Trump opens up about being a conservative; Cruz says Trump pretends to be an outsider

On 'Hannity,' presidential candidate talks free trade, healthcare strategy, 'penny plan'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 7, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, the 2016 Republican presidential candidates are out in full force. Now, this weekend, Donald Trump won the primaries in Louisiana and Kentucky, and tomorrow four more states will hold Republican contests, one of those being the all-important state of Michigan.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal Marist poll is now out that shows that important state has Donald Trump ahead with 41 percent of the vote, Senator Ted Cruz in second with 22 percent, followed by Senator Marco Rubio, who had 17 percent, John Kasich in fourth with 13 percent. A brand-new Monmouth University Michigan poll shows Trump on top with 36 percent, then it's Senator Ted Cruz with 23 and John Kasich is in third with 21 percent, Senator Rubio has 13 percent.

Here now with reaction, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, good to see you. There's also a FOX 2 poll that you up by 18, so it's 13, 28 and 22 in the biggest state in tomorrow's contests.

How do you feel about where you are in Michigan?

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you just made me feel very good. I hadn't heard these numbers. Those numbers are really terrific.

Well, I love the people of Michigan. I'm fighting hard for them with the car industry. I'm constantly talking about the car companies moving out and going out Mexico and other places, Sean, and they know I will protect them. I will not let it happen. We're not going to lose our industries anymore.

We've been the foolish country for so long with this free trade, but it's not free trade because it's -- you know, just doesn't work. I mean, it's not working. You look at the deficits we have.

So I think Michigan and the people of Michigan know -- really, they know that I'm going to protect them. They're great people.

HANNITY: You know, everyone says, when you talk about this, that you're going to fight for tougher trade deals, they say, Oh, that's protectionist.  I don't hear that from you. I hear you're going to go in there, bang on the table and get better trade deals that will fix this imbalance, especially with countries like China and Mexico.

I don't hear -- I've never heard you say the word protectionist, not one time. But some of your opponents say that.

TRUMP: Not at all.

HANNITY: What is your answer?

TRUMP: Not at all. Well, they say it for their own reasons. Look. I love free trade. I love the concept of free trade. Everything about it is good. I went to the Wharton School of Finance. They say, Let's go free trade.

But you know, it has to be smart trade. It has to be trade that's good for the United States, not just for the other countries. And if you look at China -- and frankly, Vietnam now is doing a big number, and you look at Japan and India and Mexico -- Mexico's killing us at the border and they're killing us with trade. You look at Ford. Ford is building a $2.5 billion plant in Mexico to make cars, trucks and parts.

So it has nothing to do with anything. I love free trade, but we need great leadership to have real free trade. And we don't have good leadership. We have leadership that doesn't know what it's doing.

The people of Michigan and the people of our country -- we have lost our industries, such a big chunk of our industries and our jobs, and I'm not going to let that happen. It won't happen anymore, believe me.

HANNITY: All right, Mr. Trump, I would argue that this is a two-man race, and unless Senator Rubio and John -- Governor Kasich start showing some wins and putting them on the board, to me, it's a two-man race. I think you agree with that. You said you want to go mano-a-mano with Ted Cruz.  He says he wants the same with you.

Here's -- I want to ask you this question because it's the question I'm most frequently asked about you. And as I go on social media, it seems to be a very strong Trump contingent and people aren't budging. You have strong supporters and Ted Cruz supporters. And there's a battle now going on between you two.

And the single most named criticism or question I get, Tell me where Donald Trump is conservative? Explain how he'll be conservative. And I want to give you that opportunity to explain to people because no one ever asks you that.

TRUMP: Sure. I mean, I'd like to do that, and in so many ways. But at the same time, I don't like labels necessarily because a label doesn't mean very much. But when it comes to being conservative, I happen to be conservative. I'm very, very strong on energy independence, as you know, and I think that's the most conservative position. And I have the most conservative position on that.

I'm very, very so-called conservative on the military. I want a very, very strong military. I want to build up -- you know, our military is totally depleted. We're going to care of our vets as part of that whole situation because our vets are not taken care of properly.

Nobody is more conservative when it comes to trade than I am. Now, you can go and you can say, well, gee I'm not a free trader, but I am a free trader, but I'm also a fare trader and a smart trader. I want to make sure that the United States gains something. So I think you would probably agree. You've been dealing with me for a long time, so...


HANNITY: I want better trade deals. I agree with you.

TRUMP: So we want smart trade. We want trade that's going to be beneficial for us, not just suck all our jobs and our money out of our system. If you look at what China done to us over the last 15 years, it's just horrible. It's outrageous that they get away with it.

I'm certainly when it comes to health care -- I mean, we want to repeal and replace "Obama care." We're going to repeal -- "Obama care" is a total disaster for this country, a total and complete disaster. We're going to come up with plans, and there are lots of alternatives. We're going to come up with plans that are far less expensive, better for the people and better for the country.

I'm certainly very conservative when it comes to education. We're getting rid of Common Core. We're going to have education at a local level. I mean, there's so many different things. I'm really very conservative when you get right down to it. But I don't like even...


TRUMP: ... necessarily...


TRUMP: Oh, cut taxes. Well, my plan, actually Larry Kudlow, who's a fantastic guy, I think likes my plan the most. I'm cutting taxes by about the most.

And you know, we're the highest taxed nation in the world. Our middle class is just reeling from the taxes. And you know, if you think about it, the middle class and the workers of this country, who really built the country, they haven't had a raise in 12 years. They're making less now actually -- to be even worse about it, they're making less now than they did 12 years ago.

I'm in Mississippi right now. I have a group of 8,000 people I'm going to speak to, and the people came up to me just a little while ago and they said, You know, Mr. Trump, we're making less money now than we made 8 and 10 and 12 years ago. That shouldn't be. That's not true with a lot of other countries. It just shouldn't be.

HANNITY: Yes, I mean, median income is down thousands of dollars, millions more in poverty, on food stamps and out of the labor force.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: So you -- you -- because I've interviewed you so often, it's kind of amazing to me that people don't hear it, and I'm trying to explain to people because I think there's some people that are saying they're going to pick up the toys and go home if their guy doesn't win, but you're -- you want American energy-independent. Hillary doesn't want that. You're going to be strong on the military. Well, that's straight out of Reagan's playbook. Trade, which you just mentioned, ObamaCare.

You also said when you gave your specifics that you support health care savings accounts. That's on your Web site right now.

TRUMP: 100 percent.


TRUMP: 100 percent. It's so simple, so good. It's so much less expensive. It's much better. You can have your plan. You really have an asset. You can go anywhere with it, you know, beyond state lines. You can do whatever you want with it.

You know, it's just so much better. And you know what? It gives people the incentive to negotiate because it's theirs. It's not -- you're not dealing with government bureaucrats. It's theirs. It's their money. They want to spend as little as possible.

Right now, they walk in and they say, Give me everything under the kitchen sink. I mean, the people have an incentive to spend wisely. So the health care savings accounts are such a good thing. It's such a good idea. And it's time for it. I know you've liked it for years.

HANNITY: I have.

TRUMP: I've been hearing you long before I really knew too much about it.  And then, you know, a few years ago, I started really looking. And it was always amazing to me that the politicians didn't -- they hardly even considered it when they were talking about ObamaCare. And...

HANNITY: Between energy...

TRUMP: ... "Obama care" is just a disaster.

HANNITY: Between energy independence, the repatriated money at a low tax rate to incentive companies to bring back money they had parked overseas that would be highly taxed if they bring it back -- those two things I think would go a long way to growing the economy, creating millions of jobs, and on top of that, spending less.

And I think I'm pulling you in on the penny plan at least in areas outside the military.

TRUMP: Yes. Well, I like the concept of the penny plan -- not for the military because the military we have to build up. But we can save probably in many case more than a penny if you look at it. I mean, the penny plan is a pretty good plan, and it's a pretty simple plan.

And you know, it's something -- I think in some cases, a penny is nothing compared to the kind of numbers. Then you get to fraud, waste and abuse, Sean. I mean, the fraud and the waste and the abuse, which everybody agrees if you can solve that problem, but it's, you know, mind-boggling the kind of numbers.

So we can get our budgets in place. The one thing we really have to take care of -- you know, the health care is going to be less money, and we're going to have much better health care.

HANNITY: So let me ask this...

TRUMP: Just so you understand...

HANNITY: Yes. I don't want to interrupt you, but you know, because you can also add to your list, I guess, you're conservative on immigration.  You're conservative on the issue of people, refugees coming into the country, enhanced interrogation.

TRUMP: Well, I'm the most conservative. Yes. Sure.

HANNITY: So my question is, when your opponents...


HANNITY: When your opponents say you're not conservative, why don't you say all that to them? Because I've watched you in debates, and I'm just curious why you haven't just said, I'm conservative here, here, here, and here.

TRUMP: I don't know. I think -- you know, you're given 30 seconds.  You're given an answer of 30 seconds at these crazy debates, and you know, according to Drudge...

HANNITY: They are crazy.

TRUMP: ... and all the people that do the polls -- no, it's ridiculous. I mean, they have, you know, Mr. Trump, explain why you're conservative. You have 19 seconds left, OK?


TRUMP: And again, I like...

HANNITY: I don't mean to laugh...

TRUMP: ... the conservative label...

HANNITY: ... but it's true.

TRUMP: I know, but it's true. It's, like, you know, you have 19 seconds to speak.


TRUMP: I'll tell you what. I'll tell you that -- like "Obama care" is an example. It's going to die of its own weight, but we have to kill it sooner. It's going to die of its own weight. You know, in '17, it's so astronomical and so expensive.

And if you look at what that's doing to the labor force, Sean, where people are -- have part-time jobs -- people that never had a part-time job in their lives, people that have worked for a company 20 and 30 years are now working for the same company as a part-timer because of "Obama care," because of the basic advantages to doing that in terms of "Obama care" for an employer.

So there are so many problems that we have that we can straighten out so simply. But no, I'm a conservative. I would say that you just said it best right now because who is better than me on the border and with immigration? Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a great guy, but you -- we say he's a tough cookie, OK? He endorsed me last week because I'm the best in immigration. And I think by his definition of the best, it's the best and the toughest. And I got Sheriff Joe to...


TRUMP: ... endorse me last week. And he called up. He said, You're the right guy. You're the toughest guy for it. And you know, that's a pretty good thing.

HANNITY: We got to take a break. I want to ask you about what Mitt Romney said and this brokered convention idea, which John Kasich said is exciting.  I think it's a bad idea.

We'll have more with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump right after this break.

Quick programming note. This Wednesday, we'll be interviewing Mr. Trump for the hour in Fayetteville, North Carolina, at the Crown Center Arena in front of a crowd. If you want to be there and if you live in and around the area, just go over to Hannity.com right now, find out all the details.  Sign up for the event. And we hope to see you in Fayetteville two days from now.

More "Hannity" right after this break.



HANNITY:  And welcome back to "Hannity." We continue now with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

All right, before I get to the brokered convention, your campaign came out with a brand-new ad today against Marco Rubio. Florida is a very big state. You're leading there. To me, it's a must-win for Marco. Let's roll this ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corrupt Marco Rubio has spent years defrauding the people of Florida. As a legislator, he flipped on a key vote after making a quick $200,000 from selling his house to the mother of the bill's lobbyist.

He used the Republican Party's credit card to pave his driveway and to live it up to Las Vegas. When he got caught, he said he had used the wrong credit card, but he had used the same Republican Party card for six flights between Miami and Tallahassee, then billed the state for the same airline tickets and pocketed the cash until once again, he got caught.

On top of it all, Rubio's been a total no-show in the U.S. Senate with the worst voting record of all. Marco Rubio, another corrupt, all-talk, no- action politician.


HANNITY: All right, Mr. Trump, respond to that ad. Why is that important?  I read that they're going to put $25 million or more in ads against you, so it's going to be pretty brutal in Florida.

TRUMP: Well, I think it's important because I've been hearing about it for years. Actually, Jeb Bush brought it up at the debate and he was doing it very well, and all of a sudden, I don't know what happened, but he got shut down. And Jeb, in all fairness -- she should have kept going with that. I think he would have made a big point that night.

But he brought up the credit card situation. He brought up some other things about Marco. Look, Marco's had this hanging over his head for a long time. I live in Florida, practically. You know, it's my second home.  I have a lot of businesses there. I employ thousands and thousands of people. I own Trump National Doral, which just had the big golf tournament that was won by Adam Scott (ph) yesterday. And you know, it's -- I know so much about Florida.

I've been hearing about his credit card problems for so long, what he did with the Republican Party. You had people that doing the checking, accounting people and other people -- I mean, they were devastated that nothing was done with Rubio because of what he did. And you know, it says it in the ad. Now, maybe he can prove otherwise, but it says it very well in the ad.

In addition to that, a total non-show senator. I mean, he was elected -- he defrauded the people of Florida. He was elected to be a senator. He was elected to go and vote on important matters, and he's all over the country. He's not voting. I mean, he's not voting.

And this is beyond just the electoral -- you know, the election stuff. He doesn't go to the United States Senate. I must say, if I were a United States senator, I would be so honored to be in that magnificent chamber voting for the people of Florida.

And I think the people of Florida are fed up. I don't think he can -- I mean, I may be wrong, but I don't think he can be elected dogcatcher in Florida.

I was -- I have so many -- you know, you know, I'm in Florida all the time.  I just left Florida to come to Mississippi. I'm going back to Florida.  And I'll tell you what. The people in Florida think that he's literally defrauded them because you look at what he does. He never goes and votes.  He's never over there.

HANNITY: Well, let me ask this...

TRUMP: He's got one of the worst records of voting in history.

HANNITY: Eighteen of the twenty contests now have been won by outsiders, insurgents, and you have won the overwhelming majority of them. Ted Cruz is in second place. And you know, Marco won Minnesota and he won Puerto Rico yesterday. OK, fair enough.

But the establishment has thrown all this money, and I assume they'll throw tens of millions more against you. And then we have this -- this an equation that is now emerging, and that is, OK, let's prevent -- let's keep all these guys in. Let's push Rubio in Florida. Let's push Kasich in Ohio. John Kasich says, Oh, that's exciting to have a brokered convention.

That seems to me to be designed purposely to stop either you or Ted Cruz, whoever has more delegates at the end of this, if you don't make 1,237.  Why do I believe that that is purposely being done to stop you? Do you not see it that way?

TRUMP: Well, I think you're right. It's designed to stop somebody. Maybe it's me because I've won a lot more than Ted has won. But Ted is certainly in second place, and Marco is doing very, very poorly. And I will tell you it's done for some reason.

you know, one of the biggest stories in all of politics worldwide, in all of politics in this country, for decades is what's happened with the Republican Party. Do you know that people coming out to vote are up 50, 60, 70 percent?

HANNITY: It's amazing.

TRUMP: And in a couple of states...

HANNITY: It's massive!

TRUMP: ... it was over 100 percent?


TRUMP: I will take full credit for that, by the way.


TRUMP: I'm going to tell you right now I'm taking 100 percent credit.



HANNITY: No, I don't doubt that that's a big part of it, but any...

TRUMP: But you know that this is -- this is the biggest story in all of politics worldwide! And people talk about it. But they don't talk about - - this is such a great thing for the Republican Party, and instead of dividing and fighting, we should take advantage of it.

And you know who the people are that are coming out to vote? Democrats and independents. They're coming out by the millions! We have millions, 5 million people coming out to vote out of nowhere. It's never happened before.

I've been on the cover of "Time" magazine just about -- I think it was four times now. I'm on this week also. Four times now in the last few months, and a lot of it is because of this. They've never seen this happen before.

HANNITY: Listen...

TRUMP: And instead of the Republicans fighting, Sean, they should say, This is a blessing.

HANNITY: Yes. I agree. All right, Mr. Trump, we're going to see you Wednesday, by the way, in North Carolina.

TRUMP: Good.

HANNITY: We're doing an hour show in front of a crowd, and we appreciate you being with us. It's all part of the best coverage. And if you want to be there, by the way, go over to Hannity.com right now to find out the details. Sign up and you can be in the audience, Fayetteville, two days from now.

Now, also coming up tonight -- Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders took part in a FOX News Democratic town hall earlier tonight. We'll check in with Monica Crowley and Dr. Gina Loudon. That's next.

And much, much more as we continue.



SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tomorrow's election day.  Mississippi is a battleground. Let me tell you, the men and women here...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're with you, Ted!

CRUZ: The men and women here and across this state are in the position to decide this outcome. I'm going to ask each of you not just to come out tomorrow, but to pick up the phone and call five people, call ten people, call your friends, call your family, call your neighbors and say this election matters. It matters to me. It matters to my kids and my grandkids.


HANNITY: Texas senator Ted Cruz had two big wins this past Saturday. He won the Republican contests in Kansas and Maine. And joining us now, the man himself, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz.

Senator, you know, we spent all this time on Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and then, boom, it's like you're not even aware that -- three days of contests, then more contests. Very difficult. It speeds up exponentially.

How do you feel where you are right now in terms of the delegate count and the path to the nomination?

CRUZ: Well, Sean, it's great to be with you. And thank you. You know, we've had an incredible week, and the momentum behind our campaign -- it keeps growing and growing.

You know, it started a week ago on super-Tuesday. Super-Tuesday was simply a tidal wave of support for our campaign as we locked down wins across the country, and then this Saturday that momentum only increased. This Saturday, we won two states outright. We won Kansas with a landslide, nearly 50 percent of the vote. We also won Maine with a terrific win there.

And then in Louisiana and Kentucky -- in Louisiana, we tied Donald Trump for the delegate outcome, so we ended up coming out with a dead heat. He narrowly edged us out in Kentucky.

But I think what we're seeing is we're seeing the continuation of the process that's been happening from the beginning, which is the field narrowing. We started this campaign a year ago with 17 candidates.

More and more, the forces that do not want to see Donald Trump as our nominee, that don't want to see Donald go head to head with Hillary and lose, as he loses in just about every poll, Hillary trounces him -- more and more Republicans are unifying behind our campaign because we've got to win. We've got to beat Hillary, and we've got to turn this country around and bring back the jobs and opportunity that have been so sorely lacking under Barack Obama.

HANNITY: Senator, to me, as an outsider looking in, I see a two-man race right now. And unless Senator Rubio or Governor Kasich can show some serious growth in the next couple of weeks, to me, it's a two-man race.

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: And in many ways, as you read social media, it's the Trump, anti- Trump forces. Donald Trump says he wants a one-on-one race with you, and you say you want one with him. It seems the establishment won't allow that to happen. Is that a fair analysis?

CRUZ: Well, listen, I think the other candidates in this race -- they're good people and they love their country. They love their country more than their own personal ambition. They're going to have to look at the race and see if they have a path ahead. And if they don't have a realistic path ahead to winning the nomination, then I think it's time to consider coming together and uniting.

At this point, Donald and I in the delegate count, fewer than 100 delegates separate us. We both have over 300 delegates. We are very close. The momentum is with us. And we are the only campaign that has beaten Donald repeatedly, not once, not twice, but now seven times. And we're the only campaign that can and will beat Donald Trump.

And so the process we're seeing -- you know, I would invite supporters of Jeb Bush or Chris Christie or Carly Fiorina or Ben Carson or Marco Rubio or John Kasich to come together and unite. That's what's been happening.  It's why we're winning these races. And I invite folks to continue to unite. We welcome you on our team, and we're going to win this nomination.  We're going to go on to win the general.

HANNITY: I heard your comments about a brokered convention. Now, I interviewed at CPAC Governor John Kasich. He says, Oh, a brokered convention would be exciting.

Why do I think that a brokered convention -- if neither you nor Donald Trump get to the magic number of 1,237 delegates, why do I believe that in that environment, knowing how the establishment feels about both of you, for different reasons, that it would be to stop you guys and give it to somebody else? Mitt Romney said, Well, I can't say no if somebody asks you to be on the ballot at that point.

It seems that that is an effort that has even been spelled out by Governor Romney. That is troubling to me because that would...

CRUZ: Yes.

HANNITY: ... usurp the will of the people. If the person that has the most delegate doesn't get that nomination, why do I suspect shenanigans in the back room?

CRUZ: Sean, you're exactly right. Listen, these visions of a brokered convention are the fevered fantasies of the Washington establishment, of the lobbyists who are so dismayed because they keep -- each of their favorite candidates keeps losing. They have candidates they want, and the voters don't want them. They want someone who will stand up to the bipartisan corruption of Washington, someone who will stand with the people.

And you're right, if the party insiders try to subvert the will of the people and pick their own favorite candidate who hasn't earned the votes of the people, it will be a disaster. And rightfully people, will rise up outraged.

Now, let me tell you right now, Sean, it ain't going to happen. They may think it's really a popular idea in Washington, D.C., but here's what's going to happen.

The field is continuing to narrow. Head to head, not only do we beat Donald Trump, but we beat Donald Trump resoundingly. Donald has a hard ceiling of 35 to 40 percent. That's why we won Kansas overwhelmingly.  That's why we won Maine. That's why we won Alaska and Oklahoma. That's why we won Texas overwhelmingly, because Donald has a hard ceiling on the support that he can get. And head to head, we're not headed to a brokered convention. We are headed to a win, to 1,237 delegates...

HANNITY: And let me ask you this...

CRUZ: ... and that entails Republicans uniting.

HANNITY: I know you have your issues with Donald. He has his issues with you. You two have gone back and forth now, and the voters will decide.

But when you really think about it -- because I kind of view you as an insurgent outsider because you're hated by the establishment. And you can't deny he's an outsider, you know, just by the fact that he hasn't been in politics.

So 18 out of 20 contests, Senator, have been won by outsiders. And the establishment is throwing money here, there and everywhere, and it's not working. What are they not getting in this process? They seem to be out of touch with where the voters are. What are they not understanding? I would argue that they caused this.

CRUZ: Well, look, Sean, you're exactly right that the voters want an outsider. They're fed up. They're furious with Washington.

The one think I disagree with you on is Donald Trump is not an outsider.  He is pretending to be an outsider. But in Donald's own words, seven months ago, he was the establishment. Donald Trump has been supporting the Washington establishment, the Washington corruption for four decades. He supported Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. He supported Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden. He supported John Kerry over George W. Bush.  And he contributed multiple times to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

So to all the folks at home who are Donald Trump supporters, who are furious with Washington, I get that. But Donald has been funding and supporting everything you're furious about. The gang of eight amnesty bill, Donald funded the gang of eight. He supported five of the eight members of the gang of eight. I led the opposition to the gang of eight amnesty bill and we defeated it in the U.S. Congress.

And so the people want someone who will stand up to Washington. Donald Trump has not only never stood up to Washington, but he has funded their corruption. And, you know, at the last debate, Sean, Donald promised everyone. He said he will be, quote, "flexible." We all know flexible is D.C. code word for they're getting ready to stick it to you, because whenever you're flexible, it means Donald is going to cut a deal that favors Wall Street and big business and leaves the working man out in the cold.  

HANNITY: How do you feel about tomorrow? For example, you have got Michigan and Mississippi, two big states. You've got Idaho and Hawaii.  How well are you planning to do tomorrow?

CRUZ: Look. I hope we do very well tomorrow. We are campaigning hard.  We were in Idaho two days ago, had incredible support and enthusiasm about Idaho. I think we are at a strong position right now. I'm right now in Mississippi. We have got tremendous excitement here in Mississippi. Later tonight I'm going to be in Michigan. We have got a huge rally planned in Michigan. Hawaii, I'm hopeful we'll continue the see what we have been seeing, which is conservatives uniting and coming together.

If you want someone who has kept his word -- you know, when we had the Super Tuesday victory in Texas, it was particularly meaningful because the people of Texas, they're the ones who know me best. They know my heart.  They're the ones that I made promises to five years ago when I ran for Senate. I promised the people of Texas, if you elect me, I will fight with every breath in my body to stop Obamacare, to stop amnesty, to stop this debt that is bankrupting our kids and grandkids, to bring back jobs and economic growth and defend religious liberty and the Second Amendment. And the reason we won by landslide in Texas with the biggest turnout ever is because the men and women of Texas know I kept my word. I did what I said I would do. And that's what I'll do as president. And that's why I believe Republicans are uniting behind our campaign.

HANNITY: We've got to take a break. We'll come back. We'll have more with more 2016 Republican president candidate Senator Ted Cruz right after the break.

And then later tonight, reaction to the FOX News Democratic town hall.  Monica Crowley, Dr. Gina Loudon will be here to weight in, that and more as we continue tonight right here on HANNITY.


HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY. And we continue now with 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Senator, walk us through your path to 1,237, because a lot of people, at least your opponents are arguing, let me just say that, that your better states are behind you. They keep repeating that. I'll let you respond to that, but more importantly, tell us what states you think you can win as you move forward that get you to that magic number.

CRUZ: Well, you're right. My opponents keep repeating that, but they keep not winning states. The simple reality is there are only two candidates that have more than 300 delegates. That's Donald Trump and me. And we continue amassing delegates state by state. And the more this field narrows the stronger we get, because the truth of the matter is Donald has a hard ceiling of 35 percent to 40 percent, which means head to head we beat him, and we will beat him in state after state after state head to head, because Republicans want a real conservative. They don't want a candidate who supported Jimmy Carter and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.  They want someone who will actually repeal Obamacare.

And I'll tell you, Republicans are not interested in someone like Donald Trump who promises to be flexible on immigration, who tells "The New York Times" editorial board that he doesn't mean what he says about enforcing the immigration laws. We want someone who stands with the people and not with the corruption of Washington. And that's why the support for our campaign keeps growing and growing.

HANNITY: One of the things that has frustrated me as a conservative over these many years is that for a Republican to win, they've got to run the table. They got to win Florida. They've got to win Ohio. They've got to win North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, New Mexico, you know, maybe Colorado, Nevada. It's a very -- it seems to be a more narrow path.  Historically it's been that way. Through the Bush years it was that way.  Do you think you can change the electoral map?

CRUZ: Absolutely yes. This is a campaign designed to change the electoral map. Number one, we have got to bring conservatives back to the polls, and we are doing that. We are winning these states with record turnouts. You know, we won the state of Kansas with more votes just for our campaign than the entire primary field last cycle came out. We won with record turnouts in Alaska, in Maine and Texas and Oklahoma.

We are seeing record turnouts, and it's bringing conservatives back, but it's also Reagan Democrats. It's the blue collar working class, the men and women with callouses on the hands who are right now divided between Donald Trump and me. We're bringing more and more of them over to us.

We're also earning the votes of young people. And, Sean, it is real simple. If I'm elected president, we are going to repeal Obamacare. We'll adopt a simple flat tax. We'll abolish the IRS. We'll end amnesty. We'll pull back the EPA and the bureaucrats and we're going to see jobs explode.  Millions of high paying jobs, wages going up. Young people coming out of school with two, three, four job offers.

HANNITY: I hope you can get your colleagues in Washington to go along with you because they've been very disappointing, senator, very disappointing.

CRUZ: That is true, but there is nothing like a mandate from the people to focus minds in Washington. And we will come out just like the Reagan revolution in 1980 with a mandate from the people.

HANNITY: I understand you have a special guest next to you that just endorsed you tonight. The Mississippi governor Phil Bryant is with you, is that correct?


CRUZ: Governor. That is indeed.

BRYANT: Welcome to Mississippi.

CRUZ: Thank you, governor.

BRYANT: Sean, how are you?

HANNITY: I'm good, Governor. How are you? Welcome to the program.

BRYANT: I'm great.

HANNITY: So why did you wait so long?

BRYANT: You know, this is a difficult decision for a lot of us. a lot of us know candidates in there, but when it comes down to true conservative, as I am, Ted Cruz, Senator Cruz has exemplified that. He went to Washington, did what he said he would do. How rare is that? You just heard him talk about economic development. Mississippi is all about economic development. And the first thing we have to do, and I know he'll do as president of the United States, I have to do as governor, is protect the people against threats both foreign and domestic. And as you hear Ted Cruz a great passion talk about ISIL and ISIS and how we're going to go about defeating them, I believe him. I believe he's going to Washington and do what he's done because he's done that before.

HANNITY: All right, thank you, governor, for being with us. Senator, I think we are putting together a one-hour town hall with you, later this week and hopefully we can get that worked out. We look forward to seeing you. I heard you were sick. I'm glad you're feeling with better, sir.

CRUZ: Thank you, Sean. God bless, and everyone in Mississippi, Michigan, Idaho and Hawaii, come out and vote tomorrow. Come join our team. Let's stand together. We're going to turn the country around.

HANNITY: All right, Senator Ted Cruz on the campaign trail, thank you, sir.

When we come back, Monica Crowley, Dr. Gina Loudon, we'll have reaction to tonight's Fox News Democratic town hall, that and more as we continue on "Hannity."


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier tonight, 2016 Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, wow, they participated in a town hall here on FOX News with Bret Baier. Here's some highlights.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Neither you nor your lawyers have been apprised that you are a target of the investigation, is that true?


BAIER: Have you or your lawyers been apprised that any members of your current or former staff are targets of the investigation?

CLINTON: Absolutely not. The State Department has a process for determining what is or isn't classified. If they determine it is, they mark it as classified.

BAIER: Who decides?

CLINTON: The State Department.

BAIER: What about you when you're typing an e-mail?

CLINTON: No. The state department decides. Nothing I sent or received was marked classified.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that we have got to make public colleges and universities tuition free.

There has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class and the middle class to the top one tenth of one percent.


HANNITY: Joining us now with reaction, Monica Crowley and psychology expert, radio talk show host and TV host Dr. Gina Loudon is with us. Good to see you both.



HANNITY: I have seen enough of both of them. The bottom line for them is everything is free. Everything is free. No energy independence. We're going to sing Kumbaya and the world is going to like us. Everything is free. That's the message.

CROWLEY: What's been interesting to watch in terms of Mrs. Clinton is her difficulty in trying to navigate the modern Democratic Party. Remember that ideologically and temperamentally she is on the radical left. She studied under Saul Alinsky. She is with the radicals in the party.


CROWLEY: But she saw her husband move the Democratic Party back to the center. It was a pragmatic, more moderate party under Bill Clinton, and he won not once but twice.

HANNITY: Bernie scared her, didn't he?

CROWLEY: Remember, it's less about Bernie than about Barack Obama. This Democratic Party where she is trying to get this until nation, is Barack Obama's Democratic Party. It's no longer Bill Clinton's Democratic Party.

HANNITY: Well said.

CROWLEY: So she's trying to navigate the radical left where Obama and most of the party are, which is why Bernie Sanders has this movement, and the more moderates where she saw really helped her husband win.

HANNITY: I don't see any moderation in her. I see her doing two things.  Once she's trying to outflank Bernie in some ways. And then the second thing, Monica's right, she's wrapping her arms so tight around Obama saying, please don't let Loretta Lynch indict me. Please stop this pain and misery from coming my way. What do you think?

LOUDON: I think they're probably behind the scenes have been promises made right along those lines, Sean. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see if there were a Hillary Clinton presidency to see a Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, for example.  

HANNITY: So you think it could be a --

LOUDON: Of course I think that. How can you not think that?

HANNITY: Wow. So if Hillary wins, and says if I win I'll give you that Scalia seat?

LOUDON: She may have to have offered him something because she wants his anointing. And she needed it in the beginning. This got really precarious for a while. She was unprepared for this. The DNC has a big problem here.  All the media wants to talk about and all the establishment wants to talk about are problems on the GOP side. But what happens when Bernie feels dissed, and that's how this will end, and his supporters don't have any place to go because they can't stand the establishment in their own party who is personified in Hillary Clinton?

HANNITY: How do we interpret the enthusiasm gap? Republicans up 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent in some cases, the Democrats down by an equal amount. How do you interpret that?

CROWLEY: Well, on the Republican side we finally have an exciting race, right? We have Donald Trump who is representing a populist strain. We have Senator Ted Cruz representing pure conservatism. We've got Marco Rubio representing more of the establishment.

HANNITY: Who is more electable, Trump or Cruz?

CROWLEY: I don't know. I would have a clearer answer on that, Sean, if we really get to a two-man race. If it ends up being Trump versus Cruz, then we can have a lot more things shake out and then we can decide who might be more electable in a general. I think they both have strengths going into a general.


CROWLEY: But what's interesting on the Democratic side, we're talking about all of the excitement happening on the GOP side. Wait until the drama breaks on the Democratic side. You guys talked about this and I've put out this theory since last summer where I do think there is a negotiation going on between Barack Obama and Hillary. But I think the FBI primary is the most important one on of all rather than the one against Bernie.

HANNITY: I'm convinced. I've had Joe DiGenova on and Victoria Toensing, and all the evidence with this guy getting an agreement to testify with immunity after he had pled the fifth, tells me, one, they've got a grand jury in place, and, two, she's in trouble because by any objective discerning measure she has committed multiple felonies. Now, does the FBI director send a criminal recommendation along with findings in this investigation? If they do, OK, and they don't indict, that means he will resign or a group will resign and they'll leak everything anyway. She can't win under those circumstances, can she?

LOUDON: No, absolutely not. And that's why I say it's the DNC who is imploding here. The focus is all on what's happening on the Republican side and all that drama, but all the real drama, the drama that is going to play out, the drama that is still unanswered is what in the heck are they going to do? It's all about Hillary. And that is why this will be so much fun going forward.

HANNITY: Who do you think is more, electable, the question I asked Monica?

LOUDON: Between Trump and Cruz? I have to say the way I see Donald Trump fight and win against Hillary when she tried to dust off Bill and trot him out there. And Donald Trump cut her off at the quick, Sean. So I have to believe --

HANNITY: His argument is that he puts states in play that Cruz doesn't. I asked Ted Cruz tonight, you know, can you put other states in play? He thinks he can.

CROWLEY: There are two things going on. One is style and one is substance. So to your point about substance, yes, I think Donald Trump might have the ability to put states like New York and Michigan into play where they would be lost to Democrats otherwise.

HANNITY: Donald Trump could win New York, you think?

CROWLEY: And also stylistically he's a street fighter.

HANNITY: What about New Jersey? Can he win New Jersey, Pennsylvania?

CROWLEY: He might. Remember, Ted Cruz is running a more traditional kind of campaign. I'm not sure he can put those states into play, but he might be able to attract other voters.

LOUDON: And I think also, I also think that as Bernie starts to fade out, it has to happen.

HANNITY: Bernie is done.

LOUDON: He is done. And as that happens, how many of his voters are really going to swallow a Hillary Clinton nomination?

HANNITY: Right now, the anger between Trump and Cruz people is as palpable as any moment I've seen in a primary. And some point there is going to be a winner and loser here.

LOUDON: Unless some people can join together and that could be --

HANNITY: I heard that three times today.

CROWLEY: A unity ticket.

HANNITY: A unity ticket.

LOUDON: A unity ticket.

HANNITY: A unity insurgent ticket.


HANNITY: That would be pretty interesting.

LOUDON: But conservatives have won, Sean. That's the exciting thing.

HANNITY: Insurgents have won.

We have got a break. We have more "Hannity" and a special tribute to of course Mrs. Reagan who died over the weekend straight ahead.   


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Now, before we go tonight we want to send our condolences to the Reagan family. Former first lady Nancy Reagan sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 94. She'll remember for her elegance, for being the face of the national effort to prevent drug use in America, and for her unwavering love and support of her husband, one of the greatest presidents in our lifetime, Ronald Reagan. So with the family in our thoughts and prayers, and we wish you all the best. It's always hard to lose a loved one.

That's all the time we have left this evening. As always, thanks for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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