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Special Report

Will new Trump polls quell the opposition?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 10, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. TED CRUZ, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If there is a path to victory, we launched this campaign intending to win. The reason we suspended the race last week is with Indiana's loss I didn't see a viable path to victory. If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly.

We've suspended the campaign because I can see no viable path to victory. Of course if that changed we would reconsider things. But let's be clear. We're not going to win Nebraska today. There should be no mystery, no excitement in that.

If circumstances change, we will always assess changed circumstances.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It's all about keeping your voters loyal to you I think for what comes next in 2020.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Ted Cruz talking about a path to victory if one suddenly opened up. Let's be clear here: One is not opening up. Donald Trump is expected to get to 1,237, the majority needed. And there are some new polls in swing states about a possible general election. A Quinnipiac poll out in Ohio and Florida and Pennsylvania, and there you see the numbers. Hillary Clinton, essentially within the margin of error on all three states. But in Ohio, Donald Trump doing a little bit better there. Also today another vanquished opponent on the GOP side, Marco Rubio, speaking out for the first time again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He needs to appoint someone to be his vice presidential nominee that more fully embraces the things he stands for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean no, you're not interested?

RUBIO: And again, to be frank, I'm never had those conversations with anyone in his campaign. So I'm not -- I'm not saying that anyone has offered it to me or it's been suggested to me. I'm just saying to you that I believe he would be best served by someone who more fully embraces the things he stands for, and that's certainly not me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Marco Rubio today. Let's bring in our special expanded panel tonight: Steve Hayes with The Weekly Standard; A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, David Catanese, senior politics writer for U.S. News and World Report, and Tucker Carlson, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend."

OK, Tucker, let's start with Ted Cruz, makes his return to the Senate and stirs up all kinds of stuff today.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: I don't think that's real. I think he said that to calm Glenn Beck down and keep him from harming himself. You know what I mean, holding open the possibility.

No, of course, you know, as you I think rightly noted, Donald Trump is going to be the nominee really against his own campaign. I mean, Trump has I think had a pretty bad week. He spent a lot of his time attacking Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush as if they're relevant. They no longer are of course, as if the primaries are still going.

And yet, his numbers in this Quinnipiac poll are pretty amazing. He's doing bet anywhere Pennsylvania than Mitt Romney or John McCain did four and eight years ago. He beats Hillary in the gender gap. He's doing better among women than she's doing among men, et cetera, et cetera. He's considered more trustworthy in a lot of these swing states by voters. So I really think it's the strength of his message. Avert your gaze from Trump, look at what he is saying or what he stands for in the eyes of voters, I think it's a pretty compelling message, obviously.

BAIER: Two-thirds of Republicans, Dave, in the West Virginia exit polling saying that trade is a driving force for them. They don't, they believe that two-thirds, two-thirds believe that trade costs jobs, which is Donald Trump's message.

DAVID CATANESE, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Trade, immigration, and sort of more of a leftist foreign policy coming back home think is what Trump is going to run on.

But those Quinnipiac polls that came out were the best news that he's had all week since he was crowned presumptive nominee because, surprise, this guy is probably going to be competitive. Now, I talked to some pollsters today, they have some problems with the weighting in some of these states, not enough African-Americans in Florida, not enough independents here and there. But the bottom line is after a week of a lot of party leaders saying, we're hedging and hawing over when they can support him, this going to quell a lot of that. If this -- if these polls hold up and what the election looks like in August, people are going to get on board.

BAIER: Yes, and it is good news as you continue to look at the exit polls out of West Virginia and some out of Nebraska popping up here. But there's another poll tonight, A.B., that shows Utah is close with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And Utah is the reddest of red states. So you know, obviously you read into the polls in different states, different things.

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: Right, Mississippi is in play at this point. It doesn't mean it's going to last, but when Mississippi and Utah are in play, that's not a good sign for the Republican nominee.

But the Quinnipiac polls are great news, and I think David is right. It will calm the queasiness of Republicans who think he's going to lose in a landslide. But, yes, he still has a mountain to climb. There are race and gender gaps within those polls that are good news for him still. He has to -- he's got to go beyond a white voter base. He's just got to expand it. And that's the work he's going to do.

Look, all his polling since he joined the nomination, the primary, you know, he topped the polls the entire time. Now he's at the bottom. It doesn't mean that these polls aren't real. He's got to make up some of this. And I think some of his tactics on, you know, Hillary as a dirty, mean, nasty enabler are just futile. I think they're a waste of his time.

BAIER: But clearly they're coming differently at Hillary Clinton than any other Republican has.

STODDARD: But there's so much to go after her on, the email scandal, her deception, her dishonesty. There's so much there, Benghazi. Just skip this stuff about, you know, being an enabler. I mean, I think that he should go after some women voters if he really wants to win in November.

BAIER: What does he have to do, Steve, Trump, up on Capitol Hill Thursday with Ryan and McConnell?

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think he has first got to commit himself to outreach. What we've seen this past week in response to Paul Ryan's withholding his of his immediate endorsement is Donald Trump sort of lashing out. Sarah Palin, a top surrogate for Trump, going after Paul Ryan, says she's going to primary him. He's going to be like Eric Cantor, he's going to lose his seat. Trump himself taking shots at the people who resisted or sort coming to Trump or open to coming to Trump with resignation. I think he's got to embrace those.

We've seen this before actually in 2008 and in 2012. In 2008 I remember sitting on the straight talk express with John McCain asking him why he wasn't reaching out more to conservatives, why he wasn't picking up the phone and calling Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, trying to bridge that gap. And McCain's answer was basically at the time was, I don't need to.

Mitt Romney came late I think to embracing and trying to go after the Tea Party, making sure that they were enthusiastic about him. He didn't have as much success as he might have had. Donald Trump saying this weekend, I don't need the conservatives -- that is crazy. He doesn't have the conservatives, the conservatives beyond the never-Trumpers, he will lose.

BAIER: Ted Cruz wouldn't answer today whether he was going to officially endorse Donald Trump. He wouldn't take the question, really. Marco Rubio said he is supporting the nominee. He signed a pledge. What does it take to get these guys to say I'm in?

CARLSON: I mean some are unwinnable. Trump has insulted them personally. I don't think you can overstate the effect of that. He's gone after them and their legacy, the legacy of the Bush administration. They're stung by it and a lot of them are not going to support him, of course.

BAIER: Isn't Hillary Clinton the unifying factor?

CARLSON: Potentially, but you've seen some Republicans come out and endorse her. He should win some conservatives, but I would say the Republican Party in Washington should also not ignore Trump's voters. And the one issue they could win a lot of voters back, he's won the Republican nomination beating 16 people, all of whom were backed in essence by Washington Republicans. There's a statement being made by voters to D.C. I think they just need to move on immigration. I actually think the details of economic policy, the subject that Ryan is most interested in, Trump would probably move on those. But they've got to demonstrate a good- faith effort to secure the borders and at least to rethink our current immigration scheme which has been in place for 51 years. Nobody is even willing to talk about it. Trump's voters clearly want a public conversation on that. Why can't they move on that?

BAIER: Listen, I mean, these Republicans are nowhere near deporting illegal immigrants.

CARLSON: But the population is. There was a series of polls in swing states done last week on how do you feel about a temporary ban on Muslim immigration? Everyone in D.C. is horrified by the idea. It's like evidence of membership in the Nazi Party. And yet across the country, huge numbers of people, 65 percent of Wisconsin voters favor that, not all Republicans, a lot of Democrats. It doesn't mean you should back it. It does mean you need to rethink your comfortable assumptions about immigration if you're the Republican Party.

HAYES: Sure, but if you have principles and you believe that we shouldn't ban a religion, don't ban a religion -- in a country founded on freedom of religion it's not a good idea to ban a religion --

CARLSON: It's a little more complex than that.

HAYES: Even with asterisks?

CARLSON: No.

HAYES: Republicans can't just cast aside their principles, free trade because Donald Trump comes around and this orange guy suggests that free trade is bad, we're going to throw away 300 years of Adam Smith.

CARLSON: I haven't noticed a lot of principles among Republicans in Washington. Perhaps they're there. They're hiding them well. I would just say look at Europe and the destruction underway now. One of the lessons -- it doesn't mean we need to ban people that are Muslims, I agree. That's an overstatement and kind of crazy. But it doesn't mean keeping your immigration regime the face of what's happening here is equally crazy.

HAYES: I agree with entirely. I think they need to respond to this.

CARLSON: And they refuse to.

HAYES: But if you make the argument, you're not making it, others have made it, that they cast aside these pillars of conservatism because they're unpopular, because Donald Trump is making certain arguments about trade and about other things, I think that's unwise. And I think that is one of the reasons that you're seeing this resistance from some people. They don't want to support somebody who opposes the things they fought for and held most dear for years.

CARLSON: If open borders is one of things they held most dear for years they're going to have to give up on it, because the country just doesn't support it. They defended it, and they need to change.

BAIER: There are other people on the panel.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Sorry.

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