RNC reacts to reports of 'shadow primary'; PBS host: Anger no excuse to support 'racist' Trump

Reince Priebus talks what could happen at multi-ballot convention on 'The Kelly File'


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

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight. New fallout from last night's GOP primary, which is significantly increasing the chances of a historic fight to claim the mantle of the Republican Party.

Good evening and welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.  The final tally from Wisconsin's GOP primary shows Senator Ted Cruz winning by double digits. Earning 48 percent of the vote to Donald Trump's 35 percent. Governor Kasich came in third with 14 percent. Senator Cruz had been up in the last poll before Wisconsin by ten. He exceeded that margin last night with a 13-point victory over Donald Trump. The delegate count tonight now stands at 743 for Trump, 517 for Cruz, and 143 for Kasich.

The magic number to clinch the nomination before the Republican national convention in July is at 1237. Tonight, the political analysts say it is looking more and more likely that no candidate will reach that threshold, forcing the party to select a nominee at a contested convention. Just about 24 hours ago, Senator Ted Cruz predicted that his victory in Wisconsin would change this race.


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight is a turning point.  It is the rallying cry. It is the call from the hardworking men and women of Wisconsin to the people of America. And as a result of tonight, as a result of the people of Wisconsin defying the media, defying the pundits, I am more and more convinced that our campaign is going to earn the 1237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.



KELLY: Joining us tonight on all of the fallout, Ed Goaes who is a pollster for the R. Principles PAC who spent over $2 million to defeat Donald Trump in Wisconsin. David Wohl is an attorney and Donald Trump's supporter. But we begin tonight with Bill Hemmer, co-host of "America's Newsroom" to take us through the remainder of this race to win the nomination. My friend, Bill, good to see you.

BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST, "AMERICA'S NEWSROOM": How are you? This is not science, okay?

KELLY: Good.

HEMMER: This is just like a road map. I don't know if it's a paved road or a dirt road, but we'll going to find out. Okay? We crunched the numbers. Of the remaining contests we have, trying to figure out how this could go. All right? Wyoming comes up in about nine days from now. We think Cruz are going to get most of those, that's the state convention by the way. And then we moved two weeks from now to New York. We think based on polling, and we're going to be generous in some areas and we will not be so generous in other areas to find out how Donald Trump gets to the magic number right now with Wyoming at 751.

New York State, if he gets the 50 percent across all the districts, he gets all the delegates. The week after that, Rhode Island, we're giving Trump delegates here, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania. So now we are at end of April and we are now at 925, 312 delegate shy of the magic number. So in the month of May, Megyn, first Tuesday, Indiana, we think right now, it's pretty good for Trump, bump some of 967. A week later is West Virginia, winner take all. Trump gets that based on our survey to date. That same day, however, Nebraska is winner take all. We think that for the moment will go to Ted Cruz.

And now we move third week in May, Oregon is a little bit of a split right now. So we'll divvy it up a little bit here. Same for Washington State.  And now you move to the 7th of June with five contests remaining. We think on that day, Ted Cruz will get winner take all. Montana same for South Dakota. New Mexico is pretty much of a 50/50 split so we'll bump Trump numbers to 1040, up 10. Two on the map still. California as of today, Trump could get 100 delegates and that same day New Jersey's winner take all which puts Trump at 1,191. Forty six shy of the magic number of 1237.  So Megyn, now you see the tight road that he must ride with about 150 unbound delegates that we'll get to on another night still in the offing.  This will change, we just don't know how. Check back in a week.

KELLY: Fascinating. Bill, great to see you.

HEMMER: You too, Megyn.

KELLY: So in the hours since Fox News called the Wisconsin race for Senator Cruz, the Trump supporters have said, this is just a blip on the radar. While those who support the Senator call it a turning point in this entire race.

Joining me now, Ed Goaes and David Wohl. Good to see you both.


KELLY: So, Ed, what is the evidence that this is a turning point as opposed to an anomaly? Because in Wisconsin, Ted Cruz had a very popular governor backing him, he had your groups spending a lot of money against him. And, you know, it was an electorate that many people say looks very different from the other electorates and that could be motivated in particular by local talk radio, which isn't as big a factor in some of these other states coming up.

ED GOEAS, PRESIDENT, THE TARRANCE GROUP: Well, I think number one it's a turning point. Because it probably does increase the likelihood this is going to go to a contested convention. But I think more importantly, what we've been seeing are the numbers and we've talked about this before, is that there's been this growing intense day amongst the one-third of the Republican voters that are no pro-Trump, in fact they are anti-Trump. And it's grown almost to the point that it matches the intensity and the enthusiasm of the one-third that is for Trump. What you saw in Wisconsin was that the 35 percent he got matched the 35 percent he's gotten as an average in all these primaries.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

GOEAS: There's always been a question on how high can his ceiling go? And whether you look at the popular vote, which has him at 38 percent or the average of all the primaries, where he's at 35 percent, he definitely is below that 40 percent mark, which means that there's a very large component out there that's against him. And as we talked again before, it's driven very much by married women. But one of the surprises in Wisconsin last night was that there was no gender gap. We saw about two weeks ago, married women with children at home beginning to become more negative towards Trump. But in our polling, we had women 15 points against Trump and we have men only five points. Last night they both matched that 13 percent negative mark.

KELLY: Uh-hm. That's the thing, David, there was no gender gap, because the men also turned on him who are outside of that core group of supporters. So who knows what that can be attributed to? But the point is, with Trump having several big contests coming up, and his numbers look great in New York, but that state will be proportional, what does he do to bring people above and beyond that 35 percent, 38 percent into the fold?

WOHL: Well, Megyn, remember, Florida was 46 percent. New York looks like it's over 50 percent as it stands right now and he's about 35 points ahead of Ted Cruz. I mean, this is a red herring, this idea that there's some kind of a ceiling. Ninety five delegates in New York --

KELLY: Just to tell the audience, this is from the Fox News person note this morning, he had a few grand slams in states where he cleared 40 percent, Massachusetts, Florida, Nevada, but taken together Trump has won 37 percent of the vote in the primary so far.

WOHL: And Megyn, it is ultimately as we know all about the delegates. And I like Bill's assessment of the billboard. I would disagree with one thing. He said that California would give Trump 100 delegates. I think it's going to go much higher and much closer to the 172. And if you use that calculation based on what Bill assessed, that's going to get him over the 1237. Megyn, I'm telling you right now, that this establishment endorsement of Ted Cruz will end up creating a huge problem for him. You have Jeb Bush, you have Scott Walker, you've got Lindsey Graham endorsing him. I mean, what does that tell voters who think Ted Cruz is an outsider who is coming --


KELLY: That theory suggests that he needs to win without any sort of main stream Republican support. You know, he's not going to win with just Glenn Beck behind him. Like whoever the nominee is going to be needs to add more Republicans into the mix.

WOHL: But why are they supporting him? Why are they supporting Ted Cruz instead of Donald Trump? Because they feel that he's going to be malleable to amend his platform, to match his establishment or they are going to set him up for an ambush like Donald Trump thinks as a Trojan horse. We get to the convention and bring in --

KELLY: That is what Donald Trump is calling Ted Cruz now.

WOHL: -- outside of the whole window right now.

KELLY: Okay, go ahead, Ed.

GOEAS: The interesting thing about all this establishment, we're talking about where the voters, the everyday voters across the country are voting.  And the everyday voters across the country, 62 percent have not voted for Donald Trump. This is not an establishment conspiracy. He's not getting the support. At this point, in George W. Bush's campaign, his first campaign, he was getting 65 percent.

KELLY: But what do you make of the numbers -- a poll just came out today that showed Trump at 52 percent in New York among the Republicans who are going to --  

GOEAS: Those same polls -- you're getting into what I do every day. Polls change, as the time gets closer and people focus. These same polls had Trump at 65 percent just a few weeks ago. Just like going into Wisconsin, they had him up by ten points four weeks out.

KELLY: Yes, but this is after all the controversy that was generated over the past few weeks in the Trump campaign. That was an April 3rd to 5th poll.


Hold on. Let him finish and I'll get to you, David.

GOEAS: One of the interesting things is all this talk about last week is what cost Trump Wisconsin. He was ten points down before the last week even happened. All it did was add strokes to the negative feelings that many of the voters had out there. It didn't drive it, it didn't sell it.  It moved or completed that picture perhaps a little bit more.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

GOEAS: But this is not something that happened that he lost Wisconsin because of the establishment and his bad week that he had out there. The two months of campaigning out there --  

KELLY: Go ahead, David. I'll give you the last word.

WOHL: Wisconsin is a hyper local problem for him. It happened because the people have a great passion for their Governor Scott Walker. They have -- they're big on the talk radio guys who absolutely hammered Donald Trump and, you know, what? He conceded in the end. He won. He lost rather by about what the polls were showing, 10 versus 13. He's going to move on and Megyn as I said before, New York is a big deal. But big apple is the big deal, if he takes 95 delegates there, I mean, from that point forward, the task for Ted Cruz will be impossible.

KELLY: It's tough to get 95 though, given how New York is proportional.  So, we'll see how that kicks out but --

WOHL: He's over 50 percent.

KELLY: You would certainly rather have Donald Trump's number at this point than anybody else that's coming to these state. Great to see you both.

GOAES: Yes. Good seeing you, Megyn.

KELLY: Just a couple of weeks ago, PBS host Tavis Smiley seemed to be supporting Donald Trump, but in the last 24 hours, he's taken to calling him a, quote, "racial arsonist." Tonight, we'll question Smiley on that change and then get reaction from Trump supporter Herman Cain.

Plus, we have an eye opening report next on what's being called the shadow primary and how it could change this race as RNC Chair Reince Priebus joins us to help explain.

And then a former top Trump advisor has now issued a serious threat to any delegate thinking of, quote, "Stealing the vote away from Donald Trump."  That's just ahead.


ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: We're going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal.



KELLY: Breaking tonight. New details on what could ultimately decide the Republican nomination. The race some are calling shadowy primary. Shadow primary. The candidates know that when they arrive in Cleveland this July, some uncommitted delegates will be able to vote for any candidate. That means that rounding up these delegates now could be the key to winning the nomination in a close fight.

We have Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus with us on that. But for the first, in a series of "Kelly File" reports on the convention in Cleveland, we go to our chief Washington correspondent James Rosen on the shadow primary. James?

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good shadowy evening to you. The demands of this so-called shadow primary, the quite wooing down at this state level of the men and women who will serve as delegates to the Republican convention this summer are increasingly being reflected in the travel schedules of the two leading candidates. Win from Wisconsin at his back. Texas Senator Ted Cruz heads on Saturday to the state GOP convention in Colorado, where he peeled away six delegates in Congressional district assemblies this past weekend. GOP front-runner Donald Trump is also planning to visit Colorado in coming days. Trump's team acknowledges that the Cruz operation is more evolved, that the billionaire real estate mogul is, quote, "playing catchup." But they also maintain that the state delegations are playing Ted Cruz.


BARRY BENNETT, SENIOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: What makes you think that when it gets to this third and fourth ballot that the Cruz folks are praying on, that they're not going to be voting for Mitt Romney or Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan or whatever it is? They're going to be like Ted who?  They're using Ted right now as a vessel to try to stop Donald Trump.


ROSEN: Conventional delegates are usually local Republican activists, by definition, creatures of the establishment indeed. In exchange for enduring the dreariest winter meetings, tinkering with arcane allocations rules and ballot issues, the largest rule they receive is their quadrennial attendance at the party convention. The number of delegates who become unbound surges from five percent on the first ballot to 59 percent on the second. Since these delegates are part of a local power structure that often includes a governor or state party chairman and so on, some analyst question how unbound these delegates ever really become. Mercedes Schlapp takes a different view.


MERCEDES SCHLAPP, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I do think that the delegate, since they've been so active in the party, they're going to have -- I think they might be influenced somewhat with by the state party officials. But at the same time, they're their own individual person who's going to decide straight on who they want to support.


ROSEN: And we also know that the RNC has been holding meetings with key operatives here in Washington to plot out the mechanics of a contested convention. And those meetings themselves, Megyn, have been very, very shadowy.

KELLY: That's the theme. James, great to see you.

ROSEN: Likewise.

KELLY: Joining me now, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for being here. It's a shadow primary.


KELLY: So, basically I mean, this actually comes as news I think to a lot of people which is, it sheds a lot of light on Ted Cruz's belief that he can wrap up 1237 before he gets, you know, to that first vote. And so the way he would need to do it, because he's probably not going to get 80 percent of the vote going forward, which is what he need, is to get the other delegates, like the delegates in Pennsylvania that aren't really bound, and you tell me whether he could also get Rubio and Kasich's delegates if those two guys got out, or at least Rubio's.

PRIEBUS: Well, certainly. I mean, it's sort of two different things going on. On one hand, you have the allocation of delegates. Meaning, when you win that state, and candidate X gets 25 delegates, in most cases, those 25, no matter who they are, they could hate candidate X. But on one or two ballots, they're going to have to vote for candidate X. The same analysis is true for people who are unbound on the first ballot. So if a candidate is really, really close, they will have an opportunity, if there's a couple of hundred unbound delegates on the first ballot. Say Marco delegates or someone else's delegates to then convince them to come on board on the first ballot.

KELLY: Uh-hm. Now already, we're hearing complaints by the Trump camp that this election is going to be stolen from him. And we played the sound bite earlier of a long-time Donald Trump associate and former operative on his campaign, Roger Stone, who came out and said this, and he doubled down on it today. Listen.


STONE: If Trump does not run the table on the rest of the primaries and the caucuses, we're looking at a very, very narrow path in which the kingmakers go all out to cheat, to steal, and to snatch this nomination from the candidate who is overwhelmingly selected by the voters, which is why I have some urge supporters, come to Cleveland, march on Cleveland.  Join us is Forest City. We're going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal.


KELLY: Your thoughts on that, Mr. Chairman?

PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, it's -- he's a smart person, but it's just totally over the line. And we're going to have $50 million in security. We'll make sure that every delegate is safe. Here's the thing. The majority wins. The majority wins everywhere across this country. It's how our country was founded. It's what our founding fathers believed in. It was good enough for Abraham Lincoln. It's good enough for 2016. It's not a matter about, you know, who gets a plurality, it's about who gets the majority. You have to have a majority of delegates on the floor and the delegates have the ultimate say empowered by the voters in those states.  So, that will rule the day.

KELLY: Are you going to do anything to the rules -- if Trump or somebody else for that matter is 50 short or 100 short of 1237 --


KELLY: Are you going to do anything to the rules to make it easier or harder for that person to get over the line?

PRIEBUS: I'm not going to do anything to either help or hurt anybody. I'm going to run an open, honest, and fair convention, and the delegates are going to decide. And the delegates, by majority, are going to make all the decisions that they need to make at the convention. It's the same thing we do every four years.

KELLY: It's going to be an interesting July. It's great to see you, Mr. Chairman.

PRIEBUS: Yes. Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: For more on this business of this former Trump adviser threatening convention delegates, who switch from one candidate to another, we've got news editor and FOX News contributor Katie Pavlich and Washington Times political columnist Charlie Hurt.

Katie, your thoughts on Roger Stone so explicitly obviously sounding the threat to delegates that if they leave Mr. Trump, they're going to have him and I guess Mr. Trump's constituents to answer to.

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the first thing that we need to address is that Roger Stone is accusing delegates who change of stealing an election, when the fact is, if Donald Trump wants to be the nominee, he needs to lock up 1237 before the primary process is over. If not we go to an open convention. But in terms of the threats that have been issued, this is par for the course for the Trump campaign. I mean, you saw Donald Trump saying there might be riots if he doesn't become the nominee. You have many of his surrogates essentially justifying violence because people are upset with the way the country is going.

And for Roger Stone to now say that he's going to give out the hotel rooms of delegates, it's a mob. It's not the way that we work in American society when it comes to the election. Instead, they should be focusing their energy on trying to convince delegates not to leave Donald Trump through policy positions. But instead they're sicking a mob onto people, which by the way has serious consequences on people actually show up to intimidate and threaten real people who are going to the convention.

KELLY: Charlie, was this appropriate?

CHARLIE HURT, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON TIMES: It certainly sounds over the line to me. But I also understand that, you know, the entire Trump candidacy represents a lot of people who are deeply, deeply frustrated and they have been very frustrated for a very long time with the political process. And, you know, all this talk about the rules at the convention and contested convention and bound delegates and unbound delegates. All of this obscures a far larger, more important problem that the Republican Party has. And that is that the Republican Party, and I think Katie would agree with me, in a lot of ways has completely lost touch with its voters.

And while Katie may not agree that Donald Trump is the right person to pick up the baton and, you know, gather those voters, he has successfully done that. And when he came out of the gate eight months ago and started talking about immigration and started talking about trade and all these things, where the Republican Party have very much left its core voters, Republican establishment, they laughed at him, they mocked him, they mocked the issues. They called him a racist. And it just exacerbated this problem to the situation we have now.

KELLY: But the thing is Katie, even though Mr. Trump's message has resonated so strongly with such a huge faction of the Republican Party, it needs to resonate with at least 51 percent in order for him to get the nomination.

PAVLICH: Well, and we can talk about the issues that Donald Trump has brought to the forefront. And yes, Charlie, we would have agreement on the direction the Republican Party has gone over the course of the past couple of years and even possible decades. But the issue here is the way that the Trump campaign and his allies are handling people who dare defect from Donald Trump, whether it's reporters asking him questions about affirmative action after a campaign rally or whether it's delegates deciding that they might want to go with a different candidate and Roger Stone openly declaring a mob to go and visit the hotel rooms. That's what he stated, that they should go visit the delegates if they dare steal the election.  Which is not, it's a lie. No one is stealing an election.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PAVLICH: And for him to say "go visit them" at their hotel rooms, it's a threat, it's intimidation, and it will have consequences if these Trump supporters choose to act on those directions and instructions.

KELLY: I mean, obviously, Charlie, those delegates should be able to do what the rules allow them to do without fear of intimidation.

HURT: Sure. Absolutely. And just to make one thing clear, as you pointed out Megyn, you know, Roger Stone does not work for the campaign and I don't think we're speaking for the campaign --  

KELLY: Correct. He's not officially associated with them anymore.

HURT: Yes. But that doesn't excuse it. That doesn't excuse. It's the kind of language that does has not helped especially in a situation like this.

KELLY: It's not like the delegates are swimming in dough and can show up with their own private security. It's like no problem, I got bodyguards here. It's like these are regular people.


HURT: Exactly. Exactly. But, you know, it's been 40 years since we've seen anything like this. In terms of the fracturing of the party. And in 1976, when we had the situation, Ronald Reagan at the last minute, you know, walked into the convention and obviously gave up his delegates for Gerald Ford to save him the embarrassment of having to go through the Regan rule that we may be about to go through now. But there's none of that sort of magnanimity on anyone's part right now whether it's Donald Trump or even Ted Cruz, talking about people revolting if the establishment doesn't let the nomination go to one of them.

KELLY: Yes. No. Do not hold out for the magnanimous candidate. It's not going to happen. Great to see you both.

PAVLICH: Thanks, Megyn.

HURT: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: So, we are also hearing reports that both the Trump and the Cruz campaigns are considering a new strategy to win future voters. Dana Perino is here on that just ahead.

Plus, why has PBS host Tavis Smiley gone from suggesting Donald Trump is a political option to calling him a, quote, "racial arsonist?" We'll ask him next and also get reaction from Trump supporter Herman Cain.  


KELLY: Breaking tonight. We have a new poll on the mood of the country and it is not good. A Quinnipiac University survey finds the majority of American voters are deeply dissatisfied with the way things are going in this country.

Including 57 percent of all voters who think we've lost our identity as a nation. That includes 79 percent of republicans and a whopping 85 percent of all Trump supporters.

While our next guest says he understands the anger, he argues it is no excuse to support a candidate like Donald Trump.


TAVIS SMILEY, PBS HOST: Even when the electorate has been angry, that doesn't necessarily, to my mind, mean that you see the success, if I have to call it that, of a candidate who is racist and sexist and xenophobic.


KELLY: Talking to Michael Dukakis there. Tavis Smiley is a PBS host and author of the new book "50 for your Future, Lessons From Down the Road."

Tavis, great to see you.

SMILEY: Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: We'll get to the book in a minute.


KELLY: What, you know, Trump supporters say he is not a racist, he is not a sexist, he is somebody who has been an entertainer and he was taken a hard line on certain issues that really appeal to part of this so-called angry electorate like on immigration and that his detractors misrepresenting his remarks that lead people to those conclusions.

SMILEY: I understand the dysfunction of our government and how people can be offended by that. And they're not the only ones to Trump supporters.

KELLY: The angry folks.

SMILEY: The angry folks. I get that. And yet, the point I tried to make there is, what is the alternative is to fixing that. And I just don't think that someone who doesn't have the sort of humanity, the sort of civility, the kind of integrity that we need right now to move America in the right direction is an option.

KELLY: You know, he says I'm not P.C. That doesn't mean I don't have humanity.

SMILEY: Well, no. There's nothing wrong with that being -- there's nothing wrong with being -- with not being P.C. The problem is whether or not you can move America in the direction it needs to be moving. And when you try to turn the clock back on America with some of the comments that he's making...


KELLY: Like what specifically?

SMILEY: Well, we could do this all day long. But his anti-Muslim comments, his anti-immigrant comments, the way they maltreat persons at these rallies. I mean, these happens every single. So, every time somebody ask me, what are you talking about, this is the stuff that Fox is covering every day that comes out of his mouth and we act like we don't hear this.

But Donald Trump can be disciplined if he -- you know, the question is can he be disciplined enough to win the nomination in the days ahead? My things is whether he is disciplined or not his true colors have already come out.

We see Donald Trump for who he is on one hand. On the other hand, I'm not really sure is crazy to sound that I know who Donald Trump is. Because on any given day, he change his positions on the issue a number of times.

KELLY: But not long ago you suggested that you believed black Americans could get behind Donald Trump which is a very different from what we've heard from you recently. So, why did you say that to begin with?

SMILEY: I believe from the very beginning because I've always believed that black voters have to stop being taken for granted by one party and ignored by another party. And I said to democrats in a year where conventional wisdom left the station before the train did, don't assume that black folk will be in lock step.

KELLY: But what is the evidence that Trump has any sort of bias against African-Americans?

SMILEY: I'm not into so much -- I can make the case that he has a bias against the African-American in the way that he's campaigned the things he's said. But let's put it in other way. Why should anyone be elected president who runs a segregated campaign? Whether it's Trump, Cruz, or anybody else?

And what I mean by this that is simply this, if you can't campaign to all of America, if you're only campaigning to one slice of America, then how do we believe you can be president for all of America?

Put it another way. If Barack Obama had only campaigned in the ghetto, he wouldn't have been taken seriously as a candidate. You have to campaign to all of America whether or not they agree with your message. We have to know that you care about all of us and then all of our votes matter to you.

And where is the evidence that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz have said to the rest of America that your vote matters to me and I'm willing to compete for it. And here's an agenda that includes you.

KELLY: I want to ask you about "50 for Your Future."


KELLY: This is about -- you talked about stepping into your authentic life in this book.


KELLY: It's a way to get people to sort of get people to the next best version of themselves.

SMILEY: Yes. It is. This book is about what kind of people we really want to be. And this election is about what kind of nation we want to be. And I think those two things, Megyn, are intractably linked together.

But if we can be our authentic selves or find a way to that, if we cannot try to transcend who we are from votes or money or fortune or fame, but just be who we were created to be and to recognize that today is not refundable.

That every single day we have to do what we can to make America a better place to live and work. The country would be made better. I believe very quickly that all of Americans, this is going to sound strange as I am heading your way.

I think as Americans, as divided as this country is, we all want the same thing, to live in a nation that will one day be as good as it its promise. We aren't there yet.

The gap between the promise of America and the possibility in America is still too wide. But if we become our better selves and appeal to our better angels, America can be made, I think, a better nation, if we choose the right people who take us in a direction that makes America the nation that we can be proud of.

KELLY: Great to see you, Tavis.

SMILEY: You too, Megyn.

KELLY: Thanks for being here.

SMILEY: Thank you.

KELLY: Good luck with the book.

SMILEY: Thank you.

KELLY: Joining me now with reaction is Herman Cain, former GOP presidential candidate, Fox News contributor and author of "The Right Problems, What the President, Congress, and Every Candidate Should be Working on."

Great to see you, Herman. Thank you for being here. So, what are your thoughts, first of all on...


KELLY: ... on, you know, that perception, that Trump is appealing to too limited a group and not to sort of our better angels?

CAIN: That's absolutely wrong. The only thing that I agree with Tavis with on is the fact that the democrats have taken advantage of black people for 50 years and they've gone beyond that. They have conned black people.

When Tavis talks about Donald Trump being a racist, running a segregated campaign, all of that is absolutely false. Unfortunately, Tavis has been drinking the Kool-Aid that's been served to the public about all of the negative perceptions.

Everything that he touched on as to why he has concluded that those labels fit Donald Trump were based upon taking things out of context. That's where he gets it from. And he not only listens and drinks the Kool-Aid, but he's also sharing it with a lot of black people because he has a large black audience. He is absolutely wrong.


KELLY: Do you -- do you think the black vote can get behind Donald Trump? Let's say it's Trump versus Clinton, and you know, the whole like Bill Clinton was the first black president.

CAIN: Yes.

KELLY: Like do you think that there is a real chance that Donald Trump could peel off black voters from Hillary Clinton if those two wind up running against each other?

CAIN: Absolutely yes. Donald Trump can peel off some of the black voters and here's why. When it's down to one on one, let's assume for the moment, I know we're not there yet, that it's Trump versus Clinton.

What will happen is, if Trump starts to put his platform and his ideas that help everybody at the front of his speech, those are the sound bites that people will begin to hear.

The reason that there's this so-called divide between the perception of black people and women and non-minorities is because that's all they have been fed in terms of some of the spoon fed sound bites.

When it's one on one, and if he sticks to his top three priorities, which also dispels what Tavis is saying about Trump not running a campaign for all of America, all of America benefits from replacing tax code, all of America benefits from enforcing the immigration laws, and all of America benefits by repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Trump has been very explicit about that.

KELLY: But to what extent is this...


CAIN: but that's not the message that's coming through.

KELLY: ... you know, the media does what the media does, but to what extent does he bear some responsibility for that, you know, rather than just staying on message doing the tweets and going like down these roads that get him in trouble, you know. If he would stick to these messages that are so popular with, a huge faction of the republican base would he not be better off?

CAIN: I absolutely agree. I would not have advised him -- if I were advising him, and I'm not one of his official advisers, I would say, stay on message. Stay away from all of this stuff that creates political distractions, that creates fodder for people to take that up to create the perception that they want.

So you're right. He is partly to blame for some of the negative perceptions out there. But I know Donald Trump. He's not a racist. He's not a bigot, and he is not running a segregated campaign as Tavis says.

KELLY: It's all that infrastructure now.

CAIN: Yes.

KELLY: You got to mend fences and build bridges.

CAIN: Yes.

KELLY: And that take you to the promise land. Herman Cain, great to see you.

CAIN: Thanks, Megyn. Good to see you.

KELLY: So, we're also hearing that the Cruz campaign and Trump campaign may be considering a new approach to winning voters to get them over to the 1237 number.

And, Dana Perino is next to talk about what those plans are.


KELLY: Well, in the hours following the Wisconsin primary, we heard reports of a reset for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Now reports indicate strategy changes may be underway in both campaigns as these two candidates look to improve their chances of winning the GOP nomination.

Trace Gallagher has that live from our West Coast newsroom. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And, Megyn, the Trump campaign is pushing back against the whole shifting gears scenario, saying there is no turmoil, only the natural maturation of the campaign. They say in coming weeks, Donald Trump will give a series of speeches aimed at strengthening the military, reforming education, even laying out how he would pick Supreme Court justices.

But critics say it's becoming clear that internal disputes that have simmered inside camp Trump are now burning hot. And that in the wake of the Wisconsin loss and a series of missteps and so-called misspeaks, including comments that infuriated both sides of the abortion debate, staffing changes could be coming.

Sources tell NBC News that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski who Trump is fiercely loyal to, has been unable to demand that Donald Trump be comprehensively prepared for interviews and public appearances.

Analysts believe the campaign will soon add a few political heavy hitters. And in an open letter, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer offered Trump these tips. "Stop fighting with everyone and don't be so nasty. Get your facts right. Learn more policy."

And as for Ted Cruz, critics point out that still only two of his set of colleagues have endorsed him. South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Utah's Mike Lee. Many senators say it's because Cruz sevens only his own ambition.

Now Politico is reporting the Cruz campaign may be trying to end the grudge and move closer to the GOP establishment by trying to woe his colleagues.

Former Texas republican Senator, Phil Graham is on board saying the only way to not lose the presidential election, the House, and the Senate, is with Ted Cruz. Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining me now with more is Dana Perino, the former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush and co-host of The Five. Hi.


KELLY: OK. So, let's start with Ted Cruz. If you were advising him on his communication strategy, what would you tell him to do?

PERINO: Well, I'm humble enough to know that I'm not advising any campaign and they can take this or leave it.


KELLY: But they would call want to hire you.

PERINO: I hope so. If he's listening this is a couple of things that I think you should do. One, as Trace was just saying, Ted Cruz needs to seal the deal with the non-Trump voters. And he's made some headway in that. The Phil Graham endorsement is significant in republican circles.


PERINO: Because people look to him as somebody that they would love to have his endorsement, somebody that they admire, especially on economics, a strong senator with a long history of public service.


KELLY: So make good with the so-called demonized establishment.

PERINO: Right. And it can be. The second part I was going to say is that he can't just have people voting against Trump to help him.

KELLY: They have to be voting for him.

PERINO: Right. You have to voting for Cruz for a reason. And I know Cruz knows that. But he's going to have to figure out a way to do it.

KELLY: What about his style?


KELLY: Because he's very sort of preachy in his delivery and like dramatic, and I understand that is for effect, but it can be -- it can put a wall between you and your voters.

PERINO: That's true. And so, this week you had a town hall with him, where it was just you and Ted Cruz, having a chat and it was actually a lot more accessible. And I think that because I had a chance one time to see him and this is a closed setting, that perhaps they could do some smaller groups where he is able to show that he can hang with people, like he's not the biggest nerd you ever knew, but he's super smart.

So, I think that that would be a good thing. His cadence, his speeches, at this point in the campaign, it's really hard to change. Just look at Hillary Clinton, she has to change it.


KELLY: That's rally how he speaks. That really is just how he speaks.

PERINO: (Inaudible) is not going to change just the way they are and they have to make the most of it.

KELLY: All right. What about Trump, what would you tell him at from, you know, from now to July, you need -- you're trying to consolidate the Republican Party behind you.

PERINO: Let's talk about being humble, I mean, I know that he's not going to listen to this advice in terms of what I would tell him to say or do, but I do hope he would listen to this or his people would, and I think that maybe they would, given Trace's report.

I think that Donald Trump should spend an entire 24 hours alone, by himself, without electronics, and a chance to reflect and think and to walk around, to not have anybody telling him and picking on him and telling him what to do or say, where he can't react to people, he can't blame anyone for anyone.

Because the presidency is a very lonely office. And you are going to be alone making decisions and you're the only one in the room that can actually make those decisions. It doesn't matter how many advisers you have around you.

But take some time to reflect and how do you want this campaign to move forward and just spend a day, not in manic campaign mode because it's exhausting this...


KELLY: What would you tell him to improve some of these numbers with whom he's struggling, women in particular? Let's start there.

PERINO: Well, I think that having Melania out there for the -- for the interview was fine, but no one is actually going to vote for you because of your wife, I don't think.

I think they can help, like they can be a great person to have on your behalf, usually men marry up, so you want to showcase your wives. I mean, that's good. I don't know exactly what he can do on women.

I think that in some ways, that judgment call has already been made and it's really hard to turn around that perception.

But what Tavis Smiley and Herman Cain were just talking about I do think that he can make some head roads -- in roads, excuse me, with the African- American community and Latinos.

Because when he's talking about some of these messages about better economy, those guys aren't looking out for you, I would.

KELLY: That resonates across the board.

PERINO: I'm not beholden to anybody else. I want your families to be safe, too. Come over to my side, at least come and listen to me and to be more in listening mode than into talking mode with those groups. I think that might help.

He also has a huge problem with the youth vote. And again, I'm not exactly sure how he does that except if they are going to add more campaign staff, I think that probably having some more people that could speak on his behalf that are appealing to young people that could help a little bit.

KELLY: Lord knows he's certainly working things on Twitter which is very popular when these young people.

PERINO: And that's what I'm saying also.

KELLY: Just step away. That's what O'Reilly says. He says, I don't -- he goes, Kelly, I don't have a blueberry, I don't have a blackberry, I just think. That's what I do. I think.

PERINO: The amount they're tweeting is directly proportional to the decrease and support in my opinion.

KELLY: Great to see you.

PERINO: Thank you.

KELLY: Dana Perino, everybody.

Well, folks are also feeling the Bern in Wisconsin last night. But will Sanders big win translate into an actual path to the nomination? That's next.


KELLY: Well, Bernie Sanders big win in Wisconsin last night marked his sixth victory out of the seven contests. But despite that, experts are just saying he faces a nearly impossible road to the nomination.

Trace Gallagher has that report from our West Coast newsroom. Trace?

GALLAGHER: You know, Megyn, going into the Wisconsin primary, most polls showed Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton by about three points so his victory certainly wasn't surprising.

What was surprising is how fast the networks including Fox News called it for Sanders, meaning he surpassed even the most promising polls. But experts say the most troubling part of Wisconsin for Hillary Clinton are the exit polls.

Take a look. Among young voters, those under 45, Sanders dominated by a margin of 73 to 26 percent and it did not stop there. He also won among men, 64 percent to 35. And in perhaps the biggest shock of all, Bernie Sanders took the female vote, all be it by the narrowest of margins, but still a shocker.

After his big win, Sanders highlighted the momentum of his campaign and pointed out that he's leading republican frontrunner Donald Trump by greater margins than Clinton, but clearly not all good news for Sanders.

He lost black voters, 69 to 31 percent and non-white voters, 57 to 43 percent. And as you point out, his delegate count makes it almost impossible to get the nomination. But when you consider that just a year ago, Clinton led Sanders by 55 points in national polling, his night in Wisconsin has got to give the Clinton campaign pause.

Next up, by the way, two states with big delegate prizes, New York on April 19th, Pennsylvania on the 26th, where Clinton leads Sanders by a mere six percent. Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you. We'll be right back.



KELLY: Tune in tomorrow, we've got Charles Krauthammer and Newt Gingrich. Meantime, go to and on Twitter @megynkelly and let me know what you think about the shadow primary.

Thanks for watching, everybody. I'm Megyn Kelly. This is "The Kelly File."

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