.

However, Clinton won because of a huge edge with voters over 65, as well as African-Americans, just as this race heads south. And Clinton, at her victory speech, immediately pounced on the idea that as this race goes to South Carolina next Saturday and then goes national in March, she will be able to grind out the delegates needed to seal this nomination.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm on my way to Texas. Bill is on his way to Colorado. The fight goes on. The future that we want is within our grasp. Thank you all. God bless you!

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that when Democrats assemble, in Philadelphia, in July at that convention, we are going to see the results of one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States.


HENRY: Now, to Sanders' point, not all of the states on Super Tuesday, March 1st, are Clinton strongholds in the south. Some, like Massachusetts and Minnesota, quite friendly to him. Remember also Democrats award delegates proportionally. And Sanders has started outraising Clinton in the money department. So he has the ability to stick around. What Sanders has not proven, though, is that he can win.


WALLACE:  Ed, thanks.

And we're back now with our panel.

Karl, where does the Democratic race stand now after Nevada, and what have we learned about both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns going forward?

ROVE: Yes, I -- I think Ed captured the three critical elements absolutely right. She -- she won in Nevada in -- in large part because of her overwhelming strength among African-Americans. And we have five contests coming up where that -- that’s going to prove to be dispositive.

On the other hand, he will continue to do well among white liberals. And you have states like Colorado. He -- let me just make a forecast. He will carry Boulder County. But also Massachusetts, Vermont, North Dakota, Minnesota, which have been helpful to more liberal candidates in the past.

One of the interesting contests coming up is going to be Texas. I would have thought before last night that would have been solid Hillary county. He'll carry my home county of -- of Austin, which is, you know, little Moscow on the Colorado. But last night he did well among Latinos in -- in Nevada. If that transfers over to -- to Texas, then he's going to do better than I would have thought. He will have money. He -- he is -- there will come a point here not too far away where he -- where he will have more money cash on hand than she does. And as -- and because the delegates are proportional, he will be there all the way till the end. And the question is, what does he want in Philadelphia? He will not win the nomination, but he’s going to walk into that convention with God knows 35 percent, 40 percent of the delegates. And -- and what is he going to want and can she give it to him, and does that unite the Democratic Party without doing damage to their general election bid (ph).

WALLACE:  OK, guys, we can go home because it’s all been laid out for us.

Neera, Nevada --

TANDEM: Let -- yes, let me clarify a few points here, but --

WALLACE: Well, Nevada was supposed to be, according to the Clinton campaign, the firewall. She won, but it was a lot closer than they said it was going to be.

TANDEM: Well, actually, since New Hampshire, I mean I think the -- both campaigns had thought it was --

WALLACE:  You mean a week ago?

TANDEM: Two -- yes, two weeks ago now, ten days, that those campaigns thought it was much more competitive. I mean leading up to it, in fact Friday night, Bernie Sanders, at his rally, predicted victory the next day. He thought he had the momentum. And the reason he thought he had the momentum is because he was outspending Hillary two to one on the air. And she -- he was facing -- she was also facing ads from super PACs, including Karl Rove's super PAC in Nevada, which was really attacking her.

ROVE: Our $35,000 (ph) was absolutely critical to her.

TANDEM: It’s $7 million in GOP super PACs overall, but I appreciate the low dollar spend on your end.

WALLACE:  Anyway. Continue.

TANDEM: But the point is, she did well with women and -- she did well with Latinos and Latino turnout --

WALLACE:  But she -- she lost Latinos.

TANDEM: No, in the -- that’s in the entrance polls. If you look at Latino turnout in caucuses, she won Clark County by ten points. The Latino neighborhoods, she won two to one the delegates. So this is -- these are just facts. The kind of idea that she's weakening amongst Latinos is false. But we'll see in Texas. We’ll see in Texas how well she does. She did really well in Texas eight years ago. I expect she'll do well this Texas this year.

WALLACE:  Laura, I want to get your reaction to a fascinating moment on the campaign trail this week, and this is when Scott Pelley sat down with Hillary Clinton. Take a look.


SCOTT PELLEY: Have you always told the truth?

CLINTON: I've always tried to. Always. Always.

PELLEY: Some people are going call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself, always, always tried to.

CLINTON: Well, no, I -- no, I’ve always tried to.

PELLEY: I mean, you know, Jimmy Carter said, I will never lie to you.

CLINTON: You know, you're asking me to say, have I ever -- I don't believe I ever have. I -- I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever will. I'm going to do the best I can to level with the American people.


WALLACE:  How do you think she handled that? And then we've got to say in the entrance polls, which is the only hard data we have, still a huge number of people had honesty and trustworthy as their top candidate quality and he killed her. It wasn't quite New Hampshire, 90-10, but I think it was 80 something to 15.

INGRAHAM: Yes. On the -- on the trustworthiness front, it -- it wasn't a stellar night for her.


INGRAHAM: But with answers like that, it -- it goes back and we're reminded of, depends on the meaning -- what the meaning of the word "is" is when she’s like, well, you know, I’ve -- I’ve tried to tell the truth. First of all, is there a statute of limitations on that? Does it go back to Hillary's time as a teenager?

Look, I mean, the question -- I mean, I think most candidates would probably have a problem with that because when you look at alt of ads, they stretch the truth on a lot of the political ads for all candidates. But, nevertheless, it goes right back to the e-mail scandal and even maybe Benghazi, what difference does it make? I never sent or received an e-mail that was classified. I think we’re finding there’s a very different story there.

So -- but I think in -- in Nevada specifically, her guy, Robbie Muke (ph) there, was -- was central to two campaigns. To Howard Deans in 2004 and, of course, he worked for Hillary Clinton in 2008 there. He knew the lay of the land. If you can win among African-Americans and the elderly, I don't see how she's stoppable. I really don’t.

And I think she did pretty well among Latinos. Texas will tell a different story perhaps, but I think it's -- the question is, what is Bernie going to get? Concession? Is it a policy concession? Much like in the GOP, this campaign really is about issues. Are we going to go with the establishment view of things, on globalism, on trade, on -- on wages, or are we going to go into a new, more populist direction on both the Democrat and the Republican front? Bernie wants to force that debate. I think he’s not been -- done a bad job so far given the power and the might of the Clintons.

WALLACE:  Julie, from your sources at the White House, what do they make of the race? Are they concerned -- because it looks like this is going to go on for a while -- that it's going to weaken whoever ends up winning, and whoever wins they're going to be pushed further and further to the left?

PACE: There's a lot of clear support for Hillary Clinton in the White House. There are a lot of people there that want to see her be the nominee. And I think they actually take a bit of a different view on the long campaign, having lived through a long campaign in 2008. People in the White  House are pretty clear eyed about Hillary's weaknesses as a candidate and there's a feeling that a long campaign can helper her get some of these kinks out. She's going to have to go into a general election stronger than she’s been the last couple of weeks. She's just going to have to be.

I mean you saw her last night in her speech in Nevada really coming around with a stronger message. There was a lot of talk about this campaign being about the people. She focused more on her supporters than herself. I think that shows an evolution.

And just one thing that I think got a little bit lost last night on the fundraising front, Bernie Sanders is spending money --


PACE: At an incredibly high rate. He has raised a lot of money, but he is burning through it quite quickly. And I think you have to really look at the fundraising numbers and the spend race over the next couple of weeks because that will determine how long this race really goes on.

WALLACE:  You know, you -- you --

TANDEN: She has more cash on hand than he does.

PACE: Yes.

WALLACE:  Pardon me?

TANDEN: She has more cash on hand than he does.

PACE: Yes, she has more cash on hand.

ROVE: She -- but he outraised her in the last reporting period.

WALLACE:  I thought it was interesting, though, in talk of moving left, that she made a point, yes, if you're a bad company we don't like you. But then she went to say, if you're a good company and you’re going to contribute, then we're all for you. I mean the idea that we're not going to burn down Wall Street. She seemed to want to --

PACE: Yes.

WALLACE:  Recalibrate that.

PACE: Look, she’s never going to be Bernie Sanders on Wall Street issues. And -- and -- and on private sector issues. It wouldn't be authentic for her to do that. She's been trying to find her position on this. I think that last night was a message that felt a bit more authentic for her. I think you’re going to see her taking that into South Carolina and beyond.

WALLACE:  Real quickly.

INGRAHAM: She also just ridiculed the idea that everything can be free in Bernie's world. I mean she did that three or four times over the last week. I thought that was kind of a turn to the general election. So, black and elderly voters, that’s her key. You need a Republican who can peel some of them away in both categories.

ROVE: And a teleprompter speech.

WALLACE:  Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. And -- and Marco Rubio, no teleprompter speech.

ROVE: Right. Right.

WALLACE:  With Bernie Sanders' appearance here last week, we’ve now sat down with every candidate in the race except Hillary Clinton. As we noted, she was asked recently what she would do as president to bring the country together.


CLINTON: I think it's an important point the president made in his State of the Union. And here's what I would say. I will go anywhere to meet with anyone at any time to find common ground.


WALLACE:  But, once again this week, Clinton turned down our request for an interview. We reached out to her campaign officials in charge of this sort of thing, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, and press secretary Nick Merrill. Neither of them had the courtesy to even answer our phone calls and emails.

Up next, our power player of the week. One of the secrets to Bernie Sanders' success.


WALLACE:  Bernie Sanders' campaign may be the biggest surprise in a political year full of them. How did a 74-year-old Democratic socialist turn the presumed coronation of Hillary Clinton into a real fight? Here's our power player of the week.


DEVINE: He speaks directly. He speaks plainly. He speaks honestly. And -- and that really has an impact on voters.

SANDERS: A political revolution.

WALLACE (voice-over):  Tad Devine is senior adviser to Bernie Sanders' campaign. He's worked with him for 20 years, but signed on to the presidential run in 2014 when Sanders wasn't even included in national polls.

DEVINE: He's not just a client of mine, he's a friend of mine. And by talking about this message that he believes in so deeply is great for the Democratic Party. We can bring millions of people into this process and they can help elect a Democratic president, whether it's him or Hillary Clinton.

WALLACE:  But a funny thing happened over the last 15 months. Sanders' quixotic run for the White House has turned serious.

CROWD: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

WALLACE (on camera): Honestly, are you surprised Sanders is doing this well?

DEVINE: Yes, I’m -- I am surprised. I'm surprised by how his appeal is cutting through. I'm surprised by the size of the crowds turning out to see him. And that we made so much progress in such a short time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bernie has spent his entire career --

DEVINE: That’s good. That’s good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we were just trying to get this done.

DEVINE: Yes, not, that’s really good.

WALLACE (voice-over): Devine doesn't just set strategy for the campaign, he also produces the ads, like this one.

DEVINE: You've got to be able to tell a story very quickly. A story that people remember. Number two, if you have some kind of emotional impact or content to that story, I think that's really powerful.

WALLACE: Devine has worked on campaigns since 1980, in this country and overseas. And while his batting average is good, when it comes to American presidential races, well, he worked for Dukakis and Gore and John Kerry.

DEVINE: I think I've learned more in campaigns when I've worked with candidates who have lost than I’ve learned in campaigns when candidates have won. Hard lessons about what not to do, you know, in the next campaign.

WALLACE (on camera): Was part of your calculation that Hillary Clinton was not as strong as everybody said she was?

DEVINE: You know, it -- it really wasn't. We're not really reacting to Hillary Clinton. We had to figure out our own path and stick to it. And -- and I think if we do, we have a chance of winning.

WALLACE (voice-over): The strategy now is to battle Clinton across the nation, all the way to the convention in July.

DEVINE: She's going to do well in -- in a lot of places. And there’ll -- there'll be, I think, a push to say, OK, this thing's over, you know?

WALLACE (on camera): Right.

DEVINE: Our position is going to be, well, it's over when it's over.

WALLACE (voice-over): Devine believes Sanders can win more votes than Clinton and make his case to the party officials now backing her as super delegates.

DEVINE: I think we can win the most pledge delegates. And then arguing to the party that our nominee should be picked by voters and not by political insiders.

SANDERS: We are going to vigorously participate in that democracy.

WALLACE: In the meantime, Devine says the Sanders campaign is a good example of why he got into politics so many years ago.

DEVINE: So it's rewarding when you get to work for people who you respect and admire, when you win elections, particularly election when people say there's no hope, and you can see the consequences of that victory and the impact that it has on people.


WALLACE: Devine says there's been a revolution in campaigns since 2012 because of smartphones. He says the Sanders team can now remind supporters to vote or ask for money with a push of a button. All of which only make the grassroots that much stronger.

And that's it for today. Have a great week, and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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