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Would a Trump-Christie ticket entice Republican voters?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 26, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  All right, I don`t think I have seen, well, 24 hours like this in recent political history.  Talk about craziness.  

Marco Rubio, wrapping things up with his fans at an Oklahoma City rally, he is giving it back to Donald Trump, who is it giving it back to him, after we had Rubio giving it back to him.  I have lost sight of who is giving back to whom, but we`re going to have more on the humorous tit for tat and the zingers between these two.  

But did this event early on just stop the debate?  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-NEW JERSEY:  I`m proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States.  And there is no one who is better prepared to provide America with a strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump.  

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This was an endorsement that really meant a lot.  Chris is an outstanding man with an outstanding family.  He has done a great job.  And I think that this is the one endorsement that I felt very strongly about I wanted to get.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO:  Well, it certainly came out of nowhere, the irony being that it was Chris Christie who just surgically took apart Marco Rubio just a few weeks ago in a debate performance that many thought was going to lead to bigger and better things for Chris Christie.  

We learn, in retrospect, that didn`t happen.  He fell out of favor.  Marco Rubio still fights on.  But the last time I had caught up with Governor Christie, this issue of being an attack dog, and a fairly effective one at that, and how that might serve, let`s say as a vice presidential nominee?  
Well, you look.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO:  As a running mate for somebody, you could be the guy to be that attack dog.  What do you think?  

CHRISTIE:  I certainly -- I certainly could be, but I won`t be, because I will be the one picking a running mate.  And, you know, I just...

CAVUTO:  But you wouldn`t rule out, if it didn`t happen?

CHRISTIE:  I allowed Mitt Romney to consider me the last time, right?  So, the fact is that you don`t run for vice president.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO:  All right, so that was his view then, although he seemed to be open to the prospect of being a running mate back then.  Now the question is, if it is Donald Trump`s nomination to lose, would he entertain someone like a Christie, or, well, actually what type of person would he entertain?  

This was Donald Trump from a couple of weeks back in New Hampshire.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO:  Let me ask you a little bit about the running mate, if you don`t mind my indulging in that.  

Do you look at certain types of people?  If you were to be the nominee -- and I know it`s early, you remind me of that -- but do you look at certain types, governor, senator, or do you look at those who would offset the fact that you`re this outside-the-box guy with someone who is kind of inside- the-box?  What?  

TRUMP:  Well, I would think -- and I`m not even, you know -- I`m discussing it with you because you`re asking to discuss it, because, number one, I want to win, and after I win, I can think about this, because there are some really, really good people that we know.

I would think that, because of the fact that, while I`m very political, I`m not a politician, I would want to choose a politician.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO:  All right, what he was saying there is:  I would want to choose a politician.

Would that be someone, a Washington politician, a senator or congressman?  By the way, I should point out that Mr. Trump seemed to rule out Marco Rubio today.  More on that in just a second.

But would a Chris Christie, a sitting governor, fit the bill?  It made me wonder today when you saw the two of them up there.  

Let me ask former presidential adviser, bestselling author Karl Rove.  

Karl, what do you think of that?  Were we looking at a potential ticket?  

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:  Well, we could be.  

I would remind you, that from the founding of the republic, through 1992, we never had a presidential ticket with somebody, with a candidate from an adjoining state as the running mate of the presidential candidate.  

And we had obviously the famous Clinton/Gore ticket, so here we would be repeating that with Trump, New York, and Christie, New Jersey, so I`m not certain how much appeal that would have west of the Mississippi -- excuse me -- west of the Poconos and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  

But you generally try -- in this election, I think people are going to be looking to Florida, which Republicans absolutely have to win, or the Midwest, particularly Ohio and the industrial center land of the country, for a running mate to sort of augment the strength of the ticket.  

CAVUTO:  But if you think about it -- I don`t want to get too immersed in this political -- we`re a long way from deciding on this nomination.  

ROVE:  Way too early.  

CAVUTO:  Way too early, so indulge me one more time.  

This notion that maybe, if it is a Donald Trump who is the nominee, that he doesn`t want someone from Washington, that he does want a governor -- of course, John Kasich comes to mind as well in Ohio, but that he wants somebody who is going to be an attack dog, which used to be the role of the vice presidential candidate, to sort of go out there and make the president or the presidential candidate`s argument, but much more in your face.  

Certainly someone like a Governor Christie could do that.  

ROVE:  He could, but that may be going back to an old model that doesn`t exist anymore.  

I think the rise of social media, the explosion of talk radio, the expansion of the role of cable news, the immediacy of the news cycle means that, if you`re going to have an attack dog, it generally needs to be the president.  It`s the president`s campaign -- the presidential candidate`s campaign that has to take the lead.

The vice president, who does not really emerge on to the stage until, in this instance, the third week of July, is not going to be able to carry the majority of the load even after that point.  

CAVUTO:  Yes, and it would be difficult to carry New Jersey in this case.  

But let me ask you, stepping back from this, what kind of message this is sending.  We talked about how this stunted talk that Donald Trump had a poor debate performance, and everyone getting caught up in the taxes, you going to release them or not.  All of a sudden, the shift changed to, hey, did you hear about Chris Christie backing a guy a little more than a few weeks ago he was calling the entertainer and not ready for the presidency?  

ROVE:  Yes.  

Well, it`s good for Trump, because it does take the spotlight off of last night`s debate, at least for part of today.  But I would remind you, we`re also going to have release tax documents by Rubio and Cruz here today and tomorrow.  And that`s going to reinsert the issues.  

So, look, endorsements matter.  And I don`t want to diminish Chris Christie`s endorsement of Trump.  Particularly the shock value of it is good, but remember the half-life of all of these things is relatively small.  

The question is, is Christie going to go on the road for Trump, and begin to make appearances with him or on his behalf?  And that would extend the value and expand the life of this thing.  

CAVUTO:  All right, now, we know for Republicans at least -- the Democrats have South Carolina tomorrow, so that`s their thing -- but Super Tuesday, and for Donald Trump, double-digit leads in almost two-thirds of those states.  Did anything that transpired over the last 24 hours potentially cut into that?  

ROVE:  I think it could.  

It was a very well-watched debate.  And one thing that we have seen in three out of the four contests, the one exception being South Carolina, Donald Trump was not a very good closer.  In Iowa and New Hampshire, and in Nevada, other candidates were the people who grabbed the late deciders.  

And I think that`s likely to be the case this time around as well.  If you`re still sitting there on the sidelines, it`s not because you`re enthusiastic about voting for Trump.  You`re looking around for the alternative to him.  And I suspect we will see that that is likely to happen here.  

Now, remember, also, next week, all of those delegates are proportional.  And so, while we have somebody win a preponderance of the contests, you need to be careful about assuming that, as a result, they`re going to win,.  You may win five or six contests, but you`re still likely to end up with a plurality of the delegates.  Those delegates are going to be chopped up all over the place because of the party rules.  

CAVUTO:  But those rules also provide South Carolina examples where, in Donald Trump`s case, you get a plurality of the vote, but all the delegates, given the fact that some of them, Connecticut comes to mind, and others, have a minimum threshold by which you don`t get any delegates unless you get 15 or 20 percent of the vote.  

I guess what I`m asking is...

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE:  Be careful.

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE:  Remember, South Carolina was winner take all.  

CAVUTO:  Right.

ROVE:  South Carolina was winner take all, not proportional.  It was winner take all at the congressional district level and winner take all at the statewide level.  That is not the case next week.  

In fact, we have four states next week, Virginia, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Vermont, that are completely proportional.  That is to say, there is no threshold whatsoever.  Like, in Virginia, you get 2 percent of the vote, you get a delegate.  

CAVUTO:  OK.  I guess what I was saying in that case -- I know what you`re saying about winner take all in a precinct or a district, but you could have a situation where, again, in those where they have that threshold, Donald Trump, again, if the polls stay as they are, could run up the tab here.  Right?  

ROVE:  Well, except for two things.  

One is, the states where he may run them up is where you have a 20 percent threshold, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.  And my suspicion is in perhaps all of those states, but certainly most of those states, we`re likely to see all three of the front -- the leading candidates, Trump in front, followed by Rubio and Cruz, we`re likely to see all of them get past the 20 percent threshold.

If they don`t, they get -- they suffer.  The other two gain.  The other -- the key thing, though, Neil is congressional districts, the 2-1 rule.  In these states, Texas, with 108 delegates in a congressional district, Tennessee 28, Arkansas 25, Oklahoma 25, and Alabama 21 at the congressional district level, if you get more than 20 percent of the vote, the first guy gets two, the second guy gets one.  

Even if there a third guy who gets 20 percent, they get shut out.  So that`s where we`re likely to see people begin to sort of pull away is if, in these states with these 2-1 rules at the congressional district level, somebody is consistently winning is districts.  

These states are going to reflect the proportionality.  I mean, look, Virginia, no threshold.  Massachusetts, 5 percent.  Alaska, 13 percent.  Vermont, 20 percent.  

Those states are going to be -- those states are going to be pure proportional across the state with a minimum threshold.  And those are the states that are going to more likely reflect sort of the vote between everybody.  It`s going to be those states with the 2-1 in a congressional district, particular the bigger ones of those two -- of those states.  

CAVUTO:  Yes, I`m really sorry I asked the question.  

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO:  I`m kidding.  I`m kidding.  

Let me ask you very quickly.

ROVE:  I`m going to send you for your reading -- I`m going to send you a copy today of the party rules.  

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Please do.  Yes, snap the picture, snap the picture.  Please do.  

ROVE:  I`m going to send this to you, so you can take it to bed tonight and put yourself to sleep.  

CAVUTO:  Well, that will certainly ease with mind with my live FBN coverage.

Karl Rove, thank you very much, my friend.  I appreciate it.

ROVE:  You bet.  Thank you, Neil.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  

END

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