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Sunday Morning Futures

Fiorina: GOP needs to rally around Cruz; Fallout from ISIS having chemical weapons

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," March 13, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning.

Candidates kicking their campaign into another gear. Two days before critical primaries in Florida and Ohio.

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

Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina now backing Ted Cruz will tell me how the Texas senator hopes to gain ground on Donald Trump this upcoming Tuesday.

Plus, how political ads impacting the decisions voters make at the polls?  A focus group extraordinaire Frank Luntz on what he's hearing.

And ISIS carries out another atrocity in the Middle East just days after we learned the terrorist group's chemical weapons chief was caught. Are we any closer to preventing another large scale attack?

Retired Four-Star General Jack Keane will join me as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(MUSIC)

BARTIROMO: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz racking up wins this weekend. Rubio won the Republican presidential caucuses in Washington, D.C., earning him 10 delegates this weekend. Ted Cruz winning most of the delegates at stake in the Republican county conventions in Wyoming, picking up nine of 12 in the state.

Take a look at the total delegate count. Today, Trump is in the lead with 460 delegates. Cruz in second place with 370. Rubio a distant third with 163, and Kasich far behind with 63 delegates.

With over 350 delegates on the line Tuesday, will it be make-or-break for any of these candidates?

Joining me right now is Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, former 2016 Republican presidential candidate and a Ted Cruz supporter.

Carly, great to see you. Thanks so much for joining this morning.

CARLY FIORINA, FORMER HEWLETT-PACKARD CEO: Good morning, Maria. Thank you for having me.

BARTIROMO: Carly, I want to begin on what we're watching live here, we're waiting on a rally that Donald Trump is about to lead and, of course, we saw what happened yesterday with the violence and the protesters, one protester throwing something at Donald Trump on stage, fights breaking out.

What are your thoughts on what's going on in term of these protesters getting violent to try their hardest to take Trump out?

FIORINA: Well, look, these protesters are clearly an organized force.  They are there specifically to try and shut down these rallies and to gain media attention. And, unfortunately, they are succeeding.

Look, they may not like Donald Trump or what he has to say and they may not like Donald Trump supporters, but Donald Trump has a right to be there and Donald Trump's supporters have a right to be there, and these protesters are really abrogating these rally supporters' First Amendment rights. It's a shame.

BARTIROMO: Yes, you're absolutely right. I mean, regardless, of what side you're on, hearing MoveOn.org saying Trump and Trump supporters should be on notice. What does that mean?

FIORINA: Yes. What does that mean? Of course, this is the left wing which is always accusing Republicans of being intolerant. This is the highest form of intolerance. And it's why people are angry. It's why they're supporting Donald Trump.

Now, look, I'm no Donald Trump fan. And I think tone is set at the top of a campaign, and I don't particularly like Donald Trump's tone, which is why I'm backing Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz is the only guy who can beat Donald Trump.

But on the other hand, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, I mean, these are moments that are really not interested in a dialogue, they are not interested in solving problems. They are interested in shutting people down whom they don't agree with.

BARTIROMO: Right. And we're going to keep monitoring this rally where Donald Trump is expected to speak at and bring our audience any live developments that happen obviously. Let's talk about Ted Cruz. You're supporting Ted Cruz.

I guess one of the issues around Ted Cruz is he hasn't made any friends in the Senate. People worry that he's not going to get the full scale support that he needs to actually beat Hillary Clinton come November, Carly.

FIORINA: Well, first of all, Ted Cruz is the only guy who can beat Donald Trump. And the only way to beat Donald Trump is at the ballot box.

All this discussion about a brokered convention is absurd. And so, honestly speaking, while they are very good men and they have run honorable campaigns, Marco Rubio needs to step aside and even if John Kasich were to win Ohio on Tuesday, he absolutely has no path. So, people need to rally around Ted Cruz, the party needs to unify behind Ted Cruz in order to beat Donald Trump fair and square.

Secondly, and you know this, Maria, I've challenged the system all my life.  Guess what? When you challenge the system you do more than ruffle feathers, you make enemies. Ted Cruz has made enemies because he has challenged the system.

But the system desperately needs to be challenged. In fact, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the system. They are two sides of the same coin.  Neither one of them are going to reform the system, they benefitted from the system.

And the only guy who loses to Hillary Clinton right now in the polls is Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is beating Hillary Clinton in the polls. So, I think the party needs to unify behind Senator Cruz now, beat Donald Trump so we can go on and beat Hillary Clinton.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I think you make a lot of good points. But you said that the idea of a brokered convention is absurd. Why? I mean, some people who would like to see that happen are saying, look, Donald Trump is leading right now but that's 35 percent of the country. That means 65 percent of the country doesn't want him.

What's wrong with a brokered convention?

FIORINA: Well, then, why don't people get behind Ted Cruz? The data you just laid out is absolutely right. 65 percent to 70 percent Republicans do not want Donald Trump. So, go ahead and get behind Ted Cruz so we can beat him.

But imagine, think about how high passions are running. People are tired of the Republican establishment telling them what to do. The Republican establishment, frankly, has gotten it wrong on a couple of candidates. I mean, they all knew who was going to be first in line and next and the voters said we're rejecting that because actually the party hasn't done enough for us, they haven't done enough to solve the problems in our lives.

So, with passions running this high, can you imagine going into a convention and a bunch of people go in the back room and say never mind all your votes we're going to tell you who will be your nominee. That's not going to work. We have to beat Donald Trump at the ballot box.

The only person who can beat him now is Ted Cruz. He is a conservative.  We know what his principles are. So people need to rally behind him.

BARTIROMO: You made a lot of good points about Cruz really being able to push up against the system and that system was like Hillary Clinton, et cetera. Let me ask you about that. On the one hand you say, OK, Ted Cruz has principles, he sticks to his principles, that's why maybe he has had conflicts in the Senate.

On the other hand, we need a unifier in the White House, right, Carly? So, is he going to be one to actually bring both sides together? In order to get legislation moved forward -- moving forward, in order to get things done you need to be able to compromise.

FIORINA: Well, that is true. But having made a lot of deals in my life, Maria, you and I have talked about many of those deals over the years, the only way to make a really good deal is to be clear about what your principles are. You can put a lot of things in the middle of the table and find common ground, but you have to be clear on your principles.

And that's why I fear a Donald Trump as our nominee and as our president because I don't know what his principles are. Yes, he's apparently a good deal maker, but it's also clear he'll make a deal with anyone.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

FIORINA: And it's interesting because Dr. Carson said well he's two people, one in private, one in public. I don't want two people, because most important decisions that a president makes are made in private. So we better know who we're getting. And I think we're going to know who we're getting with Ted Cruz.

BARTIROMO: By the way, you talk about going into Tuesday, which is such an important day where you've got the primaries of Ohio and Florida and North Carolina among others which we are looking ahead to --

FIORINA: Missouri, Illinois.

BARTIROMO: Yes, keep going. That's right.

So, what are you expecting out of Tuesday?

FIORINA: Well, look, I think Ted Cruz will have a good night. Obviously, Ohio and Florida are the ones that everyone is paying attention to. But I think honestly what's even more important on Tuesday is not whether Ted Cruz has a good night. I suspect he will.

I think what's really important about Tuesday is what do John Kasich and Marco Rubio do? Do they decide to become statesmen and step aside for the good of their party or do they decide to hang in based upon some, you know, dream about a brokered convention? That's what I think the real discussion should be on Tuesday night.

BARTIROMO: Any thoughts about Hillary Clinton at this point? You know, it is pretty extraordinary to watch Bernie Sanders give her this run for her money in so many parts of the country.

FIORINA: Yes. In fact, it's interesting because in a way the Democratic establishment has made the same mistakes as the Republican establishment.  You know, they sort of decided, it's Hillary Clinton's turn except a lot of people in the Democratic Party are saying we're not sure we like her and we're not really very excited about her.

Look, it's amazing. We have a 74-year-old avowed socialist who is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money. People can get all obsessed about what's going on the side of the Republican Party, but honestly, the Republican Party has fielded some great candidates and the Democrat contest is coming down to Hillary Clinton, who we know has lied about so many things, the majority of Americans do not find her trustworthy and an avowed socialist. It's amazing.

BARTIROMO: Yes, it really is.

Carly, good to talk with you as always. Thanks so much.

FIORINA: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We appreciate it very much. Carly Fiorina joining us this morning.

One of the biggest prizes on Tuesday, of course, is Florida, which could prove to be a pivotal moment for its favorite son. We talk about stakes ahead for Marco Rubio with one of his state colleagues and supporters, Thom Tillis will be joining me next.

You can follow us on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures.

Stay with us as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Senator Marco Rubio had a Washington, D.C. victory focusing on his home turf in Florida. He may have his work cut-out for him this Tuesday.  According to a brand new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, he's trailing Donald Trump by 21 points. Rubio is staking big hopes on the Sunshine State which could prove to be critical turning point in the race for the GOP nomination.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm telling you, Florida, we win here, it will reshape this election, and it will send a clear message that we are not going to allow the Republican Party and the conservative movement to be hijacked by people that are neither Republican nor conservative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: And let's talk about it with North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis who is a Marco Rubio supporter, ahead of the North Carolina primary on Tuesday.

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

SEN. THOM TILLIS, R-N.C.: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: So, Marco Rubio had a victory and picked up certainly the most delegates on Saturday night. That was a big positive. But is that going enough to actually move the needle on his chances?

TILLIS: I think Tuesday is a very important race here in North Carolina.  We have a proportional primary but his focus on Florida is critically important and I think that if Marco is able to do well in Florida and Trump is unable to win Ohio, then it will continue to provide an opportunity for Marco to get the nomination.

BARTIROMO: Let's talk about the proportional primary in North Carolina. I want to get the Florida in a moment.

What do you think voters want to see and your constituents in North Carolina want to see in their next president?

TILLIS: Well, I think they want to see somebody who has demonstrated an ability to get things done. It's great to talk about the what. Everybody knows what we need to do.

Marco is the only one in the race right now who has a legislative track record that I think is consistent with where we want to take nation. He's done a great job since he's been in the Senate. He did a great job as a state leader down in the state legislature and as speaker.

And I think, the more we're able to focus on his ability to get things done, not just talk about what needs done, we know that, but getting it done is very important. That's why I liked the debate the other night because I think Marco did a good job of getting his message out.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I think so, too. But why do you think he hasn't resonated more so and isn't higher in the leaderboard today?

TILLIS: Well, I think a lot of it just have to do with the way this debate has played out and Mr. Trump has kind of set the stage and it was all more entertainment than it was policy focused discussion and dialogue. I think if we have a good showing this week and we continue this trend of having substantive debates, no name-calling, no circus acts but real discussion about the issues, that's where Marco shines, and I think that if we get out of Florida with a good result that we get proportional delegates here in North Carolina, I'm working hard for Marco in North Carolina, encouraging people to vote for him. Ohio denies a Trump win, and it's a completely different environment comes Wednesday next week.

BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about what we're seeing this weekend, Senator, because of course we had violence break out at a Trump rally yesterday and now, we're going to show you these live pictures. We're awaiting on this Trump rally that is going to be happening today in about 45 minutes. And we're waiting for Donald Trump to come out.

We understand that there are more protesters outside of this event as well.  And, you know, the co-chairman of the ACLU, Colorado Springs chapter, on the board of the state chapter, is tweeting out hate saying, this is the final solution if you're voting for Trump, I'll have to shoot you before election day, basically threatening any supporters of Trump. Then, you got MoveOn.org saying any supporters of Trump as well as Trump should now know you're now on notice.

What do you make of this?

TILLIS: Well, I've been the target of these sorts of organized protests literally embedded paid protesters. Now I want to back up and say that some of what has led to this in this presidential cycle, with some of the rhetoric of Mr. Trump so, he has some responsibility for it.

But most of the responsibility rest on these folks who are trying to deny First Amendment rights. Some people are getting paid. They are part of a money machine that like protests, they like made for TV protests. They get covered by the liberal media.

And I think that it's a disgrace that they would do this. Why don't they go to rallies for Sanders and Clinton and stand for something versus stand against us and prevent the candidates from actually getting their message out. They are part of the problem.

BARTIROMO: Yes. Well, look, we're watching this play out in real-time.  It is actually quite extraordinary.

Let me ask you about this push from some people out there who are saying, look, clearly, when you just look at the math, it's Donald Trump, it's Ted Cruz. And the rest of the field needs to get out of the way, that means Marco Rubio, that means John Kasich, and support one of these guys to narrow the situation. And if you really want to take Trump down, Marco Rubio needs to support Ted Cruz.

TILLIS: Well, I mean that's the obvious rhetoric you would play if you wanted to be the winner of the primary. I'm sure that Marco would like Mr. Trump and Ted Cruz to get out and he can go right to the convention. It's the typical tactics no one else can win.

I've had it said about me. I had it said back in 2014 race when I won the Senate. The fact of the matter is, we have a process in place where you have to get 1,237 delegates. If you don't get that, we have another process in place in a contested convention.

This back room door deals, rhetoric, and all that stuff is just that, it's rhetoric. We go the convention. We actually cast delegates. And then the majority of the convention will choose, if the majority of the voters before the convention can't make up their mine and that's what we're seeing right now.

BARTIROMO: I mean, has this backlash --

TILLIS: I think that Trump has a ceiling, I think Cruz has a ceiling?

BARTIROMO: Has this backlash from the establishment actually helped Trump?

TILLIS: Well, I think that Donald Trump -- one thing I will give him credit for is engaging people who haven't gotten involved in primaries. I don't know it's so much of a backlash. It's more a reaction to the rhetoric that I hope settles down so we can get a substantive discussion.

BARTIROMO: For sure.

TILLIS: So that we have a better basis for picking a president.

BARTIROMO: Senator, thanks so much for joining us. We so appreciate your time this morning.

TILLIS: Thank you, and go, Tar Heels.

BARTIROMO: Senator Thom Tillis there.

And join me tomorrow, we'll continue talking about this GOP backlash against Donald Trump when I speak with an important voice in the mix, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be my guest tomorrow on the Fox Business Network. We'll talk 2016 and this establishment Republican move to stop a Trump nomination. That's tomorrow, "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network, kicks off at 6:00 a.m. Eastern. Check your local listings to where Fox Business Network is.

Up next, negative advertising, will it succeed in derailing the runway Trump train? Frank Luntz joins me next to talk about it, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Republican candidates blitz the Sunshine State with ads ahead of the critical winner take all primary on Tuesday. It is becoming a mud-slinging battle. Last week alone, PACs supporting Marco Rubio spent $2 million on anti-Trump ads while Donald Trump is also spending millions on negative advertising against Rubio.

How will it impact Florida voters?

Frank Luntz, pollster and FOX News contributor, election extraordinaire.

Good to see you, Frank.

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Thanks so much for joining us.

So, you've been doing more focus groups. Tell me where you are. Give me a status check in terms of what you've learned.

LUNTZ: What I learned there's doubts about all four candidates and intensity for all four candidates. People are responding to the debates.  They still are.

The ads don't have the same kind of impact. The thing that the public is looking for is three words:

Number one is accountability. Do you say what you mean and mean what you say.

Number two, can you deliver results? They don't care about the rhetoric, they want to know you can deliver.

And number three, are you authentic, are you genuine? And that's where the ads fail. They come across as faked, manufactured. And when you've got the real life candidates there, they are much more impactful than ads.

BARTIROMO: All right. Let's talk about some ads that are striking that are not working. Which one do you want to lead to here?

LUNTZ: You got one in particular I want to show which is Donald Trump's language. You and I may find it offense but in terms of getting someone to change their vote from Trump to anybody else, it doesn't work.

BARTIROMO: Let's watch it.

LUNTZ: Let's watch it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I went to an Ivy League school.  I'm very highly educated. I know words. I had the best words.

(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

He gets the nomination they are going to sue his (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

She said he's a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

We'll beat the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

They are ripping the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of the sea.

(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

What the hell are we doing?

I have the best words. You can tell them go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) themselves.

ANNOUNCER: American Future Fund political action is responsible for the content of this advertising.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUNTZ: OK. So I want to ask you --

BARTIROMO: There's a lot there, Frank.

LUNTZ: Help me, what were those words they were bleeping out?

BARTIROMO: S --

LUNTZ: And?

BARTIROMO: S-H-I-T. I mean, you know --

LUNTZ:  I don't know if you can spell it.

BARTIROMO: You're right. My God. My apologies.

LUNTZ: That's a half million dollar fine. Excellent.

BARTIROMO: My God.

LUNTZ: My job is done.

This is the problem is that they look at him, and they said, well, I don't care what he says. They care his intensity, they care about his passion.

A Trump voter looks at that -- what the hell? I believe that's a Rubio ad or Rubio PAC ad and that's the problem they are not using language and messaging that connects to people. Strategy should have been Trump supporter. If you want to beat Donald Trump, the only way you beat him with a Trump supporter who said I still support Donald Trump but there's another candidate that can do what Donald Trump wants to get done. That's the strategy that work.

BARTIROMO: Because up until now, I feel like people have not been interested in the specifics, they just apartment tough guy out there who will fight for America and make them feel like they got somebody who has their back.

LUNTZ: And the far right, the most conservative are ideological and they are backing Ted Cruz. By the way, what I don't understand is Ted Cruz has got a lot of delegates. He's only 100 delegates behind Trump. But no one talks about that.

The assumption is that Trump is so far ahead.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

LUNTZ: Donald Trump does best amongst independent voters, because they are backing him not for where he stands they are backing him for how he stands it.

BARTIROMO: I want to talk about the independent voter, because a lot of people have said, look, mathematically, Trump can't win the general election because he can't get the Hispanic vote. Now, put that aside, I want to get your take on that. But the other thing is, he could offset that by bringing in all these independents that were not voting in a Republican -- were not voting Republican before.

LUNTZ: Which ought to scare the hell out of Senate Republicans like your previous guest, because Donald Trump will bring people to him that are Democrats, that are voting for him because he has a blue collar feel to him.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

LUNTZ: But they will not vote Republican for the Senate and the House.  Donald Trump could actually be responsible for losing the Senate and the House because the very people who would vote for him will vote against these Republican incumbents.

BARTIROMO: How fascinating.

LUNTZ: This is -- people are not playing this. This is not checkers.  This is not even chess. This is three-dimensional, and there are too many people who are commentating on this that aren't looking at the actual priorities of the voters themselves.

BARTIROMO: Yes, going into Florida, Missouri on Tuesday all of these important states, Ohio, what are you expectations?

LUNTZ: My expectations Rubio always performs 3 percent or 4 percent above the polls but it's not enough. I don't think he wins Florida.

In Ohio, I think John Kasich and Trump is going to be a late night there.  I think it's going to be even. The only way to stop Donald Trump at this point is to beat him in Ohio or Florida. Ohio is more likely at this point.

BARTIROMO: All right. We'll leave it there. Frank, good to speak with you.

LUNTZ: And, by the way, the chaos has only just begun.

BARTIROMO: We're watching it play out right now.

LUNTZ: Even on this show.

BARTIROMO: As we wait for Trump to come out of this rally where we're expecting protesters once again.

Frank Luntz, always a pleasure.

LUNTZ: Pleasure.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

Up next, a 3-year-old girl the latest victim of ISIS and hundreds more injured in chemical attacks in Iraq. General Jack Keane is up next on what this means on the fight against the Islamic State.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

ISIS has launched two chemical attacks in northern Iraq, killing a 3-year- old girl as many as 600 others were hurt. The attack happening early yesterday near the city of Kirkuk.

Iraq's prime minister vowing ISIS will, quote, "pay dearly for the attacks". All of this coming as U.S. defense officials confirm the capture of a man trying to develop chemical weapons for ISIS.

Retired four star General Jack Keane is with me, a former vice chief of staff of the army, the chairman of the Institute for the Study of War and FOX News military analyst.

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

GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), FOUR-STAR GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: Delighted to be here.

BARTIROMO: Can you characterize what we're talking about in terms of ISIS having chemical weapons?

KEANE: Yes. What's happening here, Maria, is ISIS recruited a number of former Saddam Hussein's scientists and engineers who participated in his chemical WMD program years ago and they have put together laboratories and weapons factory to take what is commonly referred to as sulfur mustard, low yield mustard gas and weaponize that in artillery shells and in rockets.

They have conducted about 12 attacks in 2014 and through these two current attacks. This one, obviously, is producing a lot of casualties.

But, Maria, fortunately because it's low yield mustard gas, there's very few fatalities, regrettably there was a fatality here as you mentioned in the introduction. The good news is we have captured the head of this organization about a month ago our special operations did that, and we are now systematically trying to take down those weapons factories and those laboratories based on the intelligence that he's provided.

BARTIROMO: What should the U.S. be doing that we're not doing? Is there something we should be doing in this regard?

KEANE: Well, first of all, hats off to General Dunford, you know, who has been there about six months now and I think he's been very aggressive in trying to get as many resources into Iraq and also to conduct operations in and around Syria as the White House policy would permit.

He's stretched out, I think, pretty much to the limits and that's why we're having this successful operation in capturing Al-Afari. What we have now is special operations forces in some numbers, that number is classified.

They've been there from the beginning in 2014, but they haven't really had a significant ground component. Now, they have. And they are going to start to pound ISIS leaders to capture them.

We still, as you mentioned or suggested do not have all the resources that we would need to conduct a more effective campaign against ISIS in Iraq or in Syria, and that would likely change when a new administration gets in, whether it's Democrat or Republican.

BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about that because we're talking about the various candidates and their plans for the future. Do you hear foreign policy solution out there from any of the candidates for 2016 presidential election that you think is viable?

KEANE: Well, I don't comment on individual policies, but -- by candidates.  But I would suggest that putting real teeth behind defeating ISIS and getting -- asking the military how to do that, I think a new president will clearly understand after a detailed briefing what are the challenges that are facing the United States.

First of all, that president has got to make up his or her mind first and foremost what is the role of the United States in the world today and is that the traditional role that we have played in the past since World War II, which I believe is different from our previous president. That's number one. Number two, systematically deal with security challenges.

As it comes to ISIS a simple question he would ask the Pentagon and his other national security advisors, what's the plan to defeat ISIS?

BARTIROMO: Right.

KEANE: Give me your best plan. Put them together. That's not been asked in the past. The president posed restrictions and we've never been able to put together a full campaign plan. So, that's pretty much the best answer.

And we have the wherewithal to do all of that, Maria, without committing large numbers much ground forces.

BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there.

General, good to speak with you. Thanks so much.

KEANE: OK, good talk to you as always, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We appreciate your time today. General Jack Keane joining us.

Let's get a look what's coming up at top of the hour on "MediaBuzz."  Howie Kurtz in Washington.

Good morning, Howie.

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

Well, I went down to Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, a hardship assignment to be sure for a wide-ranging interview with Donald Trump. He talks about why he once praised Hillary Clinton, softening his tone on Marco Rubio, Social Security, immigration, libel laws and what he sees as hatred from many in the media toward him.

Plus, of course, we'll talk about the media's role covering the violence at these rallies, whether Trump is getting blamed, whether the protesters are getting adequate blame.

I got a packed show for you on "MediaBuzz."

BARTIROMO: We'll be there as we wait for that protest to start outside a new Trump rally taking place right now.

Howie, thank you very much. We'll see you in about 20 minutes.

That's Howie Kurtz.

Some crucial winner take all contests are two days away. Our panel how they could make-or-break the candidates going into Tuesday's big night. We will look ahead next on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

The GOP candidates are gearing up for what could be some pivotal contests this upcoming Tuesday. Marco Rubio and John Kasich seeking home state victories in Florida and to Ohio stay afloat, while Donald Trump and Ted Cruz aim to win more of those all-important delegates.

A new poll this morning shows that John Kasich is leading in his home state of Ohio with 39 percent support. Trump right behind him with 33 percent.

Let's bring in our panel for all of this. Ed Rollins is former principal White House adviser to President Reagan. He's a Fox News political analyst. Garry Kasparov is the chairman of New York-based Human Rights Foundation and the author of "Winter is Coming", and Julie Roginsky is a former political adviser to New York Senator Frank Lautenberg, and a FOX News contributor.

Good to see you all. Thank you so much for joining us.

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

BARTIROMO: Tuesday's contest, let's talk about it.

Ed, what do you look at? What's the takeaway so far?

ROLLINS: This could be elimination day, certainly, for Rubio. If Rubio doesn't win Florida and the right now he's second or third in most polls, easily could come in third. Then, he's finished. There's no place he can go beyond Florida.

Kasich, obviously, has got a real race going with Trump in Ohio. Again, if he loses his home state, he's out. Even a close race is no place for him to go beyond that.

And even if both of them won their home states, they are still at the bottom of the pack.

BARTIROMO: Garry, how do you see it?

GARRY KASPAROV, AUTHOR, "WINTER IS COMING": If both of them won, Rubio and Kasich, I think that will signal the weakness of Donald Trump. But I'm afraid it's not going to happen in Florida. And, by the way, when people keep talking about Rubio's home state, I mean, let's not forget, it's more or less Donald Trump's home state. More than Florida than elsewhere.

BARTIROMO: And he keeps saying "I love Florida", when we see him in Florida.

KASPAROV: And he has connections there, so he's seen as -- you know, again, he's a local for many of them.

Kasich I think will win, but I see no way for him make being any further progress. I don't think there was any other primary in history where the candidate hasn't won a single contest, went so far in the process.

BARTIROMO: Right. And, Julie, I mean, that's why people are saying, look, Marco Rubio, John Kasich get out of the way so we can see a more even split. How is this going to go? Those supporters will go for either Trump or Cruz.

JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's interesting. At this point, Rubio must know he has no shot winning his home state, which is pretty unprecedented for a home state senator. And so, if he's staying in essentially to deny Donald Trump plurality going into the convention, is this something -- is this some long play to deny him of a convention win where he can have a brokered convention, I suspect that's what he's justifying this as. Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure.

But don't forget, the more -- if they pick up a few delegates here or there it prevents Donald Trump from picking up those delegates. It prevents them from going into a convention, with potentially enough votes.

BARTIROMO: So, that's the strategy.

ROGINSKY: May be. I'm not sure what Rubio strategy is, other than that, because there's really no other reason for him to stay in the race at this point. He's ruining his own political career. Don't forget, if he loses Florida on Tuesday, I'm not sure he can run for governor in two years.

ROLLINS: Especially if he comes in third.

ROGINSKY: Yes.

ROLLINS: He has no money. All the money is being spent against Trump by super PACs. The problem with super PACs, as Luntz said earlier, there's no consistency to the message. Everybody throws everything at him. But it's not a consistent.

Why should he not be president? How do you make that case like you do in indictment? It's all over the place.

And what the failure of super PACs is unlike the campaigns, you can run a sustained message, you can do everything you're supposed to do and all the money have gone super PACs and not campaigns. And I think It's been waste.

BARTIROMO: Yes. How does this latest wrinkle if you call it play into all of this? And that is this amped up violence around Trump. I want to show you live pictures. We're awaiting Donald Trump to come out at a rally and we've already been told right outside of this rally, there are protesters waiting to go on in there and, of course, we saw what happened yesterday when somebody throwing something at Donald Trump while he was on stage.

How is he changing the --

ROLLINS: MoveOn.org who's organizing these outside groups are not coming to hear Donald Trump, they are coming to get on television and they're going to create whatever chaos they can. They need be isolated and they need to be basically blamed for this.

Obviously, Trump has to cool his rhetoric slightly, make sure that his supporters are supporting him and not do anything to damage his campaign.

KASPAROV: I don't think it's a surprise to see this protest after everything Donald Trump said. And I think, unfortunately, it helps him during the primaries --

BARTIROMO: You think it does help him?

KASPAROV: Yes, I think, eventually, it will help, you know, with his base and a lot of people could be seen as being unfairly attack. But it just demonstrates what will happen in the general elections. It's just the beginning. It's just another first wave of many tsunamis that will wash away Trump's campaign during the general, if God forbid, he's nominated.

BARTIROMO: Yes. But I think both sides are looking at, you know, comments like, Julie, like MoveOn.org said look Trump and all of his supporters should know now they are on notice.

ROGINSKY: It is counter-productive of what MoveOn.org is trying to do, only helps Donald Trump. These protesters are only helping Donald Trump for other reasons they're both as Garry said, which reinforces the belief among his supporters that he's standing up to the Democrats, to the establishment. He's the strongman.

Don't forget, they are looking for an authoritarian figure and they found one in Donald Trump. Trump's rhetoric, by the way, is inciting a lot of the protests violence. But MoveOn.org is playing into it by doing what they are doing.

People should be allowed to freely assemble and hear Donald Trump without something thrown at him, or without anybody rushing the stage. And that's the reality. And they are completely counterproductive in what they're trying to do. They are making him a victim. They're making him a martyr to his supporters.

ROLLINS: Well, what I worry about is, I hope he doesn't become a martyr.  I was very frightened by the scene -- and I've been around Secret Service all my life. I admire them. I thought they were slow responding yesterday to the guy trying to get up on the stage.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

ROLLINS: Someone is going to get hurt. One of the supporters or certainly unfortunately one of the candidates, and I think it's just a very bad solution.

BARTIROMO: We've got to talk about your op-ed on socialism, Garry. So, we're going -- yes, go ahead.

KASPAROV: But I think these Democrats, they calculate that Donald Trump is a candidate to run against at the general because, you know, he has so many weaknesses and there will be a negative campaign, because their candidate will be exposed. So they want someone who is even bigger target.

BARTIROMO: Yes, we'll take a short break.

Then, Bernie Sanders still seeing a path to the Democratic nomination, but do the numbers add up? The panel breaks down his chances of catching up with Hillary Clinton.

And Garry tells us how he grew up with socialism. He'll tell us how it worked out, ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Bernie Sanders insisting he's in it to win it, but if the polls hold up, he's got a tough road ahead. Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls for North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, all states voting this Tuesday.  Clinton's current delegate count also more than doubled Sanders.

I want to bring back our panel, Ed Rollins, Garry Kasparov, Julie Roginsky with me this morning.

Garry, you wrote an op-ed recently titled, "Hey, Bernie Sanders, don't lecture me on socialism, I've lived it."

KASPAROV: It wasn't my title actually.

BARTIROMO: I like it. Tell us about the living in socialism. What is it, Garry?

KASPAROV: Yes, some of my critics, you know, pointed out that socialism in Soviet Union was not exactly what Bernie Sanders wants to build. There's a difference between totalitarian ideology of the Soviet Union and socialism in Western Europe and Scandinavia and Sanders' dreams.

But at the end of the day, it's now state control of the economy and about state-controlled distribution of services. And it always fails. And I just wanted people to understand that this is, it's far more important now to talk about issues. It's about, you know, the rise of socialist utopia on the left rather than about, you know, scandalous statements of Donald Trump on the other side.

BARTIROMO: Yes, one of the -- we actually pulled out a quote from your article and you basically make the point, the USSR failed because there was no competition. The free market can be cruel, but it is by definition unequal.

KASPAROV: Yes, and also, America can't afford, you know, the same luxury as Western Europe or Scandinavian countries for spending for everything but defense and innovations. America was an engine of innovations, and also, it protected the free world against Soviet Union for decades.

So, thinking that America could be, you know, something else but America, you know, basically, you know, will end America's dream and America's standing in the world.

BARTIROMO: I find it so fascinating to talk to people about socialism who've actually lived through socialism.

Another friend of mine lived under the Mao regime in China, and she says, look, at that time, everybody had to be the same exact. I mean, you even had to have the same haircut. You couldn't have anything special. You couldn't be working harder than anybody else and making more money for it.

Do you think, Julie, that young people understand what socialism is, these great supporters of Bernie Sanders?

ROGINSKY: So, I come from the same country that Garry does. I was a young girl when I left the Soviet Union, but I had much limited, much more limited experience than Garry obviously. But still, my parents clearly lived the same generations with Garry.

BARTIROMO: And we also lived it.

ROGINSKY: Same thing. So, I can attest to the fact that yes, what Bernie Sanders is not suggesting is some Soviet totalitarianism. I think he's looking for more at Sweden, or Scandinavian countries as Garry pointed out as the example of what to do.

Having said, you know, as a Democrat, I still have huge misgivings about the fact that as Garry pointed, you can't just say that we have to have a level playing field and that government imposes it. On the other hand, the income inequality in this country has gotten so out of control that I think his message appeals to not just his message but message of a lot of candidates from both sides of the aisle, appeals to people who really feel left behind.

BARTIROMO: Right.

ROGINSKY: Because the market has benefited a very select few and over the last decade or so, if not really since the '80s, and a lot of people in the middle class and the working class have had wage stagnation and are not getting their fair share of the pie. That I think is what he's appealing to, not some socialist utopia as defined by the Soviet Union.

BARTIROMO: But this is the point. It's the approach to tackling income inequality, Ed, isn't it? I mean -- so, do you want, as you write in the op-ed, Garry, make the pie bigger so that there's more for people or do you want to shut down the bakery?

ROLLINS: You'll never make the pie bigger if you basically take the most productive people in society and take half or 92 percent as Sanders is saying. You just can't --

BARTIROMO: Of their earnings.

ROLLINS: You have to create an incentive for people who are smart and brilliant and run businesses to go out and create jobs and that's the missing element here. We need to do a big giant infrastructure program that kids, young people back to work and train. We need basically -- you're not going to pull the jobs back from China and elsewhere. You better rethink how we do things in this country and that's what we've never -- we're not very good planners. We basically, long range planning in Washington, D.C. is launched next week and I think to a certain extent, we need to really have four-year, five-year plans and how we're going to move this economy forward.

ROGINSKY: That's positively socialist view with these four or five-year plan.

KASPAROV: You're right. And all the planning, it risks, sacrifices innovations. And, unfortunately, those things have disappeared. So, Sanders' criticism is correct that what he offers is wrong --

ROGINSKY: But what you're advocating, Ed, what I'm hearing you advocating specifically is more government investment and infrastructure, putting government, essentially having a role in putting more people to work. I'm all for that. But don't forget, a vast majority of your party doesn't want more government spending on --

ROLLINS: Sometimes, my party is wrong.

ROGINSKY: Oh, good, I'm glad to hear it.

ROLLINS: The truth of the matter is infrastructure is very, very important.

ROGINSKY: Agreed.

ROLLINS: And private sector has not been able to step in there and do it effectively. So, we have to rebuild our infrastructure in this country and that should be a bipartisan effort. That should not be singular Republican or Democratic effort.

KASPAROV: Because the trillions of dollars getting out overseas, you know, kept by mega corporations, and you need a tax policy to give them incentives, to bring back to the country.

BARTIROMO: You would think so. Tax policy keeping corporate rates low, so that corporations actually hire and invest in their business. OK. More from the panel next. The one thing to watch in the week ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: On panel on what's most important with the week ahead.

Ed?

ROLLINS: Trump is going to have a very big day on Tuesday. Jeb Bush is going to endorse Cruz on Wednesday, the day after the Florida primary.

BARTIROMO: Wow, good prediction.

Garry?

KASPAROV: I would like to see what Jeb is going to do after big elections, and you know, when they'll have any plan of nominating anybody else but Donald Trump.

BARTIROMO: All right. Julie, great to see you.

Thank you so much for joining us. We'll see you tomorrow on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network. Have a great Sunday, everybody.  Thanks.  


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