OTR Interviews

Trump gets last word on Cruz before leaving Cleveland

Should Donald Trump have just let Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse him die a slow death, especially since his RNC speech had generated so much buzz? Fox News' Tucker Carlson weighs in 'On the Record'


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Deja vu? Well, it sure seems like primary season all over again. The fiercely bitter rivalry between Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz not over. And right now, it is sizzling hot.

Now, Wednesday, Senator Cruz at Trump's convention and on Trump's stage and at Trump's invitation did not endorse Trump. And Trump, well, he doesn't like that obvious snob. He is not taking it lightly. Trump is even reigniting some of the primary feuds and that includes a "National Enquirer" conspiracy theory about Senator Cruz's father.


DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Honestly, he may have ruined his political career. I feel so badly. I feel so badly. And, you know, he will come and endorse over the next little while, he'll come and endorse, because he has no choice. But I don't want his endorsement. What difference does it make? I don't want his endorsement.

I don't know his father. I met him once. I think he's a lovely guy. I think he's a lovely guy. All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the "National Enquirer," there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.

Now, Ted never denied that it was his father, instead he said Donald Trump. I had nothing to do with it. There was a picture on the front page of the "National Enquirer," which does have credibility. And they are not going to do pictures like that because they get sued for a lot of money if things are wrong, OK? A lot of money. And there was a picture. And that's the only thing I know.


VAN SUSTEREN: Co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekend" Tucker Carlson goes ON THE RECORD.

Tucker, nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: So, Tucker, you know, I sort of thought we got beyond this one although I will say that, you know, it's an interesting feud but here we go again.

CARLSON: Poor Mike Pence, he looked like he was dying back there. He had not been briefed on this detour from his new boss. Look, with Trump, he's so clever that sometimes you have to wonder, well, maybe I don't understand why he is doing this but perhaps he is thinking three-dimensionally while the rest of us are thinking in two dimensions and there is some strategic reason for it.

In this case, it just seems to be nutty and counter productive. I'm not sure who wins from this. Cruz clearly hurt himself at the convention the other night. I think we can be certain of that.

But what does Trump get out of resurrecting this JFK assassination theory or even mentioning Ted Cruz's name? I mean, if there is a good reason, I will feel calmer about it. But for those of us who don't want to see Hillary Clinton become president, this is worrisome.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, probably everyone is talking about it to the exclusion of talking about the fact that we are awaiting her VP choice. Maybe he is stealing some of the, you know, wind out of her sail.

But let me -- here is another -- here's something else that he said last night about or today about the Supreme Court.


TRUMP: Just one thing I wanted to leave you with Supreme Court justices. No matter how much you like or dislike, no matter what your feelings, whether you are the governor of Ohio, whether you're a senator from Texas or any of the other people that I beat so easily and so badly, you have no choice. You've got to go for Trump. Supreme Court justices.


VAN SUSTEREN: So he says they are going to have to hold their nose and vote for him.

Governor Kasich and Senator Ted Cruz, right?

CARLSON: I mean, look, if you are a conservative, this is obvious. I mean, it's prima facie true. Of course, Trump has a, you know, stronger likelihood of picking a reasonable Supreme Court justice than Hillary Clinton does.

I'm not sure he needs to say it. And in this context, it looks like nearly a pretext to remind us that he beat all the other guys in the race. The tragedy here from my perspective is that he gave this kind of redefining speech last night that really laid out what the Republican Party ought to be focused on going forward. I thought it was solid. I think it speaks to actual concerns of actual people, not just my neighbors, in the media and then Washington but like middle-class voters. And that's what the Republican Party has been missing.

I think if he had stopped talking last night, or just continue to repeat sections of his speech from here until November, he would be president. But these kinds of detours into wacko bird land, they just don't help. I don't get it.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I thought was interesting last night is he talked about gay rights.


VAN SUSTEREN: And he talked about fairness and equality, which is in conflict with the exclusionary part in the platform which was seeking a second constitutional amendment to do away with gay marriage. And he got an applause by the Republican audience.

CARLSON: The whole thing was amazing and the Republican economic program.

I mean, this is guy who is, of course, running as a famous businessman, a successful practitioner of business, but he did not give us the stock Republican lines about entrepreneurship and capital gains tax cuts. It was all, you know, or entitlement reform for that matter. I mean, everything about what he said last night was a radical departure. Maybe a refreshing departure.

I mean, America has changed so dramatically in the last 25 years. The Republican platform has not. And Donald Trump is ushering in this new era. He should be talking about that. I think. What do I know, though. I'm not the one who won the nomination.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tucker, thank you. We will see you tomorrow morning, bright and early on "Fox & Friends."

Thank you.

CARLSON: Thanks a million, Greta.