Priebus: Our nominee is going to be someone who is running

On 'Hannity,' RNC chairman speaks out after the Wisconsin primary


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And this is a Fox News Alert. Welcome to "Hannity." Tonight, the voters have spoken in the battle for Wisconsin.  On the Republican side, Fox News is now projecting Senator Ted Cruz -- he will win the Badger State. Donald Trump comes in second. Governor John Kasich will take third place.

And as for the Democrats, Fox News is now project Senator Bernie Sanders will, in fact, defeat Hillary Clinton. Now, Sanders has won 6 of the last seven Democratic state contests.

Joining us now with reaction, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Fox News contributor that he is.

Before I get into the analysis, you got to admit this is one of the most fascinating, interesting, political years, presidential election years we have ever seen and may ever see in our lifetime.

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's absolutely unbelievable. You have Bernie Sanders, a socialist who joined the Democratic Party for the purpose of running for president, who's giving Hillary Clinton, who's been active at this business now for at least 24 years, the run of her life. He's going to win another victory tonight.

On the Republican side, everybody who represented the old order is gone.  You have as the two major contenders Ted Cruz, who a year ago was the most disliked member of the U.S. Senate and now may be their only hope to stop the other guy, Donald Trump, who nobody would have thought a year ago would be where he is. And then tonight, Wisconsin I think gave Ted Cruz an enormous victory. We should not underestimate how big a victory this is for Ted Cruz.

HANNITY: I'd agree with that, and also add this, that the two times that Ted Cruz really needed a win -- and I would argue the first state, Iowa -- he needed that state. He got it. He needed this win tonight in a pretty big way. He got it.

By my math, I don't see any way that anybody gets to 1,237 until June 7th, the California primary, and some other states. Do you agree with that?

GINGRICH: I agree, and I think what it does is it puts real pressure on Trump. He has to put the campaign back together again at a more inclusive level and a more professional level. He has to understand, by the way, how much Ted Cruz's team is eating away at his delegates because they're just much better organized down at the grass roots level than Trump is.

Trump's great strength is national media, big crowds, big events. Cruz has actually been very methodical and very effective as a candidate.

I think that what Trump has to do is put together a campaign from now through June 6th where he just sweeps as many delegates as possible because if he's not at 1,237 the day after June 6th, he has a long mountain to climb and he has enormous pressures on the other side trying to stop him.

HANNITY: I want to get back to the Arizona issue, the delegate issue being better organized, infrastructure, which you're discussing. But first, I think you've hit on the most important question, if somebody does not get to 1,237.

Now, it's interesting in the exit polls that 60 percent of the people of Wisconsin think that the person that has the most delegates should get the nomination. But 60 percent of Cruz supporters say, No, no, no. You need 1,237 or it should go to a contested convention. So there's been a lot of talk tonight about the split in the party. That would probably drive an even bigger wedge into this unpredictable election season. Thoughts.

GINGRICH: Well, I think, first of all, people ought to try to get to 1,237. Cruz ought to try to get to 1,237. He can reach out to the delegates who are uncommitted. He can reach out to Kasich's delegates, out to Marco Rubio's delegates. Plus, he's got a real shot here of continuing down the road to picking up delegates.

Trump has to go all out. He should win -- if the polls are right, he should win New York by a huge margin. He should win Pennsylvania by a big margin, although the delegates in Pennsylvania aren't committed, but you do get a certain moral pressure if somebody comes in as a big, big winner.

Trump's then got to figure out, can he put together California?  California, remember, has both a statewide number, much like Wisconsin, but it also has every district. So the relatively small number of Republicans in Nancy Pelosi's congressional district still pick delegates, and they're probably dramatically more liberal than the average Republican.

So it'll be very interesting to see how California works out. Cruz's model is different. Cruz has to just grind away, grind away, try to organize from the grass roots up. My sense is he is winning a lot of delegates who are pledged on the first ballot to Trump, but they're not pledged for other things. And so this could get to be quite a very interesting dance.

HANNITY: And you're on record saying that you think either Trump or Cruz is capable of beating Hillary Clinton.

GINGRICH: Absolutely.

HANNITY: All right...

GINGRICH: Absolutely. They would do it very differently. They're very different personalities. But as you just saw -- I thought, by the way, this is one of Ted Cruz's better speeches. You know, he's beginning to shift towards a general election tone and a positive tone, which is very important for him.

Either one of them, I think, can beat Hillary. That doesn't mean they will, but they can beat Hillary. I also believe, as you know, they are the only two people who are in contention to be nominated. Everything else is a fantasy.

HANNITY: All right, let's talk about the scenario -- maybe we should label it the doomsday scenario, although even Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side is talking about the same thing, a contested convention there.

Now, if neither Trump or Cruz has 1,237, and they go into that convention, we know where they have to -- we know they'll vote on the first ballot.  Nobody comes up with 1,237. Then it will begin -- the horse trading begins.

If, for example -- and I know you hate this question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Even our friend, Karl Rove -- John Boehner's even come out publicly said, Oh, anybody can be nominated. Let's put Paul Ryan up there.  Scott Walker, I was told, in a speech in New York suggested as much. You have some state delegates that are suggesting as much. Mitt Romney is another one whose strategy appears to be he wants a contested convention.

If it comes down there and there's an attempt to leapfrog over the people that won -- have more delegates, more votes, won more states and give them the nomination, won't the people that voted and caucused for Trump and Cruz be angry?

GINGRICH: Well, it's more than that. The Romney people, in their hubris and their desire to be all-controlling, adopted a set of rules that make it really, really hard for anybody else to get in the game. And if you look at the actual rules -- and anybody who wants to can go to the Republican National Committee Web site where Chairman Reince Priebus has put this up so the whole country can see it.

If you go look at it, you'll find out that it says you have to have earned -- not necessarily a win, you have to have earned the majority of eight states. So Florida, for example, theoretically, although they're pledged to Trump, could decide they're going to vote to put Kasich in nomination.

Now, I'll let you decide how likely that is. But if you're not one of the people nominated by eight states, you don't get any votes. And there is no provision for reopening the nomination.

HANNITY: But here's the problem. And I talked to Reince earlier, and Reince is going to join us tonight -- is that those rules written for 2012.  New rules will be written for 2016 before the -- why are you laughing at me? I didn't set this up!

GINGRICH: I'm not laughing at you. Look, I'm laughing at the idea. OK.  So -- so -- and Reince is a dear friend and I think he's the best national committee chairman of modern times. But you have to ask him a simple question. The two guys who are going to come in under any circumstance have at least 80 percent of the delegates.

HANNITY: But they'll...


HANNITY: I know his answer. His answer will be, Well, they get to write the rules. I have to assume that in spite of maybe the contentious nature of the campaign now, that Trump and Cruz will agree on one thing, that provision 40 or rule 40 stays in place, and if anything, they would strengthen it as it relates to its mandatory...

GINGRICH: Right. Right. Why would Trump and Cruz get together and say, Oh, gosh, we just spent a year-and-a-half working our hearts out. Why don't we open it up...


HANNITY: What do you think of Paul Ryan?

GINGRICH: Why don't we give it to -- well, not just Paul, but why don't we give it to some nice person? I mean, Mitt Romney, who I think may have this fantasy. Why don't we give it to some nice person who didn't run, didn't raise money, didn't debate, didn't win delegates, but what the heck?  He's really or she's really a terrific person.

I mean, even in a novel, you couldn't get away with this.

HANNITY: Well, you write novels, so I'll take your word for it.


HANNITY: All right, let's talk about the state -- and this was not a surprise. The polls showed that Ted Cruz was going to have a good night tonight. If one endorsement probably mattered in this entire campaign, it was that of Scott Walker, winning three races in four years. He had an infrastructure that was amazing. You have very influential talk show hosts in the Milwaukee area that were in the NeverTrump camp. So they were out there opposing Donald Trump.

And I would argue that Donald Trump probably had the worst two weeks of his campaign up to this point between the Heidi tweet and all the things that I discussed with him last night. Your thoughts.

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, first of all, as you know, Callista -- my wife, Callista, is from Wisconsin. My son-in-law, Paul Ebers (ph), is from Sheboygan. We own one share of Packer stock. We're and very invested in Wisconsin.

HANNITY: One share?

GINGRICH: That's all you need, baby. And -- because none of the shares actually matter. They're all symbolic. And we actually did Scott's first fund-raiser in Milwaukee way back when he first started running. We're very proud of him and we think he's been a remarkable governor. So we come at all this from a standpoint of -- I think people didn't get this for the last two or three days.

Scott Walker had to win an election. Then he had to survive a huge upsurge by unions and liberals. Then he had to survive a recall. Then he had to get reelected. I mean, they have built -- and Reince Priebus, who had been the state chairman, was part of this. Paul Ryan was part of this.

They have built a real system that is probably the most tested Republican Party in the entire country. And that party looked out and said, You know, we don't necessarily love Ted Cruz, but compared to Donald Trump, we're going to be for Ted Cruz. And they, by George, delivered.

When I first saw the numbers tonight, I was really surprised. Trump was lower than I thought he would be. Cruz was higher than I thought he would be. I don't know how it's going to work out, and as I understand it, a couple of districts are still in doubt. But this is a huge victory for Cruz, and it's a big victory for Scott Walker and the Republican team...

HANNITY: I would agree.

GINGRICH: ... which has really...

HANNITY: Do you think...

GINGRICH: ... dramatically changed Wisconsin.

HANNITY: When you say that, are you suggesting that the establishment is almost using Ted Cruz? Because I think they hate Trump and Cruz equally, frankly.

GINGRICH: But I want to draw a distinct, though. Wait a second. The Wisconsin establishment isn't the Washington establishment. I don't think that Scott Walker particularly dislikes Ted Cruz. I think Scott Walker has an identity with Ted Cruz. They're both outsiders. They're both change agents. They're both trying to get something good done for the country, and they don't care if the Washington team gets it.

The Washington insiders are different. They are...

HANNITY: But they want -- they want the contested convention. They want the chaos.

GINGRICH: They're not going to get it.

HANNITY: They're not going to get -- so either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will be the nominee.



GINGRICH: I don't know how to say this to my many good friends in Washington, who are sitting around at a variety of bars tonight celebrating.


GINGRICH: Guys, I got to tell you, it ain't going to work.

HANNITY: It's not happening!

GINGRICH: It ain't happening. You're either going to get Ted or you're going to get Donald. Live with it. And either one of them can beat Hillary, and that's good for America.

HANNITY: I agree with that. It is fascinating to watch the process unfold because there is a lot of resentment now. And you can see it on social media.


HANNITY: Cruz people hate the Trump people. The Trump people hate the Cruz people. Do you see any problems in uniting the party, assuming -- and I kind of agree with your analysis. It's either going to be Trump or Cruz at this point.

GINGRICH: No. As long as...

HANNITY: Advantage...



GINGRICH: As long as it's Trump or Cruz, we'll reunite because, frankly, both the Trump people and the Cruz people e-mail me or tweet me and say they dislike Washington a heck of a lot more than they dislike the other guy.

So I think the only thing that would shatter the Republican Party would be if there was some extraordinarily clever way for the old guard, having not won a primary, having not contested, having not debated, to cleverly manipulate something in order to get somebody nominated that who had achieved nothing.

Now, I don't think it's technically possible. I think it's going to be either Cruz or Trump. And I can, frankly, support either one of them with enormous enthusiasm compared to Hillary Clinton, and I think most of the party by the time we get to convention will rally behind whoever we nominate.

HANNITY: I hope everybody heard the last part of what you just said because that's the most important part. All right, Mr. Speaker, good to see you.

GINGRICH: Good to see you.

HANNITY: And coming up on this wild and crazy night, more reaction out of the results of Wisconsin tonight. We'll check in with Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson. They weigh in. Bill Hemmer -- he's at the big board tonight. He'll explain how these results impact the delegate count. And the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, he'll respond. That and more tonight on this election edition of "Hannity."



SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And now, tonight here in Wisconsin, a state that just three weeks ago, the media had written off -- three weeks ago the media said Wisconsin was a perfect state for Donald Trump.


CRUZ: But the hard-working men and women of Wisconsin stood and campaigned tirelessly to make sure that tonight was a victory for every American!



HANNITY: Now, that was Senator Ted Cruz earlier tonight speaking after his big win in Wisconsin.

Joining us now, the editor-in-chief of Lifezette.com, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson. Both are Fox News contributors.

Laura, let's start with you. Maybe I have the wrong attitude here, but everyone is, like, in a funeral mode because when you really look at both Ted Cruz and the success he's had and Trump and the success he's had, you're talking about two outsider insurgent candidates that the establishment hates.


HANNITY: What's your analysis of tonight?

INGRAHAM: Yes, I mean, it was a phenomenal night for Ted Cruz. He had the organization. He had the spirit. And he had the approach that worked in Wisconsin. He had a really popular governor on his side. Trump decides to go against that governor. I didn't get that. That's what Trump decided to do.

I think, moving forward, this is what we should look at. I'm not as optimistic as Newt Gingrich is that all is going to be well at the convention. It's going to be either Cruz or Trump.

I think there are a couple things going on. I think there's a fight between, obviously, Trump and Cruz for the delegates, who can vacuum up the most. But then there's a fight between the establishment -- and I think Trump and Cruz. And I think when you really look at what's going on -- the RNC had a meeting today, where they had all these operatives -- Politico's reporting it tonight. They had all these operatives in attendance about how to do a contested convention, what's going to happen with the strategy sessions between votes.

And the individuals who were at the meeting representatives of the former Eric Cantor office, Trent Lott, people close to Mitt Romney, people who worked at the highest levels of the establishment at this meeting.

I looked at the roster of people there. There was no one that I saw who is close to Trump. Maybe Matt Schlapp is a Cruz supporter. But I don't get this sense that this is going to be an automatic, that if Trump -- you know, if these delegates who show up at the convention don't go for Trump, if they're unbound and they decide they don't want to go for Trump that they automatically...

HANNITY: But Laura...

INGRAHAM: ... go for Cruz, Sean. I think they could see a very disrupted convention.

HANNITY: I've been saying that for a long time. I agree with you, and I think that is a stronger possibility only because they are saying it.  They're telegraphing exactly what it is that they want to do.

If they do that, though -- let's just take that hypothetical. If they do that, don't the -- if they leapfrog over Trump and Cruz -- they won millions of more votes, a lot more delegates and a lot more states -- what do you think's going to happen? I think those people walk. I think the people that caucused and voted for Trump and Cruz will say good-bye!

INGRAHAM: Well, I think that there are some people in the establishment would be OK with that. Let's be very frank. I mean, I know Ted Cruz thinks they're his newfound friends.

I think -- you know, I think it's closer to the scenario you pointed to Speaker Gingrich that some of these people are using Cruz. You know, when you watch Paul Ryan over there in Israel -- I know he had the trip planned for some time, but he looked very presidential. He's sending out tweets about how we're -- you know, Israel's always going to be our number one friend.

That's fine, but he's doing a lot of the things at least on the surface that seem like a person who wants to be considered as presidential...

HANNITY: Yes. They don't want to accept...


HANNITY: You usurp the will of the voters and you disenfranchise them, and I think all hell breaks loose.

Let me go to Tucker. But by the way, Bernie Sanders is speaking. It's streaming live right now at FoxNews.com. But I wouldn't waste your time.


HANNITY: Sorry. Just my humble opinion.

Tucker, this is really important. Do you agree with Laura? Do you think that there is an effort afoot to prevent the two leading vote-getters and state winners from getting that nomination?

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I know for fact there's an effort afoot, and I know for a fact that many Republicans in Washington think it's feasible. And it may technically be feasible. It's demented.

The worst-case scenario for Republicans is not that the Republican nominee loses and Hillary gets elected. The worst-scenario is that happens, and the Republican Party is revealed as an organization that doesn't care about the voters it supposedly represents. I mean, that would be a lasting wound that would not go away for a long time.

HANNITY: They're disenfranchising them. They basically say, We don't care who you're voting for. We think we know better who's...

CARLSON: Well, of course. And I -- you know, I don't know, could you take -- together Trump and Cruz probably will have won north of 70 percent of the delegates, OK?

HANNITY: Together -- if they unite on the Rules Committee -- and I'll get into this with Reince -- then they would be able to stop any of those scenarios.

CARLSON: So -- but look, that -- for all the accusations against Trump and to some extent Cruz that they're reckless, that is an act of supreme recklessness, trying -- saying to voters, Look, you just had 50 state primary elections and none of them matter? We're going to install someone by fiat? I mean, that -- I think that's so demented that I think it won't happen, that they will wake up to that and acknowledge that you're going to have either Trump...

HANNITY: That's what I think.

CARLSON: ... or Cruz as the nominee.

HANNITY: And Laura, wouldn't that reinforce any shenanigans like -- wouldn't it reinforce the very reason that this has become an insurgency year, that the debt up nearly $5 trillion under Boehner, that they didn't repeal and replace "Obama care," they wouldn't use the power of the purse, they didn't stop executive amnesty? Now they're going to disenfranchise voters? That would be a disaster.

INGRAHAM: You know, I mean, but so what? You know, you have a -- I'd say so what to that? They knew that when they didn't oppose Obama's executive amnesty, when both Boehner and Paul Ryan decided to fund the president's budget for a year without really any fight at all after winning the midterm election cycle -- they knew that would enrage the voters. They knew it would enrage the voters when Paul Ryan teamed up with some Democrats and some people who are big donors decided to push that trade promotion authority through. They knew that would enrage the donors. (sic)

So I think they've done a lot of things that they know are going to enrage the donors (sic), and in the end, it's about, I think, denying what the people have wanted. The people have wanted either a Trump or a Cruz. They want someone who completely upends the system, and on different states, it's different temperatures, right? So if Ted Cruz can keep beating Donald Trump in state after state after state -- if he continues to do that...

HANNITY: Can he?


INGRAHAM: ... harder in New York, then he'll be the -- then he'll be the nominee. But I don't -- I don't see that happening in a place like New York and especially the New England states.

HANNITY: Yes, New York's got to be Trump's firewall. He's going to win New York, but -- he's up by 34 points.

CARLSON: (INAUDIBLE) why Cruz just won? I mean, what -- Cruz did something that none of the other candidates did, which was to look at the Trump phenomenon and ask, clear-eyed, Why is this happening? Maybe I should moderate my views a little bit on some of these issues. Maybe I should...


CARLSON: ... just orient the themes of the campaign toward, you know, a sort of moderate nationalism. That's basically what we're talking about.  Nobody else was willing to do that. And look at the fruits that it bore.

I mean, if another -- for people who people despise both Cruz and Trump, A, get used to the fact that these are your choices. Sorry. And if you don't like it, perhaps you should try to influence them. And B, look at the other guys who you backed who you liked, very talented people, good people, a lot of them. Why didn't they do that? It's not so hard, actually.

HANNITY: Well said. I think -- all right, Laura, we'll give you the last word.

INGRAHAM: I just -- I'm not as completely...


INGRAHAM: ... supremely optimistic. Maybe it's my -- a little cynicism, but given what the...

HANNITY: I'm as cynical as you are.

INGRAHAM: ... establishment has done...


INGRAHAM: ... despite what the people have repeatedly said they wanted done on immigration, trade, globalization, all these issues -- I am not supremely confident that a third party won't be at least presented to some of these delegates to say, Both of these guys are battered, both of these guys have high negatives...

HANNITY: Well, then Hillary wins the election.

INGRAHAM: ... we've got to unite the party behind a new person.

HANNITY: Yes. Do you think...

INGRAHAM: Well, I don't think that's a problem...

HANNITY: Is Donald Trump learning something here?

INGRAHAM: ... for a lot of the establishment folks.

HANNITY: He had a couple of bad weeks. Does he make a course correction leading into New York?

INGRAHAM: He better. He better. I mean, this -- you can't wing this.  This is not like you can just wing it and do a couple of appearances on TV.  You got to do real preparation. It's substance, hit the substance, hit the issues and hit the issues that are gold for you, globalization, trade, immigration...

CARLSON: Exactly.

INGRAHAM: ... and some foreign policy. Hit it supremely.

CARLSON: Exactly. Stop talking about yourself. Talk about the issues that people care about.

HANNITY: Stop tweeting?


CARLSON: I don't know stop tweeting, but you know, make it about how we're going to make America great again!


HANNITY: Yes, Dana Perino just...

INGRAHAM: ... the country...

HANNITY: ... just erased my -- my Twitter account on my phone!

INGRAHAM: It was for your own good, she said!



INGRAHAM: Do you feel better? Do you feel liberated?

HANNITY: I don't feel anything yet. I'll let you know at 3:00 in the morning when I usually tweet.


INGRAHAM: Hey, Hannity! Hannity! Hannity! Hey, Sean, I don't want you to ever stop tweeting, OK?

HANNITY: She's mad because I kind of...


INGRAHAM: You and I and Tucker -- you and I, Tucker and Bolling are getting incoming all the time. We got to keep tweeting.

HANNITY: I'm off Twitter as a result. All right, guys, good to see you both. Great analysis of both of you.

And when we come back, Bill Hemmer is at the big board tonight. He'll explain how tonight's results will impact the delegate count.

Plus, RNC chairman Reince Priebus -- he'll join us with reaction. All of that and more on this election night tonight right here on "Hannity."



CRUZ: Governor, let me tell you, I look forward to coming back to the state of Wisconsin this fall...


CRUZ: ... and in November, for the first time since 1984, painting the Badger State bright Republican red! So let me just say, Hillary, get ready. Here we come.



HANNITY: All right, that was Ted Cruz earlier tonight. Key delegates, by the way, were at stake in tonight -- for tonight in Wisconsin. Standing by -- he calls it the billboard, I call it the "Hannity" big board -- with all the results, breaking it down, what they mean for the 2016 delegate count is our good friend, Bill Hemmer. Sir?

BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How are you, Sean? You're going to get this eventually, right? I have faith in you, my friend.

I want you to know, Wisconsin tonight, it looks like based on the voting so far that Trump's going to pick up 6 to 9 delegates, based on how he's doing upstate, which means Cruz wins by the greater majority (INAUDIBLE) 42 that were on the line, around 33, maybe 35. We'll see in the end.

But, Sean, look at this. This is ruby red Waukesha County, 88 percent reporting. Look at Cruz. It's 61 percent to 21, 22 percent for Trump.  That is a really good night for Ted Cruz.

All right, so you want to know how you get to 1,237, right, Sean?

HANNITY: Yes, sir.

HEMMER: (INAUDIBLE) figure out based on the calendar, what's upcoming, et cetera. Once you clear Wisconsin, you've got a state convention in Wyoming, which favors Cruz right now, OK? I'll come back to that.

New York -- winner take all. Right now, Trump looks pretty good in New York. End of the month here, you've got five states in the Northeast.  Trump looks pretty good in all five.

And then we clear the month of April and move to May. And on May 3rd is Indiana. We've looked at the numbers so far. We're crunching them. Looks pretty good for Trump.

Go a week later, West Virginia looks good for Trump. That's winner take all, by the way, as well. And Nebraska looks good for Ted Cruz. You see how they're ping-ponging off one another? The point is that it's very difficult to get to that magic number based on all the scenarios we're looking at.

Now you're on the 17th of May. That's Democrats in Kentucky. Now you're out in Oregon. We did the numbers, too. It's 50-50. If not 50-50, it's pretty close to it. And the state of Washington the same.

So now we're at the end of May, Sean. We bump into June. First Tuesday in June is June 7th. Take North Dakota off the map. That's Democrats in a caucus. You have five states remaining, and some big ones, too. Winner take all in Montana, South Dakota, look good for Cruz. New Mexico kind of splits, half and half.

That leaves on the board California with 172 delegates, and winner take all back here at 51 in the state of New Jersey. We've crunched the numbers, Sean, time and again over the past several days. Our best projection right now if this scenario were to play out, Donald Trump 500 delegates away from the magic number right now, would still be about 40 to 44 delegates short of that number.

So what's the RNC do at that point? That's a big question.

One other thing to consider. Our audience needs to understand what an unbound delegate is in the Republican Party. That's the equivalent of a super delegate for the Democrats, meaning they have no obligation, they have no -- they don't have to go for a candidate. They can do what they want.

There will be, Sean, on June 8th, about 150 unbound delegates on the Republican Party side. So there's going to be huge battle between June 8th and July 18th in Cleveland if this is not settled for the loyalty of those 150, because right now that's the way this is shaping up. Come back in a week and it might change, but as of tonight it looks like Trump would be, if all this goes to the formula we have, 44 delegates shy in June. How about that? Hey, all right. Did you get it?

HANNITY: Can I ask one extra question if you don't mind? So that would bring Trump to 1,195 to 1,200.

HEMMER: About that.

HANNITY: What number does Cruz have at that time?

HEMMER: Cruz would have 750 -- I'm doing the math in my head right now.  He would be well short. The only way Cruz could get that is to a battle in Cleveland at that convention. But then you ask yourself a question, Sean.  What does the the RNC do again?

HANNITY: We're going to ask Reince.

HEMMER: If you're not at 1,237 and you're 40 shy, what's the decision you make? So ask him that and see what he says.

HANNITY: Bill Hemmer at the Bill board, Hannity board, thank you sir.

All right, and joining us now, the chairman of the National Republican Committee, Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. Let's say that scenario plays out the way Bill Hemmer laid it out, what would happen, Reince Priebus?

REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, you would have -- first of all, it would depend on what happens with the unbound delegates. So it depends, obviously, if Trump can pick up enough unbound delegates to commit to him then on the first vote he would get 1,237 and he would be the nominee. If he doesn't, then he would be short, and then you go to ballot number two under the rules. You would call the roll again, and you would keep calling the roll until somebody gets to the majority of delegates. That's what would happen.

But I think the key to what Bill just outlined, it was mostly correct, not completely, but the key is what he said was ask me in a week and a half and it might be different. That's the problem here. It's probably going to change up and down, and we have still got a few months of this analysis that we're going to be doing and talking about. And --

HANNITY: If Trump went in with a 400-delegate lead and didn't get the nomination, and let's say it didn't go to Cruz, which was something we have to talk about, do you not think there would be outright anger and frustration and a sense of betrayal among his supporters?

PRIEBUS: Well, sure. There's always -- everyone's charged up. Of course there's going to be frustration. Someone has to get -- someone has to get the majority. I have never disagreed with your premise that this is not a huge challenge, OK. But, you know, Ford went into the convention about 30 delegates short and he won on ballot number one and it was over. Walter Mondale in 1984 went into the convention 40 delegates short and he won on the first ballot. So it's not like the things don't happen.

HANNITY: But here's the difference in the race, though. You have people like John Boehner, really prominent people, our own Karl Rove here, you have John Kasich who's running on the premise that he might be able to get it at the convention. Scott Walker in a private meeting in New York I'm told talked about Paul Ryan, and RNC state chairman and state people have all stated that they're thinking they could bring in a third person.

If there is an attempt to jump, leapfrog over the two top vote getters, the two top state winners, the two top delegate winners, don't you think that those people that caucused and voted for the two top guys if they don't get it, that they're going to walk away and never come back?

PRIEBUS: Well, look, I mean, clearly, there's a rule in place now that candidates need a majority of eight states, delegates.

HANNITY: That's rule 40.

PRIEBUS: A majority to be even nominated. So, I mean, just -- and I've said it before. It's not like I'm making news. I believe the candidate -- our nominee is going to be someone running. And as far as this Paul Ryan talk, let me just say it again for the 10th time -- number one, he's not running. Number two, he doesn't want to. Number three, he doesn't like this talk and wants it to end. But number four, he is not going to have a floor operation to do any of these things. It's ridiculous.

HANNITY: In your opinion as the state chairman, the nominee of the party, are you confident tonight that it will be either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?  Are you confident?

PRIEBUS: I think it -- this is what I'll say. I think our nominee is going to be someone who's running, OK? I'm not going to -- I'm not --

HANNITY: There's three people running. I mean --

PRIEBUS: Someone running.

HANNITY: Mathematically John Kasich can't catch up to them. You won't say for the record that it's either going to be Cruz or Trump?

PRIEBUS: No. I'm going to say it's someone that's running, Sean.

HANNITY: Define running. Does running mean it's either going to be Cruz, Trump, or Kasich?

PRIEBUS: I think it's going to be one of the three people running is going to be the nominee.

HANNITY: And how does John Kasich get there without leapfrogging over people that have millions of more votes and hundreds of more delegates?

PRIEBUS: You're going to have to ask John Kasich. But I'm not going to do something that's going to be an affront right now to John Kasich. He's a good governor of Ohio and he's running and it's up to him. I believe it's going to be one of the three.

HANNITY: All right, Reince Priebus, RNC chair, thank you.

Coming up, not a good night for Hillary Clinton. Ed Henry coming up next.  Plus we have reaction tonight to the results out of Wisconsin. Peter Johnson Jr., Geraldo, Monica Crowley, all of that and more as we continue.  


HANNITY: Welcome back to Hannity. And tonight Bernie Sanders scored a huge victory, beating Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin in that Democratic primary. Now Sanders has won six of the last seven states. So just how worried is the Clinton campaign? Joining us now live in Brooklyn, New York, Ed Henry. Ed?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Sean. I'm just around the corner from the Clinton headquarters. This is obviously a sign that this is dragging on much longer. You'll remember after the beating of Hillary Clinton took in New Hampshire, a memo was put out by her campaign manager saying this race would be decided in March when the calendar was going to get much better and the map was going to get better for Hillary Clinton. Here we are in early April. Bernie Sanders is not going away.  He has momentum, as you say, at least six straight victories. He also has money. He raised almost $15 million more than Hillary Clinton did in March. That means he has the fuel, yes, to stick around.

So he has momentum. He has money. And in fact Hillary Clinton is trying to catch up. Tonight you're not seeing her give a speech as most candidates do on a primary night. Nope. She was fundraising in the Bronx.

A final point. Yes, Bernie Sanders has the money. He has momentum, but Hillary Clinton's camp believes they still have the math. She has a delegate lead among pledged delegates, and then those super delegates.  Party bosses are largely siding with her. Bernie Sanders camp today threw out the idea that maybe this could be an open convention and the can flip some super delegates at that Democratic convention in Philly in July. The Clinton camp is balking at that, saying the Sanders camp knows they can't win fair and square, so they're going to try to flip super delegates. This is obviously still getting negative. It's getting nasty. Bernie Sanders is simply not going away. Sean?

HANNITY: All right, Ed Henry, thank you so much. Joining us now with reaction, FOX News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr., FOX News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera, and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley. You add tonight's win by Bernie -- let's go back. Alaska, the caucus, Sanders won 82-18, in Washington state, 73-27, and in Hawaii, 70-30. You take away the super delegates, this is a whole different race. If anybody has a case to be made about unfairness, I think it's Bernie Sanders.

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And perception is reality, and Bernie Sanders now has the momentum. He is attracting younger voters, voters under 30 in massive numbers. He's got the energy. He's got the enthusiasm on his side. And his win in Wisconsin tonight is significant for one major reason. Yes, it tips the scales sort of back to him in terms of momentum. But remember that Wisconsin is the birthplace of progressivism. So if he lost tonight, that would have been a huge story.

HANNITY: That's a good point. Geraldo?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Picking up on what Monica said, it's the birthplace of socialism and its' the perfect for Bernie Sanders who should be running for national student council president.


RIVERA: And yet again you have another state where it's all young white folks voting for him. It doesn't look like the country at all. He's going to have a rude awakening when he comes to New York and Pennsylvania and New Jersey and --

HANNITY: He's catching up in New York.

RIVERA: Sean, there's no way -- he's not getting any significant black or brown votes at all. I think that Bernie Sanders is an annoyance at this point. I think he will prolong the process, but I think that he even less than Ted Cruz has a shot.

PETER JOHNSON JR., FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Sean, it is a throwback to the rigged, corrupt Tammany Hall Democratic politics. It's a bit of a scam.  And so even if Bernie Sanders gets 70 percent, 80 percent, he is not going to come out on the other side of it because it's been set up from the beginning to have Hillary Clinton win.

HANNITY: With the super delegates.

JOHNSON: So these folks can bang each other's heads on the walls and these young kids and women get out there for Bernie Sanders. But it's not going to mean a lot in the end.

RIVERA: You have a Democratic nominee who doesn't appeal to the diversity of the Democratic Party?

HANNITY: It's bigger than that. Will Bernie Sanders supporters walk just like, for example, a contested convention --

RIVERA: They may not show up.

HANNITY: They may not show up.

CROWLEY: Yes. And a lot of --

RIVERA: They're smoking weed.

HANNITY: Out smoking weed in the alley?


CROWLEY: They're not going to support anyone. What this shows is fact of a disheveled 74-year-old socialist can give the Clinton machine a run, so what it shows is the real civil war, the real dichotomy.

HANNITY: It shows weakness, Peter.

JOHNSON: It's tough to pull folks in the general election when you have such a discordant group of folks now that think they got hurt by the rules.

CROWLEY: And remember one last thing. Hillary Clinton thinks she is running in Bill Clinton's party. She is running in Barack Obama's party.

HANNITY: Good point. Very good point.

All right, I have in my hands a statement from Donald Trump. We'll give it to our panel when we come back. And you, of course, stay with us on this busy news night. This election night coverage continues right here.  


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We continue with our panel. All right, Trump just released a statement, and it says "Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lying Ted Cruz had the governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio hosts, the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump super PACs spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating with his own super PAC, which is illegal, who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet. He is a Trojan horse being used by party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York where he holds a substantial lead in the polls and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton or whomever the Democratic nominee is in order to make America great again."

All right, so he didn't go out tonight.

RIVERA: He should have. Why not? He could have made that same speech.  He could have just read it off the prompter.

HANNITY: He'd read it slower than I just did.


HANNITY: And you know, for the benefit of time. All right, so he does have a firewall right off the bat, New York, right? Does he get the 95 delegates of New York?

RIVERA: I think so. There is a big rally tomorrow on Long Island. They have security galore. It's going to be huge, to use his phrase. I think that Ted Cruz better savor nice Wisconsin because he is not going to see a state like that again. You know, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, you know, then, California, I just came back from there. Trump is looking like he's going to take most of California.

HANNITY: He's a plus eight in California, plus 18 in Pennsylvania.

RIVERA: Yes. He had a terrible week. A terrible week of self-inflicted wounds, really.

HANNITY: He admitted it last night. That was a change, Peter, about the Heidi Cruz tweet.


HANNITY: If you go by Bill Hemmer's analysis, it can change, obviously, but if he shows up 40 or 44 short and they try and deny him the nomination, what do you think happens?

JOHNSON: Then, then all hell breaks loose. You know, we're talking about Ford, Reagan, and other analogies in terms of history, but it was a fight between the two leaders. It wasn't the parties saying the two leaders are out of the convention hall and we're going to pick a third leader. They pick a third leader, the Republicans lose. They lose because Republicans will not tolerate that at all. And so this statement tonight by Trump, fight, fight, fight, that is a smart statement, because he's saying --

HANNITY: Course, correction, Monica, does he need to, certainly know more unforced errors, Heidi Cruz tweeting late at night?

CROWLEY: Absolutely. And I think he recognizes that. In fact his campaign put out a statement today saying that he's essentially he's going to pivot to a more presidential stance, which means he's going to be delivering policy oriented, policy-heavy speeches to groups like the National Press Corps, and he's going to talking about the Supreme Court, the kinds of justices and judges he would appoint.

HANNITY: That would be a smart move.

CROWLEY: Strengthening the military, reforming education, very policy heavy speeches that he needs to do in order to pivot way from this kind of combativeness that has gotten him in some trouble.

JOHNSON: You said it nine months ago and I said it nine months ago -- specifics, ideas.

RIVERA: It still doesn't him 1,237, though, looking at it right now.

JOHNSON: It may get him on the second round.

RIVERA: Really? You think Trump is there on the second round?

JOHNSON: He's got to fight in the second round.

HANNITY: Guys, good to see all of you, great analysis.

All right, coming up, more "Hannity" right after this break.


HANNITY: What a night it's been. All right, big night for Ted Cruz, big night for Bernie Sanders. Next state is New York. We still have a lot of coverage, a lot of analysis. There's still a lot happening here tonight.  But that is all the time we have left this evening. Thank you for being with us. Stay with the Fox News Channel. Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly standing by. "America's Election Headquarters" starts right now.

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