Odds increasing for a contested GOP convention?; RNC not recommending convention changes for 2016

Newt Gingrich looks ahead to the upcoming primaries


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," April 17, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


Donald Trump still suggesting the delegate process is rigged as we approach the pivotal New York primary.  

Hi, everybody.  I'm Maria Bartiromo.  Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."

Trump sharing that message with supporters as the Republican National Committee says it is to the campaigns to know the rules.  A spokesperson for the RNC will join me in moments.

Then, Ted Cruz trying to stay a few steps ahead of Trump, campaigning in states that will not vote until weeks from now.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on how all of this could impact the chances of a contested convention.

And what issues are most critical to voters as we approach Tuesday's primary?  We'll get the takes from both sides of the aisle as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO:  The Republican candidates entering the homestretch ahead of the crucial New York primary and, though the polls have Donald Trump holding onto a solid lead, Ted Cruz is working hard behind the scenes, picking up 14 delegates last night at the convention in Wyoming.

Still, Trump is holding onto a lead of 197 delegates above overall.  And now, the focus is on the Empire State.  Ninety-five delegates are up for grabs in New York this coming Tuesday.  

Let's talk about what's at stake with Sean Spicer, he is RNC communications director.

Sean, always a pleasure.  Thanks so much for joining us.  


BARTIROMO:  I saw a few headlines this morning basically saying the RNC is doing a shake-up ahead of the convention in July.  Can you explain the changes that are happening right now?  

SPICER:  Actually, it's the opposite.  What the chairman has asked members of the RNC as we head into our final meeting before the convention is not to make any recommendations, to leave this to the delegates who've been elected by the grassroots.  

What this convention should be about, whether it's our platform or nomination is to empower delegates who are elected by folks from coast to coast to decide the direction, the nominee, the platform of this party for the next four years, which they have done coming back since the 1800s.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, it's so funny, because you read these headlines that say, the RNC wants the shake-up and then you read through the article and you read through the notes, and it's actually you're saying, don't make any changes.  That's the shake-up that the press is talking about.  

SPICER:  But -- as I've learned, I mean, a lot of times it is about getting the clicks.  When you point out you have to read the story to understand what's going on.  But I think it is news in a sense that traditionally, the RNC makes recommendations to the convention about changes it wants to the party, but this chairman, Chairman Priebus, believes strongly that its delegates who make this party great and he wants the delegates who have been elected by the grassroots Republican voters throughout this country to decide the direction of the party and the platform and the key things that make this party great.  

And that frankly is why we're different than the Democrats.  We are a states right party.  We're not a party built on superdelegates who are unelected party bosses.  Our delegates that will be there in Cleveland are folks that had been elected state by state by congressional districts and counties by grassroots Republican voters and that's important.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes.  Which is why right now, you're seeing all of the candidates try to schmooze all of the delegates to try and make sure that they are in their corner come July.  

Leaving it up to the delegates though, that really tells me that anything can happen come July.  

SPICER:  Well, it's a majority of delegates that make all of the decisions, right?  So, you're going to have 1,237 delegates decide that their platform changes or that rules to convention matter.  But it's a majority of those delegates.

When it comes to the nomination which is obviously the big part of the convention that everyone pays attention to, you're going to have bound delegates.  So, those delegates in the case of Florida, there were 99 delegates elected.  It was winner take all.  Those delegates are bound to Donald Trump no matter what they personally think or who they might personally vote for.

But so, when it comes to the nomination, that part of the convention, the delegates are bound in most cases to who they were -- who the people in that particular state or congressional district voted for.  When it comes to the rules and the platform, that's a different situation again.

But in every one of those, it's a majority that carries the day.  So, whatever 1,237 want, that will be the outcome that is achieved.  

BARTIROMO:  With that, having said that, do you risk the perception as has been the case because of Donald Trump really making noise about this, that that's not what the people thought.  The people think they vote for somebody and their vote matters.  And now we know and we see that it's actually the delegates who will choose the president of the United States.  

SPICER:  Well, again, I think back in 2000, people learned a lot about civics when they saw Electoral College make a decision.  Al Gore won the popular vote.  But it's the Electoral College.

So, I understand sometimes that there might not be a full awareness of how the process works.  And I think it's incumbent upon us at the RNC and you've seen the chairman go out over and over again the last ten days and he'll continue to be out there, other officials from the RNC explaining this process.  

We spent 40 plus years since we've had an open convention and potential of that still looms right now.  I think it's incumbent upon us at the RNC to explain the process.  

But, look, Maria, I think what's really important for people to really understand is that the Republican Party is a party built on members.  Members who have joined the party and those members, those grassroots voters and activists, they get to decide in each state how that state is going to operate and specifically how it's going to allocate and select its delegate.  

What people -- if you think about it for a second, it does make a lot of sense.  If you're a member of a Kiwanis club, member -- people who aren't a member of the Kiwanis Club don't get to decide the rules or who becomes the officers.  If you're a member of HOA and community votes on zoning particulars, or the officers are in HOA, people who don't live in your community don't get to vote.  

I think what people need to understand is that the Republican Party, each state and territory in the District of Columbia has members of that party that create the rules and decide how they're going to operate and then the Republican National Committee is a states right party, allows those states to tell us how they made their decisions, the rules they operate.  


SPICER:  But the big point is since October of last year, all of the rules have been available for everybody to see -- the candidates, the public, the media.  So everybody has known how the process works.  I think now that we've gotten at this point in the contest, everyone is paying attention.  

Remember, John McCain who was presumptive nominee in March of 2008, Mitt Romney in April of 2012.  So, for a long time, people haven't really cared about the process.  This time, however, the real good side is we're seeing huge turnouts in all of these states and more voters in states are participating in a process that frankly they haven't in the past and that's a good thing for the process.  It's a good thing for our party.  

BARTIROMO:  Very briefly, go through potential outcomes here.  Is it potential outcome that none of the candidates get 1,237 by the end of the convention that week in July?  

SPICER:  So, right now, as you mentioned, the magic number is 1,237.  Donald Trump is the only candidate right now that can get 1,237 bound delegates.  The last day of voting is going to be June 7th.  There's 303 delegates up for grabs, including 172 in California alone.  And on that day, either Donald Trump will have 1,237 bound delegates or he won't.  

If he has 1,237 bound delegates, he will be the presumptive nominee.  If he doesn't, then we will go into an open convention in Cleveland and we'll start balloting at that point.  The rules committee will meet the week prior to determine the rules for the convention, made up of those delegates, and then that's how we'll begin balloting.

And once a candidate receives that majority, 1,237, they will then become the nominee of our party.  

BARTIROMO:  All right.  We'll be watching.  

Sean, exciting times.  Thanks so much for joining us.

SPICER:  Thank you.

BARTIROMO:  We appreciate it.  Sean Spicer from the RNC this morning.

SPICER:  Take care.

A trove of delegates meanwhile up for grabs in New York's primary this upcoming Tuesday.  How Tuesday's outcome could impact the odds of a contested convention in July.  

Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures.  Let us know what you'd like to hear from Newt Gingrich, coming up live next.  

Back in a moment.  We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.  

The Republican presidential candidates battling for every last delegate, 95 delegates up for grabs in Tuesday's contest here in New York.  How those delegates are allocated could play a big role in whether or not we see a contested convention in Cleveland this upcoming July.  

Joining me right now is Newt Gingrich.  He's former speaker of the House and a Fox News contributor.  

Sir, good to see you.  Thanks for joining us this morning.  

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  It's good to be with you.  

BARTIROMO:  So, what about that?  The delegates and how they're allocated playing a big role into whether or not we go into a contested convention.  I know you said there won't be a contested convention.  

GINGRICH:  I don't think there will.  But there are two things to cue off of on Tuesday night on the Republican side.  One, is Trump above 80 delegates?  I mean, if he's above 80 delegates I think it gets start to imagine him not getting to 1,237 because that's such a huge amount.

The other is, who gets any extra delegates?  Is it Kasich or is it Cruz?  If Kasich, as he hopes to, comes in ahead of Cruz in New York, it's pretty hard for Cruz to run around the country and say he's the only alternative and I think if the same thing happens to him in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey and in Connecticut, Kasich has a pretty good argument to say, hey, I'm a legitimate alternative, too, and I think that makes it even harder to stop Trump.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, and you said 80.  I mean, if Trump gets -- you're saying 80 out of 95 delegates, that would -- that sounds like a landslide.  

GINGRICH:  Well, it will be.  I mean, we know that it's going to be for all practical purposes a landslide.  Every poll shows him at 50 percent or better in a three-way field.  I think Kasich is closest at maybe 26.  So, some of the polls are showing him up above 60.  

Now, if Trump gets above 60 percent, it will be very hard to imagine that he's not the presumptive nominee at that point.  

The other thing to look for is what kind of an evening is it?  This is a moment for Trump to build on what he just did at the New York Republican dinner where he was very statesmanlike, very positive, gave a very good controlled speech.  

If he were to come out Tuesday night having won big, treat his opponents with dignity, and then claim the mantel of the presumptive nominee, that will actually psychologically strengthen him going into the rest of the campaign.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes, let's talk about the rest of the campaign and what is ahead, Newt, because once we get through New York, you've got some really important contests as well like Pennsylvania, a whole host of delegates there, New Jersey, and then you're talking about June 7th in California, which a lot of people are saying, well, certainly, Ted Cruz believes and he's said this as you know that California will decide who will be the nominee.  

So, what's your take on these upcoming primaries?  

GINGRICH:  California is so big that it should have a pretty big effect unless Trump has swept the board by then in which case, by the way, he'll also sweep California.  But because California divides up by congressional district for most of its delegates, I can imagine Cruz who has run a very sophisticated and very intelligent campaign, I can imagine him targeting key congressional districts and being very competitive unless he collapses the national media.  

One of the lessons I learned over a long time in politics is if a national wave starts to build, it drowns local communications.  So, what Cruz has to worry about is that if he loses New York and then he loses Connecticut and then he loses New Jersey and he loses Rhode Island and so forth, and he loses Pennsylvania, at what point does he begin to fade as an alternative so that even if he has great messaging one district at a time, it's just shrugged off by people who are frankly by those watching FOX News.  

I mean, you reach the whole country every time you're on Fox News or the other networks and that gives you a kind of efficiency that Trump has proven that's very powerful.  

BARTIROMO:  You know, ordinarily I would try to look at what industries are most prevalent in places like New York, where the jobs are, where the economic vibrancy is, to get a sense of what's important to the people as they vote this upcoming Tuesday.  But this election has been driven by sentiment and by perception of leadership and toughness.  

Do you think that matters today as we look to New York considering the fact that financial services is the largest industry, health care is getting rewired, business services is where the jobs have been, should we look at areas like that to get a sense of New York?  

GINGRICH:  I think what's happened that makes this year so different both in the Democratic and Republican parties is that people are so fed up that the normal localized interest that you would expect them to focus on is drowned in this larger sense that the country is a mess, Washington has failed, elites are out of control and on the Republican side the great advantage Trump has is people want someone strong enough to kick over the table and so, they look and they say, you know, this guy is big enough that he'll kick over the tabling and then you attack him on a small thing and they don't care.  He's going to kick over the table.  

The same thing is beginning to build in the Democratic side where every week that goes by, Sanders as an outsider gains ground and Hillary as an insider loses ground.  It tells you something is happening with the American people that's even more important than the candidates.  There's an underlying conversation under way that the current structures just don't work and they have to be profoundly changed.  

BARTIROMO:  Exactly, which is why I raise the question, because it really is extraordinary this time around.  

A word on Hillary versus Bernie -- pretty amazing that Bernie Sanders is coming so close to her.  Is there a chance Bernie Sanders can take New York?  

GINGRICH:  Well, that would be one of the great upsets of the year but it's possible.  I don't think it's likely because she is still I think about nine or ten points ahead, with only two days to go.  But what you get with Sanders is all of the late deciders decide for him and against her and you get a higher turnout because his voters are so much more passionate than hers.  

My guess is she'll still win, but I think you put your finger on it.  I think the odds are pretty good.  She's going to win in a limping and not very impressive style and then go on to the next fight and this ain't going to end because Bernie figured out a model of a strong message, an acceptable personality and the Internet to raise money $27 at a time and he's actually outraising her now.

So, by the time they get to California, he may be able to outspend her four or five to one.  Both the Republican and Democratic tracks, both of them, are amazingly different than anything I have ever seen.  

BARTIROMO:  Unbelievable.  Newt, always a pleasure, sir.  Thanks so much.  

GINGRICH:  Good to be with you.  Thanks.

BARTIROMO:  We'll see you soon.  

With just two days and counting until the important New York primary, what are the biggest issues for voters in the Empire State?  We'll talk to two people with close ties to New York as we look ahead today on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.  

Two days to go until the critical New York primary Tuesday night.  What are the biggest issues for GOP voters in the Empire State?  

We'll talk about it right now with former Republican congresswoman, Nan Hayworth, from New York, and Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, also from New York.  He's also a Clinton campaign supporter.

Good to see you both.  Thank you so much for joining us.  


BARTIROMO:  You know, the question that I just asked Newt Gingrich was appropriate because ordinarily you would say what matters to New Yorkers?  OK.  Well, let's look at the unemployment situation.  Let's look at where the growth is.  It would become clear what's important to New York voters.  

But it's different this time around, isn't it?  

REP. NAN HAYWORTH, R-N.Y., FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN:  Well, it's -- we have a fascinating primary process obviously, Maria.  We have, you know, a blunt spoken businessman.  We have a constitutionalist and we have a pragmatic, proven governor all of whom represent some part of what voters are talking about right now.  They're frustrated.  

People in New York are fed up with their high taxes, with unemployment.  You know, they want a path forward and we have three different people, any of whom would be preferable to the Democratic nominees respectfully spoken.

BARTIROMO:  What do you think, Congressman, people are focused on and will drive their vote Tuesday?  

ENGEL:  Well, I think people want a result-orientated candidate.  They think that Washington is broken and they -- that's why you see in both parties, I think, a lot of rumblings, but I think what people want someone who is steady and who is proven, who has a record of getting things done.  It's one of the reasons I support Hillary Clinton.  I think she's shown that through the years.  She was senator of New York for eight years.  

BARTIROMO:  How does she get around this whole narrative of she's establishment?  She's been -- Washington is broken and she's part of it?  

ENGEL:  Well, I think if that's the main thrust of what someone is thinking, they probably won't be for establishment candidates.  But I don't think that -- I think she's got a record and I think she's got a good record and I think she's smart and intelligent and results-orientated and hardworking and the kind of senator she was for us in New York, I think that's the kind of president she'll be.  She's had everything thrown at her, but the kitchen sink and she's still coming up on top, and I think she's going to be the next president.  

HAYWORTH:  But I think the problem is that what we've seen in Washington and here in New York is that a government heavy system doesn't work.  It enriches those who are on the inside and Hillary Clinton is the ultimate insider.  Certainly, that's what GOP voters are looking at.  That's why frankly two of the candidates we have obviously, Mr. Trump and Senator Cruz, are regarded as outsiders because people are fed up with a system that empowers those who have money, the resources, the connections to get ahead.  

BARTIROMO:  Why is why outsiders are in the lead right now because people say, OK, forget about the fact that for example financial services is the largest industry in New York and that the unemployment rate is below the national average, I want change.  I'm not feeling good about a system that's broken so go with a guy who as Newt just said would knock over the table.  

ENGEL:  Of course, you also want to go with someone who is competent, who knows the issues, who understands the issues.  I think Donald Trump has shown that he really doesn't understand the issues and I think Ted Cruz has shown that he's so rigid that a lot of his own colleagues don't even want to support him.  

I think we need to have somebody who has a proven track record of getting things done and working frankly across the aisle and I think Hillary Clinton has done that and I think she'll do it as president.  

BARTIROMO:  Are you surprised she's getting such a tight race from Bernie Sanders?  

ENGEL:  I'm not surprised because I think Bernie has the ability -- look, I know Bernie, too.  I served with him for 16 years in the House.  He has the ability to get people enthused about his campaign, especially the young people, and I think it's healthy for the party.

BARTIROMO:  Why did you support Hillary over Bernie Sanders if you know him as well?  

ENGEL:  Well, I know both of them, but again, I think when you looked at what they've accomplished, I think Hillary has accomplished a great deal more.  And I want to say something.  I think that the Democratic Party will unite and will move forward.  You know, eight years ago you had the same thing between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the party united and went to victory, and I think that's going to happen again.  

BARTIROMO:  Nan, do you think Republicans will unite and who will they rally around?  

HAYWORTH:  I think they have to, Maria.  And, indeed -- you know, we've got an interesting spectrum of candidates.  But any one of them on their worst day would be better than -- in terms of advancing the policies that will actually help the American people to be empowered and to do better.  Any of them on their worst day will be better than Hillary or Senator Sanders on their best day.  

ENGEL:  Well, that's a matter of opinion.  

HAYWORTH:  Republicans need to -- Republicans need to remember never say never.  Vote for the nominee.  Whoever it is, Republicans need to unite.  

BARTIROMO:  If it's not Donald Trump, will the GOP voters still come out?  Will voters still come out because there is the sense if it's not their guy, there will be a real upset.  

HAYWORTH:  Well, you know, Maria, it's going to be up to Senator Cruz or Governor Kasich if one emerges from the convention and there could very well be a contested convention and they'll have to do a lot with rules, there's a lot of technicalities.  But people are going -- those two candidates whoever it is who ends up nominee is going to have to work very hard to unite the party and they're going to have to reach out to people who feel this effect.  

ENGEL:  I think Hillary Clinton said it.  You know, the margin of the difference between her and Bernie Sanders now is a lot more than it was between her and Barack Obama.  It was much closer between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the party united and won, and that will happen and that will happen.  

BARTIROMO:  Do you worry about the FBI investigation if anything comes out of this?  Is there a plan B just in case?  

ENGEL:  Well, we're not sitting thinking of plan B's.  We support Hillary and we believe that she's telling the truth and she's had everything thrown at her but the kitchen sink and she's still leading in the polls.  So, I think that tells you something.  

BARTIROMO:  We will leave it there.  Congressman --  

HAYWORTH:  She's the ultimate insider.  

BARTIROMO:  Congresswoman, good to see you both.  Thank you so much for joining us.  Great conversation.  

The Democratic candidates battling for New York, of course, both claiming home court advantage.  How the race is shaping up as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Our panel is next.  


BARTIROMO:  Welcome back.  

The New York primary just two days away.  Bernie Sanders making a final push looking for support in Brooklyn.  Hillary Clinton also campaigning up to the last minute.  Both candidates feeling good about their chances heading into this pivotal contest.  


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  What we need to do and what I feel good about our campaign is we're just busting through and forcing a discussion that the establishment would just as soon push underneath the rug.  

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  He sticks to his talking points.  He constantly says, well, you know, I represent a small rural state and we don't have any gun laws and the problem is not the lack of laws.  Well, I just don't buy that.  


BARTIROMO:  Let's bring in our panel on that note.  Ed Rollins is former principle White House adviser to President Reagan, he's a Fox News political analyst.  Mary Kissel is on the editorial board and she's a member of the editorial board for The Wall Street Journal.  Judith Miller is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for policy research, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, and a Fox News contributor.  

Good to see everybody.  Thanks so much for being here.  

It's true.  Bernie Sanders campaign is busting out, Ed Rollins.

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  I made the unfortunate -- I came back from Pennsylvania and I arrived at the rally the other day and took me an hour to get home.  It was a mob.  I haven't seen a mob like that since the Vietnam Day.  We had 20,000, 25,000 people in New York City, it's pretty extraordinary.  

BARTIROMO:  I wonder, Judy, if it's partly they really do believe in Bernie Sanders policies or is it because they just don't like Hillary Clinton?  

JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  You know, Maria, I think it's a combination of both.  And that's the strength of Bernie Sanders.  I mean, he does manage to get an average of $27 contribution from 7 million people in America.  That's really extraordinary.  

But, look, she's got this nomination barring a black swan or something, she's has it wrapped up but the danger of Bernie Sanders to her is that he keeps pushing her to the left.  He pushes her on trade issues and on minimum wage and on other areas where she's just not comfortable for the general election.  

BARTIROMO:  Yes.  It's a good point to make, because, Mary, as much as you would expect that she would be all in for the $15 minimum wage, for example, because that's where Bernie is and that's really been the Democratic talking point and leadership message, she's not there.  

MARY KISSEL, WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER:  Yes.  Well, the debate was revealing, right, because she was pressed on this issue and she said, well, I support $12 but then Bernie pressed her and she said maybe I would -- I would sign a $15 minimum wage if it came to my desk as president, of course.  

She was hesitant to say that because she knows deep down inside that raising the price of lowering low-skilled workers keeps people out of the workforce.  Her husband knew that.  Her husband ran on raising the minimum wage but fought against Teddy Kennedy when he wanted to push through a big increase.

And Judy is right on this point.  Hillary has moved far to the left.  She supported the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and now she's against it.  There's no talk of serious entitlement reform or work for welfare.  It's quite extraordinary to see just how far to the left this party has gone under President Obama.

BARTIROMO:  We had a franchisee of McDonald's on the Fox Business Network this past week on my morning there.  And he basically said, when it gets to my desk that I'm going to be forced to pay out $15 minimum wage for low-skilled workers, I will have to rejuggle everything and fire people.  

KISSEL:  That's liberalism.  It's selfish.  I want to feel good about giving people something without caring about the results.  

You look at that with Obamacare, how it's raised prices, you look at the effect of minimum wage on cities like Los Angeles.  It's about how they feel and not whether or not it helps the poor or low skilled in this country.  

ROLLINS:  And it's going to have a big impact on smaller restaurants here, in communities or what-have-you, and just can't afford it.  I mean, you've got to raise the price of food which means places like McDonald's and others are driven by the price of food.  I can tell you that you'll end up in ten years everything will be robotic.  You'll have an iPad like in an airport, order a Big Mac.  Machine will make it and these communities where franchises are out there are going to basically lay people off.  

BARTIROMO:  And then you have to hope that there will be other jobs to absorb those people that require high skilled technological advancement.  

You mentioned Bill Clinton, let's talk about President Clinton for a second.  

ROLLINS:  He's on the verge of blowing his top.  I hope his health survives.  She may survive and get the nomination, but my sense is he's having a rough time of hearing his administration attacked, his wife attacked.  If he could punch out Bernie Sanders, he would do it in a heartbeat.  

BARTIROMO:  Has he become a liability?  

MILLER:  I don't think so.  He does things she can't do.  He can defend his own crime bill, which Bernie Sanders voted for, whereas she can't do that now because part of her base really doesn't like the crime bill.  So, I think he's still useful, he's still Bubba, he's still the big dog, and he can still attract a certain kind of Democrat that is alienated by her.  

ROLLINS:  But his blood pressure must be 20 points higher than it was --  

KISSEL:  But what does it say about the Democratic Party that they disassociate themselves from a bill that was about getting super predators off the street and somehow it's not okay for us to say or them to say on the political left that that was a bad thing and there shouldn't be consequences for personal actions?  I mean, again, it's another indication of how far left the party has moved.  It's embarrassing for Hillary Clinton to run only two points in some polls ahead of Bernie Sanders in her home state of New York, a septuagenarian socialist.  Let's think about that.  

MILLER:  Mary, with all due respect, really, when we talk about parties in trouble, I would say the Republicans at this point have a lot more to worry about than the Democratic Party.  

ROLLINS:  But right now, we're focused on Democrats and truth of the matter is, it's not going to be eyes to get those young people -- this is their first campaign.  They're enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders and if he gets shortchanged, then that automatically will come back.  

BARTIROMO:  We'll get to the other side.  We'll do that next.  

Donald Trump may be ahead in delegates but he could still lose out on the GOP nomination at a contested convention.  The panel examines the Republican side of the race next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" today.  


BARTIROMO:  Coming up, our panel looks at the GOP side of the race but, first, let's look at what's coming up on "MediaBuzz" top of the hour. Howie Kurtz standing by in Washington.

Hi, Howie.  Good morning.


Well, I'll tee up your discussion by saying we'll look at the coverage of Donald Trump's increasingly vociferous complaints about delegate selection and the system being rigged and Ted Cruz winning delegates he thinks he should get.

Also, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg taking some public shots at Donald Trump and some Facebook employees saying what can they do to prevent a Trump presidency?

And finally, that new HBO film debut last night about Anita Hill hearings.  Many conservatives say it's unfair to Clarence Thomas.  We'll have Nina Totenberg, the NPR who broke the Anita Hill story a quarter of century ago, to talk about that.  

BARTIROMO:  All right.  We will see you.  We're also covering that right now so hopefully we'll be watching you in 15 minutes to get the other side of the story.  

Ted Cruz wins all of the 14 delegates up for grabs in Wyoming, the Wyoming state convention yesterday, as he tries to prevent Donald Trump from clinching the nomination before the Republican convention this July.  

Trump is calling on the RNC to make changes to the nominating process, saying it's basically rigged against him.  I spoke with two delegates on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network this past week who say despite Trump's claims, they think the selection process is fair.  


TOM JOHN, INDIANA'S 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT:  People have not seen a contested convention even possibility since 1976.  This is something that's new to many of them.  The party rules haven't changed.  When Mr. Trump pushes back and says the system is rigged, the system isn't rigged.  

RONNA MCDANIEL, TRUMP DELEGATE:  I think the process is just getting a lot more attention.  Our convention ran the same way this time as it's done for years and years.  Candidates knew the rules well before they were candidates.  They knew the rules that were in place.  I don't feel like it's not rigged.  I think it's fair.  


BARTIROMO:  That was Ronna Romney McDaniel, Mitt Romney's niece, actually now a supporter and a delegate for Trump, Ed Rollins.  

ROLLINS:  They've done very well in Michigan.  Romney has been great contributors to that state over the past --

BARTIROMO:  So, characterize the RNC part of this.  What did the right move for Sean Spicer at the top of the show and the RNC in general to say, look, don't make changes going in?  

ROLLINS:  If I was running RNC, which I'm not, obviously, I would not any change rules.  These are rules that have been in place since 1976.  We've gone through a whole evolution.  There was a point in time in our history where Congress picked our nominees.  There was a period when the governors and the bosses in the states did.  

'76, we had a very democratic process and that's what this is.  This is exactly what Trump and everybody else entered into.  They can all read rules and participate in the rules.  And at the end of the day, he didn't complain about places he won and obviously he can't complain about the places other people win.  

BARTIROMO:  That's a good point.  What do you think, Judy?  

MILLER:  This is the chutzpah award on the part of Donald Trump, because using a good New York values word, look, these are the rules that enabled him to propel his TV celebrity status into the front running slot.  He's now the punitive nominee of the Republican Party and now he starts complaining about the rules?  

Before, he said the system was rigged.  Now he says this rigged system's rules are being, quote, "flagrantly abused".  So, he wants to have it all ways.  This is helpful for him because it reminds his base to get out there and fight.  

ROLLINS:  I take big issue with this.


ROLLINS:  He's running against his own party he's running to be nominee of.  He's trashed every single nominee, McCain, Dole --  

BARTIROMO:  Bartiromo.

ROLLINS:  -- Jeb Bush, Romney, he called George W. a liar.  Where does he expect to get his base?  How do you think Republicans are going to feel about this?  This is their party, too.

These are participants who are going to make action.  Whatever the group that he has isn't a majority in any way, shape or form of the Republican Party.  He has to get to the majority, an overwhelming majority, he has to bring it back in order to be a viable candidate.  

BARTIROMO:  It's a really important point that you're making, and yet when he's out there fighting against everybody, Mary, it resonates with people. They feel like, OK --

KISSEL:  It may resonate with his base but that's a very small part of the party.  The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll and Trump's negatives are highest in the race, something like 65 percent.  He does terribly among women, he does terribly among minorities.  The people you would need to win a general election.  

Now, effectively Ted Cruz is outhustling Donald Trump and that's why he's upset.  It's a pattern.  It's not just Colorado.  It's not just Wyoming. It's also Georgia.  

I mean, you're seeing a pattern here.  Cruz has a very well-organized campaign.  He's pounding the pavement and he's getting these delegate votes.

And as for the way that delegates are selected, this is the essence of our democracy.  These are grassroots movements.  It's a private political party.  There's no requirement that everybody vote here.  Private parties can organize in any way that they like.  

Trump is running a fly-by-night campaign and he's simply getting outhustled by Ted Cruz.  

ROLLINS:  In that same poll, 42 percent of Republicans favor him, 42 percent don't favor him.  If he doesn't get more disfavor back, he can't be a viable candidate.  

MILLER:  Yes, but even in New York, Kasich is ahead of Cruz.  

ROLLINS:  So what?  So what?  

MILLER:  I don't see people rallying around Cruz as the alternative to Trump.

ROLLINS:  Kasich is still running fourth in a three-person race.  He hasn't picked up a delegate since Ohio.  

KISSEL:  He hasn't picked up a delegate --


ROLLINS:  We'll see.  We will see.

KISSEL:  It doesn't matter.  The goal is to stop Trump from winning a majority in New York and I don't think they can do that.  

BARTIROMO:  By the way, it doesn't feel like Cruz cares about that.  He's out in California.  

ROLLINS:  First of all, New York is not going to be a viable state for us in the fall, and at the end of the day, Trump may very well win this and may very well win the nomination.  At the end of the day, there's a lot of Republicans out there in a lot of places still to go including my home state of California where for the first time, Trump named an executive director last week.  He's so badly out-organized in that state that --

KISSEL:  Cruz people have been in California for about a year.  If you look at the way that Cruz came into New York, he targeted Democratic districts and places where you only have 15,000 to 20,000 Republican voters in places like the Bronx.  

So, they came in and did a strategic analysis of the market.  They went to places where they think they can pick up delegates and moved on.  


KISSEL:  So, you know, you have to look at California and say does Cruz or Trump have a better chance?  

ROLLINS:  California has a 39 Democratic districts that have three delegates each, 14 Republicans.  So, the efforts in Nancy Pelosi's district, which is basically 3,000 Republicans, you view as many delegates as winning in an Orange County district.  

MILLER:  Democrats worry much more about running against Trump than they do running against Cruz.  

ROLLINS:  Well, it's great.  They get to pick their candidate, and we'll get to pick our candidates.  So --

BARTIROMO:  At the end of the day, Republicans will come out and vote for the nominee?  


KISSEL:  If it were Trump, you would have a lot of people staying home looking at unfavorable numbers.  

ROLLINS:  I hope so.  I mean, I hope we can come back together again and I think what's going to bring us back together again is we have to make real efforts to unify this party and make Hillary the monster we all think she is politically and otherwise.  

BARTIROMO:  We'll take a short break.  

A Russian jet buzzes close to a U.S. target for the third time this week.  What to make of these close calls that Russia is doing with the U.S.

We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" as we take it the international story, next.  


BARTIROMO:  Another sign of Russian aggression.  This time, a Russian fighter jet buzzing dangerously close to a U.S. spy plane in the Baltic Sea.  It comes just days after Russian fighter jets flew very close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltics.  So close to the U.S. plane.  

We want to bring our panel back in on this, Ed, Mary and Judith this morning.

Judy, explain what happened this last week and a half with the Russian jets very close to U.S. jets.  

MILLER:  It was a very close call.  The Americans had wanted to fire, as Secretary of State John Kerry said they could have under the rule of engagement.  Two Russian attack planes, we don't think they were carrying weapons, actually buzzed the USS Cook.  

BARTIROMO:  What was the response from Russia?  What is their explanation in terms of why this is occurring?  

MILLER:  They are -- they don't understand what the problem was.  They are -- it was an amazing response.  But they were stunned by John Kerry's doing something he had never done before, which is to call them out openly on a provocative action.  

This should have been done a long time ago with the things that the Russians are doing.  

BARTIROMO:  Meanwhile, President Obama is going to Saudi Arabia this week.  He's going to participate in the Gulf State's conference.  Mary, how do you see it?  

KISSEL:  Well, I think he comes from a place of weakness.  The U.S. has effectively in large part disengaged after we pulled out of Iraq.  That is the vacuum that led to the rise of ISIS.  

So, now, you've seen a lot of states trying to figure out, well, what do they do?  He's not coming from a place of influence.  And also the Iran nuclear deal has aligned us with the state sponsor of terrorism.  

So, you've had very high levels of the Saudi ruling class publicly raising concerns that something could totally unprecedented.  They find themselves in the same boat as Israel, in fact.  That might be the most amazing thing that this president has done is to bring Saudi Arabia in line with Israel.  

Our alliances are upside down.  So I expect some pretty tough conversations behind the scenes there.  

BARTIROMO:  These trips that president is taking, so many places during this election year, actually, is striking, I think, Ed.

ROLLINS:  Well, this is how we started the administration much he did an apology toward traveling the world and apologizing for all of our foreign policy.  And now, he's now running around trying to get patted on the back for foreign policy.  I think the mere fact that Putin is so fearful of us, or not fearful of us, he's willing to let their jets fly with our carriers in legitimate areas where they are and expect no response whatsoever.  

I'm reminded of August 1981 when the Libyan jets tried to do the same thing to Ronald Reagan and we shot two of them down.  They fired on us and we put two in the drink.  We never had a problem again.  

I'm not advocating we do that, but I'm advocating that we better be tough and threaten.  If they do it again, just understand it's going to be two of their plane in the drink.

BARTIROMO:  Who will be toughest with Putin?  

ROLLINS:  I think this works Trump's advantage.  Trump will say he's going to be tougher.  I think a lot of people will pay attention to him.  

MILLER:  Well, but he also says I like Putin.  I know Putin.  I can do business with Putin.  He says all kinds of things which is part of the problem with the demagoguery in Donald Trump.  

ROLLINS:  But he's viewed as tougher.  

MILLER:  He is viewed as tougher.  

ROLLINS:  Certainly viewed as -- John Kerry is viewed as tougher.  That's the sad part.  John Kerry is viewed is tougher than Obama in this particular issue.  

MILLER:  Yes, which is pathetic.  

It should come from the president himself.  On Saudi Arabia, I must say, they are threatening to unload $750 billion worth of U.S. treasuries, bonds.  Now many people think this is an empty threat.  There is going to be some tough talk about money as well as politics in Riyadh.  

BARTIROMO:  Would they really do that, Mary?

KISSEL:  No, I don't think they'll do that.  But to Ed's point on Putin, Russia isn't stupid.  They see what we did in the South China Sea, where we let China build islands in international waters.  They changed the facts on the ground there.


KISSEL:  Putin pushed in Georgia and Crimea and Syria.  Now, he's trying to push out in the Baltic Sea.  You know, these close calls came in international waters.  So, he's trying to change the facts on the ground.  

ROLLINS:  And it's demoralizing to our men and women defending this country.  For them to sit there and let this happen without them being able to do anything is absurd.  

BARTIROMO:  Final thoughts next.  Back in a minute.    


BARTIROMO:  Back with our panel.  

Ed Rollins, looking ahead.

ROLLINS:  Donald Trump will have his biggest win.  He'll go over 50 percent this week and I don't think Hilary will.  


MILLER:  Will the president talk turkey in Riyadh?  


KISSEL:  Can Kasich pick up delegates from Trump and can Cruz pick up anything in New York?  

BARTIROMO:  Thank you so much for joining us, everybody.  We'll see you next Sunday and I'll see you Monday on the Fox Business Network.  Join me "Mornings with Maria", 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.  Have a great Sunday, everybody.  

Content and Programming Copyright 2016 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.