Kasich hoping to create momentum in Michigan; Issa questions FBI's strategy to unlock shooter's iPhone

Republican candidate says he has a 'home court advantage' in the northern states on 'Sunday Morning Futures'


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," March 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST:  Good morning.  Super Saturday results are in and it looks like the battle for the Republican presidential nomination is going to be a war of attrition.  

Hi, everyone.  I'm Maria Bartiromo.  Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump each capturing two wins in yesterday's round of voting.  Trump still the front runner in the hunt for delegates but after last night, you can see Cruz is nipping at his heels with 300 delegates to Trump's 382.  Marco Rubio trails behind with 128.  John Kasich has 35.  

The battleground states of Florida and Ohio still lie ahead, of course, where Rubio and Kasich are placing high hopes on their home states.  

First though, the Michigan primary is this upcoming Tuesday.  And my next guest is hoping to pick up momentum there, which his campaign says will position him to arrive in Cleveland for the Republican convention and exit as the nominee.  

So, let's talk about that with Ohio governor and presidential candidate right now, John Kasich.  

Governor, good to see you.  Thanks so much for joining us.  


BARTIROMO:  Is that the plan?  

KASICH:  Well, the plan is to work every single day and telling people about what I want to do to relieve a lot of their economic anxieties to make sure they feel they can get a job and get some decent wages and their kids can graduate from college and get a decent job and not have to live with them, you know, in their basement.  So we have ideas about that.  

We're getting good crowds everywhere we're going and it's enthusiastic, excuse me.  And it's not only enthusiastic but committed people.  We're going to Michigan where we are closing and we think we're going to do well in Michigan and then we come to geographical political center of the world in Ohio, where I will win and then it's a whole new ball game.  

I think it's going to be difficult for anybody to get enough delegates to just claim the nomination and I think it's going to be an interesting time in Cleveland.  

BARTIROMO:  So, you are expecting a contested convention going into the Republican convention, which, of course, is the week of July 18th.  

Donald Trump is looking at the numbers and he's saying, look, the field has to narrow.  I want to go one-on-one against Ted Cruz and he's basically suggesting to you and Marco Rubio should step aside.  

Give us your plan of attack in terms of how you actually do go into that convention with a brokered convention and come out the nominee.  

KASICH:  Well, we're just going to be competing all across the country, Maria.  Look, the calendar is such that it wasn't my home court advantage.  
Now that we're heading up north, we're getting more -- you know, it's March Madness.  You want to have home court advantage.  

And we look at Ohio.  We look at Pennsylvania.  We look at Connecticut, New Jersey, these are places I can do extremely well including in the West.  
So, it's a long way to Cleveland.  There's a lot of time to go.  And we're going to do the best we can to get as many delegates as we can and, you know, let people know that some people say the adult on the stage, the one with actually answers and not name-calling.  

And so, we're just going to keep plugging and we'll hopefully get to Cleveland in a good, strong position and leave it up to the convention.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, I guess the question is that enough?  I mean, let's say, you do well in Michigan.  You do well, obviously, you take Ohio.  Is that enough?  

Let me put that aside for a moment, Governor, because I want to ask you about policy and ask but what's important to the voters.  You go to a state like Michigan and you're seeing jobs the number one issue.  You're seeing people worried about foreign workers coming in and taking their job, about technology replacing them.  

What do you bring to the table?  What do you offer those voters?  

KASICH:  Well, look, actually, Michigan has had a pretty decent rebound.  A good rebound in terms of jobs.  Here in the state, we're up over 400,000 jobs with wages growing faster than the national average.  

And I look at technology in many ways as not an enemy but actually an ability like a tier 1 auto plant in Michigan where they really brought a lot of technology, where workers have higher productivity and higher wages and more secure jobs.  

So, I think we need to embrace these things that can boost productivity so workers can do better.  At the same time, I think it's important in the country that we lower the tax on big businesses and with the combination of skilled workforce, lower energy costs, access to the North American market, I think we can have significant gains in manufacturing.  

But people are worried, because, you know, here's the thing.  Am I going to lose my job?  I haven't had a wage increase.  I've had my money in a bank.  
I'm supposed to get interest.  I'm sure your mother tells you this.  She says, Maria, tell me, I have my money in the bank and I get no interest on that money.  

These things are frustrating people and they need to be responded to and it gets down to a better regulatory climate, lower taxes and a path to a balanced budget.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, yes, for sure.  And, of course, now, we know that there are five countries that have negative interest rates meaning the banks are basically needing to pay the central bank to even hold that money so they are actually losing money with where rates are right now.  

You know, you look at Hillary Clinton this weekend coming out with her -- what she's calling a jobs plan.  You look at your plan and your other colleagues on the GOP looking at tax reform as one of the critical parts to creating jobs.  Is that what it's about?  Is it largely about tax reform and rolling back regulation?  

Hillary Clinton is looking to raise taxes.  She wants to raise $1.1 trillion and she's talking about putting more rules and regulations on the docket as it relates to certainly mergers and keeping money abroad.  

KASICH:  Well, Maria, listen, the formula that I used, excuse me, the formula that I used in Washington was one of balancing a budget and cutting the capital gains tax and simplifying the rules, and we had a balanced budget.  We paid down a lot of debt.  We cut -- you know, we were in a position where workers were doing very well.  Jobs were creating.  

The same thing I've done in Ohio -- lowering taxes, common sense regulations, surplus actually in the state of Ohio.  We know that's the formula that works.  

That's what we did in Washington and Bill Clinton tried to take credit for a very strong economy.  We actually pushed him to the balance budget.  

So, we know what works.  If you want to regulate more, tax more and be out of control financially, you're not going to have job creation.  I mean, you know that.  The formula works.

And in Michigan, the governor there has done exactly what I've just said, trying common sense positions on regulations and not no regulations, but common sense positions and lower taxes and a fiscal policy.  These are the things that can really work.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, you know, there's the battle with the Dems.  There's the battle with Hillary Clinton in terms of economic policy and then there's a battle within your own party, governor.  What's your take on Mitt Romney coming out, calling Trump a fraud?  This sort of ripping apart that has happened within the Republican Party?  

KASICH:  Well, Maria, here's the thing.  You know, Donald Trump is tapping into the anxiety that these voters have.  I mean, there are seniors are worried they won't get their social security.  They believe the government stole their money back to this interest of -- or the issue of I educated my son and daughter but they can't get a job or I might lose mine.  

I don't think that you -- that you beat Donald Trump by getting into a name-calling contest.  I think the way you beat him is to have a vision and to have a record of accomplishment so these people can hear you and say, well, wait a minute, you know, Kasich is onto something here.  Maybe he's done this before.  Maybe he has the solution to these problems.  

Because if you don't recognize the problems, then people think you don't get it.  You know what?  I actually grew up in an environment of economic insecurity as a boy.  

So, I completely get it.  It's just that I've got some specific answers and have a record that shows that I can solve these things -- working with others of course.  

BARTIROMO:  Do you agree with Donald Trump's take on Mexico where America loses and he wants to change things with tariffs?  

KASICH:  Well, no, I don't, because one out of every five American workers are involved in trade.  There are 38 million Americans whose jobs depend on trade.  My agreement with him is on this, whenever somebody violates these trade agreements, we shouldn't look the other way, Maria.  

I mean, if we turn this over to some international bureaucrat to try to resolve, by the time they find in our favor, people have lost their jobs.  
I mean, you know about the dumping that has occurred in the steel industry where South Koreans, you know, dumping steel in here below the cost of making it and disrupt our economy, they take our people's jobs.  That's an outrage.  

So, it is important that we enforce the rules and not sit around waiting for somebody to debate this stuff until kingdom come and our workers are out of a job.  That's wrong.  I agree with him on that.  

BARTIROMO:  Governor, you make a lot of great points.  We'll be watching the next couple weeks.  Thank you for joining us this morning.  

KASICH:  All right, Maria.  Thank you.  

BARTIROMO:  Good to see you.  Governor John Kasich there.

KASICH:  Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO:  Donald Trump and Ted Cruz clear the field for a two man race.  
We'll talk to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich next about what lies ahead for the GOP.

Hope you'll follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures.  Send me a tweet, and the show a tweet.  Let us know what you'd like to hear from Newt Gingrich, coming up next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" this morning.  


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.  

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz calling for both Marco Rubio and John Kasich to drop out of the race after poor showings on Super Saturday.  Cruz and Trump eyeing a head to head matchup after each scored a pair of victories in the weekend's races.  This coming days after the four candidates vowed to support the eventual nominee, but Cruz insists as long as the field remains divided, it gives Trump the advantage.  


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  What we are saying to supporters and to many other good people who ran in this race, coming and joining us because we're the one campaign that has beaten repeatedly and can beat Donald Trump.  If you don't want to see Donald Trump as nominee, then I invite you to join our team, as so many supporters of Marco and John did in Kansas.  


BARTIROMO:  Joining us right now is Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House and FOX News contributor.  

Mr. Speaker, good to see you.  


BARTIROMO:  Do you agree that we're going into a contested convention?  

GINGRICH:  No, not yet.  I think that a little bit of what Cruz said is real.  I mean, first of all, the most amazing number from yesterday is that the insurgents, Cruz and Trump, got 107 delegates and the traditional candidates got 15.  Now, that's an amazing share.  

It means that Cruz who would have started the year as probably the least desirable candidate is seen by the establishment may be about to become the establishment candidate in order to stop Trump.  So, this is the world turned upside down and dramatically different.  

I think the key to whether or not we're going to go to some kind of brokered convention or open convention is frankly Florida.  If Trump can win Florida and get all of the delegates from Florida because it's a winner-take-all state, he begins to rebuild a massive lead.  

If, on the other hand, Rubio can survive and can win his home state, then you really are moving toward some kind of open convention in a way that we have no experience of and would have no idea how it would come out.  

BARTIROMO:  But having said that, if we were to see a narrower field now, where do those votes go?  In other words, do you agree that perhaps Marco Rubio should step aside and endorse Cruz then if he's now becoming the establishment?  

GINGRICH:  Look, I'm a little surprised by Cruz calling for it now, because I think it's about ten days too early.  If Rubio stepped aside ride now, Trump would win Florida.  There's nobody going to -- Cruz is not going to beat Trump in Florida.  And so, and Trump frankly in the last polls was way ahead in Florida even against Rubio who is the home state.  

So, from a pure delegate standpoint, for Cruz's strategy to work, he needs Rubio one last time.  Similarly, if Kasich were to step down now, odds are high that Trump would win Ohio.  Ohio is a winner-take-all state.  

Plus, Kasich has a shot in the last poll which came out yesterday, Kasich was slightly ahead of Trump in Michigan 33-31.  If Kasich were to win Michigan and then win Ohio, now you're moving towards a brokered convention in some kind of way because nobody would have enough votes at that point to be the dominant figure.  

So, I think it's more up in the air than people think it is.  I think yesterday frankly was not a great day for Trump.  Cruz had a very good day.  
He got 59 delegates.  Trump got 48.  You can't be the front runner very long if you keep getting fewer delegates than somebody else.  

So, Cruz has got an increasingly good claim that he's a serious alternative and it's hard to see the other guys emerging unless Kasich would pick off both Michigan and Ohio and then you would be back to a new three-way race without Rubio.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, really, really interesting and spot on analysis there.  

Mr. Speaker, let me ask you about this most recent upset within the party.  
I mean, Mitt Romney coming out and saying, look, Trump is a fraud.  You know, he's playing the American people.  Has this damaged the establishment or the GOP in general or has this been helpful to his corner of the race?  

GINGRICH:  Well, look, I think it probably damaged Trump a little bit but damaged Romney a lot more.  I was with Romney and Trump in Las Vegas in
2012 when Trump endorsed Romney and Romney was effusive in his praise of Trump, said Trump was more successful than he was, said Trump was a better businessman than he was, talked about Trump as a great job creator.  You look at the tape and it's almost embarrassing to look at the speech this week which was just over the top.  

I mean, it's perfectly fine for Mitt to say he doesn't think Trump should be president but his speech was over the top and actually I think hurt Mitt much more than it hurt Trump.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes.  There was a lot of talk from viewers who say, stop telling me what I'm supposed to say and what I'm supposed to think.  That's where we got here -- that's how we got here in the first place.  

GINGRICH:  Yes, I think Trump has helped because for a very large number of Republicans, maybe as many as 40 percent of the whole party, there's a sense of the establishment has betrayed them.  You look at the polling numbers, 60-something percent say their Washington leadership has failed.

I mean, this is not a party which wants the failed candidate from the last election to get up and lecture them on what to do.  I mean, he tried.  He failed.  


GINGRICH:  You know, time for him to go do something else with his life.  

BARTIROMO:  Real quick, Hillary Clinton out with her economic plan this weekend.  Anything strikes you here, from what she's calling a jobs plan?  

GINGRICH:  Yes, it's a job killing plan and it's a typical liberal Democratic plan.  And it's the primary effort by the Democrats to turn America into France.  Punish the successful, drive people out of the country and make sure we don't create large jobs and have a large welfare state and go bankrupt.  

It is mindless how little they learn from what's gone wrong in Europe and how little they learn from what's gone wrong here.  


GINGRICH:  States that cut taxes, states that are tough on regulations are creating jobs, they're coming back, as John Kasich said.  And Kasich is a perfect example in Ohio on what a governor can do to create jobs.  

Hillary is the opposite of that.  She'd be the greatest job killing president in modern times.  

BARTIROMO:  Actually, you could just look at some states and how people are moving out of the high tax areas.  They are looking for lower corporate tax areas as well.  

Mr. Speaker, good to speak with you as always.  Thank you.  We'll see you soon.  

GINGRICH:  Thank you.

BARTIROMO:  Newt Gingrich there.  

Senator Marco Rubio says the road ahead to the race for the White House worked in his favor.  But is that just wishful thinking?  One of his supporters weighs in next as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.  

Senator Marco Rubio is pressing on and predicting a brighter road ahead in the upcoming GOP contest, with a special emphasis on the winner-take-all primary in Florida, his home turf.

Rubio had a disappointing Super Saturday last night, not winning any states up for grabs.  Donald Trump says it's a sign the senator should bow out.  
But Rubio takes a more optimistic outlook.  


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I think Marco Rubio had a very, very bad night.  Personally, I would call for him to drop out of the race.  
I think it's time now that he'd drop out of the race.  I really think so.  

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The map only gets friendlier for us after tonight, and after Super Tuesday.  We knew this would be the roughest period in the campaign given the makeup of the electoral map.  


BARTIROMO:  Joining me right now is Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and Marco Rubio supporter.

Congressman, good to see you.  Thanks so much for joining us this morning.  

REP. DARRELL ISSA, D-CALIF., MARCO RUBIO SUPPORTER:  Well, thanks for having me on.  And it is interesting that Donald Trump didn't mention he had a bad night, one in which he got less delegates than Cruz and quite frankly only won two out of four states.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, well, that's a fair point.  I think now, you know, Newt Gingrich just said Ted Cruz went into this race being the least desirable, certainly from the GOP's standpoint and he's ending up possibly being the establishment.  

Could you see yourself switching over to Ted Cruz and being his supporter?  

ISSA:  It's my desire to support the nominee of the party.  But I want somebody who truly believes he is a member of this party, and has done so for a long time.  

So, you know, with Ted Cruz my first choice?  No.  When I look down the field, I went with a very inspirational candidate with Marco Rubio and I still believe that if we go to a brokered convention and, you know, you have all of the ifs, if he wins his home state as we fully expect he will, we go to a brokered convention, it's almost the Abraham Lincoln situation over again.  

You have somebody of no ideas in Donald Trump.  He's a little like Seward
(ph) was going into an election, he's cocky, he says he does everything fine.  At the end of the day, on the house floor, individual delegates, people will ask the question of, if not on the first round Trump, then who is their second choice?

And if you talk to people -- I know you do around the country -- Rubio is almost always in the top two even if he's not the number one choice from a particular person.

BARTIROMO:  Yes, I think that's a great analysis.  What is a brokered convention do for the perception of the party going into the general election?  I mean, do you think that would be damaging for the party for those independents out there who are not sure if they're actually going to go for a GOP candidate or Hillary Clinton?  

ISSA:  Well, it depends on whether or not the process is inclusive as it has been.  If it's bringing many new voters into the primaries as it has been.  If the process in Cleveland is about the delegates deciding and picking the best candidate and candidates, because remember, there's a vice president to be chosen, to change America in the way that we want it, that we're inspired to, one in which jobs are created in the private sector and government works for us and not against us, we start knowing more about our government instead of our government always knowing more about us.  

Those are principles that will be relevant in Cleveland that might not be so relevant had we picked, if you will, an anointed insider.  There's no insider left in this race.  Marco Rubio was not the pick for Florida.  Cruz was not the pick for Texas.  And John -- Governor Kasich has been out of the mainstream, if you will, of Washington life for a long time and Trump isn't necessarily even a Republican.  

So, at this point, the nominee of the party will likely be somebody who very much is sort of a Ronald Reagan outsider or even greater.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, really fascinating what's going on, Congressman.  It's just been amazing to watch.  

Let me switch gears and ask you about Apple.  Your committee of course, Judiciary Committee, held hearings on the Apple versus FBI battle here.  You don't -- you say it's not one phone.  What the FBI is asking Apple to do is in fact ultimately making the country more vulnerable.  

Is that right?  

ISSA:  It's absolutely right.  The director made it clear.  He won't say he wants a back door but what he wants is a piece of software that will open hundreds of phones very quickly.  

When he was questioned about have you tried -- you know, have you asked for the source code and do things allowing you to crack this phone, he either didn't know or said no repeatedly.  

But, Maria, I think the director was very honest and straightforward.  His job in his opinion is not to find the balance on the Constitution.  His job is to push hard to get as much evidence as he can, any way he can and let the court tell him when to stop.  And as you know, in New York, the court has told him to stop.  

BARTIROMO:  So, does Congress need to step in here?  I mean, a lot of people look at Congress say, look, do something -- even Apple is saying, do something in the way of legislation so that this case moves forward because we can't do anything else at this point.  

ISSA:  Well, Apple is doing the right thing in their view.  The FBI director is doing the right thing in their view.  

I believe that the court should be allowed to go forward with a process for a period of time.  Right now, if we were to change, if you will, the All Writs  Act of 1789, how would we change it?  Has it been defined where there are limitations could or should be or whether there's an expansion?  

I certainly don't want to expand the powers of our government, if you will, after 200-plus years, unless there's a full vetting of where that would be.  So, I'm of the opinion that with a California case going one way and a New York case going another way, this really needs to go through a process.  

And, by the way, Maria, it's going through a process very quickly.  The brief deadline was Thursday.  You're looking at a case that is on a rocket docket of just weeks for each cycle and you put that against the backdrop of 2010 Brian Terry killed in the desert of Arizona and that case hasn't even gone up on appeal yet.  It's still being argued at the district court level.  

So, this is going quickly.  Quickly enough for the American people to find out where the balance is on their keeping their private lives private.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, it's actually fascinating the way things have changed since the revelations from Edward Snowden.  

Congressman, good to have you on the program.  As always, thanks so much, sir.  

ISSA:  Thanks, Maria.  

BARTIROMO:  We'll see you soon.  Congressman Darrell Issa there.

A former State Department employee has been granted immunity in the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.  What is the impact?  I'll talk with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on that, next.  

We're looking ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."  Back in a moment.  


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.  

Hillary Clinton dogged by her growing email controversy.  A new "Washington Post" analysis shows Clinton served over 100 e-mails over her private server when she was secretary of state, that the government says contained classified information.  This after the Justice Department granted immunity to her former staffer, who set up an operated the private server.

These latest developments raising more questions on whether Clinton put government secrets at risk.  

Joining me right now to talk about this is former U.S. attorney general, Judge Michael Mukasey.  

Judge, good to see you.


BARTIROMO:  Thank you so much for joining us, Mr. Attorney General.

So, Clinton is stressing that the classified emails were not marked "classified".  Explain that.

MUKASEY:  Well, that's a half truth.  I'm sure that when they went on to her system, they were not marked classified.  

The question is, were they ever classified?  Do they have a run on system that carries only classified information?  And if the answer to that is yes, it has to be, then who took them off and at whose direction?  That's the really interesting question, as far as I'm concerned.

BARTIROMO:  That's why, that's why this immunity situation is really important, because clearly, when she was transferring from a government system to her own private server --

MUKASEY:  Or somebody was.  

BARTIROMO:  Or somebody was -- somebody moved those documents and marked them differently.  

MUKASEY:  Or removed the markings and at one point you recall there's an e- mail from her to, I think it's Jake Sullivan, saying that she wants talking points that he says he can't get classified fax machine for so, she says make it un-paper and moves it nonclassified.  

In other words, she knows about removing markings, so as to move something on a system that requires lower classification.  

BARTIROMO:  So this is basically the course of business.  I mean, she knew exactly what to do next.  Just make it unmarked.  

MUKASEY:  Unmarked.  Un-paper as she put it.  

BARTIROMO:  OK.  In terms of the seriousness of this case, how would you characterize this staffer, Pagliano, getting immunity?  What does this tell you?  

MUKASEY:  It tells me a couple things.  First of all, it tells me that people at the top echelons of the Justice Department are interested in this and authorized it because you don't a line assistant doesn't -- the FBI on its own doesn't give immunity.  A line assistant doesn't give immunity.  
That requires permission of an assistant attorney general and maybe higher.  

And what it means is that they want to know details of the conversations at the time this was set up and who said what to whom and when.  

BARTIROMO:  Do you think this is going to get resolved before November?  
Before the Democratic convention in July?  

MUKASEY:  One word answer, yes -- because Jim Comey, a man who doesn't use words casually, or carelessly, among the adverbs he used to describe how he was going to deal with this was the word "promptly".  And I don't know whether it's my imagination or not, but I think his voice dropped a little bit when he got to that word.  

And I take him seriously.  I take him at his word.  

BARTIROMO:  So, just the fact they are granting immunity to her staffer and he says this is going to be done promptly, you would expect a head to this case in the next couple weeks?  

MUKASEY:  Yes.  I don't know about couple but the next several.  

BARTIROMO:  So, I mean, you have to believe that this has impacted her standing as a candidate because Bernie Sanders is beating her in some races.  But what do you think?  

MUKASEY:  That may not account for the Sanders phenomenon.

BARTIROMO:  You don't think that's what's accounting for it.  OK.

MUKASEY:  Sanders has a different appeal and has, in fact, foresworn any reliance on or invocation of the e-mails.  

BARTIROMO:  So, what's the worst-case scenario or best case for Hillary Clinton in the next several weeks?  How does this play out?  

MUKASEY:  Best case for her is the FBI makes an announcement saying they have found no evidence of any criminal liability from the misdemeanor that General Petraeus pleaded guilty to on up to obstruction.  There's no evidence of that.  Some staffers may have committed offenses but that's it.  

BARTIROMO:  And worst case?  Would she get indicted?  

MUKASEY:  I think what would happen is they would develop the case outside of the grand jury and not in the grand jury and then go to her and her lawyer and say this what we've got.  Now, what are you willing to plead to?  

BARTIROMO:  That would obviously league.  So, that would be a major issue.  

MUKASEY:  If she said no, it would certainly leak.

BARTIROMO:  Yes, Mr. Attorney General, good to see you.  Thanks for joining us this morning.  

Judge Michael Mukasey there.  

We want to get a look at what's coming up in "MediaBuzz" at the top of the hour.

Howie Kurtz standing by right now.

Howard, good morning.  

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ":  Good morning, Maria.

Chris Wallace will join us to talk about his role in moderating that raucous Detroit debate where Trump and Rubio really went at it and Trump talked about his anatomy among other things.  We'll also look at the way the press is covering the GOP's establishment last-ditch effort to stop Donald Trump, whether Ted Cruz winning a couple states last night changes the media narrative.  Same thing for Bernie Sanders winning two out of three but Hillary still having a very big lead.  

All coming up on "MediaBuzz".

BARTIROMO:  And we will be there, Howie. Thanks so much.

Up next, sometimes you have to take a lighter look at the election.  Up next, political cartoonist Michael Ramirez will give us his perspective as we get set with our panel to look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."  Back in a minute.


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.

What a wild political season we have seen.  Joining with us a unique perspective is Michael Ramirez.  He's the senior editor and editorial cartoonist for Investor's Business Daily.  This is one of the most recent works called "Weekend at Bernie's."  He's also the author of "Give Me Liberty or Give Me ObamaCare.

Also joining our panel this morning, Ed Rollins, former principal White House adviser to President Reagan, and he's a Fox News political analyst.  
Judith Miller, adjunct fellow at Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, and a FOX News contributor, and Steve Moore is with us this morning, distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and a FOX News contributor.

Good to see, everybody.  Thanks so much for joining us.


BARTIROMO:  Michael Ramirez, love your work.  Give us your sense of your sense what the political cartoon of the week tells us.  

MICHAEL RAMIREZ, SENIOR EDITOR, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY:  You know, it gets more complicated and more complicated each election cycle with disruption in the GOP primaries.  We have a lot of states coming up.  

These states are still problematic for Donald Trump because they are proportional and when you get into March 15th, you get winner take all states and perhaps that will be the deciding factor in this race.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, for sure.  We need our panel on that.  

And as we go to the panel, let's just look at this one cartoon, one of your recent ones, and that is Hillary Clinton running from Bernie Sanders winning that but actually dealing with the FBI.  

RAMIREZ:  Yes, you know, it's amazing when you think about it.  You get the
2,093 classified e-mails that have gone past them, but what's in the 30,000 e-mails that Hillary did not reveal to the public?  


RAMIREZ:  There's a real question lingering there.  

BARTIROMO:  Well, we heard from Michael Mukasey on that and he thinks this is going to be decided and come to a head promptly and that's from Jim Comey.  

Ed Rollins, a little bit of spoiler last night from Ted Cruz.  Give me your reaction.  

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  Ted Cruz has momentum now.  Voters made up their mind late in Louisiana and Kentucky were moving towards him.  He basically -- it's really a two-person race I think at this point in time.  It's Trump and him.  Cruz -- Trump has 391 delegates, Cruz has 304.  

Both Rubio and Kasich depending on their home states -- even if Kasich wins Ohio and even if Rubio wins Florida, they don't move up the ladder.  They are still -- both of them skipping all the ones this week.  You have Idaho, you have Michigan, you have Mississippi this week.  And it made -- Rubio is not going near any of them.

And so, someone is going to come out of these and my sense it will be Cruz and Trump with momentum this week going into those home states.  

BARTIROMO:  Are we going into a brokered convention as John Kasich hopes to see?  

ROLLINS:  Could very easily be.  My sense at this point in time again, if it's a brokered convention it's probably Trump and Cruz leading it and no one having quite the majority.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, it makes me bring up this other cartoon from Michael and that is with the elephant, GOP, in the phone booth.  Let's show that one there.  

As I turn to you, Judy.  Could somebody please let me out?  Do you think we go to a brokered convention?  

JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  I don't know.  It's clear that Trump's momentum seems to have been broken, but what really is a problem out there for the Republican candidates, all of them but especially Trump and Cruz is this gender gap.  Women just don't like Donald Trump.  They don't like him by sizable margins and I think Trump's debate devastating debate where he used this kind of whoopee cushion language, you know, not safe for work language, really offends women.

Everybody is paying attention to Mitt Romney and his attack on Trump, but I think Nikki Haley did equal damage when she said, you know, as a governor, this is behavior that we teach our kindergarten children not to engage in.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes.  I'm glad you mentioned this, because I want to talk about the women vote in our next segment as well, because I spoke with Madeleine Albright and she backpedalled out of that comment that there's a place in hell for women that don't help women.

MILLER:  Right.

BARTIROMO:  When talking about Hillary Clinton.  So, we'll talk about that, because she came on my morning show on the Fox Business Network.

Real quick, Steve Moore, on the economic side of things.  Hillary Clinton came out with her economic plan on Friday.  Your thoughts on how it compares to the GOP?  

MOORE:  Yes, this is the big divide between the two parties.  I mean, Hillary as you talked about earlier has a trillion tax increase.  She wants to increase taxes on businesses and investors.  And Republicans have to make the case, look, that every Republican plan I worked on some of these has reduced rates, broadens the base, tries to bring more capital in.  

And actually, that's the point that Trump needs to make more successfully, Maria.  You know, when he got hit with the $10 trillion tax cut, what he didn't say is, look, this is going to growth the economy.  We're going to get trillions of dollars more revenue that will bring in more jobs.  I think he kind of swung and missed at that one.  

BARTIROMO:  All right.  We'll take a short break and get back to this.  The women vote.

We're looking ahead to "Sunday Morning Futures" with our panel.  Stay with us.



MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  She has done more for women and wants to do more for women than anybody else.  She's equal pay for equal work.  She wants to really make sure that we have choices about what we do, and women's health issues, generally being supportive of women.  
There is nobody that is running that has a better record on women, but I should not have said it in terms of voting.  


BARTIROMO:  Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talking about the women vote earlier on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network.  

How important is the women vote, Judy Miller?  

MILLER:  It's absolutely crucial, in a general election.  It's not showing up now in the contest between Sanders and Clinton and ironically, Sanders is doing very, very well, especially with younger women.  

BARTIROMO:  So, more women have gone for Sanders than have gone for Clinton and you made the point that Trump doesn't have women.  Hillary doesn't have women either?  

MILLER:  She doesn't.  But she has older women and she has an older demographic and she's counting on that in the general election.  

Look, she is halfway to the 2,383 delegates she needs.  So, she is -- she's not in a kind of Donald Trump situation.  She's going to get the nomination unless something happens.  


MOORE:  She's cleaning up on the minority vote.  But she has a problem with kind of white middle class blue collar workers and I think that's the problem for the Democrats.  

The problem for the Republicans -- as a Republican this make me very nervous -- I think there is that plan afoot that's being hatched not just by Mitt Romney but other party leaders to try to find a way to essentially steal this nomination from Trump if it goes to a convention.  If that happens, what makes me nervous is all of this -- the one thing Donald Trump says that's absolutely true is he is bringing millions of new middle class blue collar voters.  

What do they do if they feel like this is stolen from Trump?  

BARTIROMO:  They're going to get mad and they're going to revolt.  

MOORE:  You better believe it.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes.  Ed --  

ROLLINS:  There's a revolt in the party to begin with.  There's no question.  The two candidates that are leading this pack basically are not conventional Republicans.  Obviously, Cruz is a conservative and supported by conservatives.  

The critical thing here about women is women are 53 percent of the population.  It's always going to be a problem running against Hillary, but the problem that Hillary has she doesn't attract young women and she has the same problem with white males she had eight years ago.  

So, young voters are not necessarily voters.  And at the end of the day, they were a backbone of Obama's victories.  If they are not enthused, they won't vote.  

MOORE:  You got it.

ROLLINS:  And I think they're not enthused.  So, the premise here is Hillary is stealing the election from Sanders and not giving him his just due.  

MOORE:  People just don't like Hillary.  It's that simple.  They don't like her.  

MILLER:  What ironic is Cruz is probably in the best position to get rid of Trump but he's in a weaker position to run in a general election.  

MOORE:  The establishment, if you started with the 14 people running for president, the two the establishment hated the most were Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

And here's what's interesting, who will the establishment get behind on the Republican side if it's Trump versus Cruz?  A lot of these folks I talk to said maybe Trump is better than Cruz in terms of -- I don't know the answer to that.  

ROLLINS:  The establishment candidates are all by the wayside.  Jeb Bush is back in Miami.  

MOORE:  Yes, maybe they would draw an election from that.

ROLLINS:  The two that are still the favorites are basically Rubio who is basically running third and Kasich who is running fourth, but no premise of moving forward.  

BARTIROMO:  Go ahead, Michael Ramirez.  Jump in here.  

RAMIREZ:  You know, the interesting dynamic about this election is you may have three candidates, Hillary and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but nobody really likes that much and the media talked a lot about, you know, Bush fatigue.  They haven't talked a lot about Clinton fatigue, but that's alive and well, and it reflects in the lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton.  


RAMIREZ:  Another mitigating factor is going to be whether or not she gets indicted.  But as far as the Justice Department, the Lois Lerner in the IRS alone probably would not go after her either.  

BARTIROMO:  Well, we'll see.  Yes, we just heard Michael Mukasey on that and we don't know.

MILLER:  We don't know.

BARTIROMO:  But we know that James Comey, the director, wants to get this done promptly.  Could Trump beat Hillary in the general election?  

MOORE:  I believe he can, because I think he is going to bring -- by the way, I don't have a horse in this race.  But I think he brings millions of those middle class Reagan Democrats into the party and I think that's enough to compensate for the Republican voters he will lose.  

BARTIROMO:  Do you agree, real quick?  

ROLLINS:  He has to do better with women and he has to do better with Hispanics.  He can't just do it with white voters.  

MILLER:  He has to do a lot better with Hispanics and they broke overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton.  

BARTIROMO:  And now, the question becomes: Can Cruz beat Hillary in the general election?  Hold your thought on that.

Michael Ramirez, good to see you, my friend.  We'll see you soon.  Thanks for joining us this morning.

RAMIREZ:  Great to be on the show.

BARTIROMO:  We're going to take a short break and then come back with the one thing to watch in the week ahead from our panel on "Sunday Morning Futures," next.


BARTIROMO:  Back with the panel.

The most important thing to watch with the week ahead.  

ROLLINS:  Michigan this week and the Thursday night debate.  

BARTIROMO:  And you don't think Trump had a good debate.  And you --  

ROLLINS:  I think he's had two terrible debates.  I think to a certain extent he has a third one again, which more points get made on them, then I think he's going to have a hard time.


MILLER:  I'm wondering whether or not this is the week that President Obama is going to nominate someone to replace Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, a new headline there.  OK, we'll see about that.

Steve, what are you watching?

MOORE:  I'm wondering if Peyton Manning is really going to retire.

BARTIROMO:  I think he is.

MOORE:  That's what Americans go -- no, it all comes down to Florida which is what in nine days.  If Trump wins Florida, I think he's got the nomination wrapped up.  If he loses it, we may be looking at the convention scenario.  

BARTIROMO:  Real quick, yes or no answer.  Can Cruz beat Hillary?  

MOORE:  Yes, I think he can.  


MOORE:  I do.

ROLLINS:  I think it depends -- yes.  

MILLER:  No way.  

BARTIROMO:  No way.  OK, that will do it for us.  Thanks, panel.  

I'll see you tomorrow on Fox Business.

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