'Special Report' panel place their bets in Candidate Casino

All-Stars weigh in on the race for the White House


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 15, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I think the people of New York care about is not candidates bickering like children. I think what the people of New York care about is, how do we bring jobs back to New York? How do we raise wages? How do we keep Americans safe? And that's my focus.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: During a debate Cruz talked about New York values. Oh, New York values. Boy, he wished he didn't say that, right? That was a bad thing. And he said it with hatred toward New Yorkers.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here in New York, we feel good. We're going to get delegates, we believe out of New York. At least I hope so.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Three candidates campaigning in New York as you take a look at the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, Donald Trump with a big lead in New York, John Kasich in second, according to the recent polls. There you see Ted Cruz. As you jump forward to Pennsylvania the following week, one of the states the following Tuesday. And there you see, too, Donald Trump with a sizeable lead over Cruz and Kasich in the average of polls.

It is Friday. That means that we take a trip down to a place we call Candidate Casino. OK, Byron, is this your first time in the casino?


BAIER: Welcome.

YORK: I have never been wrong yet.


BAIER: OK, $100 in chips. Who will be the nominee?

YORK: Well, I think Trump is about to start a pretty good run. So I put Trump at $70. I put Ted Cruz at $25. I put John Kasich at $5. I would have made Kasich $1 if the rules allowed. But --

BAIER: It's a $5 table.

YORK: As they say at the RNC, the rules are the rules. I think, know, I think Trump is -- first of all, he has the best path to the 1,237. But he also has a better path to even close to 1,237. You know, a lot of people have said to me well, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. But if he gets close to there within 50, 75 delegates, I think a lot of people are going to say do we blow up the convention over this? And so I think Trump certainly needs to get to that line, but he may not need to get all the way there on the first day of the convention.

BAIER: All right, Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, THE HILL: So, this is not my -- I can't say this is my first time in the casino.


WILLIAMS: But I don't think there is much question Donald Trump is in the lead here. So I would give him $75. I put $75 down. Cruz I think had a good week to this extent. It was not in general a good week. But his work on the second round of delegates, if they go to a second vote at the convention, seems to have been effective. He seems to have lined up his people, have to vote for Trump on the first go around. But if it comes to an open convention and a second vote, they are not at that point committed to vote for Donald Trump and Cruz has his people in position to take advantage. So I put $25 on Cruz.

BAIER: What is clear is that Trump is capitalizing on this Colorado deal. And he wrote this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Cruz has toured the country bragging -- gone around the country, toured the country, bragging about his voter-less victory in Colorado." He mentions it now on every stop on the stump, and it's powerful.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It is. And I think it accounts for his recovery from the Trump slump, the two weeks where he made a lot of mistakes with Heidi Cruz and all the other stuff. And he has gone back to his theme. He found a powerful argument. He sort of has a genius for sniffing these things out and then staying with it, a very strong argument. I think it's wrong on the facts about Colorado, but it's the theme of his campaign. Everything is rigged, including this.

So I put $70 on him, $25 on Cruz, $5 -- now, I have to explain this one, wine, women, and song, because I have been told that my forays into opioids and hallucinogens to fend off the melancholy of this campaign has set a bad example for the children of the country. For the children, I'm returning to more traditional diversions.

BAIER: For the kids, thank you. I'm glad you didn't get to hemlock. I appreciate that.


BAIER: OK, let's go to the other side of the casino, the Democratic side, and far fewer to bet on here. But, also, some developments on this side. You have the debate last night, and then you had one of the candidates, Bernie Sanders going to the Vatican for this conference. And the one big image coming out of this trip is Bernie Sanders shaking the hand of Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia. Lots of images on A.P., and that's the video of that sitting next to him there. Not exactly a fan of the U.S.

YORK: The other image you are not seeing is him with the Pope. Put me down with the people who think this is a crazy idea. So we go from this debate last night where we talk -- saw basically two seniors just screaming at each other most of the time, to this. I don't think Bernie has a chance. So I put $90 on Hillary. I put $10 on Bernie just to make it a contest.  

BAIER: Juan, quickly, your bets.

WILLIAMS: I think I will go $85, Byron. And I will put $15 on Bernie out of respect. Bernie has exceeded expectations. He had a great turnout this week at the park with I think 27,000 people. He has got the Verizon strikers lined up. Upset wouldn't -- I mean, it would be a surprise, but not that much.

KRAUTHAMMER: As usual, you guys are underselling Hillary. It's $90. And the only reason there were $10 outstanding of that is if she loses the Comey primary, meaning the FBI. Absence of an indictment, it's $100 on Hillary.

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