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Special Report

What is Bernie Sanders' endgame?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 1, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we win California and if we win South Dakota and North Dakota and Montana and New Mexico and New Jersey, well, I think we will be -- and the following week do well in Washington, D.C., I think we will be marching into the Democratic convention with an enormous amount of momentum.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Bernie Sanders wasn't yelling like Howard Dean was in Iowa, but he was listing the states he wants to and believes he can win. This as a new poll comes out tonight in California that essentially puts him tied with Hillary Clinton in California. This is the case he's making is that he's better positioned against Donald Trump. A Quinnipiac poll backs that up in the head-to-head, Clinton versus Trump and Sanders versus Trump. But in the same poll Clinton is up by 13 points over Sanders nationally, and she is 71 delegates short of getting the Democratic nomination because of super delegates.

We'll start there on politics. Let's bring in our panel: Tucker Carlson, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend," Charles Lane, opinion writer for The Washington Post, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. OK, Tucker, you heard Bernie Sanders there, and he's making the pitch to California.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: I think he's going to march to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia no matter what happens in the subsequent six or seven states. The truth is he is as unlikely a candidate really as Donald Trump. He is without charm. He's elderly. He's running an economic program that's 80 years old and has been proven not to work.
And yet he's drawing crowds of people who know for a certainty that he's not going to win, and they are coming out anyway. What does that tell you?
It tells you the power of running on something in contrast to the sort of tepid identity politics campaign his opponent is running. He is running on something that's actually resonating. And he's going to extract eye teeth at that convention. There's no question about that.

BAIER: All right, Chuck. It's the realism of trying to convince people that in fact he can still win the nomination.

CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think he is making an additional pitch, which is, as you referred to those polls that show him beating Trump, and that's been a consistent finding in those polls going back several months now. And he's saying in a weird way I'm the more realistic candidate in a way because I'm the one who would have an easier time beating Trump.

Now, obviously it isn't that realistic because there are the super delegates and so on standing in his way. I guess his end game goes something like this. I come in as close as I possibly can to the number into the convention, and between now and then something develops, maybe regarding the e-mails, that causes the party to need to look for somebody else, and I'll be standing there and it will fall into my lap.

BAIER: Meantime, there's another person that's really anxious to be out campaigning, and that is the president who talked about Donald Trump not by name but by policy issues and also a certain network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So their basic story is America's working class, America's middle class, families like yours, have been victimized by a big, bloated federal government run by a bunch of left wing elitists like me.

I'm being serious here. I mean, that's the story that's been told. And I haven't, you know, turned on FOX News or listened to conservative talk radio yet today, but I turned them on enough over these past seven and a half years to know I'm not exaggerating in terms of their story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: President Obama in Indiana today.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, he's making it sound as if this idea of the big, bloated federal government run by left wing elitists is some kind of FOX News fantasy. How about exhibit a, Obamacare.
Jonathan Gruber and all the others who foist it upon the United States, elitists, pointed-headed intellectuals who designed a program that is collapsing of its own weight. It's costing enormous amounts of money, having a terrible effect on the medicine -- on medical -- on the medical profession and I think will be gone one way or the other in several years is a perfect example of left wing hyper-liberalism.

Obama brought into office this idea that government can and should try and do everything, thwarted by Democrats who stopped the cap and trade, who stopped a lot of other measures that Obama would like to do. This is exactly what his government has done, and it has given us a very weak economy. And all the anxiety that everyone is acknowledging is what the candidates are running on, Sanders, Trump, all the others as a result of a weak economy, a terrible recovery, and people who have a sense that they are being squeezed.

The irony is it's the Democratic candidates themselves who make the case against the big government because of the results of what Obama has wrought and how it's affected the electorate.

BAIER: Chuck, you can see that almost every speech now the president is anxious to get into this game, the 2016 game. He has been prevented from doing that essentially from this race continuing on the Democratic side, but it looks like he's just going anyway.

LANE: There's a big kind of irony involved here, which is that the implication of the whole Bernie Sanders campaign by implication says the last eight years accomplished nothing. We're not sufficient. We're not progressive enough. And by associating Hillary with that, he's accusing her of being a fake progressive. So part of what Obama is doing, also by implication, is shoring up Hillary, I think.

And interestingly I think he's -- his numbers are good right now. His favorability rating is up over 51 percent.

BAIER: President Barack Obama's at 51, yes.

LANE: Yes. And I think he is crying vindication right now. That's what that speech you just did was all about was sort of like, hey, I'm supposed to be so terrible. If so, why am I so popular?

BAIER: Meantime the Democratic presumptive nominee, we should point out she's on her way probably to these, delegates was out talking about Trump University today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Every day we learn more about Donald Trump. Just yesterday we learned the truth about Donald Trump's big talk about helping veterans. It turns out it wasn't until the press shamed him that he actually made the donations he had promised.

Well, today, we're learned about another scam, the so-called Trump University. He is trying to scam America the way the scammed all those people at Trump U.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Trump U. OK, Hope Hicks with the Trump campaign put out a statement. "The court's order unsealing documents has no bearings on the merits of the Trump University case. Much of the unsealed evidence including declarations and surveys from former Trump University students demonstrates the high level of satisfaction from students and that Trump University taught valuable real estate information. Trump University looks forward to using this evidence along with much more to win when the case is brought before a jury." Is this -- does this have legs, Tucker, and what about this whole dustup?

CARLSON: Of course Trump University isn't wholly legitimate. Would you send your kids there? I don't think there's a single person who thinks Trump U, I hope my children good ate from Trump U. People knew that going in at the beginning and they know it now. By the way, is it much more of a scam than, say, Princeton? I don't know. That's open to debate.

But yes, sure will it change the mind of a single voter? Is there any person who said oh, Trump U wasn't on the level? That's it, I'm voting Hillary. Probably not. We've seen for the past year Trump getting a pass on these issues. People know who he is and they're supporting him anyway for reasons that have nothing to do with the details of his biography.

BAIER: Meantime, on the Republican side you get a lot of pushback saying where are the investigations into the Clinton Foundation? Where is the other shoe to drop with all the things that they are involved in? Now we're hearing tonight that Bryan Pagliano, the I.T. specialist, is going to plead the fifth in the e-mail investigation. Is there a tit for tat here that is equal when it comes to problems for both candidates?

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, there's always been a double standard with Trump, for Trump. It will happen after Trump where the investigative zeal always is whetted in the press if it has to do with Republicans. In the first line of every story it will say "xx, a Republican." If it's a Democrat it will be paragraph 18. That is well known.

But I think with Hillary, the reason I think that people are holding back right now, because it's in the hands of an FBI. We're going have an explosion one way or another of information on this and we're going to know by people who have subpoena power, 120 supposedly FBI agents. This is going to come out one way or the other.

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