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Journal Editorial Report

What's at stake for Trump, Clinton in New York?

This is a rush transcript from "Journal: Editorial Report," April 10, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

PAUL GIGOT, FOX NEWS HOST:  This week on the "Journal: Editorial Report," after bruising Wisconsin losses, the presidential frontrunners look to the Empire State to regain their moment.  What's at stake in New York for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

Plus, with a contested convention now more likely for the GOP, at look at how it would work and just who would be making the rules.

And the Trump campaign releases its plans to make Mexico pay for that wall. The details after these headlines.

(FOX NEWS REPORT)

GIGOT:  Welcome to the "Journal: Editorial Report."  I'm Paul Gigot.

After bruising losses in Wisconsin Tuesday, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are hoping to regain their momentum, campaigning this week in the state they both call home.  

Here with a look at what's at stake for both in New York's April 19th primary and beyond is "Wall Street Journal" columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; assistant editorial page editor, James Freeman; and columnist, Mary Anastasia O'Grady.  

Dan, Hillary Clinton has lost seven of the last eight state contests to Bernie Sanders.  What does that tell us about her candidacy?  

DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR:  Well, before commenting on that, let's preface any comment about the Democratic candidates by saying that, by and large, Democrats say they would be happy with either candidate.  OK?

GIGOT:  Right.

HENNINGER:  That's not true on the Republican side.  

(CROSSTALK)

HENNINGER:  And the Democrats are going to unify eventually, I think.  

The most interesting exit poll fact out of Wisconsin that I couldn't get over was the fact that when they asked Democrats in Wisconsin, who would you prefer as commander-in-chief, 50 percent said Bernie Sanders and 47 percent said Hillary Clinton.  Bernie Sanders could not be commander-in- chief of a deli --

(LAUGHTER)

-- so what's going on?  

GIGOT:  He barely wants a military to be commander-in-chief of.

(LAUGHTER)

HENNINGER:  She has clear vulnerabilities and, obviously, Democratic voters not buying the argument she keeps making that she has experience.  She's vulnerable on the honesty and trustworthy and freshness aspect of this campaign and Bernie is beating her time after time.  Man, if he does it in New York, it would be really embarrassing.  

GIGOT:  The Democrats, it's sort of been the powder puff bowl, Mary. They're swinging at each other but they're using Nerf bats.  And now, they're getting meaner.  They're saying, oh, you're not a Democrat, as Hillary says about Sanders.  Bernie Sanders said you're not qualified to be president.  Is it going to escalate further?  

MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY, COLUMNIST:  He lost a great opportunity to go after her on the e-mail issue from the State Department.  He said I'm not going to deal with that.  

GIGOT:  I'm not going to touch that.

O'GRADY:  And that was really his great chance to sort of undermine her credibility and so forth.  So, now, he has to depend on moving harder and harder left, blaming, you know, the Panama free trade agreement for the Panama Papers this week, and just basically trying to link her with something that's more related to the establishment --

GIGOT:  Big banks and --

(CROSSTALK)

O'GRADY:  -- big banks and so forth.  Yeah.  You know, really her big vulnerability I think, as Dan says, is authenticity.  People just don't believe her when she talks.  

And it was funny this week, when she tried to get on the subway, and she said, oh, I love the subway --

(LAUGHTER)

-- and then she couldn't get on the subway.  Then she paid $2.75, which no New Yorker would do for one stop.  

(LAUGHTER)

GIGOT:  All right, let's turn -- we'll see how it works in New York.  

Let's turn to the Republicans, James, and Donald Trump's setback in Wisconsin.  You see him in the polls now leading in New York, leading in most of the eastern states that are coming up later this month.  How big a setback was Wisconsin or will that just be seen as an anomaly?  

JAMES FREEMAN, ASSISTANT EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR:  No, I think it's a sign of things to come.  Not necessarily in New York.  He probably wins New York.  They all win their home states essentially.  Kasich won his home state and he is trailing Rubio in the delegate count.  I think, with Trump, beyond that, what Wisconsin showed is that Cruz is starting, unlike Trump, to pull other parts of the Republican constituency into his coalition.  Cruz did better than he has before outside of the very conservative group.  He did better with people who are thinking about electability versus Hillary Clinton, doing better with people who see him as a chain --

(CROSSTALK)

FREEMAN:  -- also with experience.  

GIGOT:  Here's the question.  He doesn't seem to be doing that in the polls in New York or even in Maryland.  He's trailing Kasich in third in both of those, in both of those states.  And in Pennsylvania, it's very close between Cruz and Kasich.  So, the question is, is he really uniting the Republican party as he says to the anti-Trump vote or was this just a one off in Wisconsin where it wasn't a pro Cruz vote -- and I'm asking this question -- but it was an anti-Donald Trump vote.  

HENNINGER:  Yeah.  I think we're back -- I think it was an anti-Trump vote.  I think we're back to the same ball game we've been in for a long time.  The polls any way suggest that in Pennsylvania and Maryland, Trump has got 35 or 37 percent of the vote.  And in Maryland, Kasich and Cruz have about 24 percent between them.  And in New York, it's over 50 percent.  So, essentially, the same set of dynamics.  You combine the other two, they beat Trump.  But Trump has a solid 35 percent.   

GIGOT:  Respond to that, James.  I don't see Cruz consolidating that anti Trump votes.  

FREEMAN:  What we're talking about is the votes in Wisconsin.

GIGOT:  OK.

FREEMAN:  Where Trump has been basically locked in to 35 to 40 percent of the Republican party, that's been consistent for months and months, even as people have dropped out.  Cruz is a candidate who is showing he has upside potential.  Donald Trump, you see more and more downside with these negative ratings going up.  So, Pennsylvania, for example, this is another Midwest -- certainly the Western part of the state -- Pennsylvanians thinking of themselves as Midwesterners.  This is another place where John Kasich is not doing as well as he should in terms of his case on ability to appeal to that Midwestern blue collar vote.  

GIGOT:  Well, what does Cruz need to do to seal the deal and persuade more people?  The problem in New York, in Iowa, he said he disdained New York values to get Iowa votes.  Now, he's coming to New York and saying, I love New York.  That's not the best sales line.  

(LAUGHTER)

I hated New York values then, now, I love you, baby.  

O'GRADY:  He's not going to do well in New York.  But I think what we have to keep this mind here is that this is about collecting delegates.  It's not winning states, as it were.  And so, that means that what he has to do is go around and convince delegates who are going to be at the convention, who are going to be charged with choosing a candidate who can win in the general election, that's what the convention is about.  And so, he has to convince delegates, who are not bound to any candidate, to come over to his side, and that's what he's going to be working on.  As much as he's going to be campaigning in these states, he's working on these delegates.  

GIGOT:  Briefly, James.

FREEMAN:  I just think New Yorkers, Republicans, conservatives, should forgive him for the New York values comment because --  

GIGOT:  Because he didn't mean it?  

FREEMAN:  A lot of us here talk about the crazy people who run this city, this state.  It doesn't -- it bears some criticism.  

GIGOT:  He really meant New Jersey.  

(LAUGHTER)

GIGOT:  When we come back, Ted Cruz's Wisconsin win making a contested GOP convention more likely, so just who would be making the rules in Cleveland?  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT:  Donald Trump's loss in Wisconsin Tuesday makes it more likely than ever that Republicans will arrive in Cleveland this July without a nominee.  So just how would a contested convention work?  

Here with a look at the rules and who's making them is Wall Street Journal editorial board member, Joe Rago; and editorial page writer, Kate Bachelder.  

Kate, let's try to -- you've been looking into the rules.  Let's try to demystify this for viewers.  So who writes these rules and does this happen every four years?  

KATE BACHELDER, EDITORIAL PAGE WRITER:  Yes it happens every four years.  So every four year, a committee is formed of state delegates, 112 state delegates, two from each state and the territories.  This committee meets before the convention and they pass a package of rules that will govern what will happen over the following few days.  This has not happened yet.  

GIGOT:  This always traditionally happens a week before the convention.  

BACHELDER:  Correct.

GIGOT:  You can't have a convention if you don't write rules.  

BACHELDER:  Absolutely.  There's no convention if there are no rules on how it works.  

GIGOT:  So the committee then makes its -- they vote and they decide these are the rules to recommend to the floor and then delegates on the floor, all of the convention delegates, have to approve or amend them or whatever they do.  

BACHELDER:  Absolutely.  

So, we're hearing a lot about Rule 40.  And it's important to mention that this rule has not been adopted.  

GIGOT:  What does that say?  

(CROSSTALK)

BACHELDER:  This is the one that says that you must get a majority of the delegates in eight states to be nominated on the floor.  

BACHELDER:  Correct.  Right.  So, we're hearing a lot about this rule.  Frankly, way too much because, first of all, this rule has not been adopted.  It is in no force of anything right now.  

GIGOT:  This is just from the last convention --

BACHELDER:  Right.

GIGOT:  -- which doesn't apply to this one unless the rules committee writes it that way.  

BACHELDER:  Right.  And Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are presenting this as a fait accompli because it is in their interest to be the only ones on the ballot.  Basically, if the rules committee recommends a package and it goes to the floor of delegates, they can do whatever they want and make the rules committee meet again, they can adopt them.  And so, it is a majority of delegates that must approve and do anything at the convention, and not a cabal of a small committee of people.  

GIGOT:  But if Trump delegates and Cruz delegates are on the committee, and they have a majority on the committee, and they want to write that rule from 2012 that says you must have a majority of eight states, they could do so?  

BACHELDER:  They could do that but this won't matter after the first ballot.  

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  OK.  But these will be the rule -- these will be the rules in place to start.  But then we go to the first ballot and, let's say, Donald Trump's name is put in nomination and he doesn't get a majority, what happens?  

BACHELDER:  Right.  And that's the only question on the first ballot, if Donald Trump can win a majority.  Then you go to a second ballot.  This ballot will be mostly about, can Ted Cruz assemble a majority.  

GIGOT:  Now, after that first ballot, something like upwards of 60 to 73 or
74 percent of the delegates would be freed up, depending on the state and how people interpret them, however they want.  

BACHELDER:  Right.  Exactly.  And that makes it very hard for Donald Trump, who will lose all of his bound delegates.  So, you go to a second ballot, and, say, Ted Cruz can't get a majority, and so you go to a third ballot.  
At this point, a majority of delegates can say, we want to change the rules, no matter what the rules committee has come up with.  

GIGOT:  And they can suspend and send it back to the committee to rewrite them?  

BACHELDER:  Yes.  Correct.  They can ask the committee to meet again.  They can suspend the rules.  The way to think about this is, you need a majority of delegates, but once you have a majority of delegates, you can change the rules and you can nominate anybody you want.  

GIGOT:  And I think the thing to keep in mind, Joe, is this is not going to be a secret cabal.  The world's attention is going to be on this, and anything that happens will have to happen above board, and everybody will know it's happening.  And the Cruz and Trump delegates will have a big say in this, in addition to the other rank-and-file Republicans who are delegates.  

JOE RAGO, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER:  Sure.  It's a totally open and transparent process.  It's a little bit funny to watch Ted Cruz and Donald Trump already come out and say, well, there's a conspiracy brewing to steal the nomination from us.  I mean, what are they so afraid of?  If you can't get a majority of Republican delegates, you're very unlikely to get a majority of the country.  

GIGOT:  But they could -- they could change -- I mean, they could cut deals behind the scenes themselves with each other or with some of the delegates.  And they could even, in the beginning, Kate, if I'm right, they could write the rules more restrictively than 2012 if they wanted to, and have a majority.  

BACHELDER:  Absolutely, but they'd have to get the majority of delegates to go along, and then, if after a couple of ballots, if nobody is winning, the majority of delegates could make a different decision on how the want to govern the convention.  

GIGOT:  Here we are, on the floor, first ballot, second ballot, third ballot, fourth ballot, nobody can get a majority.  So then other names get thrown in and that's when we have the possibility, unlikely as it probably is, that somebody else from outside the convention who has never run before
-- I mean not run this year -- could get his name introduced on the ballot, Joe?  

RAGO:  It's certainly possible.  I mean, I don't think it's very likely because the convention is not only governed by a majority rule, but also by norms.  It would be very unusual for the delegates, who are going to be dominated by Cruz and Trump partisan, to say, well, we're just going to throw it to Paul Ryan, for example, the current conspiracy theory that's all over the Internet and cable news.  I don't think that's likely.  And I don't think Paul Ryan is likely to take a job where he's set up to fail.  

GIGOT:  And the blowback could be, would be enormous.  Although, look, you've got to nominate somebody.  

RAGO:  Well --

GIGOT:  And if Trump or Cruz can't get it, somebody's got to get the nomination.  

(CROSSTALK)

HENNINGER:  The Cruz people are making it sound as though it's over once we have a nomination.  No, it's over in November after the general election.

(LAUGHTER)

And those delegates want to win that election, and that's what they're going to pick.

GIGOT:  And the bottom line is those delegates can do whatever they want, ultimately, a majority, and nobody can do much about it, except the election in November.  

All right, thank you all.

When we come back, he's promised to build a wall along the southern border and, this week, Donald Trump unveiled his plan to pay for it.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Who is going to pay for the wall?  

(SHOUTING)

TRUMP:  Who?  

(SHOUTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT:  It's the signature issue of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, building a wall along the southern border and making Mexico pay for it. And in a memo this week, the Trump campaign outlined how it would make that happen -- by targeting billions of dollars in remittances sent back to Mexico by immigrants living in the U.S.

We're back with Dan Henninger and Mary Anastasia O'Grady.  

Mary, remittances are these payments.  Who pays them?  Whose money is it?  

O'GRADY:  Remittances are earned.  They are income-earned by people living in this country and then they send it home to their families from where they migrated from.  And in the case of Mexico, there's about $24 billion that go from Mexicans working in this country to Mexico every year.  

GIGOT:  Each year.

Now, but we don't know -- some of those people are here legally, some of those people are here illegally.  

O'GRADY:  Right.

GIGOT:  How do you tell the difference if the U.S. government is trying stopping those flows?  

O'GRADY:  Donald Trump proposes, in this memo he wrote, he would force anybody who wants -- any alien who wants to send money abroad to prove they're lawfully in the country.  That means companies, banks and financial institutions, wire transfer companies, anybody like that, would have to employ people who could certify that the documents somebody brings are valid.  

GIGOT:  So you mean even though -- if I wanted to send a check to Mexico, OK -- and there are about two million Americans living in Mexico that are American citizens.  

O'GRADY:  Exactly.  

GIGOT:  So if I want to send a check to Mexico, I have to go to the bank and they would have to say let's see your birth certify or some other proof of citizenship, otherwise, you can't send a wire transfer?  

O'GRADY:  Or a legal residency.  Yeah, that would be the idea.  That would be the idea.  

GIGOT:  Wow.  

HENNINGER:  Paul, there's an aspect of King Canute to Trump's proposal.  King Canute was the king who went down and sat down on the shore and ordered the oceanic tides to reverse and recede.  

Look, the World Bank estimates there are this year going to be 250 million migrants in the world.  Their remittances will total $600 billion.  $24 billion from Mexico, as Mary suggested.  These flows are going on all over the world, in Latin America, for instance, between Mexico and Brazil, Brazil and Mexico, Mexico and Ecuador, all over Africa.  The idea that you can stop that economic activity on that scale is simply feckless.  

GIGOT:  You would think -- there would be black markets to go around this to --  

O'GRADY:  For sure.  I mean, there's a million different ways.  When I go to Mexico, I use the ATM.  I take pesos out of the ATM machine from my bank.  And certainly a lot of illegals living here have family members or friends who are legal.  So they can also use them to send the money.  

GIGOT:  Does this -- would this ultimately lead to capital controls on everybody, that if you really wanted to stop this, because Dan points to the practical problem, so do you --

O'GRADY:  Yeah.

GIGOT:  -- you basically have to say we're no longer going to allow the ease of capital transactions between Mexico and the U.S.?  

O'GRADY:  That's exactly right.  The only way you could do it is with capital controls, and that's preposterous.  I mean, the North American economic is so integrated right now in terms of manufacturing and commerce in general that if you tried to put capital controls -- you mentioned, Americans living in Mexico.  There is something like 30 million American tourists who go to Mexico every year.  Then there's auto manufacturing, where different components of a car are made here, or in Canada or --

(CROSSTALK)

GIGOT:  Cash goes back and forth in return for the parts.  

O'GRADY:  I mean, the supply chains are only integrated.  If you tried to put capital on that -- Mexico is our second-largest country that we export to.  So if you put capital controls on, you would kill the economy.  

GIGOT:  Briefly, Mary, you've known Mexican presidents and finance ministers going back decades.  How do you think they would react to that kind of an ultimatum?  

O'GRADY:  They would not comply.  They will simply say, we will not do it. Right now, in Mexico, one of the most popular things to do is to buy a Donald Trump pinata and beat the stuffing out of it.  So Mexican politicians who are very populist themselves, are not going to comply.  

GIGOT:  All right, thank you, Mary.  

We have to take one more break.  When we come back, our "Hits & Misses" of the week.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIGOT:  Time now for our "Hits & Misses" of the week.  

Kate, start us off.  

BACHELDER:  This is a miss for Jerry Brown, the Democratic governor of California.  This week, he signed a law that will increase the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour.  And he said this was -- may not make sense economically but it's part of living in a moral community.  And this homily from the apostle Jerry will not resonate with people in the central valley who lose their jobs as a result of automation or fewer opportunities.  

GIGOT:  Where they have really high employment in the central valley.  

All right, Joe.  

RAGO:  Paul, I had to laugh this week as an e-mail from the Consumer Product Safety Commission crossed my desk, warning that a line of Ivanka Trump scarves had been recalled for posing a severe burn risk.  Now, naturally, these highly flammable products were made in China.  And Mr.
Trump doesn't apologize for outsourcing, even as he criticizes other companies from doing so.  But the interesting thing is that the apparel industry is bringing jobs back to America, because we have much better quality control here.  So Mr. Trump, for the sake of public safety, bring those jobs home.  

GIGOT:  All right.  

James?  

FREEMAN:  Paul, this is a hit to Merle Haggard, who passed away this week, one of the America's greatest singers/songwriters, inspired millions of people, and was a patriot even when it wasn't cool, even when it was tough during the Vietnam era.  We owe him a great debt.  And I think he has something to tell us now, which is "The best of the free life is still yet to come."  He never lost his optimism about the country.  

GIGOT:  All right.

Do you trust the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Joe, on the judgments about scarves?  

RAGO:  Oh, boy, Paul, they're 100 percent rayon.  Very dangerous.  

(LAUGHTER)

GIGOT:  All right.

And remember, if you have your own hit or miss, be sure to tweet it to us on JER at FNC.  

That's it for this week's show.  Thanks to my panel and all of you for watching.  I'm Paul Gigot.  Hope to see you right here next week.  

END

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