How difficult will it be for the GOP to reunite?

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 19, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Listen, New York is Donald's home state. Of course he's going to do well in his home state. When we were in Texas, my home state, we walloped him in Texas.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We'll probably get some delegates. We got a lot of delegates over the weekend that I didn't even know about, South Carolina, Georgia. We did well in Indiana and Michigan, sort of the untold story.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was a great moment. It was really something, very special. We're really working very hard. We want to make America great again.

HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It feels great. And I am so excited about both campaigning here in New York, voting here in New York. And I love New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Clinton said she could wrap up the whole nomination today.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm afraid she's going to be disappointed.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Candidates today here in the New York primary, some stats about New York really quickly. There are almost 5.8 million registered Democrats across the state of New York. And 53 percent of all registered New York Democrats reside within New York City. There are about 2.7 million registered Republicans, 17 percent of all New York Republicans reside in New York City. That's setting the table for tonight.

Let's bring in our panel, Tucker Carlson, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend," Catherine Rampell, opinion writer at The Washington Post, and Dana Perino, co-host of "The Five."

All right, Tucker, heading in the adopted home state of Hillary Clinton, the home state of Donald Trump, they seem poised for big nights. What are you seeing from the exit polls and what do you think about today?

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: I think the rough outlines, what we thought was going to happen, will be proved true probably by night's end. I think it's going to be an early night judging by these numbers.

What jumps out at me is the future of Democratic Party and Bernie Sanders. Once again Sanders has swept, no the just carried, but swept overwhelmingly people under 30, under 45 actually. This mirrors what we've seen in state after state in primary after caucus across the Democratic contests. And it tells you really something simple, which is you want to know what the party is going to look like 10 years from now? Look at these numbers. This is really the last stand of the old Democratic establishment, which is basically rooted in identity politics. Look like me, vote for me. He's got an economic message that really is their future. And it's a pretty radical one, but it's real and it's not going away.

BAIER: Catherine, on the Republican side we're looking to see if Ted Cruz and John Kasich can get any delegates out of New York because it is all about the math.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, THE WASHINGTON POST: The numbers so far suggest that Trump is going to sweep the overall state numbers. He'll get a majority of the state, which means he'll get all of the state level delegates. We don't have the number for the individual congressional districts, so there's still a chance that the other candidates could eke out some delegates on that level.

BAIER: Dana, what does this mean in the big picture, do you think, it means for the race for the nomination?

DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS HOST: I agree with Tucker was saying about looking at the Democratic Party. I do think it's going to be easier for them to heal and get behind Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee. The Republicans, that's not going to be as easy. In the exit polls you see significant number of people on the Republican side saying that if Trump is the nominee, I won't vote for him in the general. Same for Ted Cruz, same for John Kasich. This a Republican Party that's deeply divided. We've had about two weeks between the votes. It's been kind of a slower month. It's about to pick up and I think that the divisions are only going to continue.

BAIER: You have the story about the Trump campaign shake-up in the Politico, a shake-up that's roiling Donald Trump's presidential campaign. They write "The GOP frontrunner told senior staffers at a Saturday meeting he wants his recent hires Paul Manafort, Rick Wiley, to take the reins in upcoming states, giving them a $20 million budget for key contests in May and June according to three sources with knowledge of the meeting. Sources inside the Trump campaign said the moves are increasingly alienating staff loyal to the original team headed by campaign manager Corey Lewandowski which had guided Trump from the political fringe to the precipice of the GOP presidential nomination with relatively little campaign infrastructure or spending."

Catherine, this seems like a significant shake-up. Paul Manafort seems to be the guy driving the train.

RAMPELL: Yes. So the previous leadership, of course the leadership that said let Trump be Trump. Let him be inflammatory. Let him do his thing. Let him charm the masses. The new crowd that's in, they're much more about how do we actually win this thing? How do we get a ground game, because they're just getting trounced behind the scenes in terms of Ted Cruz being able to pick up delegates who are knocked down to the vote. They need more of that sort of professional networked insider game.

BAIER: Look at the spending. I'm going to put up a graphic here, Tucker. New York spending, you've got team Sanders at $5.6 million, team Clinton at $2.8 million, and the rest of the Republicans, $480, $467. Team Trump, $67,000, that's it from the campaign.

CARLSON: I know people who spent more on spring break last year. He spent no money, and so this gives a lie to the analysis that one team is being replaced by another. In the Trump world there was no other team. The Trump campaign wasn't a campaign. It was one man and an iPhone and a series of instinctive moves.

Corey Lewandowski was never the campaign manager in the traditional sense. He was the body man. A campaign manager is back behind the desk thinking through strategy. No one was doing that. And the truth is they woke up and realized -- and that all worked, by the way. They realized they're going to lose on delegates.

And it isn't inconceivable that in a Pennsylvania primary next week Ted Cruz comes in third and gets the majority of delegates because so many are unbound. I don't know if it's going to happen. It could happen. Those are the rules and Trump should have known that and he should have had a staff in place to take advantage of those rules. But the Republican Party and its officials don't need to defend that system because it's impossible to defend because it's inherently anti-democratic. Somebody needs to represent the middle class. It doesn't need to be Trump when this is all over, but it's going to be hard for the party to do that if they are on the side of undemocratic election processes like these.

BAIER: Yes, so Dana, the Trump talking point is that it's a rigged election. It's rigged. This whole process is rigged. He's saying that a lot on the trail. And it seems to be firing up his loyal base. Cruz's response to this from the Cruz campaign, "Trump has a very simple motto, overpromise, under-deliver, then blame someone else. That's why when we win, he whines. That's not leadership. That's not good management. That's not taking responsibility, and it's not what anyone should want in a president. The stakes are too high for the consequences for a Trump presidency."

What about that argument, that if you can't manage the delegate process to get the nomination, how are you going to manage the U.S. federal government as president?

PERINO: I have to say, from a PR perspective, I think both campaigns are putting forward their best arguments, and you can argue either one. I can see why Donald Trump is saying that it's rigged, because people are looking at this and saying how could it possibly be that he won everything in South Carolina but not all the delegate goes to him. Because on election night coverage and they called the state, we're like, OK, that's 55 delegates, or whatever it is. And so it is confusing for people.

However, it's not a national system. Each state has their own system. And so Ted Cruz is right, that if you want to be president of the United States, as I do, then you must figure out how to win on the delegate portion. You almost have to run several campaigns all at once, a general election strategy, a primary strategy, and a delegate strategy all at once.

I also feel a little bit like, I feel bad for some of the Trump loyalists, the ones that were there from the beginning, because they got him to where he is today. And it is tough to swallow, a new boss on that front. And I sort of feel like they're fixing something that didn't need to be fixed at the Trump campaign.

BAIER: Catherine, final world. As the math to 1,237, how tough is that going to be?

RAMPELL: It's going to be really tough for Trump still, I think, just because, as in Pennsylvania, I think you mentioned Pennsylvania, there are too many delegate who are up for grabs. If he doesn't get it on the first ballot, he's probably written off. Cruz has done too much work behind the scenes to try to get pledged delegates once they're freed up to vote who they want to vote for. I just think it's going to be very challenging to him.

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