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Interviews

RNC meets with operatives on possible contested convention

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 6, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto. This is "Your World."

And here's how nervous Republicans are getting about a contested convention. And that's all a post-Wisconsin phenomenon, right? They were meeting about it yesterday in Washington before we even had the Wisconsin results, a who's-who of all the major party candidates gathering just to sort of, I guess, set out the ground rules.

But can you imagine if they were to remeet today?

CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp was among those at this RNC meeting. He joins us right now.

Matt, good to have you, as always. Spill the beans. What did you talk about?

(LAUGHTER)

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Well, let's face it, we might have a convention the likes we have not seen for 50 years, certainly not since 1976, when Reagan and Ford went at it.

So people want to know, what are the rules? How will this go down? What if no candidate has the minimum number of delegates?

CAVUTO: And what did you decide? I mean, one argument I have heard from the Trump people is, close is good enough. In other words, he might not be at 1,237, but that -- the number you need to be the nominee, but if he's got a big enough lead and he has the most, just give it to him.

SCHLAPP: Yes, that's right.

But, I mean, look, Eisenhower, Ford, you know, previous Republican nominees, they have all had to get at least one more vote than 50 percent of the delegates.

CAVUTO: So, that is out? That is out as a possibility? Well, the Trump representative, did he or she agree?

SCHLAPP: There was a Trump -- there was a representative from all the campaigns there. This was not a meeting to make decisions. I'm certainly not involved. I don't work for the RNC.

CAVUTO: I understand.

SCHLAPP: It was a meeting where people who have concerns could ask their questions and get answers.

And, here, you know what the answer to that is, Neil? The rules committee, they're going to be able to make the rules as they see fit for this convention, but they can't change any rule or make any rule without the entire convention agreeing to those rules changes.

So if we get four, five, six rounds of voting, you could see the rules change going forward, but it will be the democratic will of the entire convention at that point.

CAVUTO: When you say the entire convention, who? All the delegates? Or all the...

SCHLAPP: All the delegates. All the delegates.

CAVUTO: So, 2,400-some-odd delegates then would have to agree on these rules changes?

SCHLAPP: Right, or a majority of that, right?

CAVUTO: OK.

SCHLAPP: They would take a majority -- they would take a majority vote.

So for all the Cruz and Trump people that are worried that there might be a group of delegates that try to pass rules that would be unfavorable to the more conservative candidates, the only thing I would say back to them is, look, you have -- between Trump and Cruz, they have won most of these states. They should have close allegiances with the delegates that come from those delegations.

They should be in the position where they have a lot of allies in this process. And I don't think they should be as worried about the rules being skewed against them if they handle this right.

CAVUTO: Well, you know how these campaigns go now.

Right now, between Trump and Cruz, that's 80 percent of the delegates awarded thus far.

SCHLAPP: That's right.

CAVUTO: So, was it those campaigns understanding that one of them would get the nomination, or if it went to multiple ballots, were they afraid or did they signal we would not like an outsider coming in and being a consensus choice?

SCHLAPP: They do not -- it will not shock you, Neil, to know that both the Cruz, Trump, and Kasich campaigns believe that no outsider should be able to enter this process, that you ought to be a candidate who's currently running to be considered.

But that being said, there are a lot of questions that all Republicans have. You know, what happens if we go several rounds of voting into this?  Usually, what history shows us is that the lead -- the person who gets the nomination wraps it up in that first vote. What if that doesn't happen in Cleveland?

CAVUTO: But all bets are off after that.

And sometimes when it goes beyond three ballots, it generally is an outsider, not all the time, but many times to whom the party tries to rally.

SCHLAPP: That's right.

CAVUTO: Could you -- this is just a gut call on your part, as someone who sat in on that meeting. Was it your sense that that is a possibility and that the party could get its arms around that, though not happily?

SCHLAPP: I think there's a lot of people certainly in New York and Washington who are GOP insiders who are looking for every way to not have Cruz and to not have Trump.

They just -- you know, if you look at the exit polls from Wisconsin, there's a sizable group of those voters who said they would neither vote for Trump or Cruz in a general election. But, look, 80 percent of the party, two-thirds of the party, they want either a Trump or a Cruz.

It's the explicit message they are sending. I think if we insert somebody from outside into this process, even if we have had several rounds of votes, Neil, I think all hell is going to break loose. I think it will be very bad for the party. And I worry that we couldn't pull it back together again.

CAVUTO: We shall see. But the drama ensues.

Matt, thank you very much.

SCHLAPP: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

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